Valentine’s Day is not a popular holiday at chez wmdm. Two people who love each other, but don’t buy into the whole roses, chocolates, and high expectations of a Hallmark holiday– well, that doesn’t really add up to Valentine’s romance. Throw in my travel schedule, his theater schedule, our social schedule– it was amazing that neither of us had plans for February 14th. So what do we do? Well, we actually have a tradition– we head to Dixie Chili. He orders two cheese coneys and a Greek salad, and I order an Alligator and a Greek salad* and enjoy the fact that, often, we’re the only people in the restaurant who aren’t working there. It’s kind of nice. Maybe we’ll get dressed up this year.
So no, we do not go to other sorts of restaurants. We don’t buy each other jewelry or chocolate or overpriced roses (I have, however, been known to go to Kroger the day after and buy half price roses. Which are really *regular* price roses, and occasionally I pick up some of those red hot candies for 50 cents). Please know that 364 other days of the year, chances are you’ll find me supporting a local restaurant (okay, that’s a huge exaggeration), but on Valentine’s Day, I don’t want to battle with triple the regular number of customers for a special menu. And neither should you. So, savvy wmdm reader, what should you do for Valentine’s Day?
- Buy local desserts to augment a home-cooked meal. I have several suggestions: Shalini Latour’s delicious chocolates, particularly any that involve chilis. They’re subtly hot and chocolatey. Available all around town. Queen City Cookies are a natural fit for Valentine’s Day, too, but I recommend the Chipotle Chocolate miniature cookies as an alternative for their regular, icing-covered cookies. They, too, are subtly hot and pretty addictive. You can grab those at their store in Findlay Market. Also, Nancakes is doing a cute little promotion with tiny, bite-sized carrot cakes in a heart-shaped box. You can pick those up at Remke/Bigg’s and Nordstrom’s eBar.
- Go see a movie. Seriously. No one sees movies on Valentine’s Day. There are a ton of Oscar nominees to see, and I highly recommend The Artist.
- If you’re going to go out, go someplace that isn’t a Valentine’s destination. That could be your local greasy spoon, a bar that has food or a pizza place. Hit up any one of the amazing Indian, Thai, Ethiopian– you name it– restaurants in town. Most people think Valentine’s = high end place. Hit something moderate to low end (which no one ever does) and you’ll have a less crowded experience. I’d hit up Brij Mohan, Shaan Indian, Sichuan Bistro, Arloi Dee— you get the idea.
*Subject to change.