Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > All New England Archive >
Jul 17, 2007 10:11 PM

Good, cheap Restaurant

Looking for good, and not expensive (yes, everyone has their own definition - we'll listen to all) restaurant for family outing in the north to northeast of Providence-south to southeast of Worcester. Approx. 9 to 12 people incl. one 2-year old. Something other than Wright's.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Hum.. well, it's probably out of your range, but technically in your definition -
    but I'd recommend Cancun's Mexican Restaurant in Grafton, MA.
    Inexpensive pretty good mexican (run by mexicans), and great Margaritas, and they're open late, until 10 every night IIRC, including Sunday and Monday.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Keithel

      Okay, a possibility (if not for the group, then certainly me), Thanks Keithel.

      Others (possibly closer to Prov)?

      1. re: RIChowderhead

        Is Burrillville (almost to the Chepachet line) out of your range? The restaurant at Crystal Lake Golf Club is really good, inexpensive, and comfortable. If you made a reservation, I'm sure they'd be willing to put tables together on their outdoor patio overlooking the golf course & lake. Inside would work fine too.

        Not fine dining by any stretch of the imagination but really solid simple food. Enormous menu.....3 pages of the regular menu and every night they have a full 2 pages of specials. They have the typical bar food appetizers, but homemade and w/a twist (ie, pizza skins...potato skins w/pepperoni & mozz), tons of sandwiches (excellent homemade meatballs, chicken salad on a croissant, etc). Tons of entrees, from chicken parm to turkey dinner to all sorts of specials). Can you tell I like this place?

        1. re: JaneRI

          Thanks JaneRi

          Burrillville might be perfect (Wright's is good for location, we're just tired of it). And Pinelli's? d.carlo Trattoria? or Blackstone National....all sound like possibilities.

          What can you tell me about these spots?

    2. When you mention Wright's, I immediately think of Ma Glockner's in Bellingham, Ma.. Known for their chicken but they've vastly expanded the menu.

      Ma Glockner's Restaurant
      151 Maple St, Bellingham, MA 02019

      4 Replies
      1. re: Harp00n

        Unfortunately Harpoon, it was much better before they expanded the menu.

        1. re: JaneRI

          I'll take your word on that JaneRi,
          As I haven't been there myself since the change over. I thought I'd seen some decent reviews at some point but I will defer to your more recent knowledge.

          1. re: Harp00n

            What's really bad is the whole place is suffering, including the chicken. I last went about 6 months ago, and don't plan on going back. Part of the problem was the service/atmosphere......slooow & incompetent, the place didn't seem too clean, and there was a loud obnoxious crowd in the bar.....if you're going to let people get that loud, don't sit dinner patrons in the back room. So that might have colored how I felt about the food too....hard to say in trying to recall months later.

            I DO def remember though how bad the cinnamon rolls were (and I always looked forward to them).....undercooked, and very little cinn/sugar. Just blobs of dough on a plate.

            1. re: JaneRI

              Wow, the cinnamon rolls were always a signature item too! Thanks for nipping my mis-rec in the bud :-))

      2. There is also Pinelli's in Slatersville RI (red-sauce Italian), d.carlo Trattoria in Smithfield, and Blackstone National Golf Course in Sutton MA.

        1. Always tried and true, Lowell's in Mendon is always good for inexpensive food. The portions are large and the fried clams are great. They can accommodate large parties and have a children's menu.
          75 Cape Rd
          Mendon, MA 01756

          (508) 473-1073

          1. what about mike's kitchen in cranston, ri? (it's in the VFW post)
            the food is really good and it's pretty casual.
            i believe i've seen kids in there before.

            21 Replies
            1. re: pcktbks

              It's been years since I was last at this true Red Sauce Heaven. I don't know, LOL, what do we think about Mike's these days, JaneRi???

              Mike's Kitchen
              170 Randall St, Cranston, RI 02920

              1. re: Harp00n

                I've been to Mike's (never knew it by that name...we called it the Franchi VFW). I love the food there, and it would be an ideal place except for the fact that it's in the wrong location. Four of the group are coming from Worcester, and three are coming from Hudson, MA. Only two are coming from RI.

                Mendon is a good location, as is Slatersville. Can I find info on Pinelli's, D'Carlo's, or Blackstone National online? Anything worthy in Woonsocket?

                Also, probably should mention that we're getting together on Sunday (in case of closures).

                1. re: RIChowderhead

                  I wouldn't call either Vintage or The Oyster Cabin cheap eats but they aren't outrageous either. Both are excellent and I'll fight any Hound in the house who says otherwise! The two year old might be problematic, however. :-))

                  2 S Main St, Woonsocket, RI 02895

                  Oyster Cabin
                  785 Quaker Hwy, Uxbridge, MA 01569

                  1. re: Harp00n

                    One that would definitely hit all your requirements is my beloved Tom's Tavern in Wrentham. They do have call ahead seating and I would strongly recommend doing so! Here's the link;

                    Tom's Tavern
                    263 Shears St, MA 02093

                    1. re: Harp00n

                      The Oyster Cabin has closed. The sign is down, and a small hand-made "For Lease" sign has been tacked up instead.

                      1. re: dogloverv2

                        OMG, when did this happen? I was there less than three months ago!

                        1. re: Harp00n

                          Well that's probably the last nail in the coffin for Ye Olde Oyster Cabin. This is at least the second time it's closed since I've been driving past that location. The completion of 146 is probably what did it in.

                          1. re: RIChowderhead

                            Completion of 146? Wasn't that done like 30 years ago?

