Aug 162014

Woody's Grille And Spirits Sparks, Nevada

I was expecting what I’ve previously known to be sports bar food but was wonderfully surprised. With a wide choice of menu items across the spectrum my lunch time appetite was completely satiated at Woody’s Grille and Spirits in Sparks, Nevada!

I’ve been reconnecting with old friends lately after too many absent years. That has often fallen on my neglect for meeting in person though always keeping in touch online. So, I gave a fantastic buddy from years past, Shawn, a spontaneous holler one day and he was available. He has always had a beat on some of the most fantastic eating establishments in the Reno-Sparks area and often those are where the word has not gotten out yet. Woody’s Grille and Spirits located on South McCarran in Sparks, Nevada was just that kind of place.

I was expecting a sports bar which by all appearances it is…
Woody's Grille And Spirits Sparks, Nevada

Yet, what blew me away was the amazingly delicious food! To get us started we split a Caprese Pizza. Oh my gosh, the fresh mozzarella cheese and sumptuous tomatoes dominoed perfectly on Naan bread with a basil pesto spread. Then to take it to incredible heights was a black truffle vinaigrette that was drizzled over the top. Getting a combination of all the elements in one bite was absolutely incredible.
Woody's Grille And Spirits Sparks, Nevada Caprese Pizza

As we began to catch up on our personal lives over the years I glanced around the open dining room. There was plenty of available seating and while we had arrived early, tables and booths were filling up very quickly towards the noon hour. I botched it and forgot to take a picture of our booth which contained a personal small tv to enjoy via satellite feed if we chose to do so (we didn’t).
Woody's Grille And Spirits Sparks, Nevada
Perusing the rest of the menu it was obvious that this was not just simple bar food when I noticed such items as Polenta cake, Yellowfin Ahi Ceviche and Linguini with clams. Woody’s Grille and Spirits in Sparks offers an assortment of top-notch food ranging from appetizers, salads and burgers to specialty sandwiches and entrees.

Seeing Shawn on this day for the first time in quite a while I saw that he had lost a tremendous amount of weight and looked fantastic! He and his wife had a complete lifestyle change with regards to food and the benefits were very apparent.

Of course I was expecting him to order a hearty dish like the old days when he told our waitress that he would have the Turkey Apple Chop Salad. To be honest when it arrived it did look and sound wonderful with a medley of apples, roasted turkey, red onions, candied walnuts, dried cranberries and yummy bleu cheese crumbles. There was an appropriate amount of honey white balsamic dressing splashed over it. Interesting as he declined to eat the bread (weight loss tip there).
Woody's Grille And Spirits Sparks, Nevada

You know me by now if you read my posts. When I’m doing a food post at home or restaurant review it’s going to often be some hearty and naughty dish. Their Smoked Sausage Sandwich was just that with Cracked pepper andouille sausage, onions and peppers sautΓ©ed with Jack Daniels, wonderfully melted provolone cheese with a spicy honey mustard spread on a soft, fresh French roll. I’m a macaroni salad addict so that was a no brainer to select from their other side options.
Woody's Grille And Spirits Sparks, Nevada

Woody’s Grille and Spirits in Sparks is a definite hidden gem that I’m sure will be getting a lot more attention. Some of the dishes are a few dollars more than what you might normally spend in a similar establishment but the quality of the food is well worth it!

This time Phoenix and I are sending a shout out to our friend, Debbie, at The Doglady’s Den! Of course her blog name immediately caught my eye a very long time ago. Yet, there were even more areas of interest in that my #1 Bucket List country is Germany and Debbie was born there! How ’bout them apples? She and her Italian husband now call Canada home enjoying some beautiful digs and recently celebrating 41 years of marriage! Debbie speaks both English and German and can dabble into French, Italian and Spanish. She puts up some fun photo and music posts with the latter going retro with the rock and psychedelic classics. Thank you so much for all of your support to Phoenix and I, Debbie! So please click on over to her blog at The Doglady’s Den!

