Dispatch’s googly eyed, quick-witted, boldness-rewarding blind-dating service

What did they do before the dark times? They ate crème brûlée. We sent comedian Micaela and new-to-town Seth to Local 188 to re-create the experience.

Micaela, 23

What kind of day were you having before the date?

I was having a hectic but exciting day! The organization I work for has both a preschool and a food pantry, so I was busy both playing with kids and loading tons of turkeys in our building on rickety carts. I was also incredibly nervous for the date. Until I found out Seth’s name around 5 p.m. — I was convinced/worried he was going to be someone I had already met on Tinder.


Photo by Sarah Morrill

Photo by Sarah Morrill

What did Seth’s attire tell you about him?

He was wearing a green plaid and a Common Ground Fair hat, which I really dig. It basically told me that he’s a pretty laid-back guy who may have some similar interest as me (i.e., farming, sustainability, etc.).


What does Seth do for work and how does he feel about it?

Seth works at ReVision Energy, which is a local solar-energy firm. We didn’t talk too in-depth about how he feels about the job, but he seemed pretty positive about it. He hasn’t worked there too long though, as he’s only been in Maine since June.


What was one moment in the date you remembered the next day?

I remembered me struggling to break the crema catalana (basically a Spanish crème brûlée) that we had ordered for dessert. He gave me the honors, and although I tried my hardest, my spoon went all over the table and I just couldn’t break it after multiple attempts. He could have gotten super judgmental, but instead he laughed about it and I think he appreciated my clumsiness. It became a silly and fun part of the date.


What did he enjoy talking about most?

That’s a tough question. The flow of conversation was easy, so there wasn’t just one topic that we lingered on. Since he’s only been in Portland a few months, I think he wanted to hear my impressions of the local scenes and whatnot.


What was the best question Seth asked?

I do comedy, so we were talking about that a bit and he asked me what joke I tell that I love but audiences don’t usually like. I appreciate that question because it encourages me to tell him a bit about the comedy I do without doing the typical “tell me a joke” demand that I get from a lot of guys I go on first dates with. I also got the added bonus of him liking the joke … or at least I think he did. Either way, he was pretty convincing.


Describe something he did/said that surprised you.

We were talking about having cable, and I said that I only get to watch cable TV when I’m at my parents’ house. I explained that my go-to is either the Food Network (praise be to Ina Garten) or Law and Order SVU. He then said that he has never seen an episode of Law and Order. How do you go through life and never happen to stumble upon the USA Network when an SVU marathon is in full swing?


Did you hang out after the date?

We didn’t, however, we took our time and spent over two hours at Local 188 sipping drinks and eating slowly while talking. We both had to work in the morning, so we hugged it out, exchanged numbers, and went our separate ways.


Would you go out again?

Totally! I had a great time and would definitely hang out again, either on a date or as friends.



Seth, 29


What kind of day were you having before the date?

I was having a solid Monday. The weekend was stellar, I was still riding high.


What did Micaela’s attire tell you about her?

Micaela was bundled up due to the cold. She was prepared for the cold, but stylish.


Did you know each other? Did you find some mutual connection of people in town you knew?

We met briefly during the election night via a mutual friend at Empire. Due to the results, it was a night we wished turned out differently.


Photo by Sarah Morrill

Photo by Sarah Morrill

What does Micaela do for work and how does she feel
about it?

Micaela works for JCA [Jewish Community Alliance] and really enjoys her work. She’s involved with helping community members and gets to hold babies.


What was one moment you remembered the next day?

How important Chumbawamba’s song “Tubthumping” is.


What did Micaela enjoy talking about most?

The comedy scene. I’m newish to Portland and was really interested in learning about the flourishing scene and how busy she is working on her craft.


What was the best question she asked?

Do you want dessert?


Describe something Micaela did/said that surprised you.

She mentioned a joke she tells during her stand-up set that either bombs or gets a great response. After hearing it, I understand why it doesn’t work for certain people, but it made me laugh.


Did you hang out after the date?

No, we went our separate ways.


Would you go out again?

Yes. I plan on going to her upcoming comedy set [December 29 at Lincolns] and we talked about watching a backyard wrestling VHS.

How did they feel about Local 188?

Micaela: I had a Flower Power cocktail, mussels in white wine, a wild-mushroom dish, a number of other delicious tapas. The atmosphere had a nice ambiance, although it was a little loud. The cocktails were amazing and the food was delicious and creative.

Seth: I had two cocktails: Ruby Honey Jam and Beach Fire. We split fried garlic, North Spore mushrooms, patatas bravas, mussels with white wine, and shrimp and garlic, and finished with crème brûlée. I enjoyed it. Had never been, but have wanted to try it. I don’t traditionally go for tapas/small plates, but the food and drinks were really good.

Local 188, 685 Congress St., 207-761-7909

The Verdict

Hard to tell which way the wind blows with these two. We know they were visited by the spirit of Chumbawamba, but whether that’s a blessing or a curse these days is anyone’s guess. And as difficult as it is to entertain a future with someone in the days after the election, at least these two made plans to hang out again. We’ll put our faith, as so many have before, in the powers of the backyard wrestling VHS.


Wanna get ’matched? Hit us up at DISMATCH@dispatchmag.com.