Phantom Gourmet: Vintage Bar & Grille In Worcester
WORCESTER – Gentlemen, start your engines… because it’s time to speed on over to The Vintage Grille. Located on Shrewsbury Street in Worcester, this converted garage has motor head memorabilia all around, and a menu filled with big plates you’ll definitely want to test drive.
“From the outside you look at us and we just look like a plain garage,” said owner Robyn Caruso. “When you come in you can see everything on the walls and the menu, and I actually see people open the menu and stare at it for a good 15 minutes because they’re so amazed by all of the choices and all the options that we do provide for them. Everything sounds so delicious that they want to try this now, but they want to come back and try something else.”
Robyn and her team have offerings that will leave your mouth watering, and these over the top eats all have car themed names. There’s the V-6 Lettuce Wraps filled with Asian style chicken; addictive Hub Cap Pickle Chips that guests gobble up; and something called the Peel Out, a nostalgic sandwich piled high with Fried bologna, Russian dressing, American cheese and hot peppers.
“It was something that every kid used to eat and love, but you never see it in a restaurant. It literally just drips and melts into your mouth,” she explained. “It’s very flavorful and you can’t get it anywhere else.”
The Bumper to Bumper is like no burger you’ve ever seen before. This pile up of perfection is near and dear to chef Michael Peak’s heart, and should only be prepared by a professional.
“First thing we do is start with our certified Black Angus all-beef patty,” Michael started. “Next thing we’re going to do is we’re gonna use Texas Toast. We’re going to make two grilled cheese sandwiches and that’s going to act as our bun. It’s a little intimidating when it gets served. I’m not going to lie. Come over with some of our crisp iceberg lettuce, fresh sliced tomato, diced onion, pickle chips. Finish it off with some nice Thousand Island dressing, some of our next thick cut jersey fries, and that’s it.”
Understandably, this burger has been known to give customers whiplash.
“Everybody at the table stares. Everyone in the restaurant stares at the person who ordered it and he just kind of looks at it and figures out how he’s going to tackle this,” Robyn said. “Literally when people get it, they have to push it down and cut it. But the funny thing is you never take anything back on the plate. They always finish it.”
It’s almost impossible to finish the meatloaf at The Vintage Grille. Appropriately named The Big Cadillac, this meat-normous dish isn’t anything like you had growing up.
“I grew up with meatloaf with ketchup or barbecue sauce on top. He doesn’t do that,” Robyn said. “He makes this meatloaf from scratch. It’s just mouthwatering. It’s three hearty pieces of meatloaf, and then he tops it with sautéed onions and his homemade gravy on top. It definitely is a hearty meal.”
While the meatloaf may be the Motor Trend Meal of the Year, Mac and Cheese is a Vintage Grille mainstay, used in many dishes throughout the menu.
There’s the Burnout: a carboriffic sandwich with decadent mac and cheese nestled between two thick cuts of Texas toast. The Mac N Cheese Pizza will send your taste buds into overdrive, but for true mac n cheese mayhem in your mouth, try the Muscle Car Mac N Cheese Bites.
“They have cheese inside and they have cheese on the plate, so people can take a bite and dip it in,” Robyn described. “It’s definitely the cure for any hangover.”
Another hangover helper has to be the All American Model T. This fried peanut butter and jelly can be ordered as a sandwich for a meal, or topped with ice cream for a sweet ending to your dinner.
“I always end with, ‘Would you like to try a fried peanut butter and jelly sandwich sundae?’ And they look at me and say, ‘Yes, I would.’ It’s very hard to say no to it.”
It’s pretty hard to say no to anything on the menu at The Vintage Grille, and since the prices are so low, you really won’t have to.
“My prices are low,” Robyn said. “Our highest thing on the menu maybe is $12.99 and the portion sizes are huge. It’s funny. It’s so good people usually do finish it, but they’re walking out stuffed.”
Stuffing people with good food is something Robyn does best, because it’s something she truly loves to do.
“It’s nice to look around and see a full restaurant with everyone laughing and eating, and just the feeling you get is amazing.”
You’ll find Vintage Bar & Grille at 346 Shrewsbury Street in Worcester, and online at vintagegrilleworcester.com.
Watch Phantom Gourmet on Saturdays and Sundays at 10:30 and 11 a.m. on myTV38.
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