February 11, 2016

Eat Your Heart Out: Foodie Solutions for the “Valentine’s Day Conundrum”

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It’s that time of the year again. Though shrouded by a blizzard, courtesy of the unforgiving Ithaca winter, the arbitrary position of the Earth in its solar orbit on the 14th of February is supposed to inspire in us the warmth of romance. People who haven’t had a romantic thought all year begin reevaluating their cold, loveless lives based on whether they have a significant other for a #valentinesday Instagram post. Like every socio-cultural festival that litters the calendar year, Valentine’s Day creates several categories of people, divided by their enthusiasm, or lack thereof, for this occasion. Here’s my humble foodie advice to each category:

“We’re baking a cake together.”

Ah, the romantics. Whether it be a blossoming romance or one that’s been celebrating this day for many a winter, it’s almost natural for this species to spend their evening at a romantic restaurant; poor lighting and small tables are preferred as well. Fortunately for the lovebirds, there are plenty in the vicinity, and if for an instant they find that they’re not lost in each other’s gaze, they might even notice that Valentine’s Day food isn’t half bad. Since it’s the beginning of the semester, your bank account might be looking healthier than usual, in which case John Thomas Steakhouse is a choice that will never let you down. Excellent food and a quietly fancy ambience makes this a perfect destination for a special evening. For dessert, you might want to embark to Madeline’s down in the Commons — their mousses, tiramisu and cannolis have been described as phenomenal.

“We just met last week at this party, not even sure what major they’re in…”

I get it, neither of you wants to make any real investment — emotional or fiscal — but would like to spend some time together and bask lazily in the oxytocin-induced waterfall of emotions that pervades society on this day. No worries, there are plenty of places that will provide you with the conversation conducive atmosphere you need, that won’t put a meteor-sized dent in your finances. Carriage House Café on Stewart Avenue is a one of those places; a cozy interior, accompanied by a lively buzz is a perfect complement to the fantastic brunch that’s served here. Eggs, coffee, waffles, they have it all — it’s almost like you don’t even need the person you’re with to have a good time. And if it doesn’t seem like you’re falling in love with your date, I promise you’ll fall in love with the Brie-stuffed French toast. If you’re in the mood for something less elaborate, Waffle Frolic is a good solution to the Valentine’s Day conundrum. Apart from waffles in all shapes and flavors, they also serve some delicious smoothies- and for those who had a particularly rough Friday night they have a special called the Hangover.

“Netflix is literally my valentine.”

Let’s not kid ourselves here: you wallowed a bit, having gotten caught up in the emotions of the day and seeing all the happy couple posts on social media. Tired of the sight of heart-shaped chocolates and bouquets, you’ve resigned yourself to a peaceful night — but it’s a Saturday, and you deserve to be happy! You’re browsing Netflix’s selection when your stomach begins to complain. You need food — preferably in the category of quick and deliverable. Wings over Ithaca, a fine local establishment, serves some of the hottest, most delicious chicken wings that I’ve had the privilege to taste. Perfect for a gluttonous binge, they also have a terrific onion rings recipe. If you like your junk food to have more cultural diversity, Luna Inspired Street Food has interesting fusions from across the globe. Try a Korean pork taco or a chili mac and cheese to spice up your boring, single life.

“I’m leaving on Friday.”

Good call. Did I mention it’s going to be -5°F and snowing on Saturday?

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