Let's Play a Game: Meet, Street & Eat
If you've got time to spare and a good friend, boyfriend, or girlfriend, then this is the game for you.
Before we were all equipped with a pocket GPS, compass, and calculator a.k.a. iPhones, people certainly spent more being lost but they also had something special. An ability to choose a restaurant based on only its menu and facade. I'll admit that as firmly anti-Yelp as I am, I find myself at a minimum, skimming the stars and the first few reviews a restaurant has. But if there's a day/night you're not in a hurry to meet for lunch or dinner, give this game a try in the spirit of adventure.*
*Note: If you don't live in a city, try it on your next trip to one!
Here's how it works:
1. Pick two cross streets (or subway station, if that's easier.)
No seriously, that's it. Pick an intersection to meet at and find a restaurant. Just go with your gut. (Sorry, not sorry Yelp.) And don't just pick the first restaurant you see, pick one that feels right to both you and whoever you're with. Look together. Talk about why you're drawn to a specific place or not. This could take five minutes or fifty. The first time my friend and I did this, we discovered The Taco Shop in the West Village, which has one of the best happy hour deals in Manhattan. (This was the five-minute experience.) The second time, we found Mermaid Oyster Bar, which is to date, one of my best dining experiences in NYC. (This one was the fifty minute one, but well worth the wait.) Obviously this isn't something everyone can do often – and you shouldn't, don't ruin the magic – but every once in a while, surprise yourself, take a chance, and discover something new.