Thumbs down for Zia Grill, thumbs up for Gold Star Restaurant
Restaurant: Zia Grill at Scano's
Location: 352 Shrewsbury St, Worcester, MA
This weekend my girlfriend and a few of our friends decided to have a nice brunch together, and I had done some research here in the New England board, to find that Zia Grill at Scano's was slightly more upscale than the other choices along Shrewsbury street for breakfast (The Parkway, and Boulevard diners).
When we got there, the atmosphere wasn't at all upscale (which didn't bother me).
Their menu had just the standard diner fare - eggs, pancakes, french toast, general omelets, muffins, etc...
One of us ordered a spinach and feta omelet. Two of us ordered the pancake special - pancakes, eggs, toast, sausage,ham,and bacon. The last of us just ordered some fruit and a bagel without cream cheese.
After waiting for 45 minutes, and having our coffee cups remain empty for some time, we finally received our food.
The pancakes were undercooked, bacon was overcooked (though some like that), ham was overcooked and dry.
My friend that had ordered a bagel received a bagel with butter, despite answering "no cream cheese" when it was asked, and to top it off, that was the last bagel they had, so she could not get another. The waitresses suggestion of a low fat banana nut muffin was appreciated though, and she did seem to enjoy that. Under normal circumstances, the issue with the bagel wouldn't have bothered me much, but combined with everything else, it really bothered me.
Given the quality and service, I would have expected to pay more on the order of what the diners in the area charge, but it was more on the order of 2x the price.
Specials went for ~$13-15
standard fare (omelets, etc) was ~$8
Coffee was ~$2
So, instead of going here, I'd highly recommend going to the Gold Star Restaurant -- good, cheap food, and great service. Beware though, it is a popular place, and is always packed. Despite there being a line though, you're usually not waiting long.
As someone who's recommended the place, I apologize -- sounds like it's gone dramatically downhill since my last visit, which was probably 6 months ago. I recall interesting specials, good service, and considerably lower prices than those. What a shame.
I agree that the Gold Star is quite reliable.
PS A few weeks ago, I was introduced to a great hole-in-the-wall breakfast spot on the east side of Worcester: Shooters on Hamilton St (the divided part, next to a Domino's). One of the best omelettes I've had in a long time. Diner atmosphere, interesting choices, friendly Albanian family runs the place.
It's actually called Shakers and has been our regular weekend breakfast spot since we moved to Worcester 6 years ago. It's run by a wonderful family - Pauline runs the dining room, her husband cooks, and daughters wait tables. It's the kind of place where she knows our names and lets our daughter go behind the counter to pick out lollypops after her meal.
They make excellent eggs benedict with either mushrooms or broccoli. The hash is outstanding, and the Greek omelette with feta, spinach, and olives is really good. The one item that we really crave though is the syrian toast. You can get it with or without feta on top - it's to die for. The scrambled eggs with kibbee is really good as well. The only downside is the coffee - it's just never very good. But we drink our first cup and home and then head over - it's totally worth it. Prices are cheap, too.
I'd definitely have to disagree with you here. The GoldStar is great if you want a quick, greasy breakfast and dirty silverware, but the Zia is a ompletely different ball park.
Some of the best meals I've eaten in Worcester have been at the Zia. One of the things I've learned is to expect a wait. Almost everything is made from scratch, and use only the highest quality products. It's worth the wit.
The eggs benedict are to die for, as well as the crabcakes with poached eggs-- and I don't even usually ike crab cakes!
You get what you pay for. At the Zia, it's a friendly, relaxed atmosphere, great food and most importantly to me, cleanliness!