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  • The Most Life-Changing Burger in America

    When we asked readers to name the most life-changing burger joint in a poll, we kinda figured the honor would go to one of the bigger chains: Steak 'n Shake, In-N-Out, Five Guys. The others were just outnumbered. Instead, the winner by a huge margin, with 56% of the votes, was Seattle-based Dick's Drive-In, which inspired more vocal burger love than any other place, even from some guy in Florida. (Full results are at the bottom.)

    As several commenters pointed out, there's nothing extravagant about Dick's, which has been around the northwest Washington area for 58 years. They serve a simple, cheap burger (a Deluxe double is an astoundingly low $2.70) that people just like. The secrets, according to a spokesperson for Dick's, aren't very secret: The beef patties are "fresh, never frozen, and delivered locally every day," and they use a sauce made of mayonnaise and spiced pickle relish.

    TOP CHEF SURVEY: The Best Fast Food in America


    BEEF BUYING GUIDE: How to Find a Perfect Steak

    Read More »from The Most Life-Changing Burger in America
  • The Man's Guide to Dating Up

    By Tom Chiarella

    FOR THE BEDROOM: 10 Ways to Have Better Sex, According to Science

    Back when I tended bar, I often served couples, obviously on their first date, as they waited for a table. I took care of them, the way a bartender does, and then retreated to wipe down a highball or cut limes, assessing, all by my lonesome, how the date was going. I figured I could learn from it, get better at charming women, even simply speaking to them. That's how miserable I was at dating then, thinking I might absorb something for my own benefit. I didn't learn much - except don't ever look over a woman's shoulder while she's on a date - so I amused myself by developing my theory that always people dated up or down, from one genetic platform to another. It was my own bar game, to figure out how far off the two people were before they themselves even knew.

    There were, in the universe I created, no perfect matches. There aren't, on the surface, in any. But for every pair, one of the two people

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  • The Man's Guide to Valentine's Day 2012


    New Relationship

    Morning Greeting: "Happy Valentine's Day!"

    Breakfast: In bed. Suggestion: Warm a large plate in the microwave for 15 seconds. Place one of the following (depending on her taste) on the warm plate: chocolate croissant; Boston cream from Dunkin' Donuts; plain bagel, toasted, with melted butter and some good sea salt on top.

    4:00 P.M. Text: "Your day is only going to get better."

    2012 VALENTINE'S DAY GUIDE: Gift Ideas, Dates, Advice, Stories & More

    Dinner Out.

    Go See A New Movie: You have two options: The Vow: Channing Tatum must make brain-injury-induced amnesia patient/wife Rachel McAdams fall in love with him again. Or Big Miracle: A reporter (John Krasinski) and a Greenpeace volunteer (Drew Barrymore) save a family of gray whales trapped at the Arctic Circle.

    Draw a Bubble Bath: Throw a bottle containing a romantic message into the bath. Exclaim: "Oh, look what the tide brought in!"

    Strew Rose Petals: That indicate a route from

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  • 10 Ways to Avoid Date Disaster

    By Mark Mikin


    2012 VALENTINE'S DAY GUIDE: Gift Ideas, Dates, Advice, Stories & More

    Rule No. 1: No matching outfits.

    Especially if your big night out consists of sinking back into the couch.

    Rule No. 2: No matching haircuts.
    Especially if your big night out consists of reenacting The Blair Witch Project.

    GIFTS FOR HER: The Valentine's Day Presents for Every Woman

    Rule No. 3: Admire this man.

    Reach around. Slide. Reach back. Remove. Repeat.

    Rule No. 4: Don't bring a third wheel.
    Especially if he can't drink his way through it.

    FOR THE BEDROOM: 10 Ways to Have Better Sex, According to Science

    Rule No. 5: No cell phones at the table.

    Especially when martinis are involved.

    Rule No. 6: No hands in the mouth.

    Especially if her hands on their way to Candyland.

    GOING OUT: Dating Rules for the Modern Gentleman

    esquireesquireRule No. 7: Admire this man, too.
    But lose the suspenders for the romantic getaway. And the dog chains, for always.

    Rule No. 8: Don't jump the gun.
    The daytime date is Read More »from 10 Ways to Avoid Date Disaster
  • How to Take a Woman to Dinner the Right Way

    esquireesquireBy John Mariani

    Ask her out at least five days in advance. But since you've got just a few days until Valentine's Day, you're already in the hole. Assuming you've got a date, tell her the reservati on is 15 minutes earlier than it actually is. This way you'll be seated on time.

    French restaurants may seem romantic… Often they upstage you with a meal that revolves around an exotic menu and wine list instead of you having a good time. And then there's the snooty factor, where you're judged as much by the service staff as your date. Especially when it comes to the tip.

    2012 VALENTINE'S DAY GUIDE: Gift Ideas, Dates,
    Advice, Stories & More

    esquireesquireOn Chinese and Asian restaurants: They are either pushy, crowded, and frantic or completely empty, ensuring you'll be the only ones in the whole place. In either case, you'll be out the door in a hurry. Think about it: When was the last time you spent more than an hour in a Chinese restaurant?

