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Good chow near Leominster MA?

Our daughter is moving to a little town not far from Leominster, MA. Any suggestions for good non-chain restaurants? Either adults-only or kid-friendly (she's expecting a baby soon).

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  1. not much decent in Leominster really.

    There is a good vietnamese place on rt12, almost to fitchburg line.

    Also we enjoy the Weathervane- small chain, but very cheap and consistant for fried seafood.

    There is a diner on Nashua st near UPS that is supposed to be very good for breakfasts, I have not been yet.

    If you want to hop on rt2 and go west some more to ashburnham, the Victorian house is very nice fine dining.

    Also see the threads for Acton area. Gibbet hill in Groton, Bamboo in Westford. Couple other gems around.

    If you tell the name of the "little town" I may be able to make some further suggestions in her area.

    1 Reply
    1. re: hargau

      The town is called Lancaster.
      Thanks for the suggestions, they'll certainly get us started. Would love to know the "other gems" if they're fairly close. We don't want to have to drive all the way to Boston or Worcester every time we want to take them out to a nice dinner.

    2. Couple of other things in the area.

      Mango Grille in Ayer is decent suburban chinese.
      Sorrentos Pizza in Harvard is good-casual.
      Jays at the Nashoba Winery in Bolton
      Fruitlands Museum in Harvard has a nice Sunday brunch
      Kimballs icecream in Westford, especially when the kid gets bigger.
      Shiro Japanese in Berlin

      1. A couple hounds have enjoyed our meals at El Volcan (Mexican) in Lunenburg (Fitchburg line). Very casual. See

        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

        1. In Hudson, there's Chloe's Bistro for more upscale dining. Very nice.

          1. We have lived in Lancaster for over 12 years, and no, there are not many places in the area.
            You need to explore outside the box.

            Leominster has many old fashioned ITAM restaurants on Route 12. We always go to Il Camino - if you can get past the blue cinderblock and cheezy decor... the food is very good and consistently fresh. Their red sauce is tasty, they feature home made noodles with decent prices. Very good place to take children. NO credit cards, only cash.
            The Monument Grill in Leominster (at the rotary) is another choice, although we haven't been there in a while. When we have, it's been okay.

            Slattery's in Fitchburg is fun - an old joint that has been around for years. Good steaks, burgers and hand shaken martini's at the table. Always lots of families and the staff is very professional and friendly. There is a large dining room in the back and the bar, of course, is out front.

            Gibbet Hill is more upperscale - has terrific views and the food is good. Expect to pay more and make reservations. It's along the lines of J's at the Winery in Bolton. Your meal willbe pricey - they serve their fruit wine, not grape.

            We always like to go to Romaine's in Northboro, in a small strip mall at the Route 20 cutoff to Rt. 9. Great small place, excellent food and service. Upperscale and a favorite of the local MacMansion crowd. They do take reservations now for small parties. Never advertised and always busy... that says something. I'd rather go there then to Sonoma's in Princeton anyday.

            We just tried the Hudson Super Buffet, Hudson, MA where Scioletti's used to be. They have the biggest selection of seafood this side of MetroWest. We were amazed at the choices and even more with the freshness. It's all you can eat, so bring your appetite! The place was gleamingly clean too.

            Places we avoid - Chloe's and Shiro. Sorry!

            Local.... well, there's the Gael House up in Clinton where you can get a burger, the Old Timer, and The Roadhouse in Bolton. Pot luck.
            Let's hope that when Michael rebuilds his Bridge Diner (the one that was torched last month along with Agway) it will be just as good as before. There is talk about a beer and wine license - a big first for Lancaster!

            5 Replies
            1. re: Lilibet

              Lilibet, thanks for the tips. Just curious -- why do you avoid Chloe's and Shiro?

              1. re: chowcat

                Im curious about Shiro myself. I used to go quite often and it was good, then they closed for a while or became a coffee shop or something and then came back. Recently I went a few months ago and we really enjoyed the food. The service was very slow though and the room very loud and tight. Pricing was reasonable and portions large.