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Mike Vogler

I have been told (many times) that I really need to write a book about my life. The past 50+ years have been an exciting ride, and these days I find myself with a great many passions. However, I feel that this website is a much more personal way with which to share my musings, stories and commentary.

  66 Responses to “Woody’s Grille And Spirits In Sparks, Nevada For Top Notch Food!”

  1. Looks like a good place to check out—especially if we’re ever in Reno when the Eagles are playing the Cowgirls. We could watch the game on the little TV and and enjoy a fine repast ay the same time. πŸ™‚ PS: I’m also a fan of Debbie the Doglady’s blog!

    • Yes, Debbie has a wonderful blog! Oh my gosh I hope my two buddies who are die hard Cowgirls fans read this post!! LOLOL!!! That would be cool during football season to have your own individual seat – I’m just curious as to the volume in each booth ya know, Suzanne? πŸ™‚

    • Thanks very much, Suzanne. I enjoy Boomeresque also. πŸ™‚
      Mike – I’m so honoured you mentioned me in this post. Many thanks and apologies for the late response. Comment below.

    • Suzanne has been a mentor to me and supporter to Phoenix and I so very must offline. We are incredibly grateful to her as we are you too, Debbie! πŸ™‚

  2. I will have to check this place out sometime. I think this is where Don and Ben- espn 94.5 do their remotes from during the football season. I have heard that they have changed their menu and have a lot of kick ass eats! Everything you posted looked yummy!!!

    • Hey Tony! Well that’s a first that you liked everything! πŸ™‚ Most definitely go check it out when you get a chance, buddy πŸ™‚

  3. Hi Foodie!

    What about aunt’s visit? Aren’t you going to share some thoughts about that?
    Your reviews are excellent, as always and that heart and naughty dish looks awesome! Thanks for sharing another pictorial post.

  4. wow food looks yummy. nice clicks.

  5. Your food photography just keeps getting better and better. It looks great, nice close ups and good lighting and detail. You make the food look very inviting. Great work.


    • Oh wow THANK YOU, Pete! It’s sooooo hard because of the poor lighting in restaurants. And I haven’t used my awesome Macro lens on those posts because I have to stand up to use it. That can be a bit impolite in a restaurant setting. I will keep working at it. I saw Mike G today and told him you said hi! We are both huge fans of you, Pete!!! Great to hear from you, our friend πŸ™‚

  6. The smoked sausage sandwich looks amazing !

    • I love it when gals are just as excited and willing as I to dive into a hearty, savory dish like me Freya! It tasted even better than it looks πŸ™‚

  7. Love the look of that apple salad! Your reviews are always wonderful to read, even though Nevada is a really long way from where I live πŸ™‚

    • Ha, ha yes we are a long ways apart on the map aren’t we, Tarana! The apple salad did look amazing I would have no problem ordering that. The results of eating healthier were VERY apparent with my buddy Shawn too! πŸ™‚

  8. What a lot of Italian inspiration you’ve found in Woody’s Grille and Spirits. I would have loved to see a photo of that polenta cake though.

    • Yes, I thought the EXACT same thing Mette about the Polenta cake. I’ve never had Polenta and in hindsight I wish I had ordered it. Even if just for a taste and a photo πŸ™‚

  9. Mike, that’s a great place to dine out. I see some yummy apples and tomatoes here ! πŸ˜€

  10. Hey, Mike,
    every time I click over here, my tummy begins growling & my butt grows larger!

    I love the dish w/ tomatoes. WOW.

    Kiss for Phoenix! xx

    • Phoenix sends kisses back always, Kim! My butt grows bigger as well but then I compensate all week long to bring it back in line. Well sorta ha, ha πŸ˜‰

  11. I’m sorry, what did you say? I’m still looking at the picture of the Caprese Pizza. πŸ˜‰

    • You and me both, Patti! I love when a pizza or any meal for that matter can contain the perfect bite of all the ingredients. That Caprese Pizza accomplished just that πŸ™‚

  12. I think I might be a macaroni salad addict too! Only, I don’t like mayo or onions so.. I don’t find a lot that I like there. Still, magical.
    The salad looks wonderful, minus the onions!

