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Woodbees: Tackling Sandwiches from Another Perspective (Restaurant Closed)
Located on Zalka's highway, Woodbees is a casual restaurant by Wooden Bakery. Woodbees offers a selection of international sandwiches, Lebanese sandwiches rolled with flat-bread and salads picked from four corners of the world. Woodbees have upgraded its look from a fast food diner where you order over the counter to a more casual diner with an open kitchen and table service. The last time I was here was in 2015 and now I am back to check the upgrade.
Woodbees looks like a box: covered with wood on all sides and decorated with an olive tree in the middle.
With an open kitchen, there's a display of innovative grills Woodbees has patented. Music plays in the background, light embraces the whole space, wood everywhere.... I sat back and waited to be approached for the order.
The first impression:
- The ceiling is too high and there's something unclear about the identity of the place. It's a mix between a diner and a restaurant. Pepsi and sandwiches are displayed on screens like McDonalds, porcelain plates like Roadster Diner, music inspired by Starbucks, and a menu like the one at Crepaway... I was lost!
- The music is awkward... Too dramatic!
- I enjoyed taking photos of my food with the right lighting.
- It seems Pepsi has paid a lot of money! Pictures of the Pepsi cans on the menu are bigger than the sandwiches. Pepsi even follows you on social media making their account feel like a cheap fast food joint's.
- I love the menu, the beautiful photos and how items are explained in detail.
The menu is unique due to having a choice of sandwiches no place has previously managed to blend together. Sides include truffle fries, meat sandwiches include soujok and kebab, Angus burger and frankfurter. The specials are classics, raclette, Bresaola, prosciutto, Parma ham and Comte cheese. A variety of chicken, salmon, fajita. Halloumi falafel. The salads are very generous and the desserts are mouthwatering.
The food is really good, but there is an identity issue. It should be better defined...
- The truffle fries are like any fries. You can smell truffle but it could be stronger. With Parmesan cheese on top, they should be sliced a bit thicker. They're fine, but I see no place for them here.
- Turkey and cheese in the new "crossandwich" bread: smoked turkey, comte cheese, caramelized onions and mixed greens. A strong aroma of this melted cheese with the smoked turkey, fresh greens in a piece of bread that looks like a croissant. It is a bit too buttery and chewy on the sides. It felt like it was microwaved minutes earlier. Yes it should be served warm but surely not chewy. Is it an attempt to copy the "cronut" creating a croissant sandwich? "Bravo, but work on the details."
- Raclette cheese, with smoked ham, cranberry orange relish, mixed with greens and cream cheese. A great combination of ingredients, melted cheese, fresh greens, premium quality ham and a light sweetness from the relish. It's a sandwich I like, upscale and innovative.
- The grilled meat is phenomenally good in flavor and quality, with caramelized grilled onions, grilled red bell pepper, roasted tomatoes for juiciness and sweetness and parsley. I ordered it with one sheet of bread. This sandwich is really good. Hummus adds some acidity and the ingredients blend together in a balanced manner. This meat sandwich 2.0 is found at Woodbees. Two thumbs up and a great improvement since 2015.
- The smoked salmon sandwich made me smile! Smoked salmon slices stuffed inside soft cereal bread with cream cheese, chives and Woodbees' sauce. Lemon zest feel adds flavor to the fresh greens that will take you on a journey around an organic garden. A good combination of ingredients that create a premium sandwich.
- The hummus is good for a diner. It's light and served with a plate of crunchy Kaak from the bakery next door.
- I had the chocolate sandwich - Nutella and some hazelnuts inside a brown baguette - to end the experience. I remember it being better. I would add bananas and crush the hazelnuts to spread them all over the bun.
The details I loved:
- The quality of the bread
- The quality of the meat
- The names of the sandwiches being printed on the wrapping
- The staff's attentiveness
- The placemats
I'd change and improve:
- The music!
- The concept should be made clearer
Woodbees is not your average diner. They serve healthy and fresh sandwiches made with love and know how. I enjoyed dinner and promised myself to come back whenever I get the chance... Especially since I pass by the Zalka highway often.