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.

No Chips for You!

We’ve had nothing but good luck at all of the places we’ve been to for date night so far. Well, last weekend changed that. We had cabin fever from being snowed in all week, so date night was something both of us were really looking forward to.

Hubby snagged a coupon from Heraldnet Daily for a gourmet Mexican restaurant in Mill Creek.  He paid $15 and it was good for $30 worth of food. Nice deal!  I am not going to come out and say the name of the restaurant, but I will tell you it was not in Mill Creek Town Center.

Situated at the corner of a strip mall, the restaurant looks like any other place. But it’s a different story once you walk in  – large colorful paintings decorate the walls; and jungle like plants offer a tropical, inviting atmosphere. I love tropical plants. They help me pretend I’m in a warm, sunny climate; not the cloudy, soggy, Northwest in mid – January.

The place was packed. A friendly man gestured for us to sit down in the waiting area. It wasn’t long before we were seated and our waiter was asking what drinks we wanted to order. Keeping our budget in mind, we decided on the Italian Sparkling Wine ($4). The waiter just stared like he didn’t understand. I pointed to the wine on the menu. He was expressionless and said nothing, then left. Ok, that was weird, but oh well.

The tables around us were served with big baskets full of chips and salsa, but none for us. We couldn’t get the waiter’s attention. He seemed to be busy serving the big spenders, not the couple-on-a-budget who ordered the cheapest wine on the menu. He did bring by our sparkling wine – just set it on the table with not a word or offer to pour it. Ok, no big deal. So, we poured it ourselves and it was actually quite good. Kinda like champagne but with an Italian accent.

I ordered the Enchiladas with Molé sauce, because I had never tried Molé sauce. Hubby ordered Enchiladas. We enjoyed the scenery and festive atmosphere while we waited for the food but couldn’t help but sense we were being shunned for not ordering more…I guess we have been spoiled by attentive and courteous waiters who have gone above and beyond to take care of us.

“You know, twenty bucks is twenty bucks,” I leaned forward and said to Hubby, under my breath. “If you were a restaurant owner, would you turn people away if they only spent twenty bucks?” What if they came back every week?”

“No, I wouldn’t. Twenty bucks adds up, plus people talk about places when they have good experiences.”

Hmmmm…I glanced across the table and behind us. Waiter was asking our dining neighbors how they liked the meal, and if he could bring them anything else. He passed by us. Did we smell bad?

I must admit, the food was good, though not the usual hefty portions we’re used to getting at Mexican restaurants. That’s okay. I loved the richness of the Mole sauce and the chicken in the enchiladas was nice and tender. It had a cute little side of black beans in an edible corn tortilla bowl, and the shredded cabbage on the side was infused with mint. Never had that before. Hubby wolfed down his enchiladas. I would say he thought they were good too.

After we polished off our food, we talked for awhile and waited…and waited…again, no waiter. So, we decided to go up to the register to pay. Hubby handed them the coupon and waiter came back. Oops, He only took off $10 instead of $15. Hubby showed the coupon again. Then, the manager (who I think was also the owner) came out and started “discussing” the coupon and debating over what it really said with Hubby. People were seated a few feet away in the bar, staring.

After way too much time, trying to get them to honor the coupon, which they finally did, we left…for good. The coupon and the waiter experience together were just bad news.

“We won’t ever go back to that place again.” Hubby said.

The total date night cost was $19 with tip. Under budget, and underwhelmed. We went home and had frozen yogurt and watched a movie.

Atmosphere (romantic appeal): 3. Nice atmosphere, bad service made it unromantic.

Food: 4 The enchilada sauce was tasty, and we both liked how the food was presented on the plate. I was still a bit hungry after the meal though.

Budget Friendly: 1. Meals were pricey, and battling to have them honor the coupon was not friendly.

Fun and unique: 2. Being ignored by the waiter and feeling a bit snubbed, not so fun and unique.

Memorable: 3 . You know what they say, live and learn, and we did!