Courtney Scott-Howard gives Gaslight, a French brasserie at 560 Harrison Ave., good marks for food (and the free parking), but marks it down for the service:
... If your waitress looks like the girl you wished your brother married, ask for a new table.
Well written and thorough review. To help out waiters when splitting a tab, we'll write out the exact amount on the tab that is to be charged to each credit card, specified by the last 4 digits. Cuts down on the confusion. One last thing... you consider the South End up and coming? I believe it has already arrived!
So why is free parking a positive quality of a good restaurant in the South End? Shouldn't we be finding ways to make it easier to bike, walk or take the T there instead of driving a car?
Just asking - cuz, you know, you made it the headline...
like the Beehive, Gaslight is trying to woo the Bridge and Tunnel set... Not sure though, because I know several fellow South Enders who do go to Gaslight.
One is that the author herself made a big deal of it.
But also, as somebody who is as close as you can get to being in the B&T crowd and still live in Boston (there is a bus stop around the corner from us, but the bus runs once an hour), I admit I did find that interesting.
Also, regardless of the social-good issue, you have to admit a place in the South End that offers free parking is unusual. And I like posts about unusual things.
1) The blogger who actually reviewed the restaurant (and whose blog is linked and excerpted above) specifically noted that free and available parking was a plus because she and her two friends were all driving there, not taking the T, biking, or walking.
2) The closest T station is a good 15 minute walk from that very-south-end of the South End (sometimes semi-ironically referred to as SoWa, as in South of Washington Street) -- a long and not-entirely safe-feeling trip for anyone (perhaps women in particular) walking alone after dark.
And I guess I could add 3) Adam might have made it part of the headline because it was noted more than once in the linked post, plus my own 4) when I go to the South End (which I do frequently as a number of good friends live there and there are great restaurants, too), I typically drive and I appreciate available and free parking close to my destination. Why do I drive? Among other things, I live at the northernmost end of the Blue Line, meaning a T trip that has to connect either to the Orange at State (at least 20 minutes barring delays or bus "shuttles") or the Green at Gov't Center (similar timing), then another leg that still leaves me 15 or 20 minutes away. Heading home later, often late at night (no, not a clubber, just a late-night movie/dinner/gabfest gal), I don't feel safe walking alone to the Mass Ave., Back Bay, or Copley T stations. Oh, also, I no longer own a bike (it was stolen, thanks for asking) and it's an awfully long walk to and from Revere Beach.
I hope this gives you some ideas of why free parking is a positive quality in the South End for many people. Please let me know if I can offer any further clarification.
I took so long writing my comment that several of you beat me to it.
There is a bus running down Washington Street from Downtown Crossing to SoWa every 10 minutes or so. You should be able to transfer to it for free with a CharlieCard.
Not that everyone should take it, but it's a good thing to at least know it exists.
And I've taken it a few times. I don't really love Downtown Crossing at night (alone) either, to be honest, but it is a viable option. Thanks for reminding me.
is a disgraceful clusterfuck, both on the roadway and inside the bus (cuz, you know, the seating plan was most likely designed by someone who'd never ridden a bus) and is not worthy of patronage. A good friend of mine lives at Berkeley and Harrison in the Lower South End (which, BTW, is the actual name of that area, not the prosaic real estate marketing moniker given by some to the neighborhood) and refuses to ride it. He walks to work downtown every day.
just much more frequent than most.
A subway it isn't, but for a bus, it seems fine whenever I've used it.
I do find there's less leg- and hip-room in most of the seats and a very narrow "aisle" in the raised (rear) half of the buses. Still, for short rides the Silver Line is okay.
To second Cynical, a wonderful point about the Silver Line as a viable option, Ron.
To respond to Cynical - cars are wonderful contraptions, just not in all places at all times. In certain situations they make sense, but I'd bet that most of the people driving to the restaurant had a viable alternative. Free parking in the South End (or SoWa, or whatever people are calling it now) just makes it too easy to drive to a place that should be (generally) accessible by transit, foot, or bike.
Anywho, cheers to good restaurants!
Right, Jack. Harvard Square and the North End are excellent examples of places where cars are a major liability: They are highly congested traffic and pedestrian areas, parking is difficult if not impossible to find, and both are easily accessible (and, generally, safely so) via public transportation.
I can't understand anyone saying the food is good at Gaslight--it was absolutely an embarrassment. I felt ashamed that I had ever thought it might be good--as if I had been tricked into believing that The Olive Garden was going to be an authentic Italian experience.