Posted on

Say So Long to June – Here’s Your Restaurant Recap

Wachusett Brew Yard at the Railers Sports Tavern downtown Worcester, MA

During the month of June, Wachusett Brewing Company launched the Brew Yard at Railers Sports Tavern where lawn games and live music abound. We’re still waiting on The Brew’s 500-seat Beer Garden which is ostensibly “coming summer 2018” just a few blocks away.

This month, contributor Giselle Rivera-Flores continued on her #SundayFunday quest, taking readers to Rail Trail Flatbread Co., a spot largely credited with activating Hudson’s once sleepy downtown. Giselle praised Rail Trail for, “Pressing their own juices and creating their own syrups,” in addition to lauding their fire roasted mussels as a fine summer dish. We were also excited to see the return of contributor Anna Leigh this month whose three day juice cleanse with Steam Energy Cafe left her feeling energized and lean.

Brandon, Server of the Week at VIA Italian Table on Shrewsbury Street in Worcester, MA (source: VIA)
Brandon, Server of the Week at VIA Italian Table on Shrewsbury Street in Worcester, MA (source: VIA)

I continued my tour de pre-meal, courtesy of Reserve, by spending an afternoon at VIA Italian Table. Sitting in on Worcester Restaurant Group’s pointed staff meeting reminded me that plenty of local eateries play at the idea of being the result of an owner’s eccentric passion-project-turned-success. VIA, on the other hand, makes no qualms about being an unabashedly corporate affair. Expectations are high, competition is hot, and employees are unequivocally happy. (Heck, I’d pick up a few shifts just for the gelato.)

Stonecow’s Farmhouse Saison pairs with Buck's Spicy Cougar from Buck's on Green Street in Worcester, MA.
Stonecow’s Farmhouse Saison pairs with Buck’s Spicy Cougar from Buck’s on Green Street in Worcester, MA.

I found a new corner of the Canal District in Buck’s Whiskey & Burger Bar, an establishment built for cowboys and sportsmen. (Cowgirls and sportsladies too.) I paired Stonecow’s Farmhouse Saison with Buck’s Spicy Cougar burger, knowing that sessionable libations are key for me when it comes to a lot of heat; at just 4.5% abv, this beer was superbly crushable. I also had the opportunity to visit Maddi’s Cookery and Taphouse in the Canal District for their soft opening. The menu was spearheaded by Chef Christopher O’Harra, formerly of Flying Rhino, and owner Adam Hicks of Depot Street Tavern. I feasted on buffalo chicken balls, stick e. Bacon, and wings. With our hearts set on the Woo Sox, Worcesterites just can’t seem to get enough pub fare; both new restaurants shared conceptual similarities.

Cape Cod Bay Wine Pairings (Erb Photo)Finally, I had the pleasure of announcing that I will be visiting a half dozen Cape Cod restaurants this summer to add to the Mass Foodies repertoire. In my opinion, there is no strong comprehensive resource for dining on Cape Cod the way Boston has Eater and Worcester has us. Yours truly is hoping to fill the void (with lobster.) Expect visits to Ceraldi, Fishermen’s View, Chatham Bars Inn, and maybe even The Beachcomber. We salute summertime in the beautiful state of Massachusetts.

Posted on

Buck’s First Rodeo

Stonecow’s Farmhouse Saison pairs with Buck's Spicy Cougar from Buck's on Green Street in Worcester, MA.

There is now a place for everyone on Green Street: folksy cafe goers, beer nerds, club kids… Meet the cowboys; they’re headed to Buck’s.

I never mind a deer head on the wall, just as long as there’s a sporting tale to follow. The same can be said of country music; behind every hit lies a gripping story of love, loss, debauchery – or if you’re lucky, all three. I find the smell of pine and bourbon intoxicating when the sun shines late in the day, although that can be an elusive combination to pin down in the city of Worcester. Until now. Next time you’re in a small town mood with a big city zip code, rest assured that you’ll get along just fine at Buck’s Whiskey & Burger Bar.

A sign on the exposed brick wall reads, “Whiskey Wednesday is like Taco Tuesday for Badasses.” They’re not joking. There are some no-nonsense spirits pouring at Buck’s, particularly from Japan. Yamazaki 12 was the first Japanese single malt whiskey to take Americans by storm with pointed notes of honey and citrus. This tropical, medium-bodied whiskey cuts through complicated flavor profiles with a touch of bright acidity. Pair Yamazaki 12 with something outrageous like the Stuffed Buck, a beef burger infused with bacon and blue cheese, then topped with arugula and whiskey caramelized onions.

Since you’re playing cowboy (cowperson?) for the night, it’s only fitting to order Stonecow’s Farmhouse Saison. Aromas of lemon zest and peppercorns will suit an order like the Spicy Cougar, a burger (I opted for turkey) topped with aged cheddar cheese, black pepper crusted bacon, arugula, guacamole, and some seriously spicy Buck’s sauce. Sessionable beers are key for me when it comes to a lot of heat. At just 4.5% abv, this beer is superbly crushable.

Buck’s is open at 62 Green Street until midnight every day of the week. Giddy up.