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Post-Marathon meal between Boston and Northeast suburbs

Hello Boston Chowhounders -
My wife and I will be up in your fine city for the marathon next week.
The evening after the marathon, we're hoping on meeting up with some relatives for dinner, and were wondering if people had any advice on a place to meet up.
Here are the kinda complicated requirements:
-we'll be staying at a hotel near the finish.
-My relatives live NE of Boston, I think in the Peabody/Salem vicinity. Not surprisingly, they don't want to drive into central Boston the evening of the Marathon, w/a Red Sox home game going on as well.
-we won't have a car. we wouldn't mind taking some form of public transportation out of Boston, be it the T or, if it isn't too expensive/complicated, a taxi, BUT we do not want to have to walk down any staircases. That part is key: no walking down staircases. Escalators are fine, walking up staircases is ok, but from past experiences it's going down that hurts.

Yes, this is all rather random and surely a bit picky, but if anyone does have advice, I'm all ears.

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  1. I could be wrong, I've never run Boston before (until this year!), but I think access to the city will be easy by dinner time. You'll just have run 26.2 miles. Make them come to you! (I have reservations at Island Creek Oyster Bar for my post-marathon dinner.)

    3 Replies
    1. re: Blumie

      I had an older relative take the commuter rail north and she said it was pleasant, although I haven't done it myself. I think she took a cab to North station and then the train was easy. Do they have good taste because maybe they can suggest where they like to go right on the train line. I know we met in Wakefield and it worked well.

      1. re: chompie

        Bob Loblaw / Charles, I thought about this post this afternoon and felt so sad. The thought of your relatives feeling uncomfortable about coming into city events has such ramifications now. Hope you were able to be in contact with them and that all of your are safe and sound...

    2. The Sox play at 11 am that day, so it won't have any impact of dinner-hour travel. If your relatives are really opposed to driving, couldn't they be the ones to take the train?

      1. It would help if you knew how far they were willing to drive. This matters because if they want to stay close to home, then you will have to use the commuter rail...if they are willing to drive to places like Revere, Malden or Cambridge..then you have more public transportation options..but of the three I am only familiar with the Malden T Station and there are stair and an elevator. I am guessing that most of the T stations are handicap accessible so you will be able to manage.
        If they want to stay closer to home, you can take the commuter rail to Salem. There are a few stairs to get into North Station..but nothing significant. If you go this route have them pick you up at Salem station, otherwise you will be climbing stairs to get to the downtown area.
        It would really be better if you had the logistics of where your relatives are willing to travel so that you can get better recommendations.

        1. Here's a good chart of handicapped accessible stations on the commuter rail: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newburyp...

          If are going further than Salem, the line splits off, and trains go alternately to Newburyport or Rockport. I just checked the MBTA website,and even though it's a holiday, trains will be running on a regular schedule.

          Here's a CH link for faves on the North Shore:

          Some may be closed on Mondays(62 Wharf in Salem.
          )5 Corners in Marblehead gets consistent raves, and is open on Mondays according to their website.

          1. Thanks to all for the feedback, and esp. the list of handicapped-accessible stations!
            I'm going to try to get them to come into Boston, esp. if the game starts at 11. We shall see...

            1. bob,we live just north of boston and from experience, Boston is a relative mob scene the day and eve of the Marathon.
              Major booked restaurants/ major traffic/ major people everywhere. And suburbanites, if they don't work in the city, can be very Boston-phobic unless they are real foodies.

              I'm going to advise that you meet them somewhere out of the fray- even Camb. would be better than Boston. I don't know what their food tastes are, or yours, but my first thought is that you meet them just outside of Harv Sq., in Watertown, and go to a very popular (and CH raved) spot called, incongruously, Strip T's (it's a long story.) Here is the very long thread on it.

              (In going to Strip T's, your relatives would be driving on highways except for a 10 minute stretch through a quiet suburb, so no mobs to battle.


              They might be booked alrdy but can't hurt to try for a 5pm reservation.Try calling them 3pm timeframe when they're not nuts over lunch or dinner. Ask for Juin. 7 minute cab ride for you from harv sq , and your relatives can drive in via rt 128 to rt 93 So. to rt 16 west. Strip T's is about 30 minutes from the 93/128 intersection (which is 20-30 minutes from Salem/Peabody) or about 10 minutes from the Fresh Pond rotary. The food is just terrific, some very adventurous and some trad. Casual, relaxed, great spot. Tiny. But there is one disadvantage. You need to empty your bladder before going because their one bathrm is a long steep flight of stairs down in the basement. I don't know if the adjacent liquor store has a bathrm.

              In Harv Sq itself, Park is excellent and casual, w/ a broad menu, but larger place than the intimate Strip T's.

              Not my business, but I do think they should bend to you. Way too much trouble for you to go near them, particularly that day.

              1. Getting into the city is actually pretty easy on Marathon Monday, especially after 3 or 4. The 100 Clarendon garage in Copley usually has lots of spaces.

                In my experience, in addition to stairs, you want to avoid standing waiting for the T. But if you do take the T wear your finisher medal - they'll usually let you ride for free, even on the commuter rail.

                What kind of meal are you looking for? We generally go for a higher end celebratory dinner. (hey, if you don't deserve to splurge after running 26.2 miles, when do you deserve it?). Sorellina's is right across from the Westin and Lucca Back Bay is on Huntington - Both are both excellent and ground floor places.

                A bit more affordable, Brasserie Jo on Huntington does excellent hearty classic french - very satisfying post Marathon!

                1 Reply
                1. re: honestcuisine

                  Thanks - we're leaning against splurging, post-marathon. Our theory is that in that state, we'll either enjoy anything or we'll enjoy nothing. But thanks for the tips - both for the restaurants, and for wearing our medals on the T!

                  For those who think we should make my relatives come into Boston... it's not like I disagree, but A) they clearly are very intimidated by the process, and B) my wife and I aren't young, and they're a full generation older.

                  Right now, things are in a play-it-by-ear state, if it does turn out that traffic is really clear in the late afternoon, I suspect that they'll make their way in.

                2. Dante in Cambridge at Sonesta Hotel. Nice river view of Boston, easy cab ride for you, right off 93 or 1 for them.

                  1. Hello All,
                    For obvious reasons, my relatives didn't come into Boston after the marathon and we didn't venture out of Boston.
                    We are all fine. We'd finished well before the explosion, and were back in our hotels when the bombs went off.

                    We had a great time at the marathon. By that I mean, by the time we'd gotten back to the hotel, but before we'd learned about the attack, we were talking about how much fun the whole thing had been. The logistics were crazy, and getting up that early for a 10am race isn't ideal, but it was really touching how completely the region devotes itself to the race.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Bob Loblaw

                      Thank you SO MUCH for checking back in. It's good to hear that you & yours stayed safe.

                      1. re: Allstonian

                        Ditto...a very sad time right now.

                      2. re: Bob Loblaw

                        so glad you experienced the joy of the marathon and its sense of community of spectators being fully engaged in and cheering on and celebrating the participants.

                        1. re: Bellachefa

                          I'd say I'd be back next year...
                          but i ran too slow and didn't requalify!