The Second Generation


November 17th, 2022

Welcome to the Steaming Tender Restaurant located in Palmer, MA also known as the Town of Seven Railroads. The building was purchased by Blake and Robin Lamothe in 1987 and opened as the restaurant in 2004. During the 17-year restoration project they had two daughters, Scarlet and Linea Lamothe, who are still involved in the day to day operations you see here today.

The Steaming Tender is my second home – literally! I was born in 2002 right before the restaurant opened in 2004. When I was about 7 years old, I was helping the servers bussing & cleaning tables. Once I got older, I attended a global private school from sixth to twelfth grade, which took up a lot of my time – with sports, academics, & extra circulator activities. I was able to make relationships with people all over the world, take entrepreneurship classes, find out what I wanted to do before I graduated high school. Since I was graduating high school during the pandemic in 2020, it made me think harder of what I wanted to do. My parents are my role models. They introduced to me a ‘no-quit’ attitude and to never give up. My parents have been perfect ‘cheerleaders’, keeping me motivated to pursue my career with the family businesses. I can see my parents & sister every day and do what I love.

Whenever someone tells you how they have been super busy with work, we automatically interpret this as being a bad thing. No one associates work with sunshine, love, happiness, or any positive feelings. These past few years, the word “work” has had such a negative meaning behind it. Some people dread on going to “work”. In the song ‘Vacation’ by Dirty Heads …“I’m on vacation. Every single day ’cause I love my occupation”, is the true meaning on how I feel. At the Steaming Tender, we are one big family, known as “The Tender Fam”. Every single day, I can establish new goals, laugh, smile, create new memories, build connections with guests who dine here & invest in the future of “Lamothe Block”. My next goal is to open a Café to bring people together, build relationships, all while being in a relaxing environment. I am hoping to serve specialty coffees, juices, smoothies & to open late night for specialty craft cocktails.

I was nine years old when we opened the Steaming Tender Restaurant. I remember painting picnic tables, practicing on the front register, and doing anything I could before opening day on July 17th, 2004. We first began as walk – up service with tables outside. All orders were placed at the ticket window and I would call the orders over the loud speaker, for example, “Order 29 is now ready for departure”, which was one of my favorite memories!

Overtime the original waiting room was cleared and restored for indoor dining. My parents were always restoring and expanding to beautify the building and the surrounding area. I am grateful to have been involved in the changes over the years. I worked at the restaurant all throughout high school and college starting in every position imaginable. During my years at Western New England University, I took some time to focus on my studies and had the opportunity to study abroad. I spent six months studying abroad in Lille, France and had the chance to travel to nine other countries in Europe, The U.K. and Africa. The cultural experiences were eye opening, and the means of travel was such an ease. When I returned home, I joined the International Club at my school to help them experience American culture and its history. The number one issue was getting a group of people from one location to another. The simplicity of travel over in Europe was so easy to maneuver from one place to another whether it be from city to city or from one country to another. My goal is to make public transportation in across our state more accessible. My father has been working on restoring passenger rail services for the past thirty years and
I am trying to do the same. I have worked alongside Senator Eric Lesser to restore passenger service to Massachusetts through his West – East Rail project. Palmer is listed as a rail stop in the initiative and we hope to make it a reality.


The Lamothe Family & Steaming Tender Crew

Rally For Rail


September 2nd, 2022

All good things take time. Four months ago, we hosted our first Artisan Emporium. Two months ago, we had celebrated 18 years as the Steaming Tender Restaurant. One month ago, we hosted our second Rally for Rail event.

Time goes by fast and in order to accomplish something correctly, it need not be rushed, but should be completed both accurately and in a timely manner. This holds true for many circumstances throughout the past weeks, months, and even years.

Adjacent to the Steaming Tender Restaurant, sits a Railroad Park. This Park was designed by world renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. His most famous work is Central Park in New York City. Palmer Union Station and it’s park was built in 1884. The Railroad Park was once filled with gardens and a water feature under the grotto. The Lamothe’s acquired the park in 2008 and are slowly restoring the grounds. A lot of restoration has gone underway already in exposing the grotto, brick sidewalks, granite curbing and lush grass. The Railroad Park will be named “Passenger Park”, based on Fredrick Law Olmsted’s vision of creating recreational spaces for people to enjoy and connect with nature, away from the hustle and bustle of the cities. Palmer Union Station was built at the peak of the Second Industrial Revolution when the town became known as the Town of the Seven Railroads. Olmsted’s Park was built for the passengers of the Palmer Union Station, hence the name “Passenger Park”.

