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Central Mass. and 'burbs south of Worcester

Hi all,

OK, when I last posted looking for suggestions near Worcester, I got a number of good tips. Block 5 Bistro, in particular, was great. The Struck Cafe turned out to be OK, but the service was spotty. We're still shooting to try Anthony's, Rovezzi's and Zipango. A few that we tried without recommendations were so-so (Flying Rhino: great apps; Leo's: great service, average Italian; Castellana's: pretty good and they try very, very hard -- we'll try that one again).

I'd like to hear anyone's thoughts on recommendations for the 'burbs in Central Massachusetts this time -- particularly south of Worcester, if anyone can point us in that direction. In particular, we're planning to try Alicante and Fresco in Mendon. Is the Oyster Something or Other still in business in Uxbridge? How about pizza choices south of Worcester -- anything non-Greek? (Tony's in Sutton isn't doing it for us; Stop and Taste in Oxford was shockingly good, though). And how about Thai food? Is there a decent choice for pad thai anywhere outside Worcester? (Come to think of it, we don't even know of any good Thai places in Worcester).

Foodies south of Worcester need some help!!!! Any suggestions gratefully accepted.

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  1. It's not south of Worcester, but try Sonoma on Rte. 31 in Princeton. It's been a while, but I remember the food as very good, very creative. For pizza in Worcester, I usually choose either Ciao Bella (Grove Street, next to Shaws in a free standing building)or the Corner Grille on Pleasant Street (at the intersection of Pleasant & Richmond). Ciao Bella has a thicker pizza, as well as a good menu of daily italian specials created for that day (they are good with seafood). Warning -- Ciao Bella takes only cash. The Corner Grille makes a thin crust pizza, that is easy to roll and eat. It also serves some nice sandwiches, and has a real earthy-crunchy organic feel (although I don't think that it advertises itself as organic).

    As far as Thai restaurants, I can't help you. I keep hearing good things about Bamboo Hut (Vietmanese/French), on Rte 9 near Leceister, but I haven't got there yet. My impression is that you have to get closer to Boston for decent Thai food.

    1. South of Worcester is a bit of a barren wasteland. Alicante is good, or was the last time I was in there (6-8 months maybe?). A friend told me Fresco is decent - old school Italian at good prices. The newish golf course - Blackstone National - isn't half bad and is bright & clean inside, very appealing. I frankly wouldn't even include it here if there was more to be had in the area.

      Sarah posted a good review of Oyster Cabin that shouldn't yet be too far down the list - just last wk I believe?

      1. Alicante has been a winner with us since it opened. Food is excellent and the service is attentive. The view of Lake Mendon is delightful.
        Try Romaine's in Northboro -- located in a strip mall at the route 9/20 cutoff. Never had a bad meal there... and they just won a Platinum Plate with Billy Costa.
        http://www.romainesrestaurant.com/

        1. If you're looking for a reliable, friendly, neighborhood type place, where you don't have to pay outrageous prices, try Brian's in Uxbridge. Never had a meal there that wasn't good. They have very good seafood dishes. Children's menu. Daily specials. All you can eat prime rib that is by far the best (Monday Nights). Worth saving the weekend splurges.

          www.briansrestaurant.com

          1 Reply
          1. re: othervoice

            I agree - Brian's is fantastic! The prices are right, the food is great, & the service is excellent. What it lacks in atmosphere it makes up for in all other areas. It can get a little loud, but it's worth it.

          2. I gotta say - I don't get the Brian's hype. I'd put it in the same category as the golf course.....only to be mentioned because there's so little in the area. I find the food just okay, and the place itself is old, dreary and depressing. I should add that I'd go to Blackstone National over Brian's any day.

            1. Thanks for the replies thus far, and keep them coming. We tried the Blackstone National on Friday for dinner. Limited menu for dinner-type options (though the lunch and pub menu, for sndwiches and such, is always available), but the food was surprisingly good. Calimari for an appetizer was not rubbery (as is so often the case), and the batter crust and jalipenos for garnish were very tasty. The shrimp and scallop dish over pasta was, again, very good.

              The baked haddock entree was just average (at best), but the service was very friendly. Total bill for two with two drinks each was $58. I'll take that any day.

              1. there's a cheap trashy thai place on main st. in worcester (across from store 24) - I like it - not high end but sometimes you don't need that.

