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Anyone know Worcester, Mass?

Anyone know Worcester, Mass?
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  • Anyone know Worcester, Mass?

    Post #1 - May 29th, 2006, 8:49 pm
    Post #1 - May 29th, 2006, 8:49 pm Post #1 - May 29th, 2006, 8:49 pm
    I expect to spend a little time around Worcester in the coming year since the son has chosen to go there for college. First impression is that it will be fertile territory for good grub, and I expect to search out the best greasy Massachusetts Pepperoni pizza, and steak sub. But would love any other recs you might have.

    Surprisingly, for New England's self-proclaimed third largest city (after Boston, and??? - go Googlers go!) this appears to be the first mention on LTH, if you exclude a couple of Worcester Sauce references in recipes.
    d
    Feeling (south) loopy
  • Post #2 - May 29th, 2006, 10:59 pm
    Post #2 - May 29th, 2006, 10:59 pm Post #2 - May 29th, 2006, 10:59 pm
    dicksond wrote:Surprisingly, for New England's self-proclaimed third largest city (after Boston, and??? - go Googlers go!) this appears to be the first mention on LTH, if you exclude a couple of Worcester Sauce references in recipes.


    Providence, RI, no google required.
    He was constantly reminded of how startlingly different a place the world was when viewed from a point only three feet to the left.

    Deepdish Pizza = Casserole
  • Post #3 - May 30th, 2006, 8:50 am
    Post #3 - May 30th, 2006, 8:50 am Post #3 - May 30th, 2006, 8:50 am
    Worcester is justly not known for its fine dining, but I remember having a pretty delicious upscale meal at the Struck Cafe. The Sole Propietor, despite its silly name, and the fact that once a year during "Crab Days" they put a giant inflatable novelty crab on top of their restuarant, is actually a serious, reliably good, upscale seafood option, not all that dissimilar from Legal Seafoods (of which there is a pretty thorough discussion here). Worcester was also the home of the Worcester Lunch Car company, and there are a good number of still-operating lunch cars in the city, listed, with pictures, here. (Shamefully, I haven't eaten at any of them.) Then there's always Friendly's-- Worcester has five-- the restaurant chain known for their happy endings. I myself always enjoyed their Superdawg-style crinkle-cut fries.

    ps: when I was googling for the address of these places, I noticed the Wikitravelpedia(?) has a pretty helpful entry on Worcester dining, for what it's worth, here.

    Struck Cafe
    344 Chandler St
    (508) 757-1670
    http://www.struckcafe.com

    The Sole Proprietor
    118 Highland St.
    (508) 798-3474
    http://www.thesole.com

    Friendly's
    1420 Main St
    (508) 756-0506
    and other locations
    http://www.friendlys.com
  • Post #4 - May 30th, 2006, 9:47 am
    Post #4 - May 30th, 2006, 9:47 am Post #4 - May 30th, 2006, 9:47 am
    Also:

    One Love (Jamaican)
    800 Main St.
    508-753-8663

    One of my favorite places to go to was Mac's Diner -- a very old, family-run Italian joint, that was pretty divey inside but apparently underwent renovations recently. It was cash-only, BYOB, last I remember. It's simple & straightforward, but very well-prepared food, at low costs (and huge portions). I always went with the specials, so can't really recommend anything in particular. The ciambutta, a seafood stew, is I guess something folks call their specialty, which I like well enough, but won't go so far as saying you have to order it.

    Mac's Diner
    185 Shrewsbury Street, Worcester
    Lunch Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
    Dinner Wed.-Sat. 5-9 p.m.
  • Post #5 - June 1st, 2006, 6:55 am
    Post #5 - June 1st, 2006, 6:55 am Post #5 - June 1st, 2006, 6:55 am
    Thanks - the lunch cars look great. Don't imagine the food is great, but I think I will need to try a few. The Bride and son are going later this month, so I will make some suggestions for them. My next trip is not until August, and then I expect there will be a few trips in the coming years.
    d
    Feeling (south) loopy
  • Post #6 - June 1st, 2006, 9:10 pm
    Post #6 - June 1st, 2006, 9:10 pm Post #6 - June 1st, 2006, 9:10 pm
    its going to be slim pickins...just sayin'. Luckily the mass pike is there to take you to destinations near and far where you can get some real chow.
    CONNOISSEUR, n. A specialist who knows everything about something and nothing about anything else.
    -Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

    www.cakeandcommerce.com
  • Post #7 - June 7th, 2006, 11:38 am
    Post #7 - June 7th, 2006, 11:38 am Post #7 - June 7th, 2006, 11:38 am
    The best place hands down in Worcester for lunch is Coney Island. 3 dogs with the works (chili, mustard, onions) for under 5$- the beverage of choice is chocolate milk of all things.

