Jump to content


Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the Society.

Photo

Worcester MA Restaurants


  • Please log in to reply
28 replies to this topic

#1 Geebs

Geebs
  • participating member
  • 20 posts

Posted 20 January 2004 - 10:18 AM

My wife and I just moved to Grafton, MA which is a pretty small, but up and coming town close to Worcester, MA. Grafton does not have a lot to offer in the way of restaurants although we have found a few good places like the Grafton Inn and Two Cousins. The Post Office Pub is not bad, but not great. Can anyone suggest any places we should check out anywhere in the Grafton, Shrewsbury, Westboro, Worcester areas (or anywhere else close by)? Any suggestions would be very much appreciated. Thanks!
Eat with your eyes as much as your mouth. Check out my photography here.

#2 bushey

bushey
  • participating member
  • 820 posts

Posted 21 January 2004 - 07:36 AM

It's been a long time since I lived in the Worcester area (my first house was on Lake St. in Shrewsbury, very close to rte 140), but even back then Worcester had lots of good dining options, especially if you like ethnic cuisine.

Shrewsbury Street in Worcester (off of rte 9, just past the Medical Center) has some old time red-gravy Italian restaurants and diners, a popular Indian restaurant, and a steak and chop place, 111 Chop House. The Chop House has a sister restaurant that specializes in seafood and is really good. Click Here. Worcester has well established Lebanese and Syrian communities and there used to be some excellent options for Middle Eastern food, including a great market, Ed Hyder's.
I used to shop there all the time. It's mentioned here , along with some other suggestions for specialty stores.

Finally, the Wednesday Food section of the Telegram & Gazette probably has restaurant reviews, as would the Worcester Advocate, a weekly paper.

Enjoy your new home. I think the towns around Worcester County are just beautiful.

#3 Verjuice

Verjuice
  • participating member
  • 712 posts
  • Location:The High, Dry Desert

Posted 21 January 2004 - 07:57 AM

I have family in the Worcester area and I visit a couple times a year, so I don't know so much about the hole-in-wall gems that I'm sure you will find eventually, but here are some suggestions anyway:

Sole Proprietor is reeeaaally popular, and granted they have excellent turnover and I have never had a bad meal there (or, for that matter, a really good one). They have an absudly extensive menu. Sushi included. I find that they aren't very good at anything in particular, but they do make an awesome garnish that you can request as a side dish (I don't think it's on the menu). It's the Spicy Szechuan slaw. Sounds gimmicky and gross, but it's great. I used to love their little fish market before they closed it down, because you could buy some of their better appetizers frozen and take them home to prepare, but they've taken my favorites off the menu since then, too.

111 Chop House I like. Same owner. Steaks, chops, salads, cute on the outside too.

Struck Cafe on Chandler Street. I haven't been in years but I used to adore the place. I think that they also run a small catering company?

My cousins who live in the area love Romaine's in Northborough

I like Living Earth, the health food store: they have a cute little cafe called the Garden Cafe. All vegetarian, and good for lunch when you'r e downtown and it's a toss-up between franchises.

Caffe Dolce on Shrewsbury Street used to have lovely coffee and desserts. It's right across from 111 Chop House, practically.

Elsa's Bushel and Peck used to make great sandwiches. I think there are a couple of locations, one of them on Chandler St.

Sahara on Highland St (Rt. 9) for Middle Eastern is nice. It's also good for when the Sole Proprietor next door is packed.

Shiraz is a little Armenian place on Park.

There's also the cafe at the Worcester Art Museum.

Hope this helps.

#4 Toasted

Toasted
  • participating member
  • 510 posts
  • Location:CT

Posted 21 January 2004 - 09:39 AM

The Ceder Street Restaurant in Sturbridge Mass. is excellent. Wonderful
wine list and a very eclectic menu. They offer a vegetarian menu as well
as steak and fish. The service is outstanding too. Their number is (508-
347-5800). I can't seem to link it but their website with menu is
www.cedarstreetrestaurant.com
Melissa

#5 essvee

essvee
  • participating member
  • 251 posts

Posted 22 January 2004 - 07:48 PM

I honestly do not think that you are going to run into any great restaurants in Wormtown or its surroundings. I went to the Struck a few years ago, I worked there in the early 80s and loved the job and the people, but my meal there was not good in any way shape or form. And the Struck has long been considered the fine dining spot of Wormtown.

