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Nov 29, 2008 01:22 PM

Worcester MA Sunday Brunch

Any good options for a decent Sunday brunch in the greater Worcester area? Have only been to Maxwell's for brunch. Anybody have good recommendtions?

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  1. Try The Armsby Abbey! It's at 144 Main Street. I work there but check out the reviews. My praises are well founded:

    We do brunch on the weekends from 1130 til 4. Standouts include the Hash Calzone (corned beef hash, cheese, onions, eggs folded into a calzone and drizzled with homemade hollandaise) the Apple Fennel Pizza, Fruit Topped Waffles and a Breakfast Slate featuring bleu and chevre cheeses from Mass. and house made breads, candied walnuts and spreads. We've got great cocktails and a huge selection of beers (22 taps, 120+ bottles) to nurse any hangovers or just start your day off right!

    I hope you decide to check us out!

    6 Replies
    1. re: jtotheizoy

      I had a really, really great brunch here about a month ago. All four of us loved our meals, the specialty cocktails and beer list. The ONLY negative is that there's not much that's interesting for vegetarians other than the pbj, although once I asked them to remove the meat from a pizza, and it ended up fantastic.

      We had some pretty subpar service, even though the place was empty. Tables sat dirty the whole time we were there (which is gross, especially when they're right next to you), and the staff seems a bit hesitant and unsure. I wouldn't call it BAD service, just novice.

      The food was better than most anything else I've eaten in Worcester.

      1. re: invinotheresverde

        Searched here for a brunch rec in Worcester for last weekend and found this post, so decided to give Armsby Abbey a try...really wanted to love it, but wow - I haven't encountered service that bad in - well, maybe ever. The menu looked really interesting and all the dishes highlighted local ingredients, so that was cool and I was looking forward to it. Well.

        Lackadaisical "just hang out and wait for a table to open up" approach, but that's fine; it's a casual place. 6 or 7 minute wait to get a look in our direction for a drink, even with 2 bartenders and the place was not full. Table opens up, we grab it, menus come quick enough, maybe 15 min more until waitress comes back for our order. Good thing we weren't in a rush, but hey, it was Sunday, so we didn't mind. The breakfast slate mentioned above was a nice mix of breads, cheeses, fruit and spreads - good to share. Some of the bread was stale, it had probably been cut hours before. The veggie quiche with greens was yummy. Ordered the breakfast calzone; they brought us french toast instead; waited a good 20 minutes for the calzone to come out. Again, not that big a deal, we were sharing the plates we had and enjoying a lazy Sunday. Calzone was described as eggs, sausage and cheese on the menu; unfortunately it didn't specify that the egg was (barely) poached, tucked inside the calzone crust so that it spurted runny yolk when cut into - not my cup of tea, so asked for it to be cooked more. Told no, couldn't be done since I had cut into it. I started blankly, said, just slide it onto a pan or a sheet of foil or something and bake it a little more, I don't care if it looks messy - "no, we can't, it gets cooked in the pizza oven, there's no way to cook it any more." Um, what? I jokingly said "Throw it in the microwave!" and the waitress very seriously replied "We don't have a microwave," and just stood there, as though waiting for me to think of something else to suggest that she could shoot down. My friends wanted to ask for something else, but I didn't want to wait another 20 min. Decided they would eat it and I would finish the other stuff - we were all sharing and they like runny yolk, so fine, whatever. Waitress came back a bit later to confirm that the cook (I guess) had confirmed her suspicion that there was indeed, no possible way to cook the calzone any more. Um, how about offering me a new one, perhaps with the egg scrambled a bit before being put inside the calzone? My point is that the answer to "can you cook this a little more" is never "no." Don't make me give you ideas on how to fix it - just fix it. It was very obvious that I was disgusted by the runny yolk - wouldn't you want to replace the "Ugh!" look on your customer's face with something a bit more positive? Jeez.

        Later, ordered coffee and Bailey's; told there was no more coffee because "brunch was over" (it was 3:30 and brunch was described as 11:30-4), and "even if we had it we don't have coffee liqueur anyway." Wow. Well, Bailey's isn't coffee liqueur, that's Kahlua. They have 8 flavors of vodka on the extensive brunch cocktail menu, but no Bailey's? And you can't make a pot of coffee - are you kidding me?? Especially after it was very apparent that I'd been dissapointed earlier? It wasn't even the fact of it as much as the way the information was presented - cheerfully. "Nope! You can't have what you're asking for! And I don't care one bit! Will that be all?"

        Sorry, I just haven't encountered service this openly hostile to patrons in eons. It reminds me of those places that like to inform you when you sit down at the table "how things work" though it's your job as the customer to adapt your behavior to the needs and customs of the restaurant, instead of the other way around.
        Sheesh. Needless to say, we won't be back. What a shame.

        1. re: chefchick

          Agreed that the service DEFINITELY needs some work.

      2. re: jtotheizoy

        The Armsby Abbey has possibly the worst service I have ever encountered, which is a bold statement since I dine out often and in many cities. It is very unfortunate because their food is delicious, fresh, and locally grown but due to their extremely rude waitstaff, management and bartenders (yes, literally every person I encountered in there acted like they were way too busy to acknowledge us and when the finally did, acted like they were doing us a favor by waiting on us) I WILL NEVER GO THERE AGAIN. I think customer service should be the number 1 top priority for any establishment and truly hope these people learn the hard way how important it is.

        1. re: quintesa

          In Worcester area I think it's tough to beat the Beechwood's brunch. It can get pricey but great for special occasions. There are plenty of options ranging from breakfast favorites like Eggs Benedict, make your own Waffle Station and made to order Omelets to good lunch food like Prime Rib, Baked Ham, and a raw Salmon station.

          1. re: quintesa

            I AGREE I also dine out alot, in many different cities as well. I have never been turned off so fast. Compliments to the chef but the rest of the place can take a hike and the establishment would be better off. I also,WILL NEVER GO HERE AGAIN.