    I was never a huge fan of the Sole P (too pricey/snotty), but, Coral Seafood has equally good fish for cheaper. The ambiance is certainly less to admire, but, food is good.

    I still have dreams about Mac's Diner. It can be hit or miss, but, when it hits. . .

    Lunch car diners are a must- the Miss Worcester is the best. Is the boy going to Clark? If so, there's a diner on Main Street run by a lady named Annie (might even be called Annie's) that's worth a quick stop.

    If you're looking for good quick Middle Eastern food and groceries, Ed Hyder's Med. Market on Pleasant Street is awesome. Great tabooleh, killer spice selection and all around a nice place.

    Worcester really doesn't have too much going on, but, these are bright spots.
  • Post #8 - June 9th, 2006, 11:17 am
    Post #8 - June 9th, 2006, 11:17 am Post #8 - June 9th, 2006, 11:17 am
    Nice first post - notsaeylime, welcome and thanks. No, he is going to WPI not Clark.
    d
    Feeling (south) loopy
  • Post #9 - July 11th, 2006, 8:12 pm
    Post #9 - July 11th, 2006, 8:12 pm Post #9 - July 11th, 2006, 8:12 pm
    The Bride and son had occasion to visit WPI last week, and had an excellent dinner at Sole Proprietor. Crab cakes, seafood saute, and salmon I think. So much for ordering local, but it made them happy.

    It also was recommended as the best place around at the WPI orientation the next day, which caused the bride to smile.

    Still looks like my first trip is mid-August.
    d
    Feeling (south) loopy
  • Post #10 - July 21st, 2006, 8:11 am
    Post #10 - July 21st, 2006, 8:11 am Post #10 - July 21st, 2006, 8:11 am
    I too went to college in Worcester and while I had a great four years, the food was never a big highlight. Although i can say they is nothing finer than a Worcester Diner. There are a bunch of them around town and I never had a bad meal at any of them. (granted it was usually a 2am or at noon and I was a little hungover) I am going to see a bunch of my college roommates this weekend and I will see if I can come up with any more restaurants that didn't get mentioned yet. Sole Propierator was always my parents favorite and the one everyone would recommend.
  • Post #11 - August 29th, 2006, 3:05 pm
    Post #11 - August 29th, 2006, 3:05 pm Post #11 - August 29th, 2006, 3:05 pm
    For his last night before college the son insisted upon another visit to the Sole Proprietor, so we went.

    The Bride ordered an interesting salmon preparation - grilled salmon with a mushroom sauce with a demi-glace base (went well with a good Merlot). I had a decent chowdah, followed by a lobster risotto that was over-creamed and over-salted. Not terrible, but a bit of a waste when I could have had real lobster form a similar price (don't ask me why I ordered it - I should have known better). The son had lobster ravioli that was similar to the risotto only the salt was replaced by garlic which improved things considerably.

    Decent dessert, good wine list, pleasant room, expert service. Can't complain, and it seems my family will insist we go back.

    I had tried to get them to go to a diner, and while waiting for a table we made a brief tour of the Worcester diners. Many were now missing, but there are a couple on Shrewsbury Street that seem to be fixed up and doing well.

    The Boulevard is at 155 Shrewsbury, and the Parkway at 148. The Miss Worcester is currently closed though a sign threatens it will reopen soon under new management.

    The next day, I was able to convince the family to accompany me to the Corner Lunch, 133 Lamartine Street.

    Image

    Looked good. Completely unrestored and glorious in its South Beach meets the Zephyr style.

    Image

    They server breakfast only on Sunday. Did I mention the food was cheap and not bad at all?

    Image
  • Post #12 - August 23rd, 2007, 10:55 am
    Post #12 - August 23rd, 2007, 10:55 am Post #12 - August 23rd, 2007, 10:55 am
    Blew through Worcester last weekend with the son. I was able to make some good progress on visiting the diners, focusing on Shrewsbury Street. No really great food, but decent stuff, good prices and great atmosphere. I like Worcester, but then I am a sucker for tough, decaying northern cities. No, I am not saying Worcester is scary, just gritty.

