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Islington Gazette: Burrito bachelor in Latino love search

January 23, 2011

RIchard FitzGerald, creator and dater for 52 Burrito Dates

At a quick glance, Richard FitzGerald appears to be living out an incredible fantasy. With a year’s supply of free Mexican food at a top Islington eatery and a string of girls literally begging to date him, Richard is the envy of many men in London.

However, sitting across the table from the would-be Casanova on our first date, it seems as though his romantic reality has not been as fulfilling as the fantasy. While an endless supply of tasty Mexican treats coupled with throngs of potential dates might seem like the perfect arrangement, Richard seems slightly unenthusiastic about his romantic prospects.

A half an hour into our “burrito date” and I have learned a great deal about the ups and downs of the 27-year-old’s whirlwind, fiesta-filled lifestyle. It all began last March, when Richard won 365 fast-food Mexican meal vouchers, donated by Chilango, in Upper Street, Islington, in a raffle.

Quick to brag about his foodie fortune on the social networking site, Twitter, the Irish-born Shoreditch resident found himself with an influx of friends asking, demanding and, in some cases, even begging that he share his winnings with them.

After numerous conversations and debates with fellow Twitter users about the best way to share the mounds of Mexican cuisine, Richard hit upon an idea that would allow him to share his impressive prize, while also indulging his love of social networking and blogging.

The premise was simple – Richard would take a different girl on a date to Chilango every week for a year, in an attempt to find his perfect burrito babe, while publicly blogging about the intimate details of every experience. In April of last year Richard set up his first burrito-based date and http://www.52burritodates.com was born.

“I had loads of people messaging me on Twitter and asking if I would take them out for a meal at Chilango. Some suggested that it would be a great way to meet women and take them on dates and that’s where I got the idea from,” he explains.

“I already had a blog and I thought that this would make a great basis for a new one. I set it up and organised my first date and it all just followed on from there.”

Since publishing a post about his first romantic Mexican meal, 52 Burrito Dates has been inundated with readers keen to find out whether the burrito bachelor has finally met his match. Richard’s frank reviews of each of his dates seem to have struck a chord with numerous internet users and each of his posts is full of comments from caring readers eager to have their say about the latest addition to his dating archive.

“The girls know what they are getting themselves in for when they sign up. If there is something that they really don’t want written in the blog post then I don’t put it in,” he assures me.

“Some of the girls ask to remain anonymous but, on the most part, they are comfortable with having me blog about the date. That’s the purpose of this after all.”

But surely, he would be willing to sacrifice the blog in order to pursue a potentially long-lasting relationship with the perfect girl?

“I often wonder which is more important – the blog or the girls – and I let myself avoid answering that question because I have a feeling it might be the blog,” says Richard.

“If something real did happen with one of the girls then I could put the blog on hold I guess, or perhaps blog about subsequent dates with the same girl.”

Unsurprisingly, Richard has come across a fair few oddballs during the last 36 dates – not least a more recent encounter that left his inbox full of romantic poetry and declarations of undying love – however he has yet to find that special señorita: “I sometimes wonder whether I will ever find someone that I want to keep dating. I have had a couple of second dates but nothing that has meant enough to pursue.

“I’m still having fun though. This place is really quirky and I love coming here. I still love the burritos too, so no chance of me not wanting to eat any more! I’ll see the dates through to the end and if I don’t find my perfect match then at least I’ve had a great time looking.”

This article was written for publication in the Islington Gazette – www.islingtongazette.co.uk

One Comment leave one →
  1. Kate Reavill permalink
    April 11, 2011 9:51 pm

    Charlie, just read a few of your blogs – this one in particular was really interesting! Really good work x

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