Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day 101 for Every Personality

Struggling to decide where to take or what to make for that special someone? Here's a round-up of some of Penn Appetit's favorite restaurants and dessert recipes, fitting each and every personality.

The Restaurants

The Hopeless Romantic Valentine: Barbuzzo
Three words: salted caramel budino. Seriously. Some say Aphrodite made Helen fall in love with Paris, but I think it was this dessert. Whatever the case, you can never go wrong ordering a budino for your lovey-dovey valentine. And the rest of Barbuzzo's food is pretty darn good too.

The Creative Valentine: Reading Terminal Market
Alright, so Reading Terminal Market is packed with tourists and the "sit-down" aspect are fold up tables and chairs. But if your valentine doesn't like going to fancy-pants restaurants, they still might be game for a trip to Reading Terminal Market. Sample the candies at Chocolate by Mueller, split a cone at Bassetts Ice Cream (America's oldest ice cream shop) or dig in to a sandwich at DiNic's. It's nearly impossible to not have a great time.

The Hippy Valentine: Cafe Estelle
Cafe Estelle prides itself on sustainability, so even if your valentine is a die-hard locavore, they won't feel guilty indulging in some good fare. Not to mention, the flat-bread pizzas are amazing and perfect for splitting. Just make sure to go early, Cafe Estelle serves breakfast and lunch only, and closes at 4pm.

The Nerdy Valentine: High Tea at the Dandelion
Pretending to be English royalty may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I promise most nerds will love it. So put on your best British accent and take your valentine out for high tea. Prepare yourself for a smattering of small plates, from a Welsh rarebit to a butter lettuce salad. I mean, the food is still English, so don't have too high of expectations, but it will sure be a fun and low-key outing. Make sure to stick out your pinkies and don't be afraid to laugh at yourselves a little.

The Workaholic Valentine: Garces Trading Company
The space is minimalist and well-lit, perfect for the budding business-savvy valentine. The food comes out fast and is utterly delicious, so your busy buddy won't get too stressed. Not to mention, the beautiful desserts will make any uptight student swoon.

The Laid-Back Valentine: Pub & Kitchen
I mean, it's a pub. What more do I need to say? Actually, quite a bit more. It's pretty classy as far as pubs go, while still offering the traditional burgers and beer. If your looking for the perfect combo between low-key and romantic atmosphere, look no further than Pub & Kitchen. I'm sure your laid-back valentine will agree.

The Recipes

The Hopeless Romantic Valentine: Aztec Hot Chocolate Cupcakes
I mean really, is there anything more romantic than hot chocolate? I certainly don't think so, unless of course it's hot chocolate masquerading as a cupcake. If your gooey-eyed valentine wasn't already head-over-heels in love with you, the cayenne pepper that gives these cupcakes their kick is a mighty aphrodisiac. The whipped cream "frosting" might end up places other than on top of the cupcake. Don't say you haven't been warned.

The Creative Valentine: Peanut Butter Brownies with Chocolate Ganache
Peanut butter brownies aren't the most typical Valentine's Day treat, but they're still pretty darn delicious. If your sweetheart doesn't want to conform to silly holiday traditions, but stills wants to see you care, then these brownies will be "nutty" enough for them.

The Hippy Valentine: Vegan Cupcakes
Baking for a vegan darling can be a bit difficult, but we promise these cupcakes are a breeze to make and require no odd ingredients. These cruelty-free sweets will make any granola-loving hippy so happy, you might end up going on a moonlit frolic afterwards.

The Nerdy Valentine: Butterbeer Cupcakes
As a Harry Potter-nerd myself, I know that nothing says romance like a trip to Hogsmeade for a steamy mug of butterbeer. Unfortunately, the chance to take a wintery walk into Hogsmeade will forever remain a fantasy for me and and your fellow nerdy valentine. However, make that love-struck Potter fan some butterbeer cupcakes and they will be yours faster than you can say "Accio Harry Potter movies and a Snuggie!"

The Workaholic Valentine: Dark Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes
Although your ambitious valentine might be feeling a bit stressed, it doesn't mean they won't appreciate these dark chocolate and coffee treats. In fact, after one bite of these caffeine-filled cupcakes, they'll be grateful you've prepared them for their next OCR interview.

The Laid-Back Valentine: Seven Layers of Heaven Bars
This dessert is one of the quickest and easiest to pull together, and it still tastes divine. This gooey, chocolatey, coconut and butterscotch filled bite of heaven is so delicious, your valentine won't realize what a breeze it was for you to make it. And if your valentine truly is laid-back, they won't care if you tell them!

-Elliott Brooks

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