    Mexican restaurants can be amiable. They have lively

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  • How to Nail Valentine's Day

    GettyGettyBy Tom Chiarella

    Long ago, on a Valentine's Day which I forgot until ninety minutes before I was due to meet my date, I called my friend Dorothy - the most mechanically adept, least romantically spontaneous woman in the world - and begged for her help. There were three reasons to call her: 1) She had once told me that she wished "every day was Valentine's Day," so I would have her enthusiasm; 2) she liked to brag that she could fix anything in half an hour or less; and 3) she worked in a movie theater where she was known to sometimes offer her friends private, late-night screenings, which were essentially excuses for sexual congress of one sort or another, while Dorothy looked the other way. I had a vague hope that it might not be too late for option number three.

    2012 VALENTINE'S DAY GUIDE: Gift Ideas, Dates, Advice, Stories & More

    Now let me say, this woman worked. She was not some college kid drowsily shoveling out upsize popcorn in miniature barrels, nor did she

    Read More »from How to Nail Valentine's Day
  • 10 New Do's and Don'ts for Super Bowl Party Guests


    By Elizabeth Gunnison

    While some of you will take on the responsibility of hosting a Super Bowl party this year, many others will have the good fortune of simply attending one. Congratulations! You get all the enjoyment with very little effort. You should still, however, put a little thought into how you approach the game. For the guests, here are some brief pointers to making a good appearance on Sunday.

    ULTIMATE SUPER BOWL PARTY: The Easiest Game-Day Food Recipes of 2012


    Plan ahead in combating your Monday morning hangover, as previously reported.

    Pace your game-day drinking. Pre-game coverage starts at 1 p.m. EST; kickoff is at 6:30. The game usually lasts four-plus hours. You do the math.

    Go ahead and wear a team jersey, if you have one on hand. This is really the only time it's acceptable for a man to wear one outside the confines of his own home, so you might as well take advantage.

    Be a good Samaritan and restock your host's fridge as

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  • The Best Buffalo Hot Wings in America

    Finn O'Hara/istock

    By Scott Raab

    What do we talk about when we talk about chicken wings? The now-classic buffalo wing, a paragon of bar-food excellence and the subject of passionate devotion for purists who, hailing from upstate New York themselves, have little else to inspire pride of heritage and place? One of the countless kinds of chicken wings and chicken-wing-like things purveyed by the fast-food outfits that get much of the credit for producing a nation of folks too fat to see their own toes and who have rarely tasted well-prepared food? The traditional chop-suey-joint chicken wing, a take-out staple dating to an era when Chinese food meant a bland, candified version of Cantonese and nothing else? Or how about them trendy Korean places quietly popping up all over the country, with their newfangled twice-fried wings and drumsticks?

    Me, I'm talking about all of the above, because all of the above is what I eat, in the span of an hour and a half and in no particular order. One valiant

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  • Perfect Spicy Wings for the Super Bowl

    Crudite optional.
    Recipe by Chef Brian Poe

    The Ingredients, Part 1

    24 chicken wings
    12 oz. can of beer (Poe prefers Narragansett, but feel free to improvise)
    6 oz. can of chipotle peppers with sauce, pureed
    1/4 cup garlic chili paste

    SUPER BOWL DIET: Healthier Ways to Cook on Game Day >>

    The Ingredients, Part 2: The Spices

    2 Tbl. chili powder
    2 Tbl. red pepper flakes
    2 Tbl. ground coriander*
    2 Tbl. ground cumin
    2 Tbl. garlic powder
    2 Tbl. celery salt
    2 Tbl. cayenne pepper
    2 Tbl. paprika
    2 Tbl. onion powder

    *Finding ground coriander can be a pain. You can omit this and they'll still taste pretty good.

    GAMEDAY SNACK: The Perfect Chips and Dip >>

    Make the Marinade

    Whisk together the garlic chili paste, the pureed chipotle, spices and about half of the beer, adding more if the mixture is too thick.

    Marinate the Wings
    Fully coat the wings in the marinade and put in the fridge for 24 hours.

    Roast the Wings

    Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

    Evenly space the

    Read More »from Perfect Spicy Wings for the Super Bowl
  • How to Buy Her a Wedding Ring

    Hulton ArchiveHulton ArchiveBy Eric Gillin

    Step 1: Spy on Her

    Before you buy anything, gather information. Identify one of her close friends who can keep a secret and might already know what your fiancée wants. Examine a ring she already owns. Take pictures, if you don't know what kind it is. (You don't.) When she isn't looking (she isn't), steal the one she wears on a ring finger. But briefly, for sizing.

    Step 2: Determine Your Budget

    Take your monthly income, subtract your monthly cable and utility bills, multiply that by the inflation rate in your local area, then realize the economy isn't getting any better and neither are any of us. Look, just get her a large-enough piece of metal and diamond that doesn't make you go broke or look like a cheap bastard.

    FOR THE BEDROOM: 10 Ways to Have Better Sex, According to Science

    Step 3: Time Your Spending Well

    Once said piece of metal and diamond gets in your possession, you're going to want to get rid of it like week-old sushi. How you propose is personal, Read More »from How to Buy Her a Wedding Ring


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