April 7, 2010

First Date: Silver Spring vs Bethesda

Orange Baron
First Date: Silver Spring Let’s get straight to brass tacks. I don’t want to sound over-confident, or arrogant, but this match-up is incredibly stacked in my favor. As much as I love and feel loyal to Bethesda, Silver Spring is simply a far superior venue for a first date. What is the comfortable first date agenda? One doesn’t normally ask someone to the club or the aquarium for a first date. The proper protocol for the first date is, of course, dinner and a movie. However, mastery of this type of date is a precise science. You don’t take a first date to Mon Ami Gabi, for example, but you don’t take her to Five Guys, either.

That’s the first foot up that Silver Spring has over Bethesda. The selection in Silver Spring for casual first date dinners is fantastic. Think of all of the nice but not formal places in Bethesda. Potbelly, Mamma Lucia and Austin Grill all spring to mind. The thing is, all of these places also have franchises in Silver Spring. Indeed, the selection in Silver Spring is far more expansive. The choices are endless: Noodles & Company, Galaxy Billiards, Addis Ababa, The Greek Place, Panera Bread and Mi Rancho are all tremendous venues for casual eating with no true equivalent in Bethesda.

And, of course, after dinner, there is the movie. On sight, it is apparent that the Majestic is far more expansive and impressive than Regal’s Bethesda franchise. The Majestic offers twice as many auditoriums as the Regal in Bethesda, as well as a far more luxurious lobby and standing area. True, Bethesda offers the Bethesda Row Cinema, but these more serious, artsy movies are usually to be relegated for a later date. I know that on a first date, I’d rather break the ice with my lady friend at How to Train Your Dragon than, say, The Last Station, a cinematic masterpiece but lacking on the cuteness factor. Of course, what does one do after dinner? Three words: Cold Stone Creamery. You don’t get that in Bethesda.

Hot Pink Baron
First Date: Bethesda

If you ask anybody from the D.C. area which neighborhood, Bethesda or Silver Spring, has better dining, a better social scene, and better theaters, and is therefore the better place for a first date, their answer would almost always be that Bethesda is superior in all of those categories. After all, anybody who is at all familiar with the area knows that the variety and quantity of restaurants, which is an extremely important factor in choosing a location for a first date, is far superior in Bethesda. Downtown Silver Spring’s website lists 137 restaurants, while Downtown Bethesda’s lists 183, divided into 30 categories, which include everything from Greek to Cajun to Korean BBQ. Downtown Silver Spring’s website lists only 18 of those categories. Clearly, Bethesda is the better place for a first date when it comes to food.

But food is not the only factor that is important to consider when weighing first date options. Bethesda also has superior movie theaters, with two theaters that play a wide selection of current titles. Bethesda also has two live theaters. Silver Spring has one movie theater that plays current titles, and another that has only one screen and occasionally plays older movies, documentaries, and short films. But possibly the best thing about Bethesda is its wildly popular central strip, Bethesda Row, which is considered by many area residents as one of the best urban areas in the county. Bethesda Row owes its terrific reputation to its vibrant, lively, social scene, both during the day and at night. Silver Spring’s recently-developed Ellsworth Drive has attempted to imitate Bethesda Row, but so far has not been nearly as popular. In short, better restaurants, better movie theaters, and a better social scene make Bethesda a better place than Silver Spring for a first date.

SOURCE: Tattler Extra

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