We’ve all experienced the not-so-pleasant moments when you have a dinner date night scheduled, but nothing planned:
“Where do you want to go for dinner?”
“Oh, I don’t know, you pick!”
“I don’t really care one way or the other.”
Tom has learned that this type of conversation can quickly spiral into an argument if we’re not careful.
We can easily fall into a rut of going to dinner to the same restaurant time after time and never venture out to try something new. There’s nothing wrong with having a favorite place, but to never try something different prevents you from ever finding new favorites.
This is like a traveler taking the same road year after year without ever trying a different road just to see what they’ve been missing.
One year on a family vacation to Breckinridge, CO, we decided to experience off-roading. Our three children were teens and didn’t want to go with us, so Tom and I got in our rented 4 x 4 and hit the trails – literally. We had a blast! We followed one road that took us over a 14,000′ mountain and the view was incredible. It was mid-July and we were surprised to see glacial ice patches due to the high altitude and lack of direct sunshine. It was something this Florida girl had never experienced before, and I was thrilled!
Our kids missed out because they wanted to do the same old things: play video games and such. It was their loss, but they didn’t know what they had missed.
Our date nights can become the same way–predictable and uneventful.
This is why we are offering some Dinner Date Ideas to help you break away from the highway and enjoy the new sights and sounds of a dining adventure.
- Passport Dates – This is a way to travel the world without leaving your city. Pick a different country each date and explore the world one meal at a time by going to a asian, italian, mexican or vietnamese restaurant. Test your taste buds–you may find something you didn’t know you liked. (The link will take you to a series of posts by our friends, The Taulbees. They did the passport dates for a year and wrote a guest post about each one. She had some great ideas!)
- Alphabet Dates – Start at the beginning of the alphabet and eat your way through all 26 letters. You can go out for some and stay home to cook others. You could even buy take-out to bring home after the kids are in bed.
- Quest For Your Favorite Dish – we did this for Fish and Chips trying them at different restaurants all over Orlando. It took a while, but we finally found our favorite – a small, family owned restaurant named of all things: Fish and Chips. You could look for your favorite cake restaurant, steak, BBQ, Mexican, whatever. Or work your way through your own categories.
- Classy Dinner Picnic – This is one of my favorites. Pack a card table, table cloth, real dishes and silver ware. Set up your table at a nearby park that is open in the evening. Don’t forget lighting and bug repellant. We have a park in the middle of one of our favorite towns – Winter Park – where great restaurants line the Avenue. Instead of packing the food, Tom walked across the street and ordered take out. When he got back we transferred the food to our dishes. This way our food was hot and fresh, and neither of us had to cook or clean up. Very romantic!
- Round-Up Dinner Date – Try going to one restaurant for an appetizer, another one for your main entree and another one for dessert. This one can be expensive, but if you use Groupon it could cut your costs way down making it affordable.
- Finally – Use Urbanspoon to find great restaurants wherever you are. Each restaurant has a rating based on those who have actually eaten there, usually the locals. We have found those restaurants with a 90% or higher rating are usually always good. This greatly reduces the risk in trying a new place, plus you can use this when traveling to other cities too!
What Dinner Dates have you tried that were out-of-the-ordinary. We would love to hear what’s worked for you!