Head to East Dallas for a Cheap Date Night That Will Still Impress

I was looking for a great date night with my lady in East Dallas. Turns out it wasn't very hard to find. There are plenty of options. And if you want to make it affordable, too? No problem.

The plan: Hit a great bar/pub, then a shared dinner and, finally, stop by a place to grab a glass of wine and dessert so we could wind down.

Done and done.

Strangeways
2429 N Fitzhugh Ave.
Dallas

Strangeways is a gem. Though somewhat randomly dropped among a grouping of Mexican convenience stores, it offers a wide variety of beers that you won't normally find in your typical Dallas bar. My date and I started out by ordering a couple of such beers. The bartender made suggestions, which

we both took and enjoyed. After a few sips, we are ordered the cheese plate. It was large, but not enough for a dinner-sized option. Meanwhile, the beers were reasonably priced around $5 or $6 a piece. The cheese plate, on the other hand, was one of the most expensive items on the menu. But it was well worth it.

One downside: The service can be lacking somewhat at Strangeways; the bartenders seem more interested in talking to friends than being attentive to the crowd.

Mai's Vietnamese
4812 Bryan St., # 100
Dallas

After leaving Strangeways, Mai's Vietnamese seemed like a good pick for dinner. No need for a reservation here on the corner of Fitzhugh and Bryan. You will, however, need to sop by a liquor store: Mai's is BYOB. The staff provides the corkscrew and glasses, though, and that's nice. We ordered the chicken curry plate, which comes with several sides for $14.95. The dish is large enough to share; it comes with a salad, an egg roll and a plate of curried chicken, vegetables and rice. Mai's is Easily one

of the best area spots for Vietnamese food.

One downside: The inside is not especially romantic.

The vibe here is much more like that in your Asian grandmother's house. But that has its charms, too, especially when the service is as great and quick as it is here.

Times Ten Cellar
6324 Prospect Ave.
Dallas

The perfect East Dallas nightcap: Times Ten Cellar. It's a somewhat hidden spot, but worth stopping by, as some impressive glasses of wine are available at some reasonable prices (anywhere from $7 to $9). We both ordered a glass of wine — and, make no mistake, Times Ten's portions are hefty. So too is the taste of their chocolate truffle.

They've got four or five different types of truffles here, each priced at $1.75.

More diverse than the truffle selection is the crowd and the decor. The patio is especially great on a nice afternoon. A seat in the bar area, meanwhile, practically guarantees attentive service. Your server will bring you waters as well as wines — even during a packed house.

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