So you have that special someone lined up, but nowhere to go. It's NeXt to the rescue. Here are some places to take a date on Valentine's Day:
Kostas Restaurant, 1561 Hertel Ave.: One of the jewels of Restaurant Row, Hertel Avenue, is Kostas Family Restaurant. As you enter, it feels as if you are in the Mediterranean from the painting on the wall to the funky light above the hostess stand. Every table is a great seat, and the noise is just right so you can hold a nice conversation. Kostas offers other types of food, but the Greek is the best bet. We started with some mozzarella sticks ($5.95) and were surprised how grease-free they were. We ordered the lamb gyro ($5.95) and the chicken souvlaki ($7.35). The lamb was amazing and came with a delicious plate of fries. The souvlaki covers the plate and is topped with optional feta cheese and black olives. For dessert we had delicious New York-style cheesecake ($4.50) and chocolate bombe mousse ($4.50), the perfect way to finish dinner. Total cost with drinks ($1.95) was $26.20.
Quaker Bonnet Eatery, 175 Allen St. This is one of Allentown's best-kept secrets. The Eatery is one of the most teen-friendly places around and it's not as heavy on the wallet. Adding to its popularity are its hip new drinks and amazing variety including a huge daily special list. The special entree, a meal in itself, is always under $10; soup is $3 a bowl, salads are around $7. Heavenly desserts range from cakes to chocolate peanut brownies to pies and for Valentine's Day, heart-shaped cookies and fist-sized chocolate-covered strawberries. Drinks range from Red Bull to Arizona iced tea to old-school root beer. We went with the three-cheese burger, which comes with a huge plate of steak fries and the freshest coleslaw I've ever had ($7.25 each). To quench our thirst, we ordered the new Arizona Pomegranate Green Tea ($2) and Nestea iced tea ($1.50). Total cost was $18; takeout is also available.
Buffalo Wild Wings, 2017 Elmwood Ave., 3035 Niagara Falls Blvd., Amherst, and 5433 Transit Road, Clarence. Famous for their version of Buffalo Wings, they come as close as one can to being a teen sports bar, with an array of video games, pool table, big-screen television playing the latest sports and the option of playing trivia games from your seat or booth. Signature wings, $4.49 for six up to $51.99 for 100, can be cooked in any of 12 sauces (my favorite is Sweet BBQ). The famous wraps are $5.79 and burgers and sandwiches are $3.99 to $5.49. Vegetarians, they did not forget about you. There's an amazing salad menu ($4.99 to $5.99). Desserts include deep dish apple pie, chocolate fudge cake and New York cheesecake ($3.99 each). When we stopped we had 12 wings ($7.99) and a garden salad ($4.99) and for dessert, deep dish apple ($3.99) for a grand total of $16.97.
Remember a few dining rules. No. 1, is don't forget the 15 percent tip. No. 2, it's OK to have more than one fork, just know when to use it. And finally, don't drop your whole paycheck for dinner. If going out is not your thing, nothing says love like a box of Texas Toast and fresh-cut roses from Aldi's (for $4.48).
Tony Nash is a senior at Bennett.