Cheap date night ideas - $20 dollar date night

Cheap date night ideas! Join Christy Pessemier, and her willing guinea pig husband – as they scour King & Snohomish Counties in the Seattle area to prove you can go out as a couple and have a great time for under 20 Dollars.

Beer in Beautiful Bellevue!

Last date night brought us into one of the wealthiest cities in the state of Washington – Bellevue. I love this city. I love the skyscrapers, Bellevue Square Mall (the glass elevator is my favorite. Waaaay too much fun!), and just driving through town. You could be totally flat busted broke, but as you drive into this city…the whisper of possibility and promise beckons. Bellevue reflects a big part of Bill Gates’ (a resident of neighboring Medina) success story, and somehow that just makes people feel good.

So, as we arrived, gawking at the endless perfectly polished flashy buildings staring down at us – we headed into the main downtown section toward our destination. Never mind the freezing weather, fashionably dressed twenty to fourty somethings were everywhere, crossing streets, sipping coffee, entering restaurants, hungry for a bite to eat.

Taphouse Bellevue

After whirling around the parking garage for ten minutes, (felt like 30) Hubby nailed a spot near a huge supporting pillar. (He likes to park in difficult spots, because that just makes the experience more challenging…typical guy.) Just a short elevator ride and around the corner stood Taphouse Grill.

I have good memories of this place. The last time we were here was with Hubby’s cousin’s family a few years ago. I had this amazing chocolate stout beer that really tasted like chocolate. Hubby is a beer brewer and is always trying to get me to try new beers. This chocolate beer (Young’s Double Chocolate Stout) was amazing and unforgettable. Taphouse infuses their Young’s with nitro, as opposed to Co2. Whoever invented chocolate beer is a genius. It’s probably 400 calories a glass, but it’s good.

So, we walked in, and though there were about five people standing in the entryway, they took us to our table immediately. Deep terracotta painted walls, dim lighting and luxurious décor…perfect atmosphere for date night.

Beef Dip, Old Rasputin and Turkey Chopped Salad

We are getting to be pros at this, or so I thought. Then, I opened the menu. Uh-oh. We’re not in Snohomish County anymore. Good memories had failed to remind me that Bellevue caters to a higher income bracket than most areas. So, we got creative and ordered from the salad and burger menu, not the entrée menu. Phew. My beloved chocolate stout would have put us a pinch over budget so we picked a close relative, the Old Rasputin Imperial Stout. Hubby has taken a liking to this beer lately. He was drooling as he ordered it. Not really, but close to it. Must be his Belgian ancestry.

We sipped and shared our beer, while waiting for our food. Taking in our surroundings, I noticed most tables around us were occupied by groups of twenty-somethings and families. There was only one other couple like us. I’ve noticed this on other date nights too. Married and dating couples, where are you? Please tell me you’re not at home watching TV on the couch.

Ten minutes went by and our food arrived. My Turkey Chop Salad was $11.95, and Hubby’s Classic Beef Dip was the same price. Thankfully, we had the Passport card, or we would have totally busted our budget.

The salad was filling and I liked the mixture of tomatoes, avocadoes and cucumber with the chicken. Hubby hadn’t ordered a Beef Dip in a long time. “How is it?” I asked. “MMM.MMM” He said, sauce dripping down his chin. That’s translated guy talk for “delicious.”

We barely made our budget this time – ($19.66) not including the tip, but stiffing the waiter wasn’t an option for us. I am happy to squeeze another category in our budget to make sure a waiter get’s the tip he deserves. BUDGET BONUS: Taphouse validates parking, if you park in the adjacent garage. Make sure you have the waiter stamp your ticket just before you leave.

Last sip of beer

Our conclusion: preview the menu, and go for coffee and dessert or share a beer and an appetizer next time. It’s worth the experience to try new places while still benefiting from the great atmosphere.

Here’s the result:

Atmosphere (romantic appeal): 5 (this place is reallllly nice inside! Very romantic)

Food: 4 (Hubby’s was a 5)

Budget Friendly: 3+ (for Bellevue, pretty good. For us, a little tough, but that’s not Taphouse’s fault. We still had a great date night.)

Fun and Unique: 5 (a classy place with over 160 beers on tap in the heart of Bellevue. How can you beat that?)

Memorable: 4. (We’ve been here a few times, and this place has always been reliably good.)

Next Date Night-Hubby’s Choice! Watch for my sneak peek later this week!