We have driven past the Woodside Deli (9329 Georgia) many times; it is in a small, older strip mall between our drycleaner and a gas station, and is unassuming from the outside. Even looking in the front door, all you see is a sparse deli counter, a takeout window, and a row of beverage coolers. It had never occured to us that it might be worth a lunch or dinner visit.
But friends told us the food is really good, so we met them there for lunch today, and it was indeed pretty good. The dining room is larger than it seems like it should be, from the outside, kind of like Woomi in Wheaton. Tables are mismatched, some wood, some formica; walls are covered floor to ceiling with framed photos, drawings, magazine covers, picturing famous people and local people and somebodies and nobodies, a complete mishmash. And the place was packed with people, always a good sign.
I was tempted to get breakfast/brunch, because Woodside seems the kind of place that does that kind of thing especially well, but I decided on the burger as a reasonable qualitative test. And not just any burger: the General Jubal Early Burger, named after the Confederate general who marched up Georgia Avenue back in the day. Apparently the General liked his burgers with American cheese and bacon and lettuce and tomato and Russian dressing (there was no Red Scare in the 1860s, unless you were a serf); it is essentially a Big Mac only bigger and better, and with tomato. The bun was fresh and soft, and the bun-to-burger ratio was perfect; the burger was cooked medium-rare-to-medium (I asked for medium rare) and although its nearly unblemished, flat, circular shape suggested it may have been prefab and frozen, I didn’t care, it was good, though not quite as beefy in flavor as the best of the best. It came with fries (solid) and coleslaw (meh). I would get it again, although next time I will explore more of the enormous menu, and probably order off the breakfast side, because the corned beef hash and the blueberry pancakes both looked outstanding and disappeared quickly from our friends’ plates. Good sandwiches too. Sometimes such a large menu is a bad sign, few kitchens can do so many things well, but Woodside Deli seems to offer both quality and quantity. Quantity also in terms of portion sizes — we did not go away hungry.