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July 16, 2009

Help Matt plan his first date

iggie's pizza baltimoreEarlier today, I got this e-mail from a reader named Matt:

I'm sure you get tons of email but I'm hoping(if you have time) you could give me a some ideas for tomorrow night.  I would really like to show the girl a good time and I'm pretty new to the Baltimore nightlife scene.

I heard that the Brass Elephant on Charles Street was pretty good for dinner and I figured we'd check out Artscape afterwards since it is nearby.  Being that Artscape ends at 10, I am having trouble thinking of ideas for what to do afterwards.  Any ideas you could give me would be a huge help. 

Matt, my first suggestion is not to go to the Brass Elephant. It's too formal -- especially if you're planning on strolling down to Artscape later tomorrow night. Plus, you're setting the bar really high for a first date with the Brass Elephant.

I'd say if you're set on Mount Vernon, then go to someplace like Iggie's Pizza (818 N. Calvert St., pictured). or maybe Akbar (if your date likes Indian food). I think Akbar has the best Indian food in the city, and my wife is Indian, so I've had a lot of Indian food.

Both those spots have great food and are casual enough that you can walk down to Artscape afterward and not be out of place (or sweating buckets from wearing dress pants).

After Artscape, I'd say hit up Joe Squared Pizza and Bar (133 W. North Ave.). They've got the best rum selection in the city, and this great turn-of-the-century New Orleans swing band Sac Au Lait is playing there for free. I believe their set starts at 11:30 p.m.

Keep in mind that, due to Artscape, traffic is going to be tied in a knot and restaurants are going to fill up quick.

Anybody have some other suggestions for Matt?

(Baltimore Sun photo by Kenneth K. Lam)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 2:24 PM | | Comments (21)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


Good call on Iggies. I would go to someplace over by the Charles Theater. Lo0ts of options.

Ok let me give the female perspective on this...
I do agree with Sam, the Brass Elephant is a little much for a first date. I'm sure she would enjoy it, but it is setting the bar very high. One of my fav new spots on Charles is Marie Louis Bistro. Excellent food! I also love City Cafe and The Helmand. Artscape is a great idea for after dinner. Good job with that one! I think that area will be pretty conjested afterwards. Maybe try another part of the city like head downtown and get a drink some place around the Harbor? Or Fed Hill?

Brewer's Art Sam,

You can have a nice dinner upstairs and then continue the talking downstairs and then hit up Artscape and then go to 13th Floor afterwards to checkout the view of the city.

I recommend the highly touted New York Fried Chicken for a chicken box for dinner. You should definitely bring your own ranch dressing for dipping however - this will show the girl that you know how to take care of her and she will be yours within minutes without question. You should probably wear cargo pants with large pockets so you can hold a bottle of ranch dressing large enough to accommodate a meal for two.

A bar with games might make for a fun evening- there are plenty are bars in the area that have shuffleboard, cornhole, etc. I'm less familiar with the Mt. Vernon area but there are plenty of choices in federal hill and fells.

Joe Squared is also hosting Northscape that weekend, which is an elongation of the festivities at Artscape.

to matt:
if she's from canton then she has probably built up a tolerance to rohypnol so you can take that off the list as your closer.

I am going to suggest Hot pockets and renting Shrek 2. And let the magic take you from there. We're in a recession, no need to be a hero.

Matt.. Matt.. Matt...

Dinners and movies are horrible first date ideas. Way too much pressure, way too much time time to have to fill with useless banter.

I would recommend something fun and unique. Maybe drinks at a dive bar with a great jukebox. I also used to love the 13th Floor, but that has gone down hill the last few times I have been there.

You also should be going to places where you are known by the staff and they take care of you. It gives the appearance of being important in her eyes.

Tappas Theatro -

Sangria makes everyone happy.


I think cornhole on a first date, though a daring move, may be a bit forward. I usually wait until the third or fourth date.

Sofi's Crepes, and then go get a drink at Club Charles. Everyone loves crepes.

Keep in mind that it'll probably be hot as [whtatnot] tonight, & Artscape is really expansive this year, like 36 square blocks or something.

It's only 2009. Every band is a turn-of-the-century band, or will be, when we start looking back from about 2025 or so.

Iggie's is nice, and I came to suggest The Helmand, but it's already been done.

I'll second eCommerce Consultant. There are three c's for a first date. Cheap (read inexpensive for you since you don't know this girl yet), convienient, and conversation. I think it's fine just to go to Artscape for a bit. Short and sweet is best.

Forget the dress pants. Wear your wolf t-shirt.

Matt - I think I need to know more about you and her. Without that I am going to have to go with Iggies and bring your own wine. Then head down to Fells. Have a few casual drinks some place outdoors so that you can people watch out loud. Finish the night off at a place with live music. Then let the good times roll.

You can always drop by Artscape the next day when she drives you back to your car...

to bill - I spit my lunch all over my desk

Get her down to the Block, my boy! The 2 o'clock club's got great jazz and the mock turtle soup can't be beat.

It's not a speakeasy if you broadcast it in a major market publication. They do exist you're not cool to know one.

Matt - Share a blunt and a 40 on her stoop at the beginning of the evening. That usually propels a first date in a positive direction and sets the tone for the rest of the evening. Don't forget a jimmy hat.

How'd it go Matt?
Hopefully you went with some combination of the NY Fried Chicken with BYO Ranch and the 40 and blunt on the stoop.

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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