I can remain silent no longer -- the Bamboo Hut is momentarily my most favorite restaurant in New England.
The husband&wife owners/cooks (+ vocal baby) sling Vietnamese food on the cozy bottom floor of a three decker south of South Main (1394 Main Street, Worcester, (508) 754-1755.)
Why I like it so:
It's one of those Mass. bring your own wine kind of places.
Every table has a big basket of shrimp chips to quell problematic pangs of hunger and enable effective menu perusal.
Their regular menu has a number of choice selections, but last weekend the meal was particularly fine as we were able to order completely off of the specials sheet:
Ultra-large green papaya salad with shrimp, ordered spicy, received pleasantly spicy and loaded with fresh mint, basil, and shiso/perilla/whatever else it's called (I love it, my girlfriend hates it).
Langoustines and big fat dry scallops in a curry sauce.
And grilled skate wing with some other stuff I can't remember because it was so deliciously tender. The very likeable husband owner/cook gave us some hell for not eating the cartilage. One of these days I'll get my trash-fish teeth on and give the skate its propers.
The bill for all of this was under $40 for two (not including the byo wine - adjust according to tastes).
If you're in the area, it's worth a taste (esp. on weekends when they're open late and seem to have more specials). Miss Saigon is another quite tasty Worcester Vietnamese restaurant, though it lacks the 3decker ambiance of the Bamboo Hut. (Its name does resonate nicely with that of the Miss Woo Diner, but that's another story entirely).