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Bushel 'N Peck opens Grafton store.

Byline: Barbara M. Houle


Michael Bartosiewicz of Grafton opened the doors to the new Bushel 'N Peck, 8 Worcester St., Grafton, in January, and from all reports the business already is going gangbusters.

This isn't Bartosiewicz's first venture into the deli business. He has been in the food industry for 30 years and owns two Worcester Bushel 'N Peck deli locations at 643 Chandler St. and 17 E. Mountain St., or as he likes to say, "Tatnuck Square and The Summit."

Bartosiewicz at one time worked for the Department of Revenue, but "grew up" in the restaurant business, starting out at a deli in high school.

He worked with his father, John Bartosiewicz, who owned and operated the Blue Belle Diner in Worcester. I am sure the place conjures up a lot of memories for folks who ate there.

FYI: The Blue Belle has been uprooted through the years and the restored version is now Dinky's Blue Belle Diner in Shrewsbury, owned and operated by Bruce Trotto.

Bartosiewicz also worked at Elsa's Bushel 'N Peck in Worcester, which he purchased from the Tom Oliveri family. "I changed the name to Bushel 'N Peck, but we still get telephone calls at the delis asking to speak with Tom,'' said Bartosiewicz, referring to Tom Oliveri Sr. "After eight years, it's crazy."

About the Grafton Bushel 'N Peck: For starters, it offers more than traditional deli food.

Chef Michael Ashley of Grafton dishes out a mix of homemade soups, salads, grilled and sauteed specials, combo sandwiches, wraps and 30-inch grinders in addition to daily specials. Bartosiewicz said gluten-free selections were added to the menu after his wife was diagnosed with celiac disease. Pizza dough, bread, muffins and pies are among gluten-free products sold at the deli.

There also is a section that includes specialty food items, including coffee from Red Barn Coffee Roasters in Upton.

Consumers looking for complete meals will appreciate the chef's lunch and dinner specials. Ashley, who has worked at Peppercorn's Grille & Tavern in Worcester and Prezo Grille & Bar in Milford, prepares lamb shanks, short ribs, baked stuffed sole, chicken Parmesan over pasta and other house specialties such as "fried macaroni and cheese and homemade chili with secret ingredients." The chef also makes a lot of "grab and go" items, including breakfast sandwiches.

During Lent, the Friday Fish Fry is also offered Wednesdays. Look for vegetarian and seafood dishes, too.

Saturdays, a special offer at all Bushel 'N Peck locations is "buy one Italian grinder and get one half price."

Bushel 'N Peck in Grafton is open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays. There is seating for 20 to 25. The restaurant has a lot for parking. Call (508) 799-6305; Visit Catering available.

The business will be among restaurants that will compete in the Chowder Fest at the annual Valley Home & Business Expo, March 2, an event hosted by the Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce and presented by UniBank and Gaudette Insurance.

The expo is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Northbridge High School Field House, 427 Linwood Ave., Whitinsville.

The Chowder Fest competition will be held from noon to 2 p.m. The general public will vote their favorite chowder in the People's Choice Award.

One more thing about the deli: If you like pastrami, try the B&P Pounder Pastrami sandwich, $8.99.

The owner (Bartosiewicz) recommends it.

The annual Game Dinner at the Castle Restaurant in Leicester will begin at 5 p.m. March 3. Reservations are required.

Cost is $98 per person; Hors d'oeuvres, four-course meal and wines.

The featured entree will be Black Buck Antelope filet grilled and served with fresh blackberries and blackberry-game reduction with crumbled Tobias blue cheese.

Call (508) 892-9090 to reserve.

The Rotary Club of Uxbridge will have its rescheduled Wine & Chocolate Tasting from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. March 2 at Blissful Meadows Golf Club in Uxbridge.

Lynch's Riverview Wine and Spirits in Uxbridge will host the annual fundraiser.

Hot and cold hors d'oeuvres, chocolate dessert and confections, wine (10 wine stations), craft beers and spirits will be featured.

Tickets are $30 per person in advance; $35 at the door. Tickets are available at Lunch's Riverview Wine & Spirits. Call (508) 278-5100 for more info. There will be special discounts on wines poured at the event.

Oli's Italian Eatery, 339 W. Boylston St., West Boylston, now has a full liquor license.

Check out the drinks, and the weekly specials!

Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School in Fitchburg will hold its annual Open House from 6 to 8 p.m. March 5. Snow date is March 7.

The general public and prospective students and their families are invited to attend.

A spaghetti and meatball dinner, $3 per person, will be served from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the school cafeteria. Children under 5 can eat free.

Visitors are invited to tour the facilities and see students and faculty working on current projects. Masonry students have as their project a 10-foot by 14-foot replica of an authentic Italian restaurant. The structure features a built-in pizza oven.

Call the school, (978) 345-9200 for more information.

The annual Manischewitz Cook-off contests needs a fifth finalist.

Four finalists already have been chosen to compete in the live Cook-Off contest March 21 in New Jersey for the $25,000 grand prize package.

Five additional entries were selected from thousands of entries to be vote-in contestants for the coveted fifth spot.

To cast your vote for a favorite recipe, visit Voting takes place through Feb. 28.

The International Biscuit Festival 2013 will take place May 15-18 in Knoxville, Tenn.

Applications for The Biscuit Festival Bake Off, May 18, will be accepted through April 22. Four categories of competition: Sweet Biscuits, Savory Biscuits, Special Biscuits and Student Biscuits.

Visit to apply.

The former Piccadilly Pub in Sturbridge is expected to reopen in April with the new name Bentley Pub II.

Owner William C. Martin opened Bentley Pub in Auburn in another former Piccadilly Pub site in July 2012.

Martin founded Piccadilly Pub in Westboro in 1973 and with a co-owner grew the business into a chain of pubs. The owners leased all the Piccadilly pub restaurants to an investment group from Canada, which closed the restaurants in February 2012.

Manager at Bentley Pub II will be Paul Alward, who formerly managed the Sturbridge Piccadilly Pub.

Renovations are ongoing at the Sturbridge location.

Worcester Restaurant Week continues through March 8.

Enjoy a three-course meal for the fixed price of $23.13 at participating restaurants.

If you have a tidbit for this column, call (508) 868-5282. Send email to


CUTLINE: Pictured at the new Bushel 'N Peck at 8 Worcester St., Grafton, are manager Mike Ashley and owner Michael Bartosiewicz.

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Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Feb 28, 2013
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