My fave restaurant there is Coney Island Hot Dogs. For serious. The best. As well, the numerous diners on Shrewbury Street are great for what they are. Used to be you could get some decent Italian food on Shrewsbury (the Wonder Bar, anyone?), but I'm not sure about it any more.

I'd save your pennies, eat low-end there and drive to Boston for your fine dining. Only an hour away. Or drive to Northampton and eat at my pal Dane's place Circa. Pretty great food.

Your opinion may vary, though. Where did you move from? Nice country out there, ain't it?

#6 bushey

bushey
  • participating member
  • 820 posts

Posted 23 January 2004 - 06:24 AM

I recently opened a magazine (can't remember which one) and saw a great photo of the Coney Island Hot Dogs neon sign and it brought back memories.

Wonder Bar -- yes! great cheap student food, along with Libby's, Emilia's, Angela's, THe Boynton and Chopsticks. There also used to be a great cheapo Italian place on Grafton Street, not too far from the rotary, but I can't remember the name. It was in a barn-like building and there was a penny candy store attached.

When my first husband was a medical student at UMass, my parents used to drive out to Worcester once a month and take us out to dinner. We'd check out lots of different places. But that was a *long* time ago and I'm sure many of them aren't around anymore. When we left the area, there was just starting to be a increase in the number of Southeast Asian restaurants, along with some better established Thai places.

essvee, we've been to Circa a few times and enjoyed it. Hope they're doing well -- it hasn't looked busy the last few times we've passed by. Last weekend we noticed their seasonal liquor sign -- they're BYO now until April 1 -- and made a mental note to go there again soon.

#7 katbalou

katbalou
  • participating member
  • 31 posts
  • Location:new england

Posted 23 January 2004 - 06:55 AM

check out shrewsbury st.in worcester. try "la scala" next to manzi's funeral home, looks like a dive but has good food at reasonable prices. "anthony's" next to east park has a very good chef, john piccolo, more upscale. do not go to d'erricos unless you like dirt and very slow waitstaff.
restaurants to stay out of include "bravo cafe" on highland st.
the lake ripple, on the shores of the lake in grafton will be re-opening soon, with new owners so you'll have to wait to see...
do not eat in "danielle's or the tavern behind it. the place has to be one of the filthiest i've ever been in. glenn's deli is very clean though, different owner in same building. right on 122. has decent deli variety and reasonable prices.
razzberries is ok for breakfast and nina's varies. grafton inn is ok.
try j.p fisherman's in westboro and there's a small italian place on rte.9 next to stop and shop, ziti's i think that makes a good and different pizza.
any other grafton ? want a subscription to the grafton news? first 6 mos. free to new residents.
kat

#8 Geebs

Geebs
  • participating member
  • 20 posts

Posted 23 January 2004 - 09:16 AM

Thanks everyone for your great suggestions and advice. Sounds like Shrewsbury St will be my next area to check out. Please keep the suggestions coming as my wife and I love to eat and it seems like everyone on these boards have the best suggestions around. :biggrin:
Eat with your eyes as much as your mouth. Check out my photography here.

#9 mrabinow

mrabinow
  • participating member
  • 32 posts

Posted 12 August 2004 - 04:49 AM

My daughter is about to start college in Worchester, MA @ Clark U. I was wondering if anyone had some restaurant recommendations for the area. A good wine list is important.

#10 WHS

WHS
  • participating member
  • 384 posts
  • Location:Amherst, New Hampshire

Posted 12 August 2004 - 05:12 AM

There is a very good restaurant called Union Station-The Restaurant in the old train station downtown. The building has been beautifully restored, and the restaurant serves creative, contemporary cuisine. Here's the website:

www.unionstationtherestaurant.com

#11 hillvalley

hillvalley
  • participating member
  • 1,787 posts

Posted 12 August 2004 - 06:32 PM

It has been almost 10 years since I was last in Worcester (at Clark) but I know these two are still around.

Tokyo Rose, which is right off one of the main avenues about 4-6 blocks from Clark, has good sushi and fine benihana. They had a number of items on the menu that you don't find at usual American Japanese restaurants. On Sunday they had a great all you can eat brunch that was perfect for hangovers, not that your daughter will have that problem. :wink:

There is a local book store, Tatnucks, which had a great restaurant in it. Good American food that was reasonable. Not to mention it is in one of my favorite book stores (and that is saying a lot.)

