Her Ladyship

Notes from the gutter.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Kicking the cowbell

That's not a euphemism, either. Last night we went to dinner at the Old San Francisco Steakhouse. The Texan was almost beside himself with glee about eating there; he apparently went to the now-defunct one in Houston for his prom. I had wanted to eat at Casa del Sol, but they apparently gave up the ghost on a quiet night and had closed by the time we got there at 8:45 (this town is not kind to late diners, btw. More than once we've had to shuffle around, driving hopefully from restaurant to restaurant, attempting to find a place that's not IHOP that we can eat at after 9PM).

Anyways, it was late and I was hungry, so I said that the Old San Francisco Steakhouse was fine as a second choice. It wasn't until we were just about to open the front door when The Texan said, "And I hope that the girl on the swing is there tonight." Sounds dodgy, right? Like she might be taking shifts between the pole-dancers and the strippers? Okay, maybe that's just me. When I lived in Italy, there was this one show I could never figure out that had two middle-aged guys in Hawaiian shirts sitting and talking about the news, sports, etc., while two teenage girls in bikinis slowly swung on swings behind them. The girls were never relevant to the news, mind you: they were just part of the background. So perhaps I am skewed toward negatively interpreting the presence of girls on swings.

But when we walked in, it looked pretty legit. They had a guy in a tuxedo playing the piano and yes, a red velvet swing above the bar. But I couldn't pay much attention to it at first because they brought, while we were waiting for our steaks, a huge cube of cheese with freshly-baked sourdough bread to graze upon. We could shave off all the cheese we wanted, and it really was a never-ending block of cheese as its dimensions were roughly a foot cubed. Oh dear god it was good.

Plus, due to some problems with a recent change in ownership, they didn't have a liquor license. So they were giving their guests free beer and wine. Thanks, don't mind if I do!

About half-way through our meal, the girl dressed up in a California Gold Rush-era can-can outfit came out and helped various drunken customers up on the swing. The goal is to kick the cowbells attached to the three-story ceiling, something that apparently is harder to achieve than you might think. While The Texan tried to goad me into getting up on the swing, I sunk deeper into my block of cheese and free wine.

Finally, after three people tried and failed, the girl got up there and schooled the restaurant on how you swing high enough to kick the cowbell. She did it quite well and made it look pretty easy. By that point in the evening, I'd had enough free wine that I was starting to think *I* could kick the cowbell. Luckily we were finishing up by then, The Texan was itching to go outside for a smoke, and we packed up to head out.

I may have to go back, though, for the cheese if for nothing else. Oh, and the steak was good too. Anything that has bacon wrapped around it can't go wrong, is my opinion.


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