Well here I am a week after the end of this silly project and I feel like something is missing. I am still looking for new or unseen places while I drive through Worcester, but then realize, I am done, I don’t have to do that anymore. But let’s praise this tour, I am very aware of the landscape of the city, seeing businesses closed and opening, seeing people walk into bars or amble past, holding bags of groceries, focusing on their phones and not noticing the nice bar before them.
The other day was my birthday and my wife gave me tonic water and a bottle of Hendrick’s Gin. She didn’t know if I would want it what with me swearing off gin and tonics after this tour. But why not, a good gin is a nice thing. While we watched a very cool monster movie on TV (Harbinger Down) I sipped at the drink I made. This gin and tonic did not taste a lot like the things I was given on the tour. The drink lasted me the length of the movie, it was a pleasure not to rush.
And now, as promised, a little wrap up. This tour was never about the best and the worst, the nicest and the dirtiest. This was about the process of being complete and thorough. But with that said, let’s do a little talking of the good and the not so good.
The best bars I went to: Nick’s and Vincent’s (of course, because those were the bars I call my bars so how can they not be on the list). Breen’s was great. Also, though I didn’t say it in my write up, I really loved my time at Guertin’s and want to go back. And I loved George’s, the bar attached to Coney Island Hot Dog.
Fun Neighborhood Joints: Marty’s, Gallagher’s, Blarney Stone
Decent places for a cheap drink: I think I have to pick to Herbies, but parking is a bitch there and it can get crowded. Also, at Sole Proprietor, a very nice place indeed, the drink was only 5.50, which given the environs was a great deal.
Biggest Surprises: I was impressed with the drink at Basil n Spice because I thought it was going to be just another Asian Bar-Restaurant. In the same regard, I thought the bar at Piccolo’s was awesome and inviting. It was more than an Italian joint with a bar.
Best Sports Bar: This is tough because even dance clubs call themselves sports bars. I am going for two places where when I was there, the people were sports crazed. That is Parkway and Bennie’s.
Best Dives: I did a big write up on this back in December, but I still think the best dives are Guertin’s and Moynihan’s. I am going to not put Hotel Vernon on the list because the last time I was there felt like young hipsters hanging out on a dare.
Scariest Joints: These are not the worst, just the places you might not want to go alone if you want to go at all: Fat Tony’s, Brook’s, Pleasant Cafe
Worst Joint: This is without question Foodwork’s Chinese Restaurant. It was one of the last ones I went to for the tour and just an unpleasant experience. An honorable mention is the Perfect Game, and I know its well regarded and people like it but the time I was there, the regulars and the bartender for a little bit, ridiculed this old guy who was either drunk beyond remembering his name or suffering through dementia, either way, it makes me never want to go back there.(if you want to read that sad story, google perfect game gin and tonics worcester and you should get it.)
Dirtiest Bar: I know I am just being mean, but this one goes to Chioda’s, I don’t think they ever wiped down their bar this century.
The Best Gin and Tonics: The Fix, hands down. Really good (though it had a mediocre bar feel to the place) Basil n Spice, Vincent’s, Breen’s. There were a lot of decent ones, but remember I always went for the basic or well option.
Lousiest Gin and Tonics: Maxwell Silverman’s (I almost spit it out it was so harsh), Dive Bar (At the end of the drink it stopped tasting of gin and then had a very clear anise flavor, the hell is that about, like they put the wrong alcohol in or something) Fat Tony’s (like syrup), Scorz, and Jillian’s (It wasn’t the gin and tonic per se, I think, it was the fact that she put so much ice in the glass that the ice formed a dome over the pint glass that I didn’t have much drink to judge, and that glass of ice was six bucks.) I guess I should also put in Anoyke Krom. I really liked my time there and it was an awesome vibe, but instead of a gin and tonic, I got a gin and coca-cola. That was some tough drinking.
Most Expensive Gin and Tonic: That was at Azteca’s at 10 bucks. Its a dance club at that time of night, and it seems that the drink prices are in replacement for a cover charge.
Cheapest Gin and Tonic: That was at Herbie’s at 2.50.
I am sure I am missing come categories and things people might want to know, but as I said, this was never about the best and the worst, this was about seeing a city through 144 cocktails.
That image on top comes from one of my favorite Worcester oriented blogs http://streetartofworcester.blogspot.com/