If fancy, serious, romantic meals make you want to lose your lunch, opt out of the candlelit steakhouse meal this Friday and sink your teeth into something messy, suitable for fun-loving couples who’ve been together awhile or pals that are treating the evening like just another night. Because nothing says “I’m happy with my relationship status” like a face full of crumbs, sauce, and prawn brains.
Juicy Lucy at Whitmans, 406 East 9th Street, 212-228-8011
The Juicy Lucy, a Minnesota classic, is an inverted cheeseburger where the cheese is stuffed inside the patty. At Whitmans, take a bite of the short rib blend patty and be seduced by the squirting hot pimento cheese that shoots out of your burger. Sexy.
Blackened Head On Prawns at Strip House, 15 West 44th Street, 212-336-5454
If your date insists on going to a fancy steak house for the holiday, head to Strip House in Midtown and do your best to ruin the romantic red-hued atmosphere by ordering the blackened head-on prawns from the Valentine’s Day menu. Break those critters in half and suck all the hot, melty brains out with as much slurping as possible.
Pasta al Pomodoro at Porsena, 21 East 7th Street, 212-228-4923
Red sauce pasta is perilous, especially if you’re wearing white — and it’s a difficult dish to eat if you’re trying to look impressive. Porsena in the East Village offers a classic pasta al pomodoro with spaghetti, tomato sauce, basil, and parmigiano that’s simple but satisfying. See how long your date — or the bartender — can entertain your serious conversation without laughing when you have tons of sauce on your face.
Spicy Hot Garlic Chicken Wings and Drumsticks at Bonchon, 325 Fifth Avenue, 212-686-8282
Head to Koreatown, where you’ll be able to get your fingers sticky from Bonchons crispy, spicy, garlicky wings. You could daintily use a napkin between bites, but why bother? You’re consuming these morsels by the dozen.
Jerk Grilled Corn with Toasted Coconut at Miss Lily’s, 132 West Houston Street, 646-588-5375
Miss Lily’s in Soho serves lots of Jamaican delicacies, but grab the sweet jerk grilled corn for an island treat that you can eat with your hands. Corn on the cob will mess up your face, and you’re going to get corn kernels and flecks of coconut stuck in your grill. This spot also does delivery if you’d like to tenderly pick the kernels out of your lovers’ teeth in private.