    Had breakfast for dinner at the Boulevard. The Boulevard has a couple of things going for it - it is open 24 hours/7 days, other than being closed on Sunday from 2-7pm; and it is in something like original condition, looking pretty good. They make excellent french toast. The chili and my egg and pepper sandwich were serviceable. They have a large menu and a lot of the food is cooked ahead and held. So even though the breakfast sausages are lovely, fat and tasty little porkies, they come to the table a bit abused.

    Had lunch at Mac's Diner the next day. It was Monday, pasta day. For $6 you get a big bowl of penne, mostly al dente and with a sprinkling of herbs, drowned in a basic red gravy and topped with the meat of your choice (meat balls, braciole, chicken - roast or parm, or mussels). Pretty good deal and decent food. Not wonderful, but decent.

    As a diner, Mac's is a bit of a disappointment. They have built on a room at one end, and stuccoed the walls so it looks like a seedy, narrow Italian place, rather than a diner. The counter and stools are still there, so you can tell, but you need to go for the food, not the diner. Mac's is open for lunch weekdays with different specials each day, and has a separate dinner menu Weds-Sat from 5-9p.

    Continuing down Shrewsbury, I saw some other interesting ethnic places, including what I think is a brazilian bakery and sandwich place, Miranda Bread. I like the name, but I was (shockingly) too full to buy anything.

    Boulevard Diner
    155 Shrewsbury Street
    Worcester Ma
    Phone: 508-791-4535

    Mac's Diner
    185 Shrewsbury St
    Worcester, MA 01604
    (508) 459-7987

    Miranda Bread
    140 Shrewsbury Street
    Worcester, MA 01604
    d
    Feeling (south) loopy
  • Post #13 - August 23rd, 2007, 2:06 pm
    Post #13 - August 23rd, 2007, 2:06 pm Post #13 - August 23rd, 2007, 2:06 pm
    How many more years will he have at WPI?

    It's great to see the pictures and read all about how things have changed out there on the almost non-existent food scene. It certainly must be nice for you (and him) to come home to Chicago; I know I was always glad to eat out here after a trip home to Woostah.

    If you're still planning on focusing on Shrewsbury St. when you go back there's a few more well-liked spots that might be worth it-

    111 Chop House: Standard modern upper tier steak house, but good from the few times I went; might be a nice change of pace from the Sole.

    Cafe Dolce (154): Good desserts, good fancy coffee, used to be one of the see-and-be-seen spots for anyone underage and unable to have anything stronger than coffee (and way too many cigarettes.)

    Wonder Bar (121): Everyone loves their pizza. I never understood the big draw, but, seemingly I'm the only one- I do remember liking the atmosphere though.

    I should've warned you that Mac's not a "diner" per se and, truth be told, not all that amazing. I think nostalgia for big plates of pasta with my folks got the better of me there. . .

    Also, last time I neglected to mention El Basha for Middle Eastern food. Since I left they've grown into a chain, but, I can't imagine there's been much of a decline in quality. The Lebanese and Syrian population simply wouldn't have it. Excellent fatoosh and they make raw kibbee.

    Please keep posting. It's all the fun of hearing about the hometown without the hassle of actually going.

    emilyhatestheworld (formerly notsaeylime)
  • Post #14 - August 24th, 2007, 6:57 am
    Post #14 - August 24th, 2007, 6:57 am Post #14 - August 24th, 2007, 6:57 am
    Thanks Emily, he is in his 2nd year so there are just about three full years left, tho I imagine the number of times I will be needed at WPI can be counted on one hand.

    Mac's seemed to be fairly popular with the crowd, even if I was not carried away (as you implied, it would not rank in the top 50 Italian places in Chicago). And I believe that the college kids were pretty pleased with the price/quantity equation and will be back.

    Anyway, give more suggestions - the son tells me he has bookmarked this thread, so your suggestions are pretty likely to be used by the ravenous college kids. If I could just get them to post on their experiences.
    d
    Feeling (south) loopy
  • Post #15 - April 24th, 2019, 7:26 pm
    Post #15 - April 24th, 2019, 7:26 pm Post #15 - April 24th, 2019, 7:26 pm
    any new intel? heading there for work in a few weeks and need several meals.
  • Post #16 - May 2nd, 2019, 5:41 am
    Post #16 - May 2nd, 2019, 5:41 am Post #16 - May 2nd, 2019, 5:41 am
    A friend who lives Worcester says:

    Volturno for pizza, the Sole Proprietor for fish, but the best best restaurant is 111 chop house

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