On the same Ave. as Tokyo Rose there was a wonderful Latino market. They had a great selection of unusual fruits. Right near there was a Korean restaurant that was amazing. My freshman roommate was Korean (I was in Wright Hall) and she loved the place.

Most importantly, great late night pizza. If you walk out the Main gate and make a left there is a pizza joint a couple of stores down. They made a carmelized onion pizza that got me through my two years there. I loved that pizza. It was the perfect blend of carmelized onions, sauce and cheese that strung out when you ate it. Ohhhhh, it's been a long time.

Does Daka still run the dinning hall?
True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.
It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,
but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

#12 bushey

bushey
  • participating member
  • 820 posts

Posted 13 August 2004 - 12:42 PM

It's been a while since I've been to Worcester, but I try to keep up on the dining scene through friends. There's a steak place on Shrewsbury Street that's pretty good, and has a decent wine list, 111 Chop House click here, and their "sister" restaurant, The Sole Proprietor, has a great seafood menu.

Shrewsbury Street also has other dining choices, from your basic "red gravy" casual, inexpensive Italian diners, to Indian food. Worcester is a city with a lot of ethnic diversity -- the Syrian and Lebanese communities date back to the early 1900's -- so there's lots of middle eastern and southeast asian choices as well. I'm not sure about BYO places, but if you're heading east towards Worcester on the MassPike, there's a great wine selection at Yankee Spirits in Sturbridge.

And speaking of diners, there are several great examples built by the Worcester Lunch Car Co. still serving food in the area.

#13 mrabinow

mrabinow
  • participating member
  • 32 posts

Posted 14 August 2004 - 06:58 AM

Thanks for the responses. I'm taking my daughter up next week so I'll check things out.

#14 mrabinow

mrabinow
  • participating member
  • 32 posts

Posted 15 August 2004 - 06:27 AM

Just curious, how come Northampton is so much more popular than Worcester?

Edited by mrabinow, 15 August 2004 - 06:28 AM.


#15 WHS

WHS
  • participating member
  • 384 posts
  • Location:Amherst, New Hampshire

Posted 15 August 2004 - 07:53 AM

BTW, if your college-bound daughter is interested in restaurants with decent wine lists, the drinking age in MA is 21.

#16 mrabinow

mrabinow
  • participating member
  • 32 posts

Posted 15 August 2004 - 08:12 AM

"BTW, if your college-bound daughter is interested in restaurants with decent wine lists, the drinking age in MA is 21."

No this is for me and my wife...

#17 WHS

WHS
  • participating member
  • 384 posts
  • Location:Amherst, New Hampshire

Posted 15 August 2004 - 02:24 PM

No this is for me and my wife...



Our friends in France serve champagne to their 13 year old daughter on special occasions--and don't get arrested! So much for our drinking laws...

I think the difference between Northampton and Worcester is that N'hampton is a cute little college town with the surrounding upscale commuity to support a healthy restaurant scene, and Worcester is a big gritty town with a depressed economy slowly making a comeback. Your best food options in Worcester are probably ethnic. If you like deli, go to Weintraub's on Kelly Square. It's the real thing, looks like they last redecorated in 1940.

#18 KazamaSmokers

KazamaSmokers
  • participating member
  • 11 posts

Posted 10 September 2004 - 10:34 AM

Shiraz on Park Ave has phenomenal Armenian food.

#19 katbalou

katbalou
  • participating member
  • 31 posts
  • Location:new england

Posted 17 September 2004 - 08:19 PM

anthony's on shrewsbury st - john piccolo very creative italian fare
el basha - belmont st and park ave locations, lebanese food
la scala - shrewsbury st. italian home style
want to travel a little? 45 minutes to "the harvest" in pomfret, CT
what are you looking for? price? ethnic? chain? pm me i'm right in the area
kat

#20 PattyO

PattyO
  • participating member
  • 68 posts
  • Location:Massachusetts

Posted 21 September 2004 - 10:43 AM

Sonoma in Princeton, MA is outstanding. It's about 30 minutes from the city, and a beautiful drive to boot.

