If you're looking to try a new date place, head over to the Southside on Lamar area and go to Brooklyn Jazz Café for food and entertainment. I've been hooked on the place since I first experienced the jazz cafe at its old location in Oak Cliff when it was near Hattie's. The regulars at Brooklyn are welcoming and considerate, and so is the staff. The second time I went there (still at its old location) the manager gave us the table where she was sitting--the best one in the house--when she saw my date and I standing at the bar waiting for seats.
Even since Brooklyn moved to its bigger location, I still always suggest it when asked where to go for live music. If a guy doesn't have a plan for our date, I'll suggest we go to Brooklyn, because if we get there before the band starts, we'll have plenty of time to talk and if the guy turns out to be a dud, then I won't have to talk to him the rest of the night since it'll be too loud.
Case in point -- the date I had with the guy I met at a toga party. Yes, a toga party. Laugh all you want, make rude comments, but two of my dearest friends met at that toga party and have been married for three years. Anyway, back to Mr. Toga. He picked me up, asked me where I wanted to go for dinner and, since he didn't have a plan, I said let's go to Brooklyn. Everything seemed normal enough until I realized his car didn't have a rearview mirror. When I asked where the mirror was he dug around in the center console storage compartment, found it, held it up, and asked if I'd hold the rearview mirror up in its customary place if we saw a cop. Then my date told me "it's not my car" and explained how he'd borrowed it from a friend. He didn't really give an explanation; it was more like a badly told lie.
Thankfully, the drive to Southside on Lamar didn't take too long and we didn't see any cops. Once inside, we (he) decided not to get a full dinner and ordered the spinach artichoke bread bowl appetizer. It's not the most original thing to order, but the bread bowl part differed from your run of the mill spinach and artichoke dips. Plus, we could both agree on it and knew we'd eat it. The dip tasted decent and I wouldn't have a problem ordering it again.
On Sundays and weeknights the music at Brooklyn typically starts at 7 p.m., and on Friday and Saturday nights the tunes kick off at 8 p.m. For the date with Mr. Toga we only stayed for the first jazz set. We didn't have much to talk about when the music stopped. He drove me home without looking back--remember he had no rearview mirror--and without making a plan for a second date. The minute I got home I dialed my local Chinese restaurant to place an order of chicken with garlic sauce for delivery. While it may have been wise to cut the date short since we didn't have any chemistry, it wasn't wise to skip dinner.
Another date and I went to Brooklyn for one of its Jazzy Sunday Evenings. Before we made our way there, my date (who had just moved to Dallas during the heat of summer) made the rookie mistake (I hope) of turning his car and air conditioning off while he waited for me in his convertible with the top down. By the time I arrived at his car and he reached behind him to pull the car's top back down (he was a gentleman), he'd pitted out and had developed two huge sweat stains on his freshly pressed dress shirt. This wasn't the biggest deal--it's Dallas and people sweat in the summertime, but these two underarm stains happened to be smelly underarm stains, which wasn't the first thing I wanted a whiff of on our first date during its first moments.
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Nevertheless we powered through and drove to Brooklyn. This guy knew we should order dinner and didn't mess around with any just-appetizers business. I ordered the Pollo Portabella--honey glazed chicken stuffed with portabella mushrooms and spinach. My date had the Midtown Pork Chops, which were breaded and served with vegetables and mashed potatoes. We both enjoyed our meals and the Jazzy Sunday Evening with Martha Burks. My date liked her singing so much he purchased her CD before we left.
Even if you're not a big jazz fan, Brooklyn is still a good date place. The recently added game room called Jazzy's Place plays old school music, reggae and blues. And on Saturday nights there's a disc jockey. Jazzy's isn't totally focused on music--it has pool tables and shuffleboard, as well as a covered courtyard.
Live jazz, great service, good food, and a game room make Brooklyn an ideal date place when you're looking for a different night than one with just dinner and a movie.