Amherst Responds To Local Icon J Mascis Saying All Its Restaurants Suck

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To promote his new solo album What Do We Do Now, J Mascis appeared on an episode of the How Long Gone podcast with Chris Black and Jason Stewart, and the Dinosaur Jr. frontman upset a lot of Western Massachusetts residents by disparaging the Amherst dining scene.

“There’s not one good restaurant around,” said Mascis, who was born in and resides in Amherst. “It’s a weird thing. It’s a vortex for food.”

“The pizza’s okay but it’s overly college — you know you can get chicken cordon bleu pizza, tortellinis on a pizza,” he said, likely referring to Antonio’s Pizza on N Pleasant Street.

Asked if there’s not even one “faux nice restaurant that feels like a country club,” Mascis replied that “of course there are restaurants, but they’re all horrible… I’ve traveled everywhere and this is like the worst food anywhere pretty much.”

As far as his go-to eating establishments, Mascis said on the podcast that he likes Thai or Vietnamese. He also offered that a New England lobster roll is probably his favorite food.

In response, the Amherst Business Improvement District has already launched a 10-week campaign called “Take a Dino to Dinner” to mitigate the city’s reputation, Amherst Bulletin points out. Diners are encouraged to grab a toy dinosaur at the Visitor Information Center before heading to any downtown restaurant.

“Downtown Amherst has some of the best food, most authentic global dining and remarkable restaurants, even if they don’t tend toward fancy,” Executive Director Gabrielle Gould said. She’s also working to disprove Mascis’ claim that there are no good Vietnamese and Thai restaurants. The town’s social media campaign has been using the hashtag #provejwrong. However, Gould clarified that she has nothing against Mascis.

“Let’s have fun, support our small businesses and enjoy the incredible food we are so very lucky to have in downtown Amherst,” she said.