Weintraub's Jewish Deli in Worcester
Ok, I'm a full time NYCer with family in Maine, so I end up driving through Worcester a lot. To my great shame, I have done little to no Chowhounding along the way, despite making the trip several times a year for the past 20 years or more. So, a few months back I couldn't stand it any longer and turned off 290 in Worcester in search of something to eat. To my great delight, I found Weintraubs Jewish Deli.
It's location is 126 Water Street, which is really near the highway though how exactly you get there I'm not quite sure. Anyway, it's not 3 minutes from the offramp.
Inside is a rather spacious restaurant with tables and a long counter, homey in the sort of half-run down New England way, but with terrific food and ridiculously cheap prices. Good home made soups - split pea, etc. They have corned beef and pastrami sandwiches, also homemade (pretty sure about that), and while they are not Katz's or the like, they are $6.95. Hot dogs with some char on them - the way I like them. Some home made kraut and cole slaws too if I remember correctly.
The guys working there were great. One of them had some fun showing my kids the giant cows tongue they have for tongue sandwiches.
Also, there's a pretty good bakery right across the street.
Anyway, these guys are selling good, home made food for cheap, and by the looks of the place they could use some customers and general love. It's very close to the highway, and a far cry from the crap one often eats driving on the highway. There's a few reviews on Yelp for it, but I couldn't find anything on here mentioning it, so I figured it's worth giving them a shout out. They sure don't look like they're getting rich off the place. I'm definitely stopping by on my next trip through Worcester.
(and in case anyone's interested, I have no connection with these guys whatsoever other than eating there once)
Last year, after reading about it on Chowhound, I made a special side trip to try them. not good at all. The matzah ball in the soup was harder than a hockey puck and when I did finally manage to get a small piece broken off of it, it tasted like hard paste. The soup was very salty. The corned beef didn't taste fresh. My first and last trek there. There is a bakery across the street that brought me back to the bakeries from my childhood. I got a few things that were pretty good including the bagels.
Weintraubs, though not perfect is still better than most delis in Boston area. Murray's in Worcester us good too. The 'Green Canal' area you were in has some hiden jewels. Acrooss the street Widoff's bakery has the best rye bread. Bay State bakery a couple blocks down has great Syrian bread and groceries and recently expanded their hot foods. Very tasty ME foods for a bargain price. Bocado is a couple blocks away and there are a couple really good Polish places on Millbury St.
Even though I grew up in Worcester, we never went to Water St. for anything but bread. After seeing food shows showing NY Deli sandwiches, I figured it was time to try Weintraub's. I was pretty let down with the size of the lean corned beef sandwich on rye. The bread was small and looked to be out of a package, and there was a little ball of meat in the center. Seriously, that was it. I left hungry. I hate to put down a long-time local establishment like Weintraub's, but I think Tom's International Deli on Millbury St. on the other side of Kelly Sq. is a better option. You can also pick up bulk half-sour pickles, really tasty pickled herring, and frozen homemade pierogies, too.