You have the idea of a typical blind date in your mind, and it isn’t a very pretty picture. On the other hand, staying home is not a pretty picture either. So consider taking up your friends on some of these offers.
If you are still unsure, be very clear on what criteria you have. Just because the guy happens to be single, does NOT mean he is the ideal person for you. Ask your friend is she knows you share the same interests, so the date won’t be a complete disaster.
The safest option is to meet for coffee… then there is no commitment to stay longer than it takes to finish a coffee, and if things go well, you can propose lunch or dinner afterwards, or taking a walk.
If the invite is for dinner, but sitting through dinner is completely unappealing to you, make your date for a local museum instead and suggest a cocktail before or after. That way, you could just minimize discussion to museum topics, or if you find him interesting, suggest heading to the museum’s coffee shop instead, for some undivided attention discussion, or that cocktail.
And remember, if nothing else, you will have some stories to tell about the last bad date you went on!