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Aug 3, 2008 01:55 PM

New high end beer bar in Worcester, MA

Armsby Abbey - Farmhouse menu-SLOW FOOD- Artisan Beers
My daughter just reported to me on her visit to the Armsby Abbey in Worcester on their opening night. Very Cool bar; classy restored building; "farmhouse style" menu. Her boyfriend was wild over the pizza and deserts. Not a Budweiser to be found...all craft beers. Let’s hope this is a sign of more good things to come on Main Street in Worcester. I'm checking the place out on Saturday!

Armsby Abbey
144 Main Street, Worcester, MA

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  1. I've been waiting for this for a while. The owners run The Dive Bar on Green St. Finally, a destination in Wormtown.

    1. Please tell me that with all that Belgian Ale on tap & bottle that Moules Frites is on the menu. PLEASE???


      4 Replies
      1. re: Harp00n

        Just came back from lunch there...sorry, no moules et frites. But the place is great -- amazing and interesting array of beers on tap, endless beers in bottle, and a very thoughtful locavore menu. We had pizzas, and they were tasty, light, and crisp. Service was excellent, and the room has been beautifully done in mahogany.

        The menu consists of some cheese plates, some apps, a nice assortment of sandwiches, and pizzas. The beer is the focus, but the food has integrity.

        Worcester, please support this place! It's a fine addition.

        1. re: Rick_V

          Hey Rick_V,
          I will be supporting this place based on all the feedback I've seen here and elsewhere. Belgium has the Chateaubriands of the ale world so I'm surprised that there isn't a bit more substantial offerings to be paired with all those glories of the Abbeys. Locavore, as I understand it, would not be in any way counter to my inquiry. The bottom line is I will happily go in support of Real Ales!

          All the best,

          1. re: Harp00n

            I know the owners pretty well, so I'll pass on your moules et frites request, Harp.

      2. Very nice, had several of my favorites. Maharajah, Victory, I could have spent the evening drinking many many beers!
        The prices are reasonable, but I think on the steep side for our area. Perhaps some local less expensive brews, Wachusett, Peoples Pint, etc. would help.
        As much as I liked it i have to complain about the foam, I think it may be my largest pet peeve but if I spend $5.00 for a pint I want 16oz of beer not an inch and a half of foam, even worse $6.00 for q 10 oz premium with an inch or so of foam. If they poured a full beer, they would have a steady customer! As it is I will find it hard to stay away with of those wonderful droughts!!

        1. We went tonight- it was very enjoyable. Great beers and draft and bottles. We had maharajah IPAl, Mayflower IPA, and a german hefewiezen on draft that tasted sooo good.
          We also had the green curry pizza, ( I know it sounds weird I was verY suspicious at first but our waitress said it was good and I believed her.) It was great- not traditional but very tasty. Really the best pizza I've ever had without cheese- and I love cheese.
          Roasted peppers,zuchini, caramalized onions, spicy green curry and topped off with cooling raita. Just so good, simple, and satisfying. I would advise all to give it a try.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Rhizome

            Interesting take...I was there for the first time on Wed. night. Had the same hefewiezen and loved it. Also, shared one of the cheeseboards and the green curry pizza. The cheeseboard was nice. Had a blue that was wonderful, but I thought the other 2 cheeses (one hard and one fresh/soft) were far to bland for variety. There was a sausage that my DC said was good (I'm a vegetarian). Now for the pizza...I thought it was horrid. The crust is very doughy, which some my like but I prefer thinner/crispier. I agree that the toppings were interesting, but other than the faint heat of the green curry there just wasn't any depth of flavor. I brought most of it home out of obligation but ending up throwing it away (and you have to know that pizza NEVER gets wasted in this house!).

            All in all a nice little place for Worcester. I would definitely go again and try other beer offerings and maybe a sandwich (some looked good coming out). The one thing that was a little annoying is that they don't allow any substitutions on the menu. For example, they were offering a special pizza that evening that was whole wheat. It had meat on it so it wasn't an option for me, so I asked if they would make the green curry pizza on the whole wheat (I rarely eat white flour). Nope. This could be a serious dealbreaker for me in the future, since I'm a vegetarian and they didn't have that many food choices that were promising for non-meat eaters. There were a couple of things, but the meaty things looked much better and would probably be tasty if modified slightly for non-meat eaters......if they are willing to do so......we'll see...

