Sunday, July 12, 2009

Frugal Date Night: Dinner & a Movie

Once a month my husband and I go out on the much-anticipated "date night." With two young children, it's hard for us to get time to ourselves. So we've committed to making sure we get out by ourselves at least every 3-4 weeks.

We had an unexpected free weekend and were able to get our babysitter on short notice. It's important to note that we don't skimp when it comes to childcare. Our babysitter is a college-age teacher from our children's school. She's CPR and first aid-certified, so we pay her more than we would a high school teenager with limited experience. But I digress.

Over the past few weeks, my interest was piqued by an add for a German restaurant in Hawthorne, NJ called Kirker's Inn. It boasted authentic German fare with reasonable prices. My grandmother was right off the boat from a town near Munich. Plus we thought it would be fun to coordinate out meal with a viewing of Sacha Baron Cohen's new movie, "Bruno."

My husband checked out the Kirker Inn's website and saw that they offered an early-bird menu Monday through Saturday from 3-6pm. This worked out perfectly since we were trying to catch a 7:40pm movie.

The restaurant was non-descript, in a brick building just off of Hawthorne's main drag. We chuckled as we were seated since were the only couple under the age of 60 and clearly not your typical "early birds."

In addition to our authentic German meal, we both tried German beers we had never heard of. Mine was called Dab and my husband's was something that began with a "K" and looked like motor oil. My beer was equivalent to a German Corona and my husband commented that his was "better than Guiness."

I ordered a potato pancake appetizer to see if it could rival my mom's. It definitely gave her a run for her money. It was perfectly cooked, not greasy and very flavorful. Even my husband was impressed.

For our main course, my husband got wiener schnitzel (veal cutlet) with a potato pancake and red cabbage. I ordered bratwurst, which came with warm German potato salad and homemade sauerkraut. Both of our meals were incredible. The taste and smell took me back to when my grandmother would cook for us. It was delicious, to say the least.

Since we had some time before the movie, we also ordered dessert -- a peach crisp for two with ice cream (to hell with the diet I say!) Again, it was just incredible. We couldn't walk by the time we left because we were so full!

Then it was onto the movie. All I can say is: if you're a Borat fan, you will love Bruno. It was hysterical.

While not exactly the most frugal date, we had a great time:

Dinner ----- $57 (including appetizer, two dinners, two beers and a dessert + tip)
Movie ------ $21 (two tickets pre-paid at
Babysitter --$60 ($15/hr for 4 hours)

Total = $138

Not too shabby, considering we've gone on dates for $200+!!

If you live in Jersey and try Kirker's Inn, let me know how you like it...same goes for any Borat/Bruno fans!

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