Restaurants & Bars

Manhattan

dating non-foodies

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Restaurants & Bars 10

dating non-foodies

Rachel | Apr 30, 2003 05:39 PM

Having recently gone on a couple of dates with someone new, I've been wondering if I'd ever be able to date someone who isn't a foodie.

We made plans for dinner a few Fridays ago, and when I asked where we were going, he said it was a surprise and that he'd make reservations. That was very exciting to me, because I assumed it meant he liked food as much as I do and knew a lot about NY restaurants (he's from the midwest but has been here for a number of years.)

He ended up calling me the day before we were supposed to go out, confessing that he hadn't figured out where we should go, and asking if I had any ideas. Still convinced he was an 'in-the-know' foodie, I said it was up to him. He suggested a Thai place in midtown, Rungsit, and also mentioned the possibility of Korean food(a friend of mine had tipped him off that I'd been talking about a craving for Korean...)

I felt this sudden surge of disappointment. I'll forego the bitter comments about my friends getting Ipods from their boyfriends for their birthdays, but I will share the detail that this guy works for Lehman Brothers, in equity research. I, on the other hand, am a post-web-bubble-brat still reeling from a long bout of unemployment (admittedly, a self-imposed one, at least originally) and angry that I don't get free massages twice a week at my current job, which pays half of what I made at my last position, leaving me with no choice but to make catsitting my second occupation -- since my salary is not enough to cover rent AND being a foodie.

Anyway, I considered his suggestion, and the next day (which was Date day) emailed him to suggest we go to Sriprapai, the Thai restaurant in Queens that foodie friends have been raving about, instead. (I figured if it wasn't going to be somewhere elaborate like Jewel Bako -- where I'd secretly hoped he was planning to take me -- it may as well be an adventure. Cheap, authentic food is much more exciting to me than mediocre food in a midtown ambience.) He wrote back, apparently somewhat miffed that I'd given him the green light to decide and then changed the plan myself, but jovial and willing.

He lives on the East side, in the 60s; in his eight years in New York, I learned, he had never been to Queens. Interesting.

By the time he was ready to meet me (he took a bit longer than I did to get ready after the gym, already a cause for concern), it was already 9:30; we headed to Queens from Grand Central, and didn't arrive at the restaurant until about 10, at which point they informed us that they were closed and directed us to a restaurant down the street that's also Thai. I was delighted by both the food and the atmosphere, and he even let me take the six-pack we'd gotten (a preemptive move on my part, since I knew Sriprapai was BYOB) home afterwards, since the restaurant we ended up at (whose name I must find out, so I can recommend it to those of you who occasionally are running too late to get to Sriprapai by closing) serves wine and beer.

The date was fine, but it became very clear to me that he is not a foodie. He grew up with Thai food, which his mom would cook after she came home from being a doctor all day. So he knows all about it, but seemed surprised that I knew anything about it. He knows a lot about the news and politics (which I admit I don't), but seems totally perplexed that I know the names of things like restaurant owners(and their pets), get so excited about a rice pudding shop opening, etc.

I suppose I see dating someone new as a perfect excuse to explore new restaurants, and I can't relate to someone who doesn't. Am I being too harsh? Does anyone have experience with this? Maybe this is an idea for the next match.com.... gourmetlove.com:).

Thank goodness one of my best friends recently got a gig reviewing restaurants and often takes me with her; who need boys with deep pockets when you have friends with similar taste whose editors are treating?

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