Takeout Tuesday: Doolittles Woodfire Grill in Golden Valley
Hospitality can be displayed in any number of ways, and at Doolittles Woodfire Grill in Golden Valley, one of their key methods of providing a hospitable environment is by literally using a wood fire.
“The first form of hospitality is a campfire,” said John Sheehan, a co-owner of Doolittles. “You think back, back in cave days and all of that, a campfire said ‘welcome.’ It said ‘warmth.’ It said ‘food. It said ‘hospitality,’ let’s share food together.”
Doolittles is an aviation-themed restaurant which has served guests in Golden Valley since 1997. The wood fire is not only representative of sharing good times with family and friends, it’s also a big part of how they cook their chicken.
“Those juices self-baste, so what you have is very flavorful, imparts the wood smoke into it,” Sheehan said. “But it’s also very moist, very juicy, and it keeps that well throughout the meal.”
The ambiance impacts the senses, and customers have noticed.
“It made you hungry as soon as you walked in,” said Doris Luby, a customer from Costa Rica. “Like ‘give me my food!’”
Rotisserie Chicken is Doolittles’ specialty, but the menu also includes other traditional American food, such as burgers, sandwiches, salads, soup, fresh fish, ribs and wood-fired buffalo wings.
“The food was delicious, the place was clean,” Luby said. “And you know, fun to look at it. And it was just very enjoyable.”
Powering through the pandemic
Yet even a neighborhood staple is no match for a pandemic. COVID-19 has brought a fair share of turbulence to the restaurant industry.
“One of the things that COVID has done is, we’ve had to change a little bit of our business plan to say, ‘okay, how are we gonna adapt to a changing environment such as a pandemic?’ Now one of those things is family meals and party platters,” Sheehan said.
Adapting to this new environment is an important component to weathering the COVID storm.
Lucky for Doolittles, they have a loyal customer base that’s helping this Golden Valley restaurant through the bumpy flight.
“You can’t make it without a community, and it takes a community to allow these businesses to continue to prosper,” Sheehan said.
“I’d be back again in a heartbeat,” Luby said. “Amazing.”