Off The Rails
When you’re ready for a little country in your ear, and a whole lot of South in your mouth, you need to head on in to Off The Rails. Located right next to the DCU Center in Worcester, Off The Rails is one of the city’s hottest new restaurants, with live country music every night and Southern inspired food on every plate.
Rick Araujo – Executive Chef, Off The Rails: “When you walk into Off The Rails, you immediately get transported to a club down in Nashville. We got tons of music paraphernalia on the walls, autographs, different things to look at. It’s visually a lot of fun. And it’s a warm, welcoming environment.”
That’s Executive Chef Rick Araujo, who’s responsible for the great southern flavors coming out of the kitchen. As for all that Music City atmosphere, Managing Partner Chris Besaw designed and decorated the 100-seat space.
Chris Besaw – Managing Partner, Off The Rails: “We have a lot of authentic country music decor, a lot of signed guitars, a lot of signed posters. We commissioned an artist to make a guitar for us. He only works with recycled metal. So that is recycled metal. The bar space is really cool. We have we have a lot of select bourbons. The bar itself it came from a single tree. So it’s a really cool live edge on the bar, and just a lot of cool country music decor. It’s just a really good vibe. It’s a very comfortable, warm vibe here and you really kind of feel like you’re in Nashville.”
And Chef Rick and his team serve up delicious Southern comfort food to match the mood.
Rick Araujo – Executive Chef, Off The Rails: “When I came here, I was very adamant that I definitely wanted to highlight the food. I’ve got a great passion for it, I’ve got a great staff back there put together a really fresh, really creative Southern cuisine, and I don’t think anybody’s gonna come here is gonna be disappointed by it.”
Starters at Off The Rails include hearty options like creamy Mac & Cheese topped with a pile of Pulled Pork, thick meaty Drumsticks that are brined, smoked, dry rubbed, and drizzled with barbecue sauce for maximum flavor, and a warm and gooey Baked Pimento Dip.
Rick Araujo – Executive Chef, Off The Rails: “If you come in looking for something to satisfy your cheese craving we’ve definitely got something a whole table can share. It’s our Baked Pimento Dip. We make our own pimento cheese, in house, nice sharp cheddar. Season that up with some pimento peppers, little bit of cayenne and scallions, and we broil that up nice so we can dip some soft pretzel in it. You’re all gonna like it.”
And you’re gonna absolutely love the Chicken Fried Tenders.
Rick Araujo – Executive Chef, Off The Rails: “You can get chicken tenders anywhere but ours are really set apart from the rest. We brine the tenders in our in our house buttermilk and herb brine. After they’re fried, we pile them high with housemade ranch with fresh herbs, cheddar cheese, North Country bacon, and scallions. It’s definitely a crowd pleaser, they’re definitely the best in Worcester and anywhere else around.”
For something on the lighter side, nothing beats the fresh baked Cornbread.
Rick Araujo – Executive Chef, Off The Rails: “We absolutely have the best Cornbread you’ll find around. It’s not too sweet. It’s nice and moist and tender. And the best part about it is we serve it with whipped butter and we have a rotating selection of house made jams and preserves, really sets it apart from anything you’re gonna get anywhere else.”
And here’s something you’re not likely to find anywhere else — at least north of the Mason/Dixon line: Gas Station Eggs.
Rick Araujo – Executive Chef, Off The Rails: “Gas Station eggs are awesome. They’re just your traditional pickled egg, which might be a little off the beaten path for some people, but we serve them with some saltine crackers and housemade hot sauce. Going on a little road trip down South, you might pull over grab some gas and they might have that mysterious jar of eggs behind the counter. We took those, we elevated them a little bit and just did them right, and it’s definitely something to try.”’
But as you might imagine, getting people to try them can be a challenge.
Chris Besaw – Managing Partner, Off The Rails: “Some people, you know, you’ll hear them almost order it on a dare and then they love them. You gotta trust it’s gonna be good. If it comes out of our kitchen, it’s gonna be good.”
Entrees at Off The Rails are all on point, whether you opt for the Pulled Pork Sandwich on a sesame seed bun, the Burger with bacon, cheddar, and green tomato jam, or the classic Buttermilk Fried Chicken.
Rick Araujo – Executive Chef, Off The Rails: “We wouldn’t be a Southern restaurant if we didn’t have fried chicken on the menu. It’s perfectly crispy, perfectly juicy all the way through to the bone. Excellent flavor. And one of the best parts is that we serve that with housemade truffled cream corn, we use real truffles in it, really takes the dish to next level.”
If you’re in the mood for seafood, there’s Blackened Cod atop Hoppin’ John, and a true Southern staple; Shrimp and Grits.
Rick Araujo – Executive Chef, Off The Rails: “Shrimp and Grits is something that everybody does a little different down south. Everybody has their own version of it. Everybody’s grandmother makes it the best. We think we came up with a really great version that we like to do here. Heirloom grits. Super creamy, a little bit of cheddar cheese and we top that with pan roasted shrimp that have been sauteed with Cajun trinity and a tomato cream gravy can’t beat it.”
For dessert, try the Bourbon and Chocolate Bread Pudding with buttermilk whipped cream, or this updated take on traditional Banana Pudding.
Rick Araujo – Executive Chef, Off The Rails: “You definitely want to order the banana pudding to finish your meal. We make our own house made vanilla pudding. We have a roasted banana puree, a bruleed banana with caramelized sugar on top, classic Nilla Wafers and whipped cream. It’s really classic comfort food, but we elevate it to a really nice place, you got to try it.”
And if you’re looking for a night out in Nashville, a whole lot closer to home, just plan a trip to Off The Rails.
Rick Araujo – Executive Chef, Off The Rails: “We’re definitely the total package. You can come and get your cocktail, you can come and get your meal, you can get some live entertainment here at our stage. Whether you’re starting your night or finishing your night here, we’ve got all aspects of your night out. It’s a one stop trip.”