This issue of He Said, She Said is the most fun yet! I decided to set up 3 single guys and 3 single gals and have them speed date with food and each other. Here is what happened…
The Single Guys
Hobbies: Going to the gym,
playing tennis, swimming/playing water polo,
music/shows, playing guitar, cooking and, of course, eating
Job: Aviation Interior Designer
Hobbies: Wine, Sewing, Cooking, Snowboarding, Cars, Randomness and anything Detroit
Job: Catering Supervisor
Hobbies: Running, soccer, canoeing, cooking, beaching, road biking, rugby
The Single Girls
Job: Business Development
Hobbies: Art, beer, traveling,
reading, skiing, dancing, world domination
Job: Freelance Designer
Hobbies: Food, walks, shopping, art, music, friends, sewing,
dinner parties, traveling
Job: West Chester Grad Student and Server
Hobbies: Sports, going to the beach, family and friends, reading, cooking
WHEN YOU HEARD YOU WERE GOING TO MEET THREE SINGLES WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION?
AMY: I thought, “Oh no, I seriously have to sit at a table with ?ve other people?” I was later told it was more like speed dating, and that took an immense pressure off my mind.
JENNA: Jenna: I was slightly overwhelmed. I felt like I was going to be on some sort of MTV dating game show. Hah. I think Chris (guy #2) was the one who said it should have been filmed. I concur.
CHRIS: It sounded like a lot of fun and that it belonged on some sort of reality show. I was excited that I could squeeze three blind dates into one night.
EVAN: It took me a bit to pump myself up and calm my nerves for just a single blind date and when the curve ball hit me that there was gonna be three single girls had to open a third bottle of wine.
NATE: I was surprised. It made me realize how much planning goes into a date in “real life” to even reach dinner and drinks. Their were no preconceptions beforehand and each 30 minute date could be experienced with a fresh perpective. It felt efficient and enjoyable.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST IMPRESSION OF THE RESTAURANT?
KATE: I love Iron Hill. It was nice to experience three courses, since I usually only get appetizers and sandwiches.
AMY: Iron Hill is Iron Hill is Iron Hill. Consistent, fun, busy atmosphere. A ton of young professionals and very few frat boys. I love the beer selection, plus the fact that the food is fresh. Friends and I go there a fair amount.
JENNA: I love it at Iron Hill. I have been there many times. And I have never had bad service or bad food. The manager, Matt, is such a nice guy.
CHRIS: I had been to Iron Hill a few times before and love the food, beer and atmosphere so I knew I’d be in for something good.
EVAN: Iron Hill was the first place I visited when I made my move to West Chester and it’s been a favorite ever since. The atmosphere is perfect for after work or a great casual date. My dad came out here to visit me and while I was at work and wouldn’t know where he was I would often find him later at Iron Hill.
NATE: I think Iron Hill is nicely laid out and spacious. The beer is fantastic. It could be a little warmer, everything is hard bars, hard ?oors, and hard tables.
WHAT DID YOU THINK ABOUT YOUR FIRST MATCH?
KATE: I had my appetizer with Guy #1, Chris. Very nice kid, super cute, but a bit too young for me. I wish I had a younger sister to set up with him.
AMY: Guy #2, Evan, was a lot of fun. We shared a lot of interests, and in retrospect the conversation really tumbled over itself at a fast pace; the subjects changed about 47
times over the course of our time spent together. We were talking so excitedly and loudly I thought they were going to move us into the back. We were only supposed to refer to each other as Gal #2 or Guy #2 but I made him tell me his name because accidentally I told him mine.
JENNA: I had Nate (#3) as my ?rst guy. He’s de?nitely attractive and I was immediately excited when he sat down. At first, we were both sort of quiet. But once the conversation got going, it went really well. We talked about a lot of things and had a hard time figuring out what to order because we were too into the conversation.
CHRIS: My first impression of Gal #1, Kate, was pretty good when we introduced ourselves. She was very nice and friendly. We had a decent amount in common and had a good conversation – the best of the three. There wasn’t really much dead time during our date which is always nice.