                As for places outside worcester - in hudson (and frankly I have no idea if it's north south east or west) I recently went to chloe. I personally really liked it. I'm often not a fan of the atmosphere in many worcester restaurants - (and sonoma in princeton has good food but the atmosphere is like a terrible 80's parody - at least it was last time I was there). Mostly I wish that higher end worcester restaurant would take advantage of the lakes and have outdoor seating - all I've found is vinny's and coe's pond on that end).

                chloe is really cozy. if you're going friday or saturday make sure to get a reservation. the entrees are generally in the $20 range. They also have cool cocktails - I had a lillet blanc last time I was there - it was interesting.

                chloebistro.com

                1. finders pub on route 12 (make a left off the west boylston exit, not the west boylston street exit) and go about a mile and a half. it is on the right hand side of the road

                  only one thing over 10 on the menu and it is very good
                  it is north of worcester but worth it definitely

                  plus free peanuts and popcorn and 23oz beers on tap if you want that size

                  1. Thanks, everybody. We're heading to Peg's Diner this morning. Will report back!

                    1. Try Parlor Restaurant & Lounge in Upton, Rt 140. Live Jazz on Saturday nights. Food is excellant, nothing on menu more than 20 bucks. Excellant Martini's drinks run from 4.50 to 7.50, beer 3 - 4. Good selection of wine. Definately worth the trip.

                      Told they are starting more entertainment on Thurs and Fridays.

                      1. Hi

                        I would suggest a place called Bistro 479 in Sturbridge. It is a relatively new kind upscale dining located at 479m Main St. in Strubridge. I haven't seen it reviewed on this board but people I know who have been there say it is very good.

                        1. Have you tried El Basha in Worcester yet? They have fabulous Lebanese home cooking. I prefer the one next to Mr. Tux on Lake Ave to the two newer ones.

                          1. Not close to south of Worcester, but there is fantastic Thai food (including pad thai) in the area at Yoong Tong at 278 Maine St (rte 20) in Northboro. If you read the amazing reviews they have posted on their walls, you can get an idea of what to order, if you didn't already have one. They also have GREAT sushi - a new menu addition. It's not Thai, but they do it well.

                            1. Finders has good prices but the food is NOT good. Tastes like it was made 3 days ago and then reheated

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: hoffa2651

                                I agree - cheap prices and a huge menu... how can they keep up with all of those offerings?
                                Decent wine by the glass is very cheap - good place to hang out, eat popcorn and get a few appetizers.

                                1. re: Lilibet

                                  Good morning Lilibet, one of my customer's recommended Finder's to me a couple of months ago as an alternative to O'Connor's for a quick pub lunch. I think he said his nephew's the bar manager. Is it worth adding as an alternative stop? Also, I've seen frequent reference on this board to El Basha. I know nothing about them. except there more than one location. Do they have a full license and is one location preferred to the other(s)?

                                  1. re: Harp00n

                                    Hello Harpoon -

                                    Finder's was recommended by a work associate of my husbands. We tried it 3 times, the last time with friends. It was so - so. I think if we were to go back we'd sit at the bar and order appetizers. We love doing that instead of getting a table, much more fun and lively. I would try it, but beware, it is very popular with the locals - almost in a frenzied way. Real estate can be very limited at the dining hour!!
                                    Our area is such a dirth - no decent restaurants. Probably why we always end up at Romaine's (where, BTW we always get a table, not a booth). Not every person out there is a size zero!

                                    Sorry, never been to El Basha but I do see them advertise in the T&G. I know The Manor in WB has middle eastern food... but have heard that it caters mostly to the blue rinse set. Probably why we haven't tried it yet.

                              2. Zipango was great when Kenzo was the sushi chef (formerly at WIllie's, now M.I.A. ??)

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: TonyO

                                  I've read that Kenzo is now at Haiku on Park Ave, near Chandler Street

                                2. It isn't south of Worcester, but it's worth going to for Thai food. Chez Siam on Rte 20 in Marlboro. It's excellent. And while I"m here, I am beyond bummed that Anthony's in Worcester closed. I loved that place!

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: mc5552968

                                    Try Lucky's Cafe on Grove St. in Worcester. They recently started dinners on friday and saturday evening. The food is great prices are even better and it's BYOB!

                                  2. I know this is not south of Worcester but it is worth the little drive a bit north to Princeston to dine at Sonoma. It is a small very intimate establishment with a wonderful menu which changes frequently based on availability of only the freshest selection by the chef. They have a fairly good wine list and you can get a bottle for about $30.00. We have not had a disappointing meal there and have been there several times. It is worth looking into.

                                    1. For Thai- try Racha Thai on Rte. 20 (corner of Greenwood St.) on the Worcester/ Auburn line.

                                      1. Check out Tribeca on Shrewsbury Street in Worcester. I think they opened just before Christmas and is definitely worth the trip.