The goal for the Lamothe’s was to restore the Palmer Union Station to its former glory. They first purchased the building in 1987 and then opened it as the Steaming Tender Restaurant in 2004. The long-term goal for the restoration project, and for Palmer, was to bring back rail passenger service. The dedication and passion for Palmer and its community can not only be seen in the buildings that have been restored by the Lamothe’s but also in the community that have hopped on board in restoring the town into a beautiful place to live and enjoy. Over the past couple years, we have seen new businesses open on Main Street in downtown, some being Angel’s 1376 Palmer Restaurant, Salt Spa Therapy, Bina’s Boutique, and Figlio’s, Restaurant… just to name a few. This is only the start of what’s to come.

In late August, the Rally for Rail event was hosted by Senator Eric Lesser, who is running for Lieutenant Governor, Senator Anne Gobi, and Scarlet Lamothe. Senator Lesser proposed the East-West Rail bill approximately 10 years ago, and about 6 years ago, Scarlet Lamothe worked with Lesser as an intern. The Rally for Rail event was held in the support of returning passenger rail to Palmer, once again, after 50 years. The push for the return of passenger service has been over 30 years in the making, and we must keep on pushing, as we are now closer than ever. The Rally for Rail event had an excellent turnout and an enormous amount of support. What can you do to contribute to the economic revival and return of passenger service to Palmer and its region? Sign our petition at the front ticket office, show up to events, write a letter or email to congress, talk to your friends and family about rail, and vote! Become part of the history that is in the making!


The Lamothe Family & Steaming Tender Crew

Celebrating 18 Years


July 12th, 2022

On July 17th, 2022, we will be celebrating our 18th anniversary at the Steaming Tender Restaurant. Throughout the 18 years this restaurant has evolved in many ways. Let us take a stroll back in time…
to the year 1987.

A young 24-year-old man by the name of Blake Lamothe came to Palmer to visit a gentleman named Nelson Pease. Mr. Pease had a collection of antique car parts that Mr. Lamothe was in the market for. Traveling from Spencer, MA, Mr. Lamothe picked up the part he needed for his 1928 Ford Model A, and on his way out of Palmer, MA. Mr. Lamothe did a bit of exploring of the town and stumbled upon the Palmer Union Station.
Off Main Street and South Main Street of downtown Palmer was a dirt road, Depot Street. Driving down a dirt road gave Mr. Lamothe a sense of curiosity and adventure. At the end of the street was this large architectural building nestled between the tracks and the rolling hills. The large granite stones, archways and enormous doorways were showstoppers. Mr. Lamothe approached the building and saw the “for sale” sign and immediately contacted the realtor.

Celebrating 18 years

Back in 1987 the station was known as Bruno’s Pool Hall which consisted of pool tables, a small bar, donut shop, judo studio, and an auto shop in the front. The potential for restoration was there but the process was going to take some time. At such a young age, Mr. Lamothe took the project on. At that time, he was dating a young women named Robin who would help him generate some cash to put towards restoration by buying and selling antiques. The walls had to be stripped of paint, floorboards replaced, canopy restored, roof needed repairs and the list goes on. The vision was to restore the building to its former glory and turn it into a restaurant for others to enjoy.

After 17 years of restoration, the Steaming Tender Restaurant was opened on July 17th, 2004. The beginning of the restaurant was a take-out service with dining outside under the canopy and antiques for sale in what is now the main dining room. Slowly, the antiques were moved up to Antique Junction, 1294 South Main Street, to have seating inside the original “Waiting Room”. There are still numerous projects to complete however, all good things take time.

Photo Above: Blake & Robin Lamothe at Blake’s 30th Birthday

Over the years, the restaurant has evolved in terms of function, food, staff, and antiques. One thing that has remained consistent is family. Scarlet and Linea, daughters of Robin and Blake Lamothe are involved in the daily operations and future growth of the company. Over the years, the results you see today wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for the team we have and had over the years. Our staff and guests’ inputs are just as crucial to achieving the success and future successes of the Steaming Tender. Our vision is to have our guests take in the rich history, railroad memorabilia, delicious food and provide a one-of-a-kind experience as the trains still come rumbling through…and someday will stop here for passenger service.


