Dinner and a show

Fanfare.

I am a lover of fanfare.

Whether that means dressing up, attending a concert or planning a themed-party, I enjoy formalities, spectacles, surprises and a schedule of events.

Living in a city like San Francisco, there is an incredible number of functions, venues and activities for one to find fanfare, and this Saturday — find it we did.

After a day full of hard work, Dave had planned a surprise evening for me combining two of my favorite things: Dinner and a show.

We dined at The Stinking Rose, San Francisco’s original garlic restaurant, which serves more than 3,000 pounds of garlic per month.  Decorated from wall-to-wall with eclectic artwork, black and white pictures of celebrities, garlic and an Italian flair, The Stinking Rose is unique.  We sat at the perfect little table in the window, giving us a view of the sidewalk and the lights of the North Beach neighborhood.  We enjoyed a sizzling iron-skillet of garlic-infused shrimp, garlic braised boneless short rib (which was absolutely melt-in-your-mouth good) and some reasonably priced house red wine.

The Stinking Rose is rather well-known to visitors and locals and has been on our list of “to-dos” since we arrived.  The experience in this interesting place, as well as the smell, the flavors and the food didn’t disappoint.

Toward the end of our entrée, Dave suggested we hurry up and move along so we could make it to our second activity of the night: Seeing Steve Silver’s “Beach Blanket Babylon” — America’s longest-running music revue show — situated just