Five Ways to Eat Local Food and Have a Great First Date

Planning a date is tricky business, especially if you are actually interested in the person you are dating. You want to stand out from other potential suitors, but not in a creepy or bad way. And then there is deciding what angle to take: romantic and schmaltzy or fun and adventurous? Food is the way to many a human's heart, and local food has the added benefit of saying "I care about people and plants and animals and stuff! Plus I like good food." Showing interest in your where your food comes from can only say good things about you, even if deep down you are actually a horrible person. Your date can figure that part out later as all the parts of yourself you try to hide slowly creep to the surface. But don't think about that right now. That's at least a few months down the road.

Here are five date ideas involving local food. Don't have a date lined up or are in a loveless marriage that you have no interest in saving? No problem. You could do any other these with friends as well.

Pick your own blackberries at Farmer Jones Eco-Friendly Produce. First of all it's near a town called Poetry, and that is pretty adorable. Nothing says 'I have nothing but the utmost honorable intentions for this date and our relationship' like going to a farm and picking blackberries. Before you head out there, give them a call to make sure there are blackberries available for picking. Blackberries will only be around for a few more weeks so if this sounds fun, you should jump on it.

Go to a farmers market. If you don't feel like driving out to a farm, a farmers market is the next best thing. We all can't get enough of White Rock Local Market around here, but there are many other options like the new one on Oak Lawn as well as markets in Coppell, Plano, McKinney and that one downtown that is always getting so much attention. You have get up early for this date, so grab coffee to drink while you check out the vendors. This works as a great first date because there will be lots of things to look at and talk about in case things gets awkward. Plus, if it is a total bust, at least you bought some groceries. If things go well, proceed to Phase 2 and make breakfast together with your locally sourced ingredients.

Brewery Tour. Lots of breweries around town (and beyond) have tours on Saturdays. Tours also include beer, usually generous amounts of the stuff. If your date doesn't drink beer, dump them immediately. Some Dallas options include Deep Ellum Brewing Co., Peticolas, and Community. If you feel like taking a road trip, hit up Revolver, Rahr or Franconia.

Texas cheese and beer class at Scardello. Beer again, but this time there is cheese too. On July 18, Scardello Cheese is having a Texas Cheese and Beer class, giving you a chance to see what our state has to offer. (We can argue later about whether or not the words "Texas" and "local" are synonymous.) This class only has 12 seats left, so you better hustle.

Picnic with local ingredients. This is not recommended as a first date. Better to know the other person's food likes and dislikes before you take them to a park and put food (and who knows what else) in their mouth. Still, if you dare, go in the evening when it is not quite as hot, or do the whole picnic indoors thing. Local cheese and crackers, berries, figs, potato salad, cole slaw and a growler of you favorite beer would be a good start. You can pick these items up at aforementioned farmers markets or locally based grocery stores like Urban Acres and Green Grocer.

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Liz Goulding
Contact: Liz Goulding