Friday Night in North Beach

House Cappuccino

So I am at work and decide to catch dinner with some coworkers and their friends, in North Beach. I knew about some other happenings in town- Yelp party at Voda in Union Square- but when folks want to go to your neighborhood, it’s very hard to go anywhere else.

We started here, cramming seven bodies in a booth and regaling folks with the story of a recent dinner at Supper Club (that gets its very own post). It is perfect freezing-ass weather to have two House Cappuccinos (pictured above) though to my knowledge there is no coffee in it. A regular seemed to help out the bartender, and before taking your order would say: “I can only make 2 drinks: beer, and the house cappucino.” Funny, since the capp is a little involved. Others joined us- folks I hadn’t seen in months- and then a friend from jury duty who just wrote a great piece on North Beach came in and practically knew everyone.

Ristorante Gondola
We walked down Columbus Ave. two blocks to La Gondola. Seating for 8 with no reservations? Done! Three of us got the special lasagna, nummy. Two others got the wild boar papardelle- also very good. We had these little roasted eggplant around goat cheese, with a chopped tomato marinara sauce over it, very good. I heard good things about the minestrone too. Another local North Beacher- Lesley- and I talked to the waiter about the Broadway & Columbus crime corridor and the closing of Enrico’s, all sad news. He reads the same sheriff’s blotter I read. He doesn’t go to Telegraph Hill to hang out at friend’s there anymore, as he did in the last 10 years.

We go to Vesuvio’s to meet more people, as a meeting-up place before a show. Vesuvio’s is also great on a cold day- you are very close to everyone and it seems to stay perpetually warm. I’m excited because the guy we’re going to meet there- his dad was a longshoreman. Poor guy gets assaulted by me the moment we meet him, and then talk about Fisherman’s Wharf and the labor disputes in the 30s-40s. I had just read about the corpse outlines that I’d put on the Fisherman’s Wharf Hunt.
corpse outline

Eureka Theater- Naked Babies
Decide at the last minute to accompany some of our party to a SketchFest event, “Naked Babies”. I’m taunted with the fact that I don’t really know what is going on in the city, as this is the second time everyone seems to know about a show, and I don’t, the first being another outing to ‘Tings Dey Happen’. The second- this stellar Rob Corddry (from the Daily Show) with Naked Babies Sketch Fest, and openers were Pretty Ponies. Both were really good- it’s a little more raw with the Pretty Ponies, and therefore funnier, but Naked Babies were hilarious. Me, I think comedy shows are like pizza. It’s never bad, it’s just not as enjoyable.

There was a moment, sitting in Eureka Theater, before the opening act, that I looked around and saw 30-40something people, in dark layered clothes, laughing with their friends, alternately eating cookies or drinking wine, and I realized that this is what locals do on a Friday night.