Way back in the fall, we posted a review of Little Woodrow's on Ross Avenue. As you can see from our post, we were NOT IMPRESSED to say the least. Well, today, while visiting a great new neighborhood gem of a wine and spirits shop (Bar & Garden---review to come soon), I noticed that Little Woodrow's was dark, and there were 8.5" x 11" paper signs taped to the outside of the door. Always a bad omen.
While everything was still in place--chairs, tables, TVs, umbrellas, signs--the place was completely deserted. Walking down to their front door, the sign read "we've decided to close effective immediately." It then went on to say something to the effect that while the lower Ross area was "up-and-coming," it just didn't "work" for Little Woodrow's right now. Julie, at Bar & Garden, said they closed today.
It's possible the neighborhood didn't exactly appreciate their seeming hostility to children (bouncer checking IDs at the door Saturday mornings, no kids menu), or the major gaffes regarding tattoos and/or a shooting that plagued them during their early months. Or, maybe, just maybe, it was the food and service. As you can see from our prior experience, even if you have the best location, no shootings, no PR gaffes regarding the exclusion of patrons, and are extremely child-friendly, you can only get so far with bad food and service. It looks like Little Woodrow's found that out the hard way. While the sign says they hope to be back in Dallas soon, I kind of hope they don't fulfill that promise.
Prior Experience at Little Woodrow's
Well, the one good thing to say about the new Little Woodrow's in Dallas is that while it appears to be valet-only when you drive by, there is a stand-alone parking lot just down the street on the South side of Ross. There's just no point using valet at 11:00 a.m. Even in Dallas.
So, we park, we walk up the street, we're about to go in, and we're stopped by an enormous guy that was evidently the bouncer for the morning. We show our IDs, and then finally walk in. I guess it's the new thing to have a morning bouncer.
There are tons of college football fans present (it's a Saturday), and there are TVs everywhere--big plus. The seating concept is great--two different indoor seating areas (with two different bars) opening up through massive garage doors onto a center patio with tons of tables and outdoor TVs. Really great setup, and presumably a great place to watch a game or hang out with friends. They definitely did the design right.
We find a table outside, then a adorable little bulldog puppy finds us. She's super cute, likes to be held, and her constant nibbling of our fingers (who doesn't love puppies!) takes our attention away from the fact that it's been 15 minutes since we ordered beer, and it still hasn't come yet. But, even thirst can't take away from puppy snuggles. Alas, the puppy's owners want her back, and our beer eventually comes, so, almost a trade-off.
We order--Natalie gets a breakfast burger with egg, Cameron gets a patty melt. We drink our beer. We chat. We chat some more. Various teams score touchdowns. 15-20 minutes roll by. Then, our very friendly server comes over and apologizes for the fact that the kitchen has run out of eggs for the breakfast burger (and several other dishes). And, unfortunately, we live in a small community where staples like eggs, bread, etc. just aren't available at any grocery store or local 7-Eleven, so we are stuck. Natalie, being gracious, changes her order to a Frito Pie (great for football), and all is presumably well.
Around 35 minutes later, our food arrives (almost an hour after we ordered it). Well, sort of. Natalie's Frito Pie had been converted to a Frito Pie burger--dry burger, with a dollop of dry chili and soggy Frito's mixed together on top. Cameron's patty melt was essentially a dry burnt-onion burger (on a huge hamburger bun, not Texas toast as advertised) without much in the way of cheese or flavor. And, they were out of several beer choices for a second round of drinks, so ultimately we had to settle for 3rd choice on that front as well. Mercifully, at least the 2nd round of drinks came out quickly to wash the super-dry-burnt-onion-burger-charcoal taste out of Cameron's mouth.
All-in-all, the takeaway is that the place holds a ton of promise. Great restaurant design, and really set up to allow for a great experience. Except that, in the food and drink and service departments, it absolutely wasn't great. Or even good. Or even really adequate. There are lots of burger joints in Dallas with TVs and outdoor seating that do much better. Until Little Woodrow's finds itself, we would recommend going elsewhere for your college football Saturdays. After all, we are told the place doesn't usually have bulldog puppies around to make things better.