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Fellas, and some of you ladies out there, you only have one shot to make a good first impression. After you finally work up the nerve to ask that special lady out for the very first time, here are some suggestions on where not to take her.

Red Lobster

Although, after all these years, their cheddar bay biscuits are still to die for and the prices of entrees can go upwards of $20 or more, taking that special someone to Red Lobster for the first date isn’t recommended. Sure, twice a year they offer their infamous lobster fest complete with numerous platters of the crustacean cooked in different ways for a limited time only but if you really want to impress your date, taking her to the same place she celebrated graduating from high school is no-no.


Want to show her that you’re a big spender and money is no object? Then taking her to a place that offers $2, $4, $6 and $8 value menu items is the wrong place. Denny’s restaurant is more suited for those stumbling out of a club after last call looking for any kind of greasy food to absorb some of the alcohol and sober up. Besides, Denny’s never fully recovered from the ’90s when they were sued several times for racial discrimination and forced to cough up $54 million. Probably not the best place to pick for the first night out.


What better way to show someone you like her than by taking her to Applebee’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill where she has an option of choosing off of the 2 for $20 menu. With more than 2,000 locations across the country and virtually one in every mall you come across, taking your first date to Applebee’s shows that you really didn’t put too much thought into the night. Or that you’re a bit cheap. Or both.


Who wouldn’t want to tear up a slab of Flinstones-esque oversized ribs drowned in barbeque sauce? Your date, that’s who. After spending time picking out the perfect outfit to wear then spending even more time getting all glammed up, the last thing your date would want to do is roll up her sleeves and get down and dirty in half of a honey-basted roasted chicken. There may be other non-barbeque items on the menu, but ordering fish at BBQ’s is like going to the beach only to hang out by the pool.

Ruby Tuesday

Fresh garden salad bar, handcrafted burgers, gourmet desserts. Ruby Tuesday sounds like a great spot for a first date. On paper. In actuality, Ruby Tuesday tends to be more of a tourist spot in some cities. After a long wait to be seated, who wants to try to get to know someone over the family sitting at the table behind them loudly discussing how similar the items on menu at this Ruby Tuesday is just like the one back home.


After asking her out for months and months, she finally relented and agreed to go on one date so where do you go? Certainly not a place that offers “casual dining.” TGI Friday’s may be a good spot to unwind with some co-workers at the bar after work or even a great place to take the whole family out to dinner on the weekend. But it is not the place you want to wine and dine that special someone the first night out together.

All Fast Food

Does this really need an explanation? If there’s any part of you that truly believes it’s okay to take your date to any place where you order food off of a huge, brightly colored sign or if you’re asked if you’d like two apple pies to go with that, then expect this to be the first, last, and only date. If an extra value meal is all you can afford, you’re better off packing a lunch and taking her on a picnic. At least be creative if your funds are low.

Golden Corral and Any Buffet

Taking your first date out to Golden Corral, or any buffet spot for that matter, is one step above taking her to Mickey D’s. Any place that has sneeze guards will suck all of the romance right out of the night. And you could forget about a second date. If you’re especially hungry that night and you’re determined to stuff your face, eat a sandwich before you head out for your dinner date.

Cracker Barrel

There’s nothing like some down home southern food –but not from Cracker Barrel and definitely not on the first date. Any place that actually has the words “Wholesome Fixins” or “Salads n’ Such” on the menu, probably doesn’t set the mood fit for a first date. Cracker Barrel is best suited for those taking a road trip down South and want to pop in for anything fried and smothered.


Chili’s is a great restaurant for the entire family to enjoy. With fajitas, pizza, burgers, seafood, and chili, there’s something on the menu for everybody. But it isn’t the right place to take her on a first date. Any restaurant that offers kids menu will no doubt be filled with children. They may be a blessing but not if you’re trying to share a quiet and romantic dinner and the two-year-old sitting at the table across from you decides now is the perfect time to have a temper tantrum and throw his fries around.

Olive Garden

For a taste of Tuscan, Italy right here in the U.S., most Americans head on down to Olive Garden. Their endless salad and breadsticks are just the beginning. But if you’re looking to impress that special someone then don’t start at the Olive Garden. A popular spot in any city across the U.S., it’s hard to wow her when you’ve been waiting for over 40 minutes for the huge and bulky beeper in your hand to go off so you could be seated.

IHOP/Waffle House

When you have a hankering for some chocolate chip pancakes or chicken and waffles drizzled with sweet maple syrup at six o’clock in the evening, IHOP or any waffle house for that matter, hits the spot. However, it is a big swing and a miss to take your first date there. Unless the date lasted all night and you’re looking to grab some breakfast the next morning to start the day, opt for a more mature pick on a place to take her.

Buffalo Wild Wings

Looking for a great place to catch the game? With at least 30 flat screen TVs at each location, endless amount of wings with different sauces and seasonings and all the beer you could drink, Buffalo Wild Wings is definitely the place to go to watch your favorite team play. It’s just not the ideal place to take your first date. With the place cheering or booing every time someone scores, it’s going to be a challenge trying to get to know her a little better. Or even hear her answers.


Healthier eating is sweeping the country right now and one chain that’s profiting handsomely from it is Chipotle Mexican Grill. Offering “food with integrity,” the restaurant uses animals that are naturally raised and organic food grown without pesticides. Chipotle has never been more popular but that doesn’t make it the perfect place to take your first date. Any spot where you order your food then step down to pick it up, probably won’t lead to a second date.


Remember back in the day when you came home with a good report card and you were rewarded with a trip down to the local Friendly’s and you’d build your own sundae? A great place for children and the kid in us all, taking her to a place where ice cream is the meal isn’t recommended. If you have a craving for something sweet, after taking her to an adult restaurant, go for a stroll and some dessert at an ice cream shop. Or for a healthier option, frozen yogurt.

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