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By Michael Newcomer, food critic
The fancy dress, the glitzy limo, a swagger hotel suite, wait, there’s something else, isn’t there? You forgot about a really important decision, didn’t you: where to dine on the big night.
Fear not, gastric procrastinators, I am here to give you some pointers for choosing the perfect prom eatery.
1) There must be a tablecloth.
This one is simple. Have you ever been to a Sonny’s Real Pit Bar-B-Q with a tablecloth? Point is, if the place you’re scoping out has tablecloths, chances are it’s nice enough for a formal, special meal.
2) Stay away from chains.
No, I don’t mean the metal links, but that’s probably a good piece of advice, too. I mean any restaurants that have more than two or three locations. You want your dinner to be special, and any old Applebee’s just won’t do. Don’t settle for a kitsch meal, go somewhere unique, even if you have to spend a couple of bucks more.
3) If you haven’t eaten it before, don’t experiment now.
As much as you think getting Indian food on the night of prom is an excellent way to spice up the night, it’s not. If the overpowering smell of curry breath doesn’t send your date running back from whence she came, your sudden case of intestinal distress will.
4) Simple is better.
Get a general consensus from your group of what they like to eat. Pick a nice steakhouse and there’s bound to be something off the menu for every person, even the vegetarians. Going to “Zai Thai Asian Cajun Grill” may seem fun to you, but having a pissy party of friends will ruin everyone’s time.
5) Make sure to MAKE the reservation.
This one seems like a no brainer, but sometimes the simplest of tasks are the ones most often forgotten. Walking into a fancy joint with 14 people and no prior notice is a surefire way to get the door slammed in your face. Not a good way to start off the evening.
6) Stop by and check out the place in advance.
Last year, my group’s coordinator booked a restaurant because it sounded nice, and when we showed up it was a hole in the wall decorated with the kind of stuff you would find only at Costco. Fortunately, there was a very nice sushi restaurant next door, but that luck won’t always be yours.
Michael Newcomer is a senior at Tarpon Springs High.