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Help with the Patriots game this Sunday

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I am a Patriots fan from NY going to Gillette for the first time with my 7 year old son (a rite of passage for both of us). We are staying at Boston hotel Saturday night and then driving down to Gillette for the 4pm game. I have heard that driving down there and parking can be a nightmare, so we were thinking aobut leaving early from Boston (before noon) and trying to eat somewhere down there so we could hang out at the stadium, Patriots Place, etc. The best thing I could think of was to go to Davios at Patriot Place at noon (my son loves pasta), but I read somewhat negative reviews here of the place (I think someone referred to their bolognese as "slop"). Not sure if there are any other viable options but wanted to check with you all. We are also driving south after the game at night, so we might need a good dinner place either near the stadium or short drive to the south (maybe towards Providence?). THanks for your help

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  1. Patriot Place is a big mall, but you could do a lot worse than the Italian fare at Davio's, which also does good steaks and chops. The other place I've found decent there is Tastings, a wine-bar kind of concept with New American food. But both are pretty expensive.

    If you didn't have to drive back that night, and depending on where you're staying (ideally, near South Station or Back Bay Station), you might find taking the train a bit more civilized than sitting in traffic: http://www.mbta.com/riding_the_t/patr... On game days, I prefer a big lunch somewhere good in town, or a picnic lunch packed from Salumeria Italiana or South End Formaggio for eating on the train or in the parking lot.

    You'll want to solicit suggestions from the Southern New England board for Providence: it's a good little restaurant city these days.

    http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

    2 Replies
    1. re: MC Slim JB

      Ha MC! I was just going to say the same thing about packing a great picnic lunch from Formaggio and having a "tailgate" lunch as that would be the niciest option.

      1. re: MC Slim JB

        Beware of the train, it leaves 2 hours before the game but has been known to barely get people into their seats by kickoff. I was going to try it last weekend but read it's far from ideal, especially if you want to enjoy the atmosphere before the game. I was looking at what people thought on patsfans.com if you want to do some additional research.

      2. Getting to Foxboro early is a good idea. Davio's will be fine, better than what you'll get inside the stadium. Dinner in Providence is also a good idea, but be prepared for the traffic jam when you leave. It can take an hour or more just to get out of the parking lot (which you'll pay through the nose for). So for a 4:30 game, figure you'll be leaving around 8. Maybe you'll get to RI at 9, if you're lucky. By that time, you won't need a reservation wherever you decide to eat. The bigger issue will be finding a place that serves late if you don't get there until 10, which might happen.

        1 Reply
        1. re: katzzz

          I have friends who take something called the Bowl Bus to Gillette Stadium - I think they even have tailgate parties on the bus - not exactly sure what it is but I've emailed them to find out more.

        2. If you leave before noon, you will have absolutely no trouble getting there well before the game. I recently tailgated at a 4pm game - left Boston around 12:30 and was parked a little after 2, so figure double time from a google maps estimate.

          To me, parking is no more a nightmare than any other large venue - with my relatively late arrival earlier this year, I was way in the back of one of the main lots across the street, and I got out after the game within 30 minutes. It was surprisingly quick. Another 30 minutes slogging up Rt. 1 and once you get back on 95, you're moving fine.

          In other words, don't worry about it. You'll be with your son, so it's all quality time.

          I would skip the mall and bring food for a tailgate if at all possible. That's all part of the experience.

          Consider stopping at DJ's Deli in South Boston, right off 93 South - http://www.yelp.com/biz/d-and-j-marke... - wicked cheap kielbasa sandwiches.

          1. Restaurants there can get full, but there are lots of options.. my sister in law loves Tastings, but maybe a bit formal for a 7 year old. Tavolino is Italian - they do pizza and pasta as well.

            As for after, there's a Mexican place on Rt 1 on the right side heading south in Plainville, I think - a mile or two past the 495 loop. That might be a safe bet for a later meal. Or the Chieftain in that same area - more a pub, but a decent food menu..

            1. Also, give yourself time to get through the gate/ticket scan/patdown. The closer you get to gametime, the more mobbed that is. You'll also find the bathrooms mobbed inside - plan to go early, or in the middle of a quarter.

              1 Reply
              1. re: okra

                They seem to have opened more gates this year (at least on the north side of the stadium), so getting in is much quicker, even right at kickoff.

