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$40 date: Mambo Italiano

This weeks date place is a location that I have been going to for years. My family is originally from New Jersey and one thing my parents always looked for whenever we moved to a new town was a good place to get NY style pizza. So imagine the delight of young MandySue (circa 1999 freshman year of high school) when she was taken to a restaurant for a friend's birthday and discovered that yes Virginia, you can get NY style pizza in Memphis, tn. I went home and told my parents and my family had been dining at this establishment ever sense: The Brooklyn Bridge.

Here's the deal with the bridge, it's not really a pizza place per say, it's actually a nice Italian place. Not only have I been on many dates there I've witnessed many dates there. But it's also a great family dining spot too and I've seen tons of large groups there as well. Here's my ambience shot to give you an idea: 

If you like wine and order entrees with a shared appetizer and dessert a couple is looking to spend about $100. But if you keep it simple with a pizza to share you can walk out on $40-ish. If you haven't learned this yet let me be clear: I absolutely love paying casual restaurant prices at nicer ambience places and this awesome combination will always move a place to the top of my list. 

When Shaun and I go we get cokes, because that's just what goes with pizza. The bridge provides a basket of bread with olive oil for dipping, yum! We like to get the spinach dip appetizer, and by we I mean I'm obsessed with it and Shaun likes it enough but likes to please me even more. 

Mmmm, so yummy!

And then of course we share a pizza. We always get a large, mostly because the dynamics are off when the size of the pizza is reduced but also because it's only a few dollars more and is HUGE! Look: 

Depending upon our hunger mood we take home 2 to 4 slices. 

On our plan we spent $45 with tax and tip. Healthier minded people might skip the appetizer or sodas to keep it under $40. Or if you're ok going a little over get salads instead, two would be the price of one app I beleive. Since at least one of us gets another meal out of this I'm bending my rules a little to qualify this as a $40 date. 

Occasionally I do like to get the pastas here as they are oh so good but here's a pro tip: they offer appetizer portions if you just have a small pasta craving. Sub out two appetizer pastas and salads for the pizza and you'd spend the same. I might try that sometime but if you beat me to it let me know how it works out. Another pro tip: there usually are families dining there as well as couples on dates, if you ask to sit in the nook by the front window you'll be tucked away in a small area that only has 3 tables. You could also sit in the bar, but that's where the entrance is so there's lots of foot traffic. Final tip - the old basketball coach who shall not be named loves this place but current Coah Pastner is a regular as well so you might see him there with players. Keep it classy y'all and let people enjoy their dinner. 

Happy $40 dating! 


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