    • Sweet that you like macaroni salad as much as I do yet you had me look up non-mayo recipes just now, Tamara! Is that how you guys make your’s?? I’m very curious. I continue to slowly learn and even more slowly remember my blogging friends likes and dislikes with food πŸ™‚ Tamara – no mayo or onions. Got it πŸ™‚ Until I forget… LOL πŸ™‚

  13. Definitely redefines sports bar food by the sounds of it. I’M SO HUNGRY NOW!
    Also sorry for being a bad blogging friend. Hello! πŸ™‚

    • Hi Colleen! What an awesome treat on this Sunday afternoon to hear from you πŸ™‚ Yes, I was very impressed with the menu compared to the other sports bars in the city. Considering this is 24 hours a day Reno….there are a lot of them! Have an wonderful day, our friend πŸ™‚

  14. Looks delicious, Mike πŸ™‚

  15. You know that embarrassingly I have never ever been into a sports bar. Sad right? The smoked sausage sandwich looks lush.

    • Nothing sad or embarrassing about that at all, Bintu! Often they have a pre-conceived notion of the entire environment and food…heck even with me. But, the food here really blew me away with huge compliments sent their way πŸ˜‰

  16. Your friend’s salad looks amazing – I love sweet apples in my salad. I’ve never been to a sports bar with such great food (although I don’t go to sports bars often), and the personal TVs in your booths are a nice touch. I can relate to not being good about keeping in touch with people – I especially hate talking on the phone. I’d much rather meet up and share a good meal and conversation like you guys did!

    • I’m sooooo glad you shared that because I’m the worse on talking on the phone. I can do it but I just do not like to at all, Dana! You are spot on in that meeting with folks in person can be 100% more rewarding and enriching than online or the phone πŸ™‚

  17. Do you ever eat anything that doesn’t look absolutely delicious! I would never have guessed they did food this good from the outside of the book, but I guess it teaches you not to judge a book by its cover!

    • Ha, well I certainly do try to eat delicious items, Catherine! My biggest goal is always try to get items on a menu that is a bit outside the box. Something I’ve never eaten before or made at home. This was the perfect place for that. You nailed it on a not judging a book by it’s cover with regards to a restaurant/grille/pub/sports bar! I liked how you said that πŸ™‚

  18. The sausage sandwich looks great! Very cool about having your own tv screens…would be handy when there’s a good game on πŸ™‚

  19. ” … When I’m doing a food post at home or restaurant review it’s going to often be some hearty and naughty dish …” Like!!!!!

    I love your food posts πŸ™‚

    • Thank you, Rachel, I was actually lacking my usual energy on this one so I’m glad you still liked it, our friend! πŸ™‚

  20. the food looks great but I love how the inside looks. I love the industrial look with open ceilings!

    • I’ve been surprised to find out that sports bars aren’t everywhere which has shocked me, Hilary! It had a very “open” feeling yet cozy and private in the booths. No, I wasn’t feeling cozy with Shawn though he would tell you otherwise πŸ™‚

  21. Mike, what a mouth-watering post! Hope you are linking to Marcia’s (Inside Journeys) Foodie Tuesday! And thanks for the tip . . .we are considering a road trip to AZ this fall and should our route lead us this direction, I will have this at the top of the must do list. . .it will be the second item, right after ‘call Mike and ask him to join us’!

    • Oh my gosh, we’ve missed Marcia, but she just disappeared from following Phoenix and I, Jackie! I’m glad you made sure what your #1 is except you forgot my kid! We are a package deal πŸ™‚

  22. This salad looks quite nice but this sandwich, yum! Drooling!

    • Another gal after my eat with friends heart! I’m so glad you are willing to dive into “bad” food every now and then, Rita πŸ™‚

  23. I shouldn’t read your food posts when I’m hungry. Anything with polenta gets my attention – same with caprese salad. One of my new favourite dishes when canoeing or kayaking is taking precooked polenta (available here) and grilling it. Add dehydrated roasted tomatoes and onions, homemade pesto and fresh Parmesan. Heaven out in the middle of nowhere. But I digress.
    Your sandwich looks delicious.

