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Greek salads and more

Woody's of Tampa, Famous Salads and Gourmet Sandwiches; 1722 S Dale Mabry Highway; 254-2806.

Hours:

10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mon.-Fri.; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sat. and Sun.

Payment:

Cash and checks.

Atmosphere:

Casual; dine-in or take-out.

Alcohol:

None.

Prices:

Famous Greek salad is $3.99 while Shrimp Woody salad is $4.79. Sandwiches range from $3.79 for a low-calorie vegetable sandwich to $4.99 for an Albacore tuna salad.

Menu highlights:

The Greek salad, fresh fruit salad for $3.99, the deli-style sandwich for $4.79, and the festivale sandwich for $4.89.

Woodrow W. Gilbert, 80, started Woody's of Tampa when the Riverboat Restaurant closed its doors in 1972. Gilbert was the maitre d' and manager of the trendy restaurant that was moored on the Hillsborough River near the Platt Street Bridge in downtown Tampa.

"Everyone liked the Greek salads and at that time you couldn't get them anywhere but Tarpon Springs," Gilbert said. "I realized people would come to get them. When I first opened it was strictly take-out and only Greek salads. People would hold up a finger and we would serve them one. Two fingers would get them two."

Now Gilbert is semiretired, working only two days a week, while his daughter, Danielle Gilbert, manages the dine-in, take-out restaurant on Dale Mabry Highway, south of Henderson Boulevard.

"Dad was going to sell the place six years ago when he called me in Washington state, where I was working for IBM," Danielle said. "I was loading my wood stove looking out at the snow and seeing palm trees in my mind. I called him back in a half-hour and said I'm coming home, I'll run it."

Danielle has added a health-conscious flavor to the menu with soups, more salads and a variety of sandwiches.

"But the core product, the Greek salad, hasn't changed," she said.

The Greek salad is available in sizes that serve two to 100. Four portions cost $14.97, eight go for $28.53 and 15 for $53.49.

Sides of Cuban bread, garlic toast and Greek potato salad also are available as are iced tea, coffee, water and sodas.

_ MICHELLE JONES

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