Trying to define “dating” in university is like trying to nail Jello to a wall. In a sea of sloppy hook-ups, deliberate singledom, Tinder matches and cafeteria crushes some people, somehow, manage to “make it work.”
Yet at the same time each February, Hallmark takes the opportunity to shove candy hearts, eerily grinning bears and all manner of over-priced chocolates in front of our faces. This serves as a yearly reminder that true love can, of course, only be expressed through exorbitant expense.
So what does this always hungry, usually cynical author recommend? Ignore it all. Do your best to avert your eyes from the Pepto-Bismol pink drugstore displays, avoid the $90 prix-fixe menus and exert your efforts to taking care of what really matters: your stomach.
Whether you’re out with friends, with the love of your life, with your latest fling or just plain having a plan old Treat Yourself kind of day, here are four restaurant suggestions where you can suitably gorge yourself, with no heart-shaped decorations or flying cupids to get in your way.
- Truly Tasty ramen and dumplings
If Valentine’ Day is really about love, then the bar should be set at the comfort and ease you have with someone if you can slurp heaping bowl of noodles in front of them without a second thought. Please ignore the “least messy foods to eat in front of a date” lists and grab someone you like, wait for a seat, and bury your face into a steaming, glorious, bowl of ramen noodles. Most menu items are under $10 at this Quinpool restaurant, but serious bonus points if you combine your ramen with a side of the fried chicken.
6214 Quinpool Rd
- Ichiban Sushi and Noodle
For all this nonsense about spending tons of money to prove that you care about others, maybe it’s time to spend some time on yourself. Beware. You are about to be informed of a hidden gem: treat this responsibility with great care. At the food court in basement of the Maritime Centre (e.g. the office building at the bottom of Spring Garden that also houses Niche and Pacifico), nestled in amongst the fast food joints, lies some of the best Korean food in Halifax. Place your order at the counter, wait until your receipt number is buzzed up, and then carry your over-flowing tray to your table of choice. There is no pretence whatsoever about this spot. Bring a good book, and let the table fill up with a scalding hot stone bowl of sizzling Bibimbap, a tall glass of water, and the many free side dishes. You’re welcome.
1505 Barrington St
- Ardmore Tea Room
Whatever you do, do not be fooled by the name of this establishment. The Ardmore Tea Room is not a place for finger food and crumpets, where people speak in hushed tones about the latest episode of “Downton Abbey.” The “Ardmore,” as it is affectionately known, is a glorious greasy spoon that seems like it hasn’t changed in decades. No matter how bitter, stressed or hung-over you may be, the Ardmore’s menu presents cures to all possible ailments. The milkshakes are also large enough to make a meal on their own. This establishment is highly recommended for a greasy breakfast with friends to catch up on the previous night’s misdeeds.
6499 Quinpool Rd
- Habaneros Modern Taco Bar
There’s a certain type of love that emerges from the depths of a burrito bowl. No matter if you are a vegetarian, or a devoted carnivore, you can create the pseudo-Mexican meal of your dreams here. The bright neon decor and huge line-ups certainly don’t have the makings of a romantic restaurant, but let’s be honest – it’s the food that really matters! If you are truly committed to the Taco Bar experience, grab another round to go- future you will be so happy with this decision.
Unit B, 1551 South Park St.