                1. re: chowcat

                  Chloe's has never impressed either of us, unfortunately. The service is slow, tables crammed together, food inconsistent. My husband got short ribs once, they smelled and tasted funky. The meat was bad, plain and simple. I cannot imagine them letting a plate of it be served out of the kitchen. When we told the waitress, she argued with us about it. Being pretentious in the center of Hudson doesn't cut it. It just capped several high priced meals that were not up to snuff. There are other places we'd rather spend $$$$$ for a much better experience.

                  Shiro's??? It's always been a really spooky/weird place.. as long as I can remember (going back 20 years). It has been all over the place as far as reputation. Nah, no thanks!

                  1. re: Lilibet

                    Yes it is spooky and weird looking from the outside. Mainly cause the sign needs paint and it isnt well lit outside. Its the bottom floor of the owners house. Inside it is fine.

                    But have you ever been there or ate there? Doesnt seem fair to recommend not going to a place you have never been?

                    1. re: hargau

                      I should have more explicit and have said that we have eaten there - I had tempura. It was okay - nothing special. Yes, I know the owners live upstairs, they always have. Is is not what I consider it a hidden jewel-type of place. You try a restaurant a couple of times and decide that it is not worth it to go back.

                      I'd much rather drive the additional 2 miles and eat at the Hudson Super Buffet.

              2. I give a STRONG second for Hudson Super Buffet. The place is very clean, the seafood is very fresh. Dinner buffet includes: Oysters on the 1/2 shell, snow crab legs, Peel and eat shrimp, At least 4-5 hot shrimp dishes, steamers, several fish dishes, some sushi, asst american/italian dishes plus all your typical suburban chinese dishes. Great food and value for the money.

                4 Replies
                1. re: hargau

                  Yes, a shrimp fanatics delight - I always save room for another helping of salt and pepper shrimp, for dessert! ;-)

                  1. re: hargau

                    Could you give a rough price range for Hudson Super Buffet?

                    1. re: cheryl_h

                      Cheap. I forget exactly.. something like $12-14 range aprox.. Cheaper at lunch but they dont have as much of the seafood at lunch.

                      1. re: hargau

                        Thanks. It sounds like it might be worth a visit.

                  2. If you like Mexican food, I liked Ixtapa. Very casual, good food.

                    1. Harrington Farm in Princeton, in the shadow of Mount Wachusett, was for a long time the fine dining lodestar of the area. Haven't been in recent years, so I don't know how things are now, but it's worth checking out.

                      1. WOW, thanks for all the replies, they were extremely helpful.

                        After spending Wednesday and Thursday helping the kids move in sweltering heat, we decided we deserved to eat out, and we went to the Hudson Super Buffet. What a great chow experience! Definitely not a place we would have found for ourselves without lots of help from all of you hounds out there.

                        First, a few negatives: Both the steamers and the mussels were rubbery and overcooked. It's hard to keep shellfish at peak on a buffet table. (But the mussels were in an interesting black bean sauce, and I'd like to try them again when they are newly cooked.) My son-in-law had salmon and he said it was too salty, and we felt that a few other dishes were over-salted. My daughter, who is expecting and watching what she eats, wished there had been more meatless main dishes.

                        BUT... everything else was wonderful, and there was SO MUCH of everything else. As Lilibet said above, a shrimp-lover's heaven. I stuck pretty much to seafood, and I enjoyed the coconut shrimp, bacon-wrapped shrimp and crab, salt-and-pepper shrimp, peel-and-eat shrimp, snow crab legs. We are not really into sushi but we tried a couple of pieces, very fresh and delicious. The pregnant lady enjoyed the vegetable dishes and went bonkers over the ice cream choices. My husband says the best part was the variety -- anything you felt like eating, it was there. And all for $11.95 per person (beverages extra)!

                        We will definitely go back. Thanks again, chow-hounds!

