First dates arranged on the Internet by asking the lady to dinner may be scary for many reasons, some of which can be articulated and others strictly emotional in nature.  For the male, the object is to get the job done on first impressions in an hour or so.  For the lady, the object is to get comfortable and eliminate any possible danger while assessing this man as a possible hers.  All of this comes about because man and woman just cannot stay away from each other no matter what and eating is a three times a day proposition done better with company of the opposite sex.  So Mel and I went to Denny’s.

Denny’s was close to Mel’s home in Scottsdale so I figured the location and its surroundings would be familiar.  The other restaurant choices were pretty abundant with everything from Filiberto’s to way high end at some smokin’ local resort settings.  But the day was ending at the 7 P.M. pick-up time and time was limited on a week day night with an early rising slated for both of us, so I figured red vinyl comfort and ordinary lighting mght work best.  Since it was my choice this time, we parked right in front of Denny’s door and in we went. 

This neighborhood is pretty high end so this Denny’s was pretty spiffy.  The walkway to the door was landscaped and the door was new.  Since it was a little late and Scottsdale is also a retirement area, the early dinner crowd had retired to the TV and apparently the late-night group dines elsewhere on Wednesday evenings. 

Shortly into the menu and order phase, we were alone.  Since my back was to the main area, this was not apparent to me so I did the right thing which was to pay attention to Mel.  On this evening, the restaurant had prepared for a light crowd so the wait staff of one was not intrusive.  In fact, user friendly might be the best description of his services.  The modern menu at Denny’s covers several pages and there can be a couple of special offers as well.  Somehow the selection process was smooth and the lady selected grilled Tilapia and a couple of vegetable side dishes.  The wait man was particularly helpful in describing corn and mixed vegetables as his recommendation among the 12 or so side dish possibilities listed on the menu.  I went for the Chicken Fried Steak with mashed potatoes and the mixed veggies. 

So lickety split plus one or two, we were awaitin’ the entrées nursing waters as our drink selection.  The red vinyl booths were pretty comfortable since we’re neither of us big people and the cushions were of recent vintage.  All in all, the décor was in good shape and standard for Denny’s, so we were able to concentrate on the conversation.  Since the crowd was sparse, again we were alone in the entire restaurant, I put my best foot forward in semi-animated style before the entrees arrived.  Since the arrival of the entrees was unexpected to me and I wasn’t watching the clock, the meal seemed to come to the table at just the right time.  The wait doctor laid ‘em down nicely, checked for water refills and disappeared from view only to return instantly with the requested lemon and tartar sauce.  Henceforth he was not to be seen by me except at the appropriate conclusion of the meal some hour later.  I have no idea if he was lingering over my shoulder since Mel seemed to be a great dinner companion and attentive to me, but I gather not.

The Tilapia was fresh and Mel’s sides were unvarnished from the steamer and cob. My sides were the same, but chicken fried steak was maybe not the best selection for the occasion.  Maybe CFS is better with guys over beers in a down and dirty location.  The fault was not Denny’s since they did the exact same job straight from the freezer as always.  Denny’s menu has some serious variety so I could have selected numerous tried and tested entrees, sandwiches or even the many breakfast selections, the fault was mine.  But for sure I was concentrating more on Mel than I was the chcken fried anyway.  The conversation was easy and humorous and the lady seemed to be having fun too.  A few laughs were shared and life style information exchanged.  All in all, a good time was had.  At the moment when the conversation had settled, the wait professor came into view, did his appropriate dessert offerings and presented the tab.  A few moments later after visits to clean bathrooms, we were out the door and back on the road feelng good and chatting away.

We agreed to spend a few more moments together than we had anticipated driving the neighborhood and trying to see if the stars were out in this urban setting.  At the door, Mel agreed to yet another date and I went home singing after waving goodbye as the door closed.

Denny’s – I recommend the place for today’s equivalent of the breakfast of champions and the lunch bucket with service.  Now I can tell you that you can be happy there for dinner on a first date too.              
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