EVAN: I was very pleased with the initial introduction to Gal #2, Amy, my ?rst date, I thought she was very attractive and extremely personable. We both have firecracker-like personalties that really helped move the conversation along into all sorts of very interesting topics (the 2 pints of Cannibal may have helped a bit) And any girl that suggests two shots of Jameson already has my heart in her hand.
NATE: I really liked Gal# 3 (Jenna) she was earthy and cute, just the kind of girl I like. We seemed to have a lot in common. We talked about the Eagles, Rugby, and wishing it was just a solo encounter, because if my blind date was with only her I would have been happy.
WHAT DID YOU GET FOR YOUR APPETIZER AND WHAT DID YOU THINK?
KATE: Salmon spring rolls. They were piping hot and quite tasty!
AMY: Ahi tuna, and a nice IPA. The taste was amazing, good quality tuna with a very good sauce. Evan ordered it, having had it before, and I was absolutely satis?ed.
JENNA: I HAVE to get the calamari appetizer every time I’m there. It’s hands down one of my favorites from any restaurant. The cilantro aoli is fabulous.
CHRIS: We split the salmon spring rolls. They were great; cooked perfectly and fresh ingredients. The sauce topped it off well. It was sort of a spicy soy sauce. Very tasty.
EVAN: We shared the Ahi Tuna Tataki. It was spot on deeeeelicious. I’m no Zagat when it comes to food reviews but it was prepared and presented perfectly and the sliver of pineapple added a nice compliment to each tasty bite.
NATE: I had brushetta, it was very good, the tomatoes tasted very fresh.
TELL ME ABOUT YOUR SECOND DATE.
KATE: My entree was with Guy #2, Evan, he was a bit of a hipster, but easy to talk to. We both grew up outside of Detroit, so it was fun to share that in common.
AMY: The second date was a cutie, with very pretty eyes. He ended up being really into the outdoors, which is a refreshing passion. He told me about his adventures and where they had led him. Chemistry? Not so much.
JENNA: Chris was my second date. The conversation kept stopping and there were de?nitely awkward pauses. We talked about soccer, but I think that was about the only thing we had in common.
CHRIS: I had already picked out my main course and was pretty excited for it. Jenna (Gal #3) was my second date, she was very smart (always a plus) and our conversation went all over the place. Of course I did manage to spill my full beer all over myself and break the glass – classy move on my part. She was fun/interesting to talk to.
EVAN: Second date was also very enjoyable…. She happened to be from Michigan which is my old stopping grounds so it felt very comfortable to be in the company of someone that understands my hometown and still has some love for it… At this point I was dabbling in cask conditioned ales so I think I was a lil’ more chatty then her ( i was having a really good time!!) I don’t feel there was a chemistry there beyond a friendship though she was still an amazing gal!
NATE: Gal #2, Amy, was a bit too artsy and young, nice girl though, she was meant for someone else, just not me. Art girl. She seemed to be enamored with her date #1, the automotive design tattoo guy. We had good conversation about camping but that was about it.
WHAT DID YOU GET FOR AN ENTREE AND WHAT DID YOU THINK?
KATE: Filet topped with crab and corn – it was fantastic. One of the best meals I’ve ever had at Iron Hill! I de?nitely recommend it.
AMY: I ordered the crab cakes and they were very good. They came with a side of potato salad and a bit of corn which had a nice spice. Having had grown up in Maryland for about two weeks every year, I know all about crab cakes. I think I dreamt about crab cakes last night.
JENNA: The turkey burger. Awesome. It was not too dried out like most turkey burgers can be. I think it’s because of the guacamole
on it. YUM! The anchili (ancho-mayo, not sure) was DELICIOUS on the fries! I was so full from the appetizer though, that I had to take the other half of the turkey burger home. But then I accidentally left it at the restaurant.