                            1. re: RIChowderhead

                              I getting a little paranoid about even mentioning the name of restos I like(d) at this point :-(

                      2. re: RIChowderhead

                        Oh and BTW, I'm finding reference to Lowell's being on 16 Hastings St., not Cape Rd. Did they move?

                        1. re: RIChowderhead

                          I believe 16 Hastings was the old location....the junction of 16 & 140 near the Mendon Country Gift Barn. A couple of yrs ago (after the old location burnt down) they moved into an existing bldg (the old Ma's Pancake House I believe?) which they refurbished nicely.

                          If you're in Bellingham Center, heading north on 126 (like coming from Woonsocket), take a left on 140 towards Milford. According to mapquest, that is Mendon St, which becomes Cape for Lowell's on the left.

                          1. re: JaneRI

                            if your looking for the best breakfast in the blackstone valley. It's at mom's restaurant in Uxbridge, ma, right on route 122. The have the biggest breakfast menu I've ever seen I hops new stuffed crepes have nothing on Mom's who have been doing specialty crepes for over a year. They have every kind of pancake& waffles. You can have any combo with fruits, choco chips, peanut butter just to name a few. Egg scramblers, stuffed french toasts
                            omlets of every kind, breakfast sandwiches, monte cristos. steaks, kielbasa hash, ham, bacon, lobster. And it dosen't stop there. They also serve lunch. Stop by and try it out. But expect to wait. It is very decieving you think theres only one dining room when yoiu walk in but there are two more temporary dining rooms in the back. The plan is to open the whole place up and move the kitchen backwards so all the dining is visible. If you know the history this place started aas a coffee and donut shop and just grew. It has fantastic food and great waitresses.

                        2. re: RIChowderhead

                          Pinelli's is at the intersection of Routes 5 and 102 in North Smithfield, what RI'ers would call "The old Eddie's Market Plaza" (now a Brigido's Supermarket). Old-school red sauce Italian (heavy, gloppy, etc but def tasty) but if the menu doesn't appeal, ask the waitress for "The Grille" menu from next door, they bring you stuff from that menu. Pinelli's menu (but this is an old one - it's slightly updated - my beloved canallini bean appie is gone) -


                          D.Carlo Trattoria is more upscale - think of a suburban Siena if you've been there (Fed Hill). I wouldn't worry about bringing a child if you go early....I have been in a few times w/my friend and her toddler daughter (although maybe we're hated for it?). D.Carlo is a bit more northern Italian. The appetizer of fried risotto balls studded w/peas makes a PERFECT light dinner, esp when paired w/a salad.

                          Blackstone National is similar to the Burrillville Golf Course I mentioned above.....they don't post the menu on the website, but maybe they'd fax or e-mail one to you if you called? (508) 865-2111

                          Vintage is excellent, but definitely wouldn't fit the description of cheap, if that is a concern at all. Like Harpoon said, not outrageous.

                          Harpoon, Mike's is still fantastic. I recently had for the first time his polenta. OH. MY. GOD. About 3 ft high (ok, maybe a little less), light as a cloud, cheesy....I've never had anything like it.

                          1. re: JaneRI

                            Thanks JaneRI. I was able to find some info on these places. I'm leaning towards Pinelli's or Lowell's at this moment (some of the others are not open on Sundays).

                            My wife & I were in Siena during our honeymoon. I haven't been to the one on "da Hill" though.

                            Harpoon, this Tom's Tavern would be a possible also. How noisy a place is it?

                            1. re: RIChowderhead

                              If this is the place I met friends for drinks at a couple of months ago - near the old Wrentham State School? - it is very much a bar. Old, paneling, etc. There were definitely families walking in for dinner that night, but it's not a place I'd think of to get a group together, esp w/kids. Although I have heard good things about the food.

                              OH - a place I've never been but a friend said was good (and very similar to Pinelli's) is Fresco's on Route 15 in Mendon....from 146 it'll be on the left before NE Steakhouse. On the right is Alicante's .....I used to love it but haven't been in 2 yrs and have heard some iffy things about the food quality lately. Also not sure it'd be great for a group w/a toddler.

                              Fresco's might be better for location than Pinellis'.

                              1. re: RIChowderhead

                                Kids are most certainly welcome at Tom's and as JaneRi states it is a bar if you want to sit in the large bar area. But there is also a side room where a lot of family prefer to sit and another downstairs section as well. As much a Hound as JaneRi is, it's too bad not to have sampled the best seafooder, IMO, in the area as of yet.

                                1. re: Harp00n

                                  "The best seafooder" does sound enticing, but we're leaning to Cryatal Lake G.C.

                                  1. re: RIChowderhead

                                    Well where ever you go have a great time and give us an update please.

                                    1. re: Harp00n

                                      Thanks. I will.

                                      BTW, I just found this review of Lowell's in Mendon. Not too complimentary.

                                      1. re: RIChowderhead

                                        If you are looking for some type of 'chowish' experience, we would steer completely clear of Lowell's. Back in it's day (talking MANY years ago) it was good for breakfast and ice cream. Even the ice cream is horrible there these days. Fresco's would probably be a good option for consistantly good red sauce type meals, just make sure you call ahead for a party of 9-12. (We were going to get take out from there last night and it was an hour wait for take out!). They would accomodate a toddler and the waitstaff is great.
                                        Let us know what you decide.

                                        1. re: jandj

                                          Fresco's sounds like it is definitely worth a try, by my wife & I. But this group will be happier at either the Crystal Lake CC, or Pinelli's.

                                          Thanks, everyone, for the suggestions. I will report on the results.