Table for Two: Phillip

Hello world *echoes into empty internet abyss*. In my quest to keep writing things, however shitty, I’ve decided to start a column which combines my favorite thing and my least favorite thing: eating and dating.

I’ve gone on a lot of first dates recently, thanks in part to my inability to put Tinder down for even one goddamn second, as well as just this existential fear that I will, in fact, die alone without having experienced the true happiness that comes from wholly reciprocated, unconditional love. But mostly because of Tinder.

In this column I’m going to review my experience at the restaurants I go to on these first dates and then review my date himself. Spoiler, he never fares well in the star rating department and is typically my least favorite part of the meal. For any single dudes out there reading this, the way into my heart is to buy me food and then go somewhere else. It has nothing to do with you, it’s just that I really don’t enjoy social interaction or people, particularly when those people have to watch me eat.

This past Friday, I went on a most glorious date to Blue Monk with a tall, goofy glass of water named Phillip. A little backstory on Phillip; I met him at ABV the previous Friday (I have bad luck with Fridays) where I encountered him dancing in a manner which I had never seen before. There was some stomping and clapping involved, and a little of what looked like a step-touch, but I can’t be too sure. It was practically an accidental hoe-down that no one was aware of except for me. Either way, he mistook my horrified fascination for genuine romantic interest.

“No no no no no no no” she said, as he lumbered over to her at the bar, oblivious to her unreceptive body language, “please God, if you’ve been planning to give me a brain aneurism at some point in my life, please let it be now.”

Alas, my heavenly pleas went unanswered and he struck up a conversation with me. Eventually, to get him to physically move to another location, away from me, I challenged him to a dance-off with the older woman who had engaged him earlier on the 4' by 4' space where some tables had been moved* (*not a dancefloor). Eventually, he demanded my phone number as the prize for “winning” the dance-off. He told me I was pretty, albeit drunkenly, so I obliged. Oh, how foolish I was.

Last Friday was our scheduled date. After suggesting a chain restaurant in the Galleria mall, for which I fought against every one of my natural instincts to never talk to him again, I counter-suggested Blue Monk as our place of meeting. I walk up to the restaurant to find Phillip in the backseat of his friends’ car, waiting for me to arrive. When we walked in, we were greeted with the standard Blue Monk experience: dim, warm lighting, classic dark wood accents, and a poorly-organized yet endearing poster scheme. It always feels like a hearty handshake from your bearded neighbor when you walk into that place. It’s nice.

We got seated right away by a very friendly host, got water very quickly by another friendly wait-person, and then had our drink order taken. I got my standard Belgian something-or-other (they all kind of taste the same to me), and he got something dumb. I don’t remember what it was, and maybe the beer itself wasn’t dumb, but he ordered it like a child would order a beer if a child were to ever find him-or-herself in a craft beer bar on a Friday night in Buffalo; like he’d never ordered a beer before.

They got us our beers quickly, but not quite quickly enough for me to hastily chug it before hearing the reason why he got dropped off by his friends rather than driving himself; 2 D.W.I.s2. Great icebreaker, dude. No lead-in. No time for me to discover any other redeeming qualities you might have which would make up for that (which you don’t have). Red flag number…let’s say we’re on 6 at this point.

As a coping mechanism, and because I already knew things were going to continue to go poorly, I ordered exactly what I wanted off the menu. No salad, no appetizer-sized hummingbird food that some of my other lady brethren might order on a date to make themselves appear dainty and low-maintenance. Fuck that. I ordered beer-battered cod fish tacos with pickled onions and their signature duck fries. Phillip (not Phil…weird, right?) got a burger and the same duck fries. I didn’t pay attention to the type of burger it was because I didn’t care.

Whilst looking over the menu, Phillip mentioned being kind of a picky eater.Now, picky can have myriad definitions. I, for example, am picky about which restaurants I go to. There is one criterium: not in the mall. Phillip’s definition of picky was that of liking very few things, including, but not limited to, cheese.

“ABORT. ABORT. SOS.” said Annie’s inner voice of reason, “HE IS LITERALLY THE WORST.”

Cheese is one of my favorite things in the world, regardless of what my lower intestines have to say about it. I can rely on cheese as a steady positive force in my life, unlike Phillip, who up until this point has been basically the human equivalent of an itchy shirt tag. Red flag number 7.

We get our food in a timely manner. Everything is wonderful, however I use the term “everything” quite loosely. Everything that was going into my mouth was great. Everything coming out of his was mediocre at best. Anyway, the fish tacos were to die for. A wonderful blend of flavors, with the sweet, tanginess of the pickled red onions balancing out the saltiness of the fish. The fries were deadly, and I obviously finished them. His burger looked like a burger and I can’t attest to it’s deliciousness because he didn’t talk about it and, again, I didn’t care. And with that, after a rousing conversation about his lack of any discernible ambition and a passing comment about being “impressed” by the amount of my meal I was able to consume (AKA a human-sized portion), dinner was over.

We ordered one more beer after that. “Why?” you might ask. I do not have an answer for you. I ordered the same beer that I had before because I didn’t feel like looking at the menu. Phillip also ordered another of the same, for reasons I can only assume have to do with avoiding facing the tyranny of choice that he must encounter frequently in his limited, bland world. Or maybe because he liked the beer, who’s to say. We sat for a little longer, before the topic of conversation came up about a text I had sent him earlier. I mentioned going out to drinks with my coworkers, making a joke that I might be drunk when I got there. Well, those drinks got cancelled, and I came stone-cold sober. A terrible decision, as were most of the decisions that evening.

“I’m a little bummed you didn’t go out for drinks with your coworkers.” — P
“Oh, yeah? Why’s that?” — A
“Well I was kind of hoping I’d see you drunk, see your fun side” — P
“Are you saying that I’m not fun sober?” — A
“No, not really” — P

BAI. Why was I still there. I feigned a distress text from a friend and got the fuck out and never looked back.

Overall

Food
Blue Monk: 9/10
Phillip: It’s a good thing he paid

Atmosphere
Blue Monk: 8/10
Phillip: 2/10, like sitting in a small smelly room being masked by a Glade plug-in

Cleanliness
Blue Monk: 8/10
Phillip: Don’t know and don’t care

Value
Blue Monk: 9/10
Phillip: 0/10, please go away

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