                        PS - We printed out all of the above suggestions and will check them out over the next few months.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: checkman

                          I was there thursday night, I think I may have saw you?!? Once you go a few times you know which items to stick to. I found the crab legs to be really good on thursday. Often they are too fishy or too salty. Not these, perfect. I easily ate twice my moneys worth in just crab legs! The coconut shrimp and salt/pepper shrimp you mentioned were both very good as well. I had one of the bacon wrapped shrimp, these guys will wrap anything in bacon! Also I love their coconut and ginger icecreams. Much more ginger candy and coconut in them then at most places.

                          If you go on a Sunday, they do dinner all day and the place is a madhouse with a wait out the door. The food does not sit very long at all when its like that. I noticed thursday it was a bit slow for them and certain less popular things sat longer.

                          I noticed they even had tripe on thursday. Not something I like/tried but gives it a certain degree of authentic-ness!

                          1. re: checkman

                            Dear Checkman:

                            Was very happy to help - next time we go to the HSB, I'll have to check out the desserts. Tons of fresh fruit and puddings.. I guess with that much food to select from there is a chance that something will be a dud. Good that there was enough so everyone enjoyed their meals!

                            Please be advised, that if you are printing out the listings, two locations are not correct.

                            Gibbet Hill is not in Westford - it's in Groton, off the center of town. Follow 495-North to Rte. 119, exit 31. Take 119 West towards Groton for 6.7 miles to Route 40 east, a sharp right turn at the white First Unitarian Church. Follow Route 40 for about .2 miles; Gibbet Hill is on your left.

                            J's at the Winery is not in Berlin - It's in Bolton, off of Route 117W on Wattaquadoc Road.

                            Happy Eating!

                            1. re: Lilibet

                              Thanks for the corrections, I edited my responses.

                          2. For a place with "old Inn atmosphere",
                            try The Old Mill in Princeton MA.
                            http://www.1761oldmill.com/

                            Another place with "old inn" atmosphere:
                            The Bull Run in Shirley MA

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: dc0145a

                              I find the food at the Old Mill to be horrible. Have been 4-5 times for various occasions. Mothers Day, Weddings, etc etc...

                              1. re: hargau

                                Isn't the Old Mill a Cracker Barrel operation now?

                                The food is underwhelming. On a very cold a snowy winter's night, the big fireplace can be lovely to stop by for a while.

                            2. Yes the Old Mill is a Cracker Barrel operation. Its sad because it's such a beautiful place. I have wonderful memories of going there with my parents as a child. I wanted to take my own children there but I'm leary hearing of the quality going down.

                              1. Lancaster is right next to Clinton. There's a nice breakfast/lunch place, Colonial Tea House, on Church St. in Clinton, off High St., right around the corner from The Paper Store. Fresh, homemade soups, salads and sandwiches, and a nice variety of tea. I ate there on Friday and had a pastrami sandwich, extremely lean, on pumpernickel with coleslaw and Russian dressing, served with red grapes and orange slices on the side, with mulled cider. They also sell homemade scones which are excellent. Tea is served in beautiful old bone china cups and saucers all with a different pattern.

                                1. My family and I tried the Hudson Supper Buffet Friday night and wow! Everything was extremely fresh, hot and we had at least 3 waiters/waitresses picking up our plates as we emptied them. They were quick but not overwhelming. I had shrimp 6 different ways....try the shrimp wrapped in bacon. The only disappointment that our family had was that there were very few "American" dishes. Pizza, Ribs, SweetPotatoes. We were expecting a few more American choices. Comparable to the Grand Buffet in Nashua, NH, except for that fact. The Grand Buffet serves a roast of beef, mashed potatoes, roast pork, mac & cheese, plus a few more. But for excellent Chinese Buffet it's worth the money and if the kids like Chinese then they'll love it.

                                  1. Thanks again for all the good suggestions - does anyone know if any of these are open for Thanksgiving?

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: checkman

                                      Gibbet Hill will be. They probably won't post their menu until the end of October.