In this IMO section we will try to highlight the restaurants where we feel are the best of the WMASS area and we may also share some of the less than good experiences.
Hu Ke Lau Restaurant, Memorial Dr, Chicopee MA: Over the years the Hu Ke Lau has been a consistent main stay of the area. The Polynesian atmosphere is inviting and keno is well managed to the point where you are generally able to get your bet in before the next game. However since the passing of the beloved founder Jonny Yee the prices have increased while the the served temperature of the food has decreased to the point of cold food being served that should be served piping hot. In addition the personal service which was once the pinnacle of the Hu Ke Lau and unsurpassed by any restaurant in the area is now gone. The last four visits to this restaurant have been disappointing. We dined in the restaurant side during non-rush times and were consistently served cold food (lo mien, rice po po platter) , Prime Rib (one time a good cut the next 3 times not so inviting cuts) the gold finger chicken were more breaded coating and much less tiny piece of chicken to be found inside. In addition the service was sporadic and did not seem to be well managed to the point of the leaving the customer to have to focus on the server to get their attending when in need of service or table items as opposed to the the server paying attention to the diner to meet their needs. The present dining experience at the Hu Ke Lau would have not been up to the founder’s standards. Jonny would be disappointed.
Pioneer Valley Pizza, 20 Belchertown Rd, Amherst, MA: The Best Pizza by far. Prices are reasonable, service is fast. Take out only.
Bertucci’s Italian Restaurant In Amherst MA, The Food was found to be good. The Menu was slightly overpriced and lacking any meals in the $10.00 or under price range. The service at the bar area was tolerable. The coffee was absolutely horrendous! It must have been 10 hour old coffee reheated in the microwave.
Charlies Lucky Strike Restaurant. .. Located on Grattan Street in the Aldenville Section of Chicopee, MA has been the time tested heart and sole of the Chicopee/Holyoke Metro area and in the past referred to as the Aldenville City Hall. The food has always been hearty with a home cooked air to it. The prices over the years have been fair. Best place on planet earth for broasted chicken diner.
Rt 33 Pizza House.. Located on RT 33 in South Hadley, MA. Great Pizza… Prices are average. On occasion when I have called in an order for a pizza to be picked up they have stated 25 minutes for pick up. On more than one occasion the 25 minute stated time resulted in a 55 minute wait. The Pizza is very good but not worth the wrongly stated pickup time resulting in a wasted hour of my time standing waiting for my pizza to go.
Jonny’s Restaurant: Located in South Hadley Commons is a warm and inviting place with good food, clean, and seems to be well run. The service has been very good on multiple visits. Highly recommended for a pleasant, quiet dining experience.
99 Restaurant Memorial Dr. Chicopee. Though it is a restaurant the Food is well prepared and the staff are local residents who give the place a hometown feel. Nice local place to get a bite to eat, have a drink with friends or to just unwind after a long trip or hard day at work.
Rafters Sports Bar and Restaurant Located in Amherst near the college it is a great place to sit and enjoy some wings over a couple cool draft beers.
JP’S Restaurant located on Whiting Farms Rd in Holyoke, MA. JP’s has a restaurant dining side and a sports bar with Keno side. The both side generally have good food and reasonable prices. The atmosphere in the sports bar side was very comfortable and enjoyable with the company of friends.
Buffalo Wild Wings, Chicopee: The atmosphere is open and sports oriented. The beer is over priced and the bar staff is generally preoccupied not attendant to the bar customer needs. Overall its not the worst place to eat but for wings and a beer you can do a lot better at any local establishment in the Pioneer Valley Region.