Thursday, January 27, 2011

#116: Go on a Blind Date, South Bend-style

It's difficult enough to decide on the place to go for a first date, but a blind date presents a different set of challenges.  So, at the request of one of our readers, here are some of our suggestions of things to do that may do the trick:

  • Sample an array of chocolates and candy at the South Bend Chocolate Company.  Why here? Browse the shelves of the specialty candy in the right-hand room and reminisce about Halloween as kid and discover new types of sweets from around the world.  More importantly, "Meet me outside at the gorilla" clears up any confusion about that crucial place of first encounter.
  • Go to a how-to event at Junk Evolution or another clinic around town. Why? You walk away with something tangible, whether it's a re-purposed chandelier or rainwater collector.  If your date's good, then it's a great memento of your first date.  And if your date is kinda lame, at least it wasn't a complete waste of time.  Plus, there's always the chance you could encounter someone else who catches your eye a bit better.
  • Grab a bite at Bonnie Doon. Why here? It's classic and low-key, and there is a lot of junk on the walls that can keep the conversation going.  This is also a great save if your attention tends to wander.  Don't miss the jukebox, either.  Music is a quick determinant of whether your new relationship will take off...or never get off the ground.
  • Attend a local sporting event, like the South Bend Roller Derby, who are having their first public exhibition bout tonight, appropriately named "It's A-Bout Time".  The rationale: sitting in 'suicide seating' can turn your blind date butterflies into full-out fear of being blinded.  You can also use cheering to fill awkward silences, just don't forget about your potty mouth.
  • Grab a drink at Madison Oyster Bar.  The most important feature for a blind date bar meeting?  The back door next to the bathrooms, in case you need a fast exit.  The bonus is the good variety of music and the friendly bartenders who aren't afraid to share a bad joke or two.
  • Eat at a hibachi grillSoho is an elegant place that offers this dining experience, but skip the sushi room and head for the teppanyaki room.  Why?  You don't have to stare each other in the face, you don't really have to talk much, as the cook provides the entertainment, and you don't have to worry about weird dietary restrictions when you can watch your meal be prepared.  And there are guaranteed to be sparks.

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