    • Dang, you have ME hungry, Leigh! Your grilled polenta with my FAV toppings?? Let’s go camping!! Just without the epic hike LOL! πŸ™‚

  24. We’ve often driven through Sparks and we will definitely stop for some of those sandwiches and salads after seeing your colorful photo tease. Do you think they get the Green Bay Packers on their TV’s? We’re Cheeseheads, ya know!!!

    • At this rate you’re going to have to spend a month in Reno with all of the places you two will stop at from my food posts, Neva LOL! Oh yes on the Packers and I have a buddy at work who is a HUGE Cheesehead and the three of you would get along famously! What a great rivalry “we” (Niners) still have with you guys to this day! We are just better πŸ˜‰

  25. You had me at black truffle vinaigrette. OMG>for real. shudder. Oops wait what? what? Oh!!! Um. ok. Oh um. Right!!! I don’t eat the bread, either. Oh, not now, duh. I don’t eat the bread usually and do now which is um, ok this is a really stupid comment, Phoenix, come save me and steal the bread so that the focus is on you pretty please??? Also, sorry, I guess you and daddy both are dumping Ice buckets on your heads tomorrow, and well, um, my fault. Love you though and have super fun with dumping it on dad!!! HWHWHW

  26. Hi Mike; First, major apologies for being late with comments here, especially since you featured me on the post!! I’m so sorry to have missed it when it first came out but I thank you very much for the honour. Loving the “food porn” posts and the photos are also delectable. Yum-yum! πŸ™‚ Caprese pizza would be my favourite here, along with the turkey and apple salad. Thanks again for the shout out. You rock! Phoenix too! xoxoxo

    • You are very welcome, Debbie, and we were glad to do it! I’m with you on the Caprese pizza and Phoenix sends his rock-you right back πŸ™‚

  27. Well as you know by now, I love good food! Your pictures look wonderful! And I like the way the inside looks too! I have a few restaurants near us that I love — but I judge everything by whether I could get a better meal at my in laws or by making it myself. And I often try to duplicate too, especially with sandwiches!

    • Wow, coming from the most amazing food photographer I know personally that is a huge compliment! Thank you so very much, Michelle! Most definitely that would be awesome to swing by next door to your in-laws πŸ™‚

  28. Omg, I have SUCH a soft spot for Caprese salad, and order it whenever it’s on the menu! This particular one, however, looks INCREDIBLE!!!! I would definitely be making a lunch stop here, Mike!

  29. You know, Mike, if those western restaurants you go to would fancy up their outsides a little, people might be more apt to go in for their amazing food. With all those boring strip mall facades, I don’t know that I would go there. Just a thought. And as I’m musing, why AM I always so hungry after reading your posts?

    • You make a great point and I’ve pondered that exact same thing many times about so many places, Corinne! A good part of the places I go to are from word of mouth about the great food. Yet, for aesthetics on the outside with many of them a person might otherwise not be tempted to stop. And that’s so ironic as I ate at strip mall place yesterday that had AMAZING food yet I would have never gone in their otherwise. Maybe it’s the quirkiness that makes them appealing? I don’t know. Great comment! πŸ™‚

  30. I’ve never seen a salad with such big apples. Often they all chopped up. That’s a nice difference.

    • Actually I think the apples should have been a bit more chopped up too, Krystle πŸ™‚

  31. Mouth watering, delicious meals! Love the idea of eating something naughty for a blog review!
    Mind you would rather lose weight so I will be taking on board “don’t eat the white bread” tip πŸ™‚

    • How ironic as I’ve been thinking a lot about the no white bread philosophy and knocking off some pounds myself, Lisa. Oddly enough I virtually NEVER eat white bread but have been craving it the past couple of months. I still only have the 12 grain whole wheat at home πŸ™‚

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