First Date Dining: Forget Candles and Long Walks on the Beach

Food Lovers — By Samya Sattar on June 1, 2009 at 9:05 am

Have you ever gone to a restaurant and watched people that are obviously on a first date? They tend to have too many silences, there’s always a bunch of awkward nodding and smiling, and they always, always order too much food.

While under ordinary circumstances the following possibilities are wonderful dinner options, I suggest you avoid these on a first date:

  1. Ethiopian. You have to eat with your fingers. And look good at the same time. Let’s face it, it’s hard to feel confident when you’ve got spicy, mushy stuff on your fingers. And we all know that confidence is everything.
  2. Fancy. Don’t try to impress your date by taking him or her to a multi-course prix fixe restaurant. You’ll have to at least pretend to know your wines. And your cheeses. And French words on the menu? Best not to risk it. Plus you’ll look like you’re trying too hard. Not cool.
  3. Loud. You don’t want to spend the date going “What? What? Oh. No, I don’t want children.”

What you do want to do on a first date is play it cool. Act like it’s not really a date. Even though you both know it is. Here is a list of great first date options:

  1. If you’re in San Francisco, go to La Taqueria. Not because it’s the best taqueria, but because it’s the perfect balance between clean and tasty. Order two carne asada tacos with avocado for the two of you  and make sure you ask for it “crispy.” Then it will come all fried and delicious, instead of soggy. Also, La Taqueria is a good place to act cool and oh so casually say “do you want a beer? I’m getting one.”
  2. If you’re in Philadelphia, go to Geno’s. No question about it. Not only are the cheesesteaks dangerously yummy, sitting on the benches outside and enjoying the South Philly sunset is quite romantic. And you can joke about the racist “I’m American, so I order in English” T-shirts. Granted, you might not feel your best after the hot peppers in your sandwich, but this isn’t a third date we’re talking about here.
  3. And if you’re in New York City, why, pizza of course. There are too many great pizza places in New York to suggest any particular one. Here’s what you should do. Jump in a cab with your date and ask the cab driver to drive you guys to his favorite pizza joint. And then look in your date’s eyes. All eager with the sense of adventure to come.

You know it will be a match made in heaven.

Photo courtesy of Dutchtl/Creative Commons
Tags: food, foodies, Geno's, La Taqueria, New York, Philadelphia, pizza, San Francisco


  • Habib says:

    ‘Jump in a cab’ is like playing roulette! What if the cabbie turns out to be a Bangladeshi? Ask him to take you to his favorite curry house?

  • Tahoe Blue says:

    hehe… right ! and watch the taxi driver’s eyes light up when his favorite pizza place is at Coney Island ! :^) Good spontoneity points though … plus you will have time to talk on the long ride !


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