Eric's LaPatisserie Café sates the morning and afternoon eat reflexes with fresh-baked, oven-hot pastries and gourmet stuffed sandwiches and paninis. Fresh croissants emerge from steaming hot ovens ($3), and toasted bagels remain crisp even while bearing gobs of the eatery’s famous labor-inducing cream cheese ($2). Afternoon appetites, meanwhile, can be sated with a grilled herb-chicken sandwich ($6.25) or a shrimp-and-seafood salad ($5.50).
Originally built in 1879, the building at 25 Union Street stood for nearly a century as an industrial bastion in downtown Worcester. When the last manufactures moved out in the 1970s, Robert "Gus" Giordano had an idea: convert the ruggedly beautiful interior into an upscale restaurant, preserving the historical building and ensuring that he would not be eating in there by himself everyday. Inhabiting the former screw-machine department, Maxwell-Silverman's Toolhouse ensconces diners in industrial elegance, with a ceiling crisscrossed with heating pipes, a floor dotted with oblong railroad ties, and cozy illumination courtesy of more than 40 vintage pool-hall lights.
Nestled in Union Station, Luciano's Restaurant transports diners back to the 1920s and '30s with walls covered in vintage photos and framed newsprints detailing the escapes of legendary gangsters. The refined indoor dining room features plush white seating and lush, flowery carpeting, while outdoor tables allow patrons to enjoy the sun or taunt slugs with salt shakers. Free parking is available at both locations.
Union Station proves to be a fitting location for Byblos Lounge, a Lebanese restaurant that ferries guests away to the eastern borders of the Mediterranean Sea with shareable mezzas, marinated meats, and toasty loaves of pita bread. Waves of Mediterranean spice crest on dishes of Levantine cuisine as sizzling kafta and kebabs fill the air with the savory aromas of beef, lamb, fish, and chicken. The architecture of classical antiquity meets the hip atmosphere of modern nightlife in the restaurant’s interior, where Corinthian colonnettes frame tables clad in royal purple and diners hold Platonic dialogues beneath the glow of neon lights. After cleaning off plates of grilled meats and veggies, groups can head to the dance floor and sway to the sounds of live DJs, singers, and bands that take the stage on weekends.
For over one hundred years, Widoff’s Bakery has handcrafted loaves of bread and other baked goods, prepared fresh every day. The bakery's dough devotees use a secret recipe involving premium, preservative-free ingredients and an elaborate secret handshake to shape specialty bulkie rolls ($6.60/doz.), which encase a soft bread pillow within a crispy crust. Sliced bread, meanwhile, comes in either italian loaves ($2.99/lb.) or rye varieties ($3.75 for 1 lb., $4.75 for 2 lb.). In addition to bready offerings, Widoff’s decorates its overflowing counters with colorful butter cookies ($9.50/lb.) adorned with vibrant patterns such as hearts, flags, or photo-realistic presidential busts. Visitors can further delight sweet teeth by sinking them into bite-sized whoopee pies ($0.99) and caramel cannoli cakes ($12.99).
Yoway Frozen Yogurt delights dessert devotees in a sea of self-serve low-fat and fat-free frozen yogurts buoyed by more than 50 toppings. Five frozen-yogurt stations stand sentinel within the café's lime-green interior, teasing sweet teeth with a rotating selection of 10 daily flavors and 35 flavors overall. Fill paper cups with mango, peanut butter, or eggnog fro-yo to build towering mountains of tart tastiness. After edible edifices are constructed, patrons decorate them at the topping bar, choosing from a selection of seasonal fruits, chopped nuts, and candies such as jellybeans, chocolate malt balls, and mini marshmallows. Each colossal creation is paid for by weight ($0.45/oz.), letting customers craft treats suited to their appetite and the number of pennies in their back pocket.
Wholly Cannoli's talented chefs create confectionary delectables and savory café fare from a compendium of gourmet ingredients. Savor signature items that employ destructive monikers to obliterate sweet cravings, such as caramel-dipped Dynamite Sticks ($4), crunchy ricotta Cherry Bombs ($4) and Hawaiian pineapple Landmines ($4), which detonate piña colada cannolis upon contact with teeth. Like a piñata filled with meat, a full lunch menu sates more voracious hunger pangs with hearty selections including horseradish-garnished wholly roast-beef wraps ($6.25) and napoli sandwiches ($6.25) that love taste buds with every ounce of their tender artichoke hearts. .