September 2007

Woody's Darn Good Bagels & Subs: Not just for breakfast anymore!

Author: Craig Hysell

The well-rounded history of the bagel stretches all the way back to the 17th and perhaps even the late 16th centuries. Born and bred in Central Europe, a 1610 document from Cracow mentions “beygls,” given as a gift to women after childbirth. In 1683, after the Battle of Vienna, “stirrup shaped” pastries were baked in Austria to celebrate the king of Poland’s victorious cavalry charge. But it was in the 1880s, when Jewish immigrants brought the bagel to the Lower East Side of New York City, that some real dough could finally be made in the bagel business.

Since the last quarter of the 20th century, the bagel has become a morning staple for many people. The bagel has become as common as coffee and as various as the imagination and taste buds of its consumers. Although finding a decent bagel in the city might be tough—too many choices often leads to little that might satisfy—on Hilton Head Island, finding the right bagel is easy and tastes darn good.

Woody’s Darn Good Bagels is owned by Russell and Shannon Anderson (who also own Captain Woody’s) and Rocket (who used to work at Captain Woody’s). Opening in late December of 2005, Woody’s Darn Good Bagels has been the holiday gift that keeps on giving all year long. The only bagel shop on Hilton Head Island “just kind of came up,” said the consistently at ease Rocket.

The previous owner of the bagel shop (a regular at Captain Woody’s) wanted to sell and offered it to the trio the weekend before an interested party was coming down from Charleston to purchase the restaurant. “He kind of put us on the spot, but we knew him real well. We went over the numbers and knew what we could do with this place, so we bought it,” said Rocket. So what have they done with the place?

First they fixed up the restaurant. “It was not clean,” said Rocket, his eyes emphasizing the fact that “not clean” most likely means downright disgusting. Then affable and intelligent help was hired and the menu was turned from theory into practice. “We try to do what no other restaurant on the island does, and that’s have fresh prime rib and pulled turkey sandwiches every day.”

Yes, for those bleary-eyed morning people who zombie shuffle their way to a cup of coffee and the usual bagel breakfast, Woody’s Darn Good Bagels also has a lunch menu. And it’s huge. But their bread and butter, so to speak, is their extensive selection of bagels, made fresh at three in the morning every day and nine different flavored cream cheeses, including the house specialty, Dorothy Lynch (ordered out of Nebraska—the only spot where it is available for sale on the East Coast). They also offer an array of Seattle’s Best coffee and lattes.

Woody’s Darn Good Bagels is open Monday-Saturday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on Sunday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is also available for catering and business deliveries. Emphasizing that the restaurant is more than just breakfast, they offer lunch specials daily, fourteen different types of bagels and bread, and serve homemade soups to warm cold, hungry bellies on those cold, rainy days. You can get Darn Good bagels in Bluffton at Sheridan Park and on Hilton Head Island at South Island Square (next to Longhorn) or fax your order to 686-3827. For the technically-savvy bagel biter, hiltonheadbagels.com has complete information, menu and fax order forms available for download.

Feasting on bagels has been a human enterprise for over 400 years. Eating prime rib and pulled turkey has undoubtedly been going on longer. Getting both on Hilton Head Island or in Bluffton is just a phone call, fax or car ride away. It’s nice to know, when you’re sipping your morning coffee and pasting your favorite bagel with your favorite cream cheese that some people get up way earlier than the rest of us to put our world in motion.
And those who do it with pride, humor and professionalism aren’t just good, they’re darn good.

*Woody’s Darn Good Bagels & Subs
South Island Square on Hilton Head (843) 686-3353
Sheridan Park in Bluffton (843) 815-5300*

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