About a week after Jason and I became parents to Ladybug, my mom offered to babysit so we could go out. It seemed too soon to me, unnecessary even. After all, we had over 8 years of date nights as a childless couple. Jason and I discussed it and decided we would accept the offer. It turned out to be a really rich time for us to catch up and give each other focused attention over dinner without concerning ourselves with a food-flinging toddler.
My mama told me, “The most important thing you can do for your children is to love your spouse.” Date nights are really important.
Saturday night Jason and I got to go on our first date night since the arrival of Precious, 6 weeks ago now. We even planned ahead! We had a Living Social coupon for our favorite sushi place, RuSan’s—paid $15 for a $30 gift certificate. We both got salads with orange ginger, miso soup and fire cracker maki rolls (they’re too good to share) and another forgettable roll (unagi and avocado, I think.) Service was quick, thankfully, because we were rushing to get to a movie. We saw The Help. Excellent movie. We only go to the movie theater a few times a year and this one felt worth the $13.00. Yeah, that’s right we got discounted movie tickets through my work. I should also mention that we’re sly about finding free street parking in the city. I remembered to wear boots instead of heels so I don’t mind walking a couple blocks. Our entire date night: dinner at a favorite restaurant and a movie, cost just $37. Not bad at all for an indulgent night out. Babysitting was free. Thanks mom and dad!
Do you go on date nights? Even before becoming parents Jason and I made a point of going on a date night at least once a month. We’re not extravagant but the time set apart together is really good for our marriage.
1008-B Woodland St.
Nashville TN 37206
Dinner for Two: $15.27 + tip
Cuisine: pulled pork sandwich with coleslaw and baked beans, brisket with coleslaw and baked beans
Impression: Jason and I were pretty thrilled when a nice sit-down BBQ place opened up in East Nashville. The staff was very friendly. The food came out in 5 minutes … I guess that makes sense since good Southern barbeque requires hours and hours of cooking time. The brisket was delicious. Jason started picking pieces off my plate before I even took these [horrible, poorly lit, cell phone] photos. He said his pulled pork was also good. The server brought out a caddy of 5 kinds of barbeque sauces: Tennessee, Texas, Georgia, New Mexico and Drifter (a mix of TX & TN). We liked Texas the best but it was fun to be able to sample. NM was HOT, really HOT. The waiter wasn’t kidding! The baked beans were FABULOUS! I’ve never really been a fan of baked beans until I had homemade slow cooked beans made by my Arkansas/Lousianian friend Laren. These were just as good. (Why can’t they replicate that goodness in the canned variety?!)
Cost Saving Tips: The brisket plate that came with beans and coleslaw was something like $4 cheaper than the platter that came with bigger sides. The cheaper dinner was more than enough food. Additionally, we had just water with lemon to drink.
Come Again? Yummy, cheap, in the neighborhood, and maybe best of all, the kitchen is open LATE! Midnight Sun-Thurs and 4am on Fri & Sat. 4am!
Note: Paper plates and plasticware are because of the water conservation in effect in Nashville due to the recent flood.
Introducing … a new blog column called Eating Out: modern dining with a mid-century budget! Jason and I love a good date night, however we don’t like to spend a lot of money on such things. The idea of Eating Out is to report on a new-to-us or trusted favorite Nashville restaurants and share how we made it fit a budget that would make our grandparents proud.
2119 Belcourt Avenue
Nashville, TN 37212
Dinner for two: $21.30 + tip
Cuisine: 2 waters with lemon, 2 house salads, 2 miso soups, a Black & Gold Roll, and a Pacific Queen Roll.
Impression: I was pleasantly surprised after reading a mediocre review several months ago. Order at the counter and wait at your table with a number a la Pei Wei or Jason’s Deli. The servers were friendly and checked on us frequently, taking away dishes as soon as we finished our soups and salads. The rolls were quite delicious. We especially like the Black and Gold (named for Vanderbilt U. I’m assuming?) which was a white tuna roll lightly fried in tempura (so it’s warm) topped with crab salad that—despite looking exactly like fancy shredded cheddar—was delightful! The Pacific Queen was a very interesting pairing of yellow fin tuna, avocado, mango and cucumber. We didn’t care too much for the sweet poke´ sauce but it was lovely with soy sauce. Each roll came with 8 hearty pieces. Soup and salad were both inexpensive and generous portions. Presentation was beautiful!
Cost Saving Tips: Drinking water saved us $4 right off the bat. If you’re buying alcohol when you go out, there’s an obvious money sucker. Don’t be a sucker. Part of our reason for checking out Zumi was a bogo (buy one get one) coupon from a fundraiser book I purchased last fall. The book cost $20 and we’ve already saved at least $60 using it.
Come again? We’ll definitely be back for more of that Black & Gold roll.
Hot date with my Jason on Friday night! Hardware store, dinner at an Indian restaurant and a movie (Away We Go) cuddled up on the couch at home. This is what happens when you’ve been married a while I guess. I love it though.
Home projects Saturday! We installed a shower fan in the hall bathroom (mounted in the ceiling, installed ducting to vent through the room, ran the electrical wiring … big deal!), fixed the vent duct above the stove which had been blowing food steam into the attic, AND framed the new walls in our master bathroom! (More on the last project later this week when I get some better pictures.) Here are 2 sneak peaks:
Sunday after church and a lunch at Blue Coast Burrito, I hit the road with my work buddy Lindsay toward Evansville, IN for a Leeland, Brandon Heath and Francesca Battistelli concert (“Follow You” Tour). It was really good but a looooong drive and we didn’t get home until the wee hours of the morning. This rose has nothing to do with that but isn’t it lovely? It been hanging on for almost 2 weeks now!