Couples Date Guide: Taste Testing

couple sharing a slice of pizza at a restaurant
The couples date series is a guide to organizing a day or event to keep the passion alive between you and your partner. The date guide will walk you through how to setup the beginning and middle so you get the perfect ending.

We all have our favorite foods. And if we’re lucky, our favorite food is served in multiple places and is somewhat easily accessible. Which is why I’m so excited about the idea of a date centered around favorite food taste testing! What does that mean you ask? Let me explain!

A taste testing date means you identify a favorite food of the person you’re dating. It could be bruschetta, chicken parmesan, lobster bisque, apple pie – anything! Then you plan a date going to as many places as you choose in your area, taste testing their favorite food with the goal of deciding who has the best INSERT FAVORITE FOOD HERE in the area.

Here’s why I love a date about taste testing favorite foods:

  1. It’s like a little treasure hunt! You’re on a quest to find the best ‘favorite food’ – it’s like a secret mission shared between the two of you.
  2. It creates a mini road trip. Google mapping your way between places with the anticipation of the next arrival. Time in the car = plenty of time for communication and QT!
  3. It’s fun, it’s thoughtful, and it’s playful. How nice does it feel for your date when the focus of the date is something about him/her?
  4. BONUS: You get to eat delicious food with the person you’re dating! What is better than that?

How to Plan this Ahead

I don’t know if you can go wrong going multiple places to sample your date’s favorite food, but the list below will help you think through the entire date and make sure it’s one of the best ones you’ve ever had!

Pick the favorite food

This shouldn’t be too hard. What is something your significant other loves? Are they a huge potato salad fan? Are they obsessed with tuna melt sandwiches? What do they love ordering? Whatever it is, you want to make sure it’s served at enough places that you can actually do the taste testing adventure.

If they don’t have a favorite food, you can also choose a food you both enjoy sharing. Or, you can think about regional foods. For example, if you’re in the Philadelphia area, you can taste test your way through cheesesteaks. If you’re in New England, you can choose chowder. Crab in Maryland, pizza in Chicago, BBQ in Texas – you get the idea.

Find who serves it

This shouldn’t require too much work, but a little research goes a long way. If your partner’s favorite food is French fries, lots of restaurants have them as a side dish and you could go probably anywhere to taste test French fries. But if you want to make it a bit more fun, you can find more off the beaten path places, places that have awards for that particular food, or find the highest ranked locations on Yelp. It’s your choice as to how and what places you visit based on who serves the food!

Make a budget

How much do you want to spend on this date day? The favorite food will be the biggest part of the budget and will also depend on what it is. If the dish is a seafood entrée, that will obviously be more expensive than if the favorite food is a dessert. Think about how many restaurants you’ll visit, how much will be spent on other food and drink, and how much gas you’ll be using as you trek between each place. Once you know how much you’re able to spend, then you can…

Create your route

Now that you know what places serve the favorite food and how much you want to spend, you can create your route of where to go! I recommend a logical point-A-to-point-B-to-point-C route and planning that out ahead of time, instead of randomly picking where to go when you’re in the car. That will prevent you from driving backwards and losing time in between places.

Create a scorecard

This adds the true element of declaring the rankings of the favorite food! You can either make actual scorecards on paper, or a table in a note on your phone – personal preference! It adds fun and official-ness to the entire taste testing quest to find the best. You can put whatever you want on the scorecard and use whatever point system you prefer. I tend to like a 1-5 point system. Things you can include on the scorecard are:

  • Taste
  • Presentation
  • Portion size
  • Price
  • Service

Be creative and rank on whatever will be the most fun for you and your date!

Other things to think about

As fun as this date idea is, there are some things to think about before you pull the trigger. How heavy is the dish? How many can you truly test in one day? Is the favorite food an appetizer, entrée or dessert? Should you split one of the favorite foods at each place in order to go to more places? If it’s a food like ice cream, do you need to make sure you eat a real meal at any point to counteract the sugar? Should you plan any activities in between, like walking in a park or stopping at a mall to get your hunger back? You need to account for all these things with your route and time of the date.

Test the tastes!

You’ve done the pre-work and it’s all planned out. Tell your date, get on the road, mark up your scorecards, and get eating! Because this date has the potential to be so fun and memorable, I recommend taking pictures and/or videos at each restaurant, the in-between moments, and documenting your entire adventure. You can revisit those pictures/videos in the future and fondly remember the day you taste testing your way through their favorite food.

How Does this Date End?

The last thing you should do before the date is officially over is total up all the scores from the scorecards and determine who has the best favorite food! Play We are the Champions as you figure it out and relish in the hard work you both put in of eating your way through that particular food! You will both have full bellies, and the date will end as something incredibly memorable and special. It will definitely be a story to tell and a date to recommend to others!

Couples Date Guide: Taste Testing 1

Step-by-Step Guide for Planning a Taste Testing Date

Short and to the point: here’s your condensed guide for how to plan a taste testing date of your partner’s favorite food!

  • Select the favorite food to taste test: What’s their favorite food that you could go on a mini road trip taste testing? Or what is a regional food that would be fun for you both to taste test?
  • Research who in the area serves it: Try some new places or stick to ones you already know. Look for off the beaten path places or the highest ranked places on Yelp.
  • Create a budget for yourself for the entire date: Know what you’re willing and able to spend on this date. If the favorite food is a pricier item, it may change how many places you go or where you go.
  • Create your route of where to go: Plan out your places and make sure you have enough data for Google maps to get you there!
  • Make a scorecard: Add extra flare for fun by creating a scorecard for each of you to fill out after you leave each restaurant. Put whatever categories you want on the scorecard – taste, price, portion size…whatever you want!
  • Think about a few other things: Since this entire date revolves around eating, you may want to consider any activities in between taste tests. Should you go for a walk in a park or around a nearby mall? Also, what is feasible in terms of how many X you can eat in one day? Be realistic and think ahead!

Once you’ve ranked the best food for your significant other, you can switch it up and do your next taste testing date for one of your favorite foods and let the adventure begin…again! Bon appetit!