Wonder Bar

121 Shrewsbury Street
Worcester, Massachusetts

Period 70s



Needs Work

This review is one of those rare ones which breaks the rules; Wonder Bar happens to fall into the category of "Needs Work", but I'm going to recommend the restaurant anyway, for reasons I'll enumerate here. I went with a medium size group of friends to the "joint" on 4/10/2002.

Long time Worcester natives and "old school" alumni of the ten colleges in the city usually recall the neon sign of the Wonder Bar with great fondness. If you do happen to remember the place from the 70s, the good news is that the restaurant has literally not changed at all since then. The same owners and servers run the place, though one of the servers is about to retire after many, many years working there.

Now, as far as pizza goes, I like to consider myself something of a perfectionist. Also, of the many styles of pizza: greek, chicago, sicilian, thin crust, foccaccia... I prefer traditional Italian style "medium" crust the best. Most pizza eateries in Worcester fall into the greek category; a crunchy, round, oily crust.

Wonder Bar happens to have the best Italian style pizza you can find in Worcester. For around 7 to 10 dollars, you can get an "individual" size pizza (a 12 inch round, they only come in one size) with a variety of toppings. I usually get the "combination" with sausage, mushrooms, and peppers, but other friends have had luck with meatballs, three cheese, and even anchovies.

Take note, this isn't pizza for the fainthearted or health-conscious - Wonder Bar is greasy pizza heaven. Unfortunately, everything else at the restaurant is greasy too, even the garden salad.

Now this is great if you're looking for homemade, hand cut french fries or fried chicken. Sadly, the Wonder Bar isn't consistent as far as quality goes. Some nights they get everything perfect, other nights you get overdone french fries and brusque service (usually these are the busy nights, which can be any night from Wednesday through Saturday). For some reason the non-alcoholic drinks often taste watered down, as if the soda fountain constantly runs out of syrup - but this isn't a problem if you order a juice or beer.

I have to say that I find the dining experience of Wonder Bar to be a worthwhile one, even when quality and service are low. The pizza at least is almost always uniform, and that and the atmosphere and local color make up a large part of why I continue to go there.

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