              2. Save the really great meal for Providence. Go to the Federal Hill area for Italian. This is about the game experience. Go to CBS Zone or experience (I forget what they call it) and have a beer and burger...your son will love it.. There is a nature trail (cranberry bog) near the Bass Pro Shop if you get there early and need to kill some time. The picnic lunch goes well with that theme.

                1. Since you want Italian, surprised that Tavolino's hasn't been mentioned... which is located in Patriot's Place. Davios is more upscale but this will fit the bill perfectly. It's great before an event at the stadium. My son, 9, looks forward to it and I guarantee your son will love it. There will be a long wait at any place in Patriot's Place. Just checked, and you can book a table for 2 on Open Table there right now. I'd do that, you can always cancel if something else comes up that's better (but trust me, this is your best bet) and then cruise around till game time. Without a reservation you'll be in trouble. Oh yeah, go Pats!

                  1. You could also do a burger at FIVEGUYS (right in the mall next to the stadium). Your son may prefer that over a formal restaurant. Also there is an Olive Garden in the southern end of the Gillette shops - -next to Bass Pro Shops. You could also time it to go very early and take in a movie (again right next to stadium) and even get food there.
                    GO PATS!

                    11 Replies
                    1. re: davefoxdad

                      Olive Garden? Can't imagine you could do worse. I'd rather eat a $9 three day old hot dog in the stadium myself.

                      1. re: CapeCodGuy

                        Thanks for all the help. Will stick with davios and be prepared for lots of quality time on the drive down (until he falls asleep). Go pats.

                        1. re: BillyBob

                          Leaving early as in noon is good advice. Park and eat at patriots place whether it be Davios, five guys or olive garden. Driving past the stadium to providence is something I would not do on game day.
                          I've never heard anyone almost missing kick off due to a late train. If you want to eat lunch in Boston and use the train, that's a good option. Only buy the tix in the morning.

                          1. re: libertywharf

                            A good option if you want to absorb zero of the game day experience.

                            1. re: rknrll

                              Leaving the driving to someone else when going to foxboro has its advantages Getting out of gillette can take up to three hours. I only go for the game so the train works out well.

                              1. re: libertywharf

                                That's just plain bad info. Getting out of Gillette can take up to three hours for concerts when everyone gets out at the same time. I have never experienced or heard of anyone else taking three hours after a football game unless they fired up the grill again after the game.

                                1. re: Gabatta

                                  Taking the train from Boston is especially bad advice when the OP stated that they were continuing on south to Providence after the game.
                                  Billybob: Davios will be just fine. It's not off the charts but it is perfectly fine for a pre-game lunch. Let us know how you liked it.

                                  1. re: LockerNumber28

                                    I agree. You could do a lot worse than Davios. It's fine. I also like CBS. It might be more enjoyable for your son with old tv shows even being available on a monitor at each table . The restaurant overall has a theme that is interesting the first time there. Despite what some opinions are, the food there is pretty good. Some of the best fries I've had. If you don't eat there, it would be interesting to go in and take a peek at it to see the theme/decor.

                                    1. re: catsmeow

                                      LOL...the game was last Sunday. But perhaps your rec will be noted for any possible future visits or by someone else.

                                    2. re: LockerNumber28

                                      Thanks for all your help. We left Boston around 1130 and arrived in foxboro at noon. With the late start for the game, we waited for about 15 minutes literally on route 1 waiting for the lots to open, but that was ok. The tailgating looked like a ton of fun, although things looked like that might get a little sloppy later on. Davios hit the spot, and I think the comments here were spot on. We could have done much worse. My son, who is 7, did raise a few eyebrows by ordering steak tartare (it was unfortunate because he loves carpaccio but this came out tasting more like mayonnaise than anything else) and then following up with a plate of pasta and then tuna steak (he asked for it raw but they ended up searing it - probably was for the best all around). I had a respectable fusill with shrimp and a decent steak. Broccoli rave was a little disappointing but I've yet to find a restaurant who gets it right (although I do keep trying because when it is done right it is ethereal). Since the game was a blowout (go Pats), we left a little early had absolutely no traffic getting out and stopped at pepe's for a pizza on the way back to brooklyn. Thanks again. I hope I can return the favor the next time the Pats come down and kick the poor helpless and ridiculous jets around (they just did that on thanksgiving ) and you all need some recs down here. Cheers.

                                      1. re: BillyBob

                                        Glad you had a good time. Wow, you have a real foodie in the making... a 7 year old that orders Steak Tartare and prefers his tuna raw! Nice...