Woods Diner – An Awesome Burger

Osu’s Authentic American Diner Serves Up An Awesome Burger!

Woods Diner 6

Mark Guthrie

The rain outside was hammering on the window, blurring the flashing neon signs, and beating a tight rhythm to the jukebox, the rockabilly hit whipping along at a wild speed. I ordered a cola, but Jonny didn’t say nothing, he just stared at the girls at the counter, sipping their vanilla shakes, laughing and joking, kicking their bobby-socked heels.

Just then a blue Caddy screeched up outside and Ralph flew in through the door. “Jonny, there’s a rumble going on, and they got little Joe!”

Jonny crashed his smoke into the ashtray, and checked his pocket for his blade before…

Okay, so none of that actually happened. This is Osu, not 1950’s America, but when you’re sat in Woods Diner, it can be tough to tell the difference.

You see, Woods Diner is as faithful a recreation of 1950’s Americana, without stumbling into the land of kitsch, as you are likely to find. So close is it to the real deal that it comes as something of a surprise that the waiter, replete with tattoos and bowling shirt, takes your order with Nagoya-ben rather than a southern States drawl.

And what an order it is. Of course there are other choices – hot dogs, salads, a good looking club sandwich – but if you want good old fashioned American food, then it’s a burger you’ll be after and, well, it just so happens that burgers are chef Takahiro’s specialty.

On recommendation I went for the Big Woods Burger, a behemoth of a bite, a two handmade patties of 100% pure Australian beef, stacked with tomatoes, onions, cheese, pickles and topped off with a spicy pepper sauce. The meat itself is juicy and succulent and cooked to perfection, beautifully fried on the outside, a thick sliver of pink in the middle. Also, despite being too large to be held by two hands, the whole thing never loses its consistency, never turns to mush. This is partly to do with the butter grilled buns that give it a tasty structural strength, but mainly it’s down to the fact that the meat is not in the slightest bit greasy. In fact, after busting a gut to finish the whopping thing off, I inspected the burger pouch napkin (the only way it is remotely possible to eat a burger of these proportions) to find nothing but a trace of pepper sauce that had managed to escape my mastication.

Finished and kicking back to pick my teeth, I contemplated ordering up one of their famous shakes, but in all honesty, despite being a man not known to shy away from a meal, I couldn’t possibly look at another thing on the menu, and was secretly happy that I hadn’t been persuaded into trying the Empire Burger, an extra layer of the same again. I was over the bloody moon that I hadn’t thrown caution to the wind and gone for the Psycho Burger, a four stack high burger that, as my waiter informed me, is often used as punishments for losing bets and as forfeits for losing games.

Eventually I forced myself to take a suitably location-appropriate Root Beer Float, tuned into the Carl Perkins on the speakers and again stared out of the window. The neon lights were still a rain streaked blur and, I’m not sure whether the retro-décor had got to me or if it was a hallucination brought on by ingesting a huge amount of meat, but I am sure that I saw Jonny, hair greased back, cigarettes tucked under the sleeve of his t-shirt, hopping into a blue Cadillac and speed into the night, looking for a rumble, looking for little Joe.

On second thoughts I’m pretty sure it was all the meat.

Woods Diner
Oda Bldg. 1F, 3-44-20 Osu
Naka-ku, Nagoya
Tel: (052) 242-6161


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