CHRIS: I decided to follow up on my seafood appetizer with the Hawaiian spiced ahi tuna. I was very pleased. It was cooked perfectly and seasoned well. It was a good portion (key to any good restaurant) and I would order this again for sure.
EVAN: At this point i was starving and the strategic entree I picked earlier in the day went out the window for the ever so good Bistro burger. With Mary’s help I added a bit of ?air with some BBQ onions and I went to town on it. What really made this burger for me was the bun, and how the meat was packed (being a former obese child I know my burgers, this one was very good) Now that I’m thinking about it, I’m gonna go grab a bistro burger, I’m hungry.
NATE: I had salmon specially prepared with guacamole and spicy sauce. I hardly shared any of it with Gal # 2. Her crab cakes were good and she shared some with me. She also let me smoke one of her hand rolled cigarettes with her later, that was a bonding moment. Redemption for not being compatible I guess.
TELL ME ABOUT YOUR LAST DATE.
KATE: I was with Nate (Guy #3) He was a cute guy, nice to chat with, although I’m not sure if we connected on a deeper level.
AMY: Chris, (Guy #1) was sweet. We talked the basics, and I think it was over before we really had the chance to get into a more complex conversation. He seemed happy to be on this large date with many beautiful women, so that was good.
JENNA: I had Evan (Guy #2) as my last date. He was very … vivacious and had such a great vibrant personality. It was probably the best conversation overall. Partially, I think it was because we were both much calmer by that point in the night. Great discussion about beers, wines, and actually some deep philosophical discussion as well. I liked his style and I thought his tattoos were really cool.
CHRIS: Well I initially approached the wrong girl (sitting by herself, waiting for somebody) so it was interesting trying to explain my absurd situation. The intended date, Amy (Gal #2), arrived back at her table and my ?rst impression was quite good. As we talked more we seemed to have less and less to talk about.
EVAN: I really enjoyed Jenna, (Gal #3) I thought she looked amazing and was cute as can be. She was very personable and easy going. We enjoyed the Iron Hill beer sampler together and had what i thought was one of the more intelligent conversations of my night. She was very knowledgeable about her beer and passionate about everything from sports to history. We had to turn away the warning bell to end to date a few times in favor of a few more moments to chat it up. I loved it!
NATE: Kate was Gal #1, the business development girl. I thought she was laid back, also very approachable and intelligent. Closest to my age, so we were like the old guys and we related in that way. I gave her a good rating, but we didn’t hit it off after dessert because my attention was on Jenna.
WHAT DID YOU GET FOR DESSERT AND HOW WAS IT?
KATE: Chocolate and peanut butter dessert, it was amazing. On the waitress’s recommendation, I paired it with the Pig Iron Porter, which was also excellent.
AMY: We ordered the creme brulee. I was eyeing it up on the menu when the Guy #1 read my mind. It was outstanding. I could have eaten four. All warm from the sugar on top and cool in the middle; like a dance party in my mouth.
JENNA: hope Evan remembers what it was cause I don’t. It was a chocolate cake with a creamy ?lling and very tasty but I was WAY too full by that point. And, Evan and I had the beer sampler and that was dessert enough for me.
CHRIS: Creme brulee. I didn’t really want dessert but ?gured I should try something. Creme brulee is always my “go to” dessert and it’s a good way to form an opinion of the desserts in general. It hit the spot. The custard was nicely balanced and it was rich without being too heavy. Unfortunately, my date ate most of the “brulee” portion but whatever.
EVAN: We got the double chocolate hill for dessert. Usually when dining out in West Chester
most establishment’s take on this kind of dessert is very bland. I did not feel this way about Iron Hill’s Double Chocolate Hill. The taste was very balanced and the presentation was enjoyable and close proximity of the chocolate hill to the alamode made for a great face ?lling time.
NATE: Kate and I ordered a chocalate cake with peanut butter filling. It was scrumptious. We were too full and a bit too tipsy to finish it.
HOW WAS THE SERVICE AT THE RESTAURANT?