            1. re: Science Chick

              Wow- I am surprised yours was doughy-the night I went it was thin and crisp.
              I did think the combo was quite nice but it is pretty obnoxious that they wouldn't make it on whole wheat-it would be even better that way. More veggie options would be wise move for them. (I am veggie as well) I do think the place has potential-they need to work out the kinks.

          2. Fecalface drove from Boston to Worcester this weekend to check out Armsby Abbey, but unfortunately the building had lost power. While this itself isn't the fault of the establishment, fecalface was a little perturbed by the treatment from the staff. Fecal's party wasn't allowed into the restaurant for some time (although there were plenty of people eating and it was raining outside). They couldn't pour drafts or provide food - not even cold food or dishes already prepared. Essentially, the staff was completely disinterested in fecal's business. Odd for a new restaurant.

            So as a Beeradvocate, fecalface has to report that the tap list is a lot weaker than comparable restaurants (Moan and Dove, PH, etc). They had some typical belgian stuff, nothing rare or exceptional on tap. The bottle list didn't have any gems and was generally overpriced - fecal didn't see any aged offerings.

            In fecalface's opinion, this place isn't worth driving over 30 mins to visit, especially for Bostonians who have a number of better beer bars within their city limits.

            7 Replies
            1. re: fecalface

              Yeah, I agree (as one who lives in Newton but works in Worcester). Definitely not worth a drive from Boston. However, it is a really nice option for Worcester, and those of us who are constantly striving to find a place for a quick drink and bite after work w/workmates!

              1. re: fecalface

                We are heading out west next weekend for the Neil Young/Wilco show. Digga is looking forward to checking this place out!

                1. re: digga

                  We stopped in yesterday before the show as planned. I expected the decor to be Publick House-esque (in Boston), but it was more Deep Ellum or Mission. Spare room, beautiful, locally hand-crafted bar. I started with a lovely, crisp white wine from Sharpe Hill (CT). B had the Ommegang Abbey Ale which hit the spot. Bitter, hoppy finish. They were still serving brunch (til 4pm) and we wanted dinner food, so we nibbled on the breakfast cheeseboard. High quality cheeses (Berkshire Blue and a chevre from ?), three spreads (local honey, a cranberry butter, and a fruit and onion compote - all good), thin-sliced plain baguette and a cranberry-nut one, and sliced apple and pear all attractively served on a slate plate. It was deceptively filling. By the time 5 pm rolled around, we decided to split a pizza. B wanted BBQ chicken. Not my first choice, but it was really good - thin, crisp crust, high-quality cheese and a sprinkling of cilantro. With the pizza, B had an IPA (can't remember which one) and I had the Southern Tier Choklat (which packed a punch at 10% ABV). By the time we left, the place was packed to the gills. When we returned around midnight to retrieve our car, it was still packed. Bill was $55 before tip.

                  Mike was our bartender - friendly, enthusiastic and attentive. Mike - hope you made it to the show last was terrific. And so was Armsby Abbey. Not a bad way to kill 3 hours before seeing Wilco and Neil Young.

                  1. re: digga

                    My memory has been jogged - it was Crystal Brook goat chevre. Wonderful stuff.

                    1. re: digga

                      Hey, Digga, we stopped by before the show too and really enjoyed the place as well. The beer selection was not huge but well chosen and the Choklat was a killer. I enjoyed the Great Divide Hibernation--good bunch of Belgium-Belgians but I was disappointed that so many of the selections on the board weren't available. The BBQ chicken was very good and that cilantro was just perfect. We also had a nice pie with a greek cheese, honey and fresh oregano. The Mayan brownie was GREAT with a bit of chile and cinnamon. In all a nice place--wish we had a Belgian joint in New Haven!

                      1. re: newhavener07

                        NH07 - I wonder if you two were sitting right next to us at the bar. I remember saying to B, "dang, look at that couple scarf down their two pizzas!" (In total admiration, of course!)

                        1. re: digga

                          That was us! The intoxicating aroma of your BBQ pizza inspired our order. We were quite hungry as well (excuses, excuses). IN all, a nice trip to Worcester, which was much better than I expected. Neil also rocked the house...