It's upscale cuisine-wise and their wine list is wonderful and reasonably priced.

It's my favorite restaurant in this area! :rolleyes:

#21 fchrisgrimm

fchrisgrimm
  • participating member
  • 230 posts
  • Location:Southern ex-pat in Westport, CT

Posted 10 October 2004 - 10:59 AM

Although I've never stopped to dine in Worcester, on the annual trip to or from Maine, the Aku Aku Islander sign beckons like the Sirens' call. For those ten or so seconds driving past, I'm a child again, and Tiki culture is pop! Anyone been there and is it worth it for the kitch factor alone? Or would a stop throw me into existential angst, depressed over lost youth and squandered opportunity?

#22 katbalou

katbalou
  • participating member
  • 31 posts
  • Location:new england

Posted 10 October 2004 - 11:18 AM

aku-aku no longer there. it's now a pub 99. and you didn't miss much.
kat

#23 PattyO

PattyO
  • participating member
  • 68 posts
  • Location:Massachusetts

Posted 24 October 2004 - 07:11 PM

Ain't that the truth, Kat. Nancy Chang's in Tatnuck is FAR superior, if you want chinese - organic and healthy, to boot.

#24 katbalou

katbalou
  • participating member
  • 31 posts
  • Location:new england

Posted 26 October 2004 - 05:26 AM

FYI - just found out that john piccolo is no longer going to be at anthony's, he is opening across the street in what was primo's after the first of the year. seeing it was his creativity that kept anthony's going i can only venture that they may have a decline in business w/o him.
kat

#25 mrabinow

mrabinow
  • participating member
  • 32 posts

Posted 14 November 2004 - 07:05 PM

OK - I went to the following restuarants so far

Sole Proprietor - fantastic tuna... Really enjoyed it. I wish they had a more extensive red wine list but I understand why they don't.
111 Chop House - very good. We enjoyed it also.
Sonoma - We enjoyed the food but were taken back by the decor and atmosphere. Seemed very out-of-date to us. Also, more expensive but not better than the others.

#26 katbalou

katbalou
  • participating member
  • 31 posts
  • Location:new england

Posted 19 November 2004 - 01:22 PM

tried 86 Winter st. the other night, food was very good, prices reasonable and the atmosphere was ok, furniture just a little crowded. for never having worked in restaurants before the chef did ok, we'll see how long they last.
kat

#27 I_call_the_duck

I_call_the_duck
  • participating member
  • 1,243 posts
  • Location:Philadelphia via New York

Posted 08 March 2007 - 11:56 AM

BUMP.

Mr. Duck and I will be in Framingham in a couple of weeks to attend a Bar Mitzvah, and will be looking for a place to go for a light dinner. (The chances of us being hungry by dinnertime are slim but I wanted to keep my options open.)

I haven’t been back to Worcester for about 15 years (former Clarkie), so time and soberness permitting, I’d like to check out the art museum, show him the campus, and have dinner.

The suggestions upthread look promising, but I just wanted to see if there is anything new and exciting. I’m pleasantly surprised that The Sole Proprietor is still around. It was my favorite place — I remember all-you-can-eat steamers on Monday nights. We like all types of food, and are looking for someplace casual and your average entree being no more than $25. I’d appreciate all your suggestions. Thanks!

edited for grammar

Edited by I_call_the_duck, 08 March 2007 - 11:57 AM.

Karen C.

"Oh, suddenly life’s fun, suddenly there’s a reason to get up in the morning – it’s called bacon!" - Sookie St. James

Travelogue: Ten days in Tuscany

#28 DanM

DanM
  • participating member
  • 869 posts

Posted 22 April 2012 - 05:39 AM

Are there any good bakeries or markets near the Mass Pike that would be good for a pit stop and a quick snack? What about coffee in Worcester?

Thanks!

Dan
"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

#29 PattyO

PattyO
  • participating member
  • 68 posts
  • Location:Massachusetts

Posted 22 April 2012 - 02:23 PM

Mrs. Mack's Bakery is right off of the Pike at the Millbury exit. It's a nice bakery that also serves breakfast and lunch. If you take the Millbury exit, veer to the left, go to the lights, take a left and it'll be on the right in a plaza with a United Bank. I'm a Dunkin' Donuts coffee fan, so that's where I go for coffee!