Clueless dudes,* take note: On Glamour's Smitten blog, the women in the comments of the latest Reader's Dilemma ("My Dates Always Choose Chain Restaurants, Which I Secretly Hate") are overwhelmingly in favor of quirky hole-in-the-wall restaurants for first dates. (Except one who says, "I've never even thought of this before, this dilemma sounds pretentious.")
Many of the commenters are pretty open-minded, though, saying that choosing a chain wouldn't necessarily be a dealbreaker.
I think most folks reading SE would opt for a unique, delicious local place for a date. Before I started dating my current squeeze, I used to keep a list of such surefire date restaurants on hand in case I needed it.** (Which was rarely.) Do you (or did you) have a reliable, quirky place for dates?
* Not that there are any of those reading Serious Eats.
** I'm sure my GF would say I need to update my list.