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Editors Note: Last week we published a blog from Leominster Turtlegirl, who wasn’t too fond of all the chain restaurants up there. This prompted a new blogger – Leominster Turtlebabe to offer this scathing rebuttal in defense of Leominster restaurants.
I was bitching about Leominster Turtlegirl to a co-worker who said that i should quit complaining and start writing because anything I could write would be better than her two posts anyway. And he’s fucking right. Plus, I have green hair, so I even look like a turtle.
Leominster might have a lot of chain restaurants, but that’s a terrible place to start bitching. That’s not even the low-hanging fruit. If you want to bitch about Leominster, let’s talk about the 50 gross disgusting bars full of creeps and weirdos just waiting to drop a roofie in the Blue Hawaiian they’re trying to buy you. There are some places that I couldn’t even dream up in my worst nightmares: Scoreboards, the Tankard — they have CARPET. it’s a BAR — Forty’s, Classics, the Gazbar, Partner’s Pub, Legends, the list goes on.
I live fairly close to a lot of these places, and I’d rather drive waaayyy out of my way, like to Worcester, than chance getting attacked, or even hit on in one of these hell holes. And I went to Assumption College, I know about gross bars. On the grody scale, these Leominster bars put places like the Blarney and Leits to shame.
On the bright side, I don’t have to go way out of my way to get a drink and some dope food. There are lots of great places in the Leominster/Fitchburg area, too.
Lots of cities have chains; they’re what the masses want. They’re nasty, but they serve a purpose. And don’t trip — Worcester has chain restaurants too. It just happens to have a lot more mom-and-pop, family owned places to balance out the crap. But it also has a bigger footprint and a bigger population than Leominster does, so there you go.
Full disclosure, I was born and raised in the area but not actually IN Leominster, so I don’t have THE most extensive knowledge. I am a North Middlesex girl though, so that means I’ve spent my whole life going to Fitchburg and Leominster to do… anything. Plus, I live in Leominster now, so I know that in the Leominster/Fitchburg area, there are some great places to eat.
The good people who own Mezcal brought a location to downtown Leominster, as well as Rye and Thyme with its dope fucking draught cellar, live music and great food. Hit Mezcal for ritas, the best calamari you can get this far from the coast and a chimichanga that will blow your mind, then walk 20 steps to Rye and Thyme for some fancy ass shit: Tons of amazing beers, really interesting, cool, unique cocktails, and potato skins with duck. Yeah, I said duck. They’re fucking delicious.
Cristina’s not only has great food, but the woman who owns it — Cristina Valeri — is an absolute doll, and the service there is great. The atmosphere isn’t always the best, but the same can be true about anywhere. It depends who you’re there with.
Let’s talk takeout: For Chinese you’ve got places like Gold Bowl and Jade II. I personally hate Jade II, but I know tons of people who think it’s way better than the Bowl. For my money, Gold Bowl is the freshest most delicious Chinese you can get, and it affords you the opportunity to make Golden Shower jokes. If you’re in Fitchburg, there’s a Gold Bowl location near Gomes liquor store, almost in Ashby. It’s worth the drive, although Fitchburg Jade is pretty delicious, too, and more centrally located.
Back in downtown Leominster, there’s T.C. Landos which has unrivaled subs, like the Budster, which is a cheesey, saucey, chickeny masterpiece. And Union Square Pizza is bomb, though it’s a little pricier than the crap you can get at Athens, Leominster House and C&M (which cuts its pies in squares, a fact that I happen to love). And not to mention, there’s an Espressos.
Now, I know some people have an intense burning hatred for Fitchburg. I feel that’s unfounded, but that’s a story for another time. However, no matter how much you hate the Old Dirty Burg, you cannot deny that what Espresso’s does to its pizza is magical and different than any other ‘za you’ve ever had the pleasure of putting in your mouth. They say there’s orange soda in the sauce; I don’t know if that’s true, but I do know that it tastes amazing, and the fact that they have a Leominster location in addition to the original joint on Main Street in the Burg brings me great joy.
Oh, and right down the street from the Leominster Espresso’s there’s Super Wings, which not only has amazing, legit Mexican food, like pozole, but — you guessed it — super wings. That place will open a can of whoop ass on Wings over Worcester any day of the week, guaranteed.
There are a million great greasy spoons where you can get breakfast, too: Fat Boy’s, the West Side Diner, Don’s, the 50/50 in Fitchburg if you feel like making the hike to the French Cleghorn. And I do. I’m French Canadian and proud, mother lickers.
The Bootlegger is just over the Fitchburg/Lunenburg line; if you live around there you know that’s not that much of a haul. Is there a 99 down the street? Yes, but that’s because a good location brings in customers. You can’t blame chains for taking the good locations. They have fucking scientists look into that shit, just like there are scientists who plan out grocery stores to get you to buy more shit.
I get it, Leominster Turtlegirl: The number of amazing — or even halfway decent — family run restaurants don’t compare to how many chains are around. But Leominster residents have great alternatives to choose from.
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