This Valentine's Day, you can serve your sweetie a heart-shaped donut for breakfast, follow it up with heart-shaped pizza for lunch, then a heart-shaped pretzel mid-afternoon snack, and finally a heart-shaped steak for dinner. That’s if you don’t already have reservations for White Castle, of course.
Here are a few of the promotions—heart-shaped and otherwise—being aimed at consumers celebrating Valentine’s this year:
GREASE BY CANDLELIGHT
Two working class, decidedly unfancy restaurant chains—White Castle and Waffle House—are once again offering “romantic” dinner specials that’ll appeal to the irony-minded crowd. Look for table service complete with white linens and candlelight, as well as the usual selection of fried food. Reservations are required, though your date isn’t required to stay once she finds out where you’re eating.
Now through February 14, when you buy a dozen donuts at Krispy Kreme, you’ll get a bonus of 12 Valentine’s cards—each one good for a free Krispy Kreme donut. Among the options are two limited-time heart-shaped donuts, the Sprinkled Heart (white icing with red and white sprinkles) and the Chocolate Iced Heart (chocolate icing with red drizzle). Dunkin Donuts also has a heart-shaped treat available throughout February. The Cupid’s Choice Donut is described as “a heart-shaped donut filled with Bavarian Kreme, topped with strawberry flavored icing and a festive mix of pink, white and red heart-shaped sprinkles.” There’s no Valentine’s freebie offer at Dunkin Donuts, however.
A half-dozen free cookies can be yours courtesy of Great American Cookies, which is giving away six cookies when you pre-order a cookie cake 14 inches or bigger by February 7. Pretzelmaker, meanwhile, is giving away one heart-shaped pretzel with every pretzel purchased—but only if you like the company on Facebook.
Finally, Qdoba, the Mexican restaurant chain, is repeating a Valentine’s tradition this year with a buy one, get one free entrée special on February 14. The catch, if you want to call it that, is that to get the freebie you must kiss someone — “a significant other, friend, family member or willing stranger at the cash register,” the rules stipulate.
Two Papas are featuring heart-shaped pizza for this season’s Valentine’s Day: Papa John’s is once again tossing pizzas in the shape of hearts, and Papa Murphy’s is offering the HeartBaker, which you bake at home. For something even more hearty—in both senses of the word—mail order specialist Lobel’s of New York is selling Sweetheart Steaks. The 20-oz. rib steak goes for $63, while the top-end Wagyu Dry-Aged 20-oz. Sweetheart Strip Steak runs $196, and both are trimmed in the shape of a heart.
EVERYBODY LOVES ICE CREAM
When in doubt, you can’t go wrong with ice cream for your Valentine. Among the Valetine-themed options this year are Baskin-Robbins “Bundle of Love,” the flavor of the month consisting of chocolate ice cream and chocolate-flavored hearts with raspberry filling. It’s available in cups, cones, hand-packed pints, and even in milk shakes. Dairy Queen has brought back the Choco Covered Strawberry blizzard and is selling various heart-shaped ice cream cakes. Cold Stone Creamery is offering special Valentine-themed gift cards, which are perfect to give to your sweetie if, say, you just had a big Valentine’s dinner at White Castle and you’re not exactly up for ice cream.