Franklin P. Jones, an American humorist, once said, “You are what you eat. For example, if you eat garlic, you’re apt to be a hermit.” Most dates involve food. Whether it’s a picnic lunch, dinner at a fancy restaurant or hot dogs at a ballgame, a meal out is often times the centerpiece of a date.
And because food is really an excuse to sit down with someone and get to know them better, there are do’s and don’ts when it comes to ordering. I’ve compiled a list of the three best and worst foods to order on a first date.
1. The onion genus.
Garlic, shallot, leek and chive are a few of the foods grouped in the onion genus. And while we all know how delicious it is to cook with any of these pungent vegetables, stay clear of dishes heavy-handed in them, especially if you’re interested in a goodnight kiss.
2. The fried Fisherman’s Platter with a side of fries and extra tartar sauce.
By ordering a meal with about 10,000 calories in it, you’re basically telling your date your health is not important to you. If you’re really into fried shrimp, order a side salad rather than fries and dip the crustaceans in cocktail sauce instead.
Yes, obviously a fresh Maine lobster is like the yummiest thing you could possibly order at a restaurant, but stay clear of the cockroach of the sea for a first date. Even with a classy, plastic bib, lobster is messy and will leave you smelling like fish for the rest of the evening.
Unless your date has cold sores all over her lips, sharing a feast of tapas is a great way to break the ice and get to know someone. You’ll also see how picky or open-minded your date is. Try a cheese plate, ceviche, an olive assortment, beef or chicken skewers, potato omelet, mussels and calamari.
2. Farm to table.
These days, a lot of restaurants are buying their produce, dairy and meat directly from local farmers. Try taking your date to a farm-to-table eatery. Chances are she’ll be impressed. Not only is the food amazingly food and creative, you’re supporting your local community.
3. Home-cooked tacos.
Make margaritas and sauté fresh Mahi Mahi for a taco dinner feast. Spread out the toppings — lettuce, tomato, shredded cheese, sour cream, fresh avocado — but remember to leave out the beans and onions for this round.
Before you start enjoying the relationship comfort zone, it’s a good idea to be conscious of what foods to order and what not to order on a first date.