Recently, my mother, sister and I had dinner at the Leicester Barber's Crossing Restaurant for the first time. We are newly relocated from Worcester to Leicester, and had been frequent and satisfied customers at Barber's now-closed West Boylston St., Worcester location. We had mixed feelings about the food and service quality at the Leicester restaurant.
We arrived at about 5:30 p.m. on a Saturday and were seated almost immediately at a booth, as requested. After scanning the casual but comfortable restaurant, we saw it was not overly crowded (the parking lot did not seem to be full upon our arrival). We were given a basket of unbelievably salty popcorn to munch on while waiting for our server, who did not appear at our booth to take our beverage orders until about ten minutes later. Once taken, she returned with our drinks (1 coffee-$1.75, and 2 ginger ales-$1.99 each with free refills), but not the warm dinner rolls she had previously promised to deliver. There were many specials that night, so we asked that she return to take our dinner orders in a few minutes so we could further peruse the menu and specials listing. Well, it was more like fifteen minutes before she returned to take our orders, but still, no rolls. Our waitress was MIA another five minutes before she came with the rolls and a few totally cold and hard pats of butter. She apologized for the delay, seeming a little flustered and put out, and took our dinner orders.
Mum had the baked lobster pie-$13.99-market price for that night (a favorite of Mum's at the Worcester location and one of the reasons we decided to dine there that evening), with a baked potato. Mum found some of the lobster meat in the casserole very tough and stringy; the baked potato was run-of-the-mill. Sis opted for the baked seafood casserole, a sufficient portion of shrimp, sea scallops and haddock with a cracker crumb topping, for $11.99. She declared the fish/seafood fresh and tasty, but the clarified butter that should have been in the dish definitely was not butter, but rather tasted like a very cheap, oily and artificial-tasting butter substitute. Not at all good and made the dish less than what it should have been. With her entree she ordered the rice pilaf, a mediocre medley which wasn't brought out to her with her dinner, but about five minutes later, after advising our server of this omission. I chose one of the evening's specials, a mixed barbecue platter ($14.99) which was to consist of pulled pork, pork ribs (1/2 rack), sweet potato fries, coleslaw and corn bread. Everything on this amply-sized platter was very good---meats moist and tender with just the right amount of rub seasonings, extra barbecue sauce provided on the side, fries hot and delicious, slaw better than usual, but, alas, no corn bread (I love corn bread, especially with barbecued foods). When I made the waitress aware of the missing item, she seemed surprised and did not know that corn bread came with the dinner. Off she went again and returned a few minutes later with no corn bread (the kitchen was out of it---that early on a Saturday evening?) but with a hunk of garlic toast as a substitute. I did not want the garlic bread, but my sister said she would eat it with her dinner. After tasting it, she deemed it cold, chewy and not very garlicky. I enjoyed my large dinner very much and had ample leftovers for lunch the next day.
All of us pretty full, we exited without ordering dessert. The bill for the three of us came to $46.70, excluding tax and gratuity. We thought this very reasonable.
Recommended Dishes: Barbecued Specials, seafood/fish (ask if REAL BUTTER could be used in the dish; if not, forego it), prime rib (had it before at the Worcester location and it was alway fabulous and cooked perfectly).
Food: Quite enjoyable. A couple dishes lacked a bit in preparation and flavor.
Service: Needs help. Inattentive/undertrained staff made the meal somewhat unpleasant.
Ambience: Pleasant atmosphere, but nothing usual or unexpected.
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