History: Their motto is simple, “The Biggest and Best Burgers in Springfield Since 1975” and they back it up. WF Cody’s has long been known for big burgers, in fact hey have one particular 1 pound hamburger that takes over 30 minutes to cook. Another famous burger is the Larry Burger (named after Larry Iverson-Owner) which is a half pound burger with mayo, bacon and an egg. But hamburgers is just a small portion of their menu. They offer a wide variety of choices including sandwiches, salads and dinners. This place has lots of character as well adding to its legend and lore and status as a Springfield DIVE.
What We Ordered:
Jeff: 1/2 Pound Hamburger Medium Well with Mozzerella Cheese and Curly Friedw
Chris: Friday Special-Prime Rib Sandwich with Au Jus and Fresh Cut Fries
Kent: Rib-eye Sandwich Medium with Onion Rings and a Side of Mushrooms
3138 E. Sunshine
(Just East of Southern Hills Shopping Center on South Side of the Road)
It’s safe to say it has been at least 5 years since I was last in Cody’s, and 5 years before then. But 5, 10 or even 25 years ago, once I walked in it all came back like it was yesterday! Some things never change and that may be a good thing.
Atmosphere-5 Stars: this is the epitome of a dive that we are searching for. Not for the faint of heart; my guess is 99% of all the fixtures, seats, wall coverings, (smoke) has been there from day 1. They all function so why update?
Service-5 Stars: Tammy has been there 6 years, so that makes her a real trooper to me. She told us the most popular menu items, which we had. She was taking care of the whole eating area of 15-20 people and we didn’t need for anything. Friendly, savvy, and attentive.
Food-4.5 Stars: Only because we had a mix and some things REALLY stood out from the others. Hands down the best beer battered onion rings around. My cheeseburger was honestly better than any other restaurant burger; it was plump and juicy with no more than salt and pepper seasoning. Just like at home. Served on a soft wheat bun it really just tasted like my backyard treat. and at 8 oz’s I am saying anyone else who says they are serving you 8 oz’s is gravely mistaken because this one puts theirs to shame. I had meat sticking out of the bun!
Food-4 Stars: I went away from tradition and ordered the daily special which was the Prime Rib Sandwich with Swiss Cheese. Basically a French Dip. It was fantastic! So big and juicy I had to eat most of it with a fork. The meat was cooked perfectly, bread was fantastic and the Au Jus sauce was tasty. The fresh cut steak fries were good too but I am not a huge fan of greasy fries and they were a bit soft. Kent ordered the Onion Rings and WOW… AMAZING!
Atmosphere 3 Stars: This fits the definition of DIVE for sure and I actually loved the overall look and feel. The walls were decorated with “stuff” from 35 years of being opened including numerous local awards from 417 Magazine and the Springfield Business Journal. But the lack of air flow and movement really made it difficult for me to enjoy my meal. The thing is, I know W.F. Cody’s is a bar first and restaurant second and they have the right to allow their restaurant to be a “smoking” establishment so I have no issues with them. It’s just a personal issue with me and if I choose I can simply go somewhere else. However, their food is so good, sometimes it’s worth the trouble.
Service 4 Stars: No issues here, food was fast and Tammy was quick and never let me go dry even though she was handling several tables. I think she said she had been working there for 6 years. That is absolutely fantastic! She was worth our hefty tip we left.
Overview: Great food, great service, Springfield original, has stood the test of time, little smokey but a GREAT Springfield tradition worth checking out. Hey, if the smoke bothers you, just call in an order for carry out.
Ok, sometimes you just know what you are in for when you walk into a dive, yet you pull up on your bootstraps and walk in anyway with your head up and your shoulders back and enjoy the whooping you are going to take. That is kind of the feeling I have for this Springfield Icon, W.F.Cody’s on East Sunshine. It has been there for 36 years and honestly, the place looks like it! It has a reputation for being a “Smoky Joint” and Friday it did not disappoint my expectations. I was a 3 pack a day smoker for years and it kicked my butt and reminded me why I quit years ago. If you are sensitive to the smoke, do yourself a favor and refrain from this location. I hear the one on Republic Rd. is newer with a ventilation system and might be more to your liking.
That being said, our server Tammy was excellent and the food was good and plentiful. The Fried Mushrooms were good and a 1/2 order is more than enough for 2-3 guys. The hand cut fries were very good, the seasoned fries don’t bother with, typical from the freezer variety and the Beer Batter Onion Rings were a HOME RUN!
My Ribeye sandwich, cooked medium was OK. The grill needs to be cranked up a bit to get a good sear on the outside to make it more visually appealing and texturally interesting, it was pretty gray and monotone. The roll it was served on was very good, soft and dense to hold up to the juice of the steak and the Provolone was abundant and nicely melted. My compadres had a better culinary experience as Chris’ Special of the Day Prime Rib Sandwich looked GREAT and he licked the plate clean, really! And Jeff’s Burger he claimed to have been cooked in his backyard.
Quantifying my experience I give MY food 3 Stars. I give the atmosphere 3 Stars since I new of it’s carcinogenic reputation, if not I would have given it 2 Stars. The service was Excellent and Tammy was a joy, Thank You Tammy, because of you, Service 5 Stars! I never made it to the bathroom so I can’t do Ray Kroc proud today, no R.K. Points.
Cumulative score is a 3.67 Stars though I think my partners will argue for a stronger showing based on their menu selections.