The Lamothe Family & Steaming Tender Crew

R & R


June 10th, 2022

Summer is here. The sun shines a little longer each day. The bees are working diligently, pollinating the flowers in bloom. The wind is rustling the leaves and people are making the most of the summer, planning their next destination.
From June 23rd to June 26th the Steaming Tender Restaurant will be closed for kitchen maintenance. This is a great opportunity for our staff to get away for a bit, to enjoy time with family and friends. Beach trips are being arranged, home renovations are underway, family dinner parties are being prepared, along with some much need R&R – that is what’s on the calendar for that week.
In railway terminology, R&R stands for “railroad”. However, the type of R&R our staff is looking forward to is “rest and recreation”. The restaurant industry is a fast-paced environment and it’s important to take a break and recoup from time to time. We apologize if this may interrupt any plans of visiting us during our week of kitchen maintenance, but we look forward to welcoming you back upon re-opening!

Our priority is and forever will be our guests. Not only is R&R important for our staff, but it is also essential for our guests. With that being said, the Steaming Tender would like to formally invite you to “Yoga in the Park”. We have paired up with Celestial Phases in Monson, MA to welcome you to a night of rejuvenation and fun, taking place in Passenger Park, adjacent to the restaurant, on Thursday, July 21st starting at 6 o’clock in the evening. Following an hour of renewal and relaxation in the park, also included will be a sampling of three specialty cocktails to enjoy under the cobblestone canopy. This two-hour event is $30 per person or $50 for the purchase of two tickets. We hope you can come enjoy some much-needed R&R with us!

Through some extensive R&D, we have created dishes using local produce, as well as fresh herbs and vegetables grown on site. Patrick O’Donnell, nephew to Robin and Blake, has been packing in the flavor in the many dishes you enjoy. The Steaming Tender Restaurant is just a mere two years younger than Patrick and he has formed quite a relationship with the establishment. Not only has he seen the changes over the past years, but he has part taken in the future growth here at the Steaming Tender.

Stay up to date with events, live music, and things to do in the surrounding areas on our newly launched website! We have professional drone footage, brought to us by Pioneer Valley Aerials, which will be released mid-June. We are always looking to explore new, creative ways to express the rich history, railroad memorabilia and Americana cuisine into a digitized format.

Share your content and experience here at the Steaming Tender on social media and tag us @steamingtenderand we may feature your post!


The Lamothe Family & Steaming Tender Crew



May 5th, 2022

One could take May Day as a call of distress in a situation. We will not ignore that our world is in the mist of turmoil. With all the daily events that occur across the globe… it is difficult to keep up with latest news. Is this news a necessity to us? Yes… to a degree. The most important events and occurrences that are happening around the globe are the ones happening in your life.
The first day of May, is also known as May Day. Not a call for distress but a celebration of fertile crops and agriculture. In order to “bring in the May” people would gather in the common around a tree or a Maypole. Communities would compete with the tallest Maypole in land. Children danced and wrapped the Maypole with ribbon and woman would bring flowers and greenery to create floral hoops and rings. The celebration of May Day was popular during the 19th and 20th centuries and something we would like to bring back!
Today we may not celebrate “May Day”, but we do see more agriculture appreciation throughout New England. On May 1st, 2022, Lamothe Block hosted the Artisan Emporium on Passenger Park, a Fredrick Law Olmsted Park, adjacent to the Steaming Tender Restaurant. With over twenty-five local vendors selling art, pottery, vintage items, clay works, and so much more… it was an overall successful day for everyone! More Artisan Emporiums are to come, along with the Brimfield Flea market, which is the second week of May. The Brimfield Flea market is one of largest flea markets is in the United States, just a 10 – minute drive from here! During Brimfield week we will have live music every day. To stay up to date with local excursions, live music, and events, check out the Steaming Tender website.
There were many inspirations behind the Artisan Emporium. Family, friends, experiences, and one very well-known artist, Vincent Van Gogh. Across the United States, the exhibit of the “Immersive Experience” is bringing art to life. The mobile art exhibit has a stationary biography room about the artist and then an interactive experience. Following the knowledge gained from the biography room, the visual and moving art tells the story through the artist’s work. The Van Gogh Experience is one we highly recommended. During his lifetime, he sold two paintings. He created just over two thousand pieces of art. He committed suicide in 1890 and in 1990 Vincent Van Gogh’s painting sold for the price of $75 million. His words and his paintings have become such a treasure today.
The works of artists today are true treasures. They need to be appreciated now. A smile, a thank you, a compliment, a token of gratitude are all ways to show your appreciation to others. With Mother’s Day just around the corner, we’d like to give a special shout out to the guests that are mothers and our employees. To our wonderful mothers here at the Steaming Tender… Ciera, Claire, Heather, Jennifer, Jenny, Jessica, Karen, Pam, Sara, Sue, and Robin, we appreciate you!


The Lamothe Family & Steaming Tender Crew



April 1, 2022

As we enter a new month, it feels like the three o’clock Amtrak train has just gone by! Time sure does fly!
There is no correct dictionary definition that describes time. Time is of the essence. Time doesn’t stop.
Time is different for every individual and passerby. In this past month, we have spent our time creating new places to be and things to see!

Palmer once and still is a bustling town. Known as the Town of Seven Railroads, we were the transportation hub. Still today, there are trains passing by daily. As you make your way to Palmer, the bridge you drove over was most likely over a railroad track and not a river. The bump in the road was a railroad track… but also maybe a pothole or two. No matter the hurdles, most roads lead to Palmer we say. Stretching across the United States is Route 20 that makes its way through town. Other major links includes Route 32 and Interstate 91, the MassPike. With its many crossroads, Palmer is a great place to bring people together.

As you make your journey down the dirt road to the Steaming Tender Restaurant, on the left, lies an open green space, known as Olmsted Park. Olmsted Park was designed by world renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, his most famous work being Central Park in New York City, when Palmer Union Station was built in 1884. The Park was once filled with gardens and a water feature under the grotto. A lot of restoration has gone underway already in exposing the grotto, brick sidewalks, granite curbing and lush grass.

On May 1st, Lamothe Block will be hosting an Artisan Emporium, where small businesses and artisans can sell their on-of-a-kind items to people near and far! We will be proposing more events in the future on this historic site, which we wish to bring to life! All vendor fees go directly towards the restoration progress of the Historic Olmsted Park.

The Lamothe Family and Steaming Tender staff would like to give recognition to Heather as our Employee of the Month. As you view her in her overall attire greeting guests and being attentive to your whole experience here, she has contributed to the vision and growth of other developments. Heather joined our team in late October of 2021 and has hopped on the train full speed ahead! With guests constantly impressed with her historical knowledge, what you may not know about Heather is that she is s jack of all trades.

During her days off from working at the Steaming Tender Restaurant, Heather has been painting, cleaning, staining, organizing, and so much more not only at the restaurant but at our newly revamped Antique Junction. She contributes to bringing a vision to life!

Antique Junction, 1294 South Main Street, is located straight after the restaurants private drive, second building on the right. For the past month, Antique Junction has been under renovations and modernizations. Before Blake and Robin Lamothe opened the Steaming Tender Restaurant in 2004, they both were in the antique business … and still are today! With some fresh and young input from their daughters, they have brought new life to Antique Junction. Come find your piece of history or item to add to your collection. New items are inventoried daily!


The Lamothe Family & Steaming Tender Crew



We have news for you! The Lamothe Family and the Steaming Tender staff are excited to share our current developments, turning events, outstanding persons and future endeavors here!

We are excited to launch our leatherbound menu to folks dining with us today. Just before the pandemic struck our nation, we made an investment into the hardcover you are holding before your eyes. A week into launching… they were stowed away, and for the past two years have been stored in the hammered coppered trunk you possibly passed in the front foyer. The menu’s design was based on a collaboration of the architecture and antiquity you see throughout the building. The dark leather mimics the waiting bench in the front foyer, the brass tacking represents the studded luggage and trunks that were used for heavy travel and the engraved wooden logo matches the red oak you see climbing up the thirty-five-foot high ceilings.

March 2, 2022

As you look around the open space and take in the architectural details that captivate the place where you sit, there are many people passing through. There are familiar faces, new faces, and some you may remember but do not see. This past year, our long time Conductor of the Steaming Tender Restaurant, Jennifer M., has achieved her dream of becoming a second-grade teacher. She still makes stops in to ensure we stay in line. In pinstriped attire we have Jennifer L. and Dara, who have made lasting impressions on patrons and continuously contribute to the evolving events and concepts you see in the day-to-day operations. We also have many new people who have come on board within the last year that have made such a positive impact. In the front of the house, we have many new servers – Chido, who has a personality and professionalism that shines and Isabella, who has taken the time to learn the art of serving in just a short amount of time. Other faces you may not see often are working hard to get your meals prepared with passion and flavor and are the true showstoppers. Mike S. joined our team from MGM Springfield and has incorporated great flavors and spice in the dishes you enjoy. Patrick O. has learned each station and has created many specials you hear recited today. Kevin G. is fast paced and lends a helping hand wherever it is needed. Any day of the week you will see a Lamothe here on the premises, whether it be upfront greeting guests, prepping for an event, or in the kitchen executing food, we are always here or there.
The Steaming Tender Restaurant and its heritage is something everyone here takes pride in; from the history and antiques, to the food, service, and knowledge. The Steaming Tender Restaurant is not the only place to check out when visiting the area. The Lamothe’s have expanded the adventure to the Trainmaster Inn, which is within walking distance. Once the town Livery, it is now a gorgeous Inn, full of art for those who enjoy small town history, and all things rail-related! To continue the journey along the rails, we opened our authentic 1947 Bangor & Aroostook Caboose for overnight accommodations. Sitting above an active railroad yard, you will feel like you are living the engineer life, with original four bunk beds, full bathroom, and kitchen. The cupola has a bird’s eye view to make sure all is well in the rail yard… but being a railroad supervisor, you will need a break to enjoy a S’more or two, which is provided by the outdoor campfire! With a two-night minimum stay required, you can inquiry at the front desk or call!

Warm weather is around the corner, and we have plans for you! Live music under our canopy, almost every weekend… Artisan fairs, farmers markets & Christmas markets on Olmstead Park. A Beer and Wine Trolley tour throughout Western Massachusetts beginning right here on the premises of Lamothe Block, in Palmer, Mass. Stay right on track with all our latest event and updates through our website and by following us on Facebook!


The Lamothe Family & Steaming Tender Crew

Name Plaque

Order a customized Name Plaque for your Rail Fan to be displayed on one of our oak chairs at the Steaming Tender! Upon advanced notification, we will have it placed at your table while you dine with us. Please call the restaurant at 413-283-2744 or visit our contact page to order.

Name plaque for Real Railroad Fans!

Whiskey Bread Pudding

Graphic showing a recipe for Whiskey Bread Pudding.

Serving Size: ½ Pan (8 to 10 ppl.)
Full Pan (12 to 15 ppl.)
Baking Your Whiskey Bread Pudding at Home

Convection Oven Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place bread pudding into oven on middle rack.
  3. Bake for 40-45 minutes for full pan, 35 minutes for half pan, or until internal thermometer reaches 165 degrees.
  4. Fully cooked bread pudding will be noticeably inflated, “puffed up”.
  5. Allow to cool for 15 minutes uncovered for slicing and saucing.

 Standard Oven Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place bread pudding into oven on middle rack.
  3. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes for full pan, 45 minutes for half pan, or until internal thermometer reaches 165 degrees.
  4. Fully cooked bread pudding will be noticeably inflated, “puffed up”.
  5. Allow to cool for 15 minutes uncovered for slicing and saucing.

Notes: Bake-at-home bread puddings are not pre-sauced, you will receive your sauce on the side to add to your bread pudding once it is cooked and sliced. All bake-at-home bread puddings come covered with plastic wrap and foil for baking.

The plastic wrap is tightly wrapped under the foil to allow for even cooking and must be left under the foil the plastic may melt around the edges of the pan, this is normal and can be removed when cooled.

Reheating Whiskey Sauce for Bread Pudding

Our bread pudding would be nothing without the signature whiskey butter sauce on top! To reheat your side of sauce, heat a small pot on the stove over medium-low heat.

The sauce will be a hard in the takeout container: using a spoon or spatula, scoop out the sauce and carefully place it in heated pot. Whisk or stir sauce constantly until butter and sugar are no longer separated and sugar is melted. Try a small sample before serving to ensure all the sugar is melted and your sauce is ready to amaze your guests!