KATE: Alex was my waitress and she was awesome. I hope she got a good tip!
AMY: Our server was great. Fast, efficient, knowledgeable. She helped us with the beer selection and really knew her stuff.
JENNA: As always, it was impeccable. I didn’t get the server’s name, now that I think of it, but she was really cool. She’d come over in between guys and we’d hash it out on what we liked and didn’t like about him. She was awesome. So for the girl that waited on the booth at Iron Hill: THANKS AGAIN!!!
CHRIS: The service was pretty standard; not terrific but by no means sub-par. All of the waitresses were great. I even tried to get one of their phone numbers afterwards. Is that bad on a blind date? She was taken.
EVAN: Iron Hill has, in my mind, the best service in West Chester. The staff are very well informed and attentive. They seem to have a perfect balance between professionalism and a certain type of casual that makes you trust every beer they suggest. The staff works hard there yet they always serve up a perfect pint with a smile.
NATE: Service was excellent! Attentive staff and attractive presentation of food. Compliments to the chefs!
HOW DID YOU LEAVE IT WITH THE PERSON YOU WERE MOST CONNECTED WITH? OR DID YOU FEEL A CONNECTION WITH ANYONE?
KATE: I don’t think I connected romantically with anyone, but I’d like to hang out with some of the guys again. We said we’d meet up at a future CCCN happy hour or just out in West Chester.
AMY: Evan and I left together. He asked me out for a Chimay.
JENNA: Well, I felt a connection with both Nate and Evan. I would de?nitely hang out with both again. Evan, though, I think just as friends. I am not sure I could keep up with him but he is de?nitely really cool. Nate was a little bit more laid back and I liked that. I talked to him for a while after all the dates were done. We stayed at the bar until probably about midnight. He took my number and we are going to try hang out again soon. That makes me happy. I definitely enjoyed his company the most. We have the most in common by far, and I really like how outdoorsy he is.
CHRIS: I didn’t feel a strong connection with any of the dates but I had a good time and I’m glad that I met them all.
EVAN: How did i leave it? Well, I left with the person I was most connected with. We were both craving a bottle of Chimay so we left the festivities a little early in order to kill the craving.
NATE: I was most connected to Jenna. We spent some time together afterward and had some drinks. I walked her to her car. She gave me her number. We both professed a joy for dancing and made tentative plans to hit Barnaby’s together and to dance and get to know each other better.
WAS THERE A KISS?
AMY: I don’t kiss and tell. Well, I tell my four closest friends. But not the newspaper. That’s for DAMN sure.
EVAN: A quite amazing one.
NATE: Would have, but no. Didn’t see the opportunity.
WOULD YOU LIKE A SECOND DATE WITH ANYONE?
KATE: Not really, but I’d be happy to bump into any of the guys again out in West Chester.
AMY: Evan sent me a message early the next morning asking me out to breakfast. Alright, I thought, I eat breakfast. During breakfast he said he wanted adventure. I was like, hon,
my second middle name is Adventure! (My first middle name is Danger). We were in Philadelphia by 9:45am, shopping and hanging out. The best part was seeing this city-dude dressed in red pants and a red vest, wearing a fro, struttin’ his fiiine stuff. Evan stood up on the edge of a fountain to do an impression of “if that guy was a backup singer….” Hilarious! And the rest is history, the rest is history.
JENNA: Nate, de?nitely, but it makes me nervous to say that because I know he might have liked Kate, too. And I would really like to hang out with Evan again, but I’m not so sure in a romantic sense.
CHRIS: I don’t think I’d be interested in a second “date” with any of them but maybe a friendly hang out? We’ll see.
EVAN: I would love a second date with gal #2, Amy. I think our eccentric and explosive personalities match and compliment each other very well. I’m looking forward to see what trouble we can get into.
NATE: With Jenna. She might be the first girl I have ever met that has the same passion for the upcoming Eagles season as I do. I’d like to watch games, shout at the TV, and drink beers with her.