Hoda Kotb Says a Trip to This Chain Restaurant Would Be Her Dream First Date

The fajitas won't be the only thing sizzling.

<p>Getty Images/Allrecipes</p>

Getty Images/Allrecipes

Here at Allrecipes, we’re suckers for a date night in. With hundreds of romantic recipes that are designed for two and several fun at-home date ideas that revolve around food and drink, we’re firm believers that some of the best and most memorable moments with your plus one can be shared in the comfort of your own home—and your own PJs, if you like.

But for a first date, when you’re just getting to know someone, we recommend neutral territory, like a coffee shop, cocktail lounge, or restaurant. Turns out, we have good company with that latter idea.

After splitting with her fiancé Joel Schiffman in December 2021 (the duo dated for 8 years and were engaged for 2), “Today” co-anchor and mom of two Hoda Kotb has been a free agent romantically. You might think someone who rubs elbows with news-makers each morning, hosts a celebrity interview podcast, and has written several books might prefer a Michelin-starred spot or the latest trendy New York City opening.

Hoda Kotb's Go-To Chain Restaurant Picks

However, when "Page Six" asked Kotb where she would prefer to go on a date, her answer was refreshingly relatable.

“I like Cracker Barrel, Cheesecake Factory, Olive Garden…Red Lobster and Outback,” Kotb said. “Do not diss any of those.”

However, if forced to choose a favorite, it sounds like she wants her “baby back;” she gleefully added, “Chili’s!”

Affordable, approachable, and with plenty of items designed to share, you could do far worse than splitting some snacks and enjoying sips together at Chili’s. We can imagine it now: Start with tortilla chips and the dip trio, or if you’re feeling saucy, ask for a basket of wings. And don't skip the queso. If you’re feeling a spark, you can keep the evening going with a sizzling platter of fajitas. (Or follow the lead of the jingle and get your "Chili' back ribs.") Then for dessert, you can sweeten the deal with a molten lava cake or skillet cookiea la mode, of course.

It’s clear that Kotb is seeking a partner who isn’t part of the “see and be seen” set. She also has some red flags she’s keeping an eye out for as she dates. In case you missed it, Kotb revealed to pal Kelly Clarkson that “something did happen the other day that hasn’t happened in two years…I had a date! I had a date!”

Kotb told "Page Six" that “manners matter,” and said that it was a deal-breaker if she found that her dinner date was “someone who’s not polite. If they don’t hold the door, if they don’t listen, if they start eating before I eat. You gotta be polite. I’m a manners person.”

But Kotb is perfectly content going out on the town and asking for a table for one, or staying home and soaking up quality time with her daughters, she continued: “Happiness comes when you wake up in the morning and you look around and you are happy with your kids, your life, who you are, what you represent. That’s what happiness is because everything else goes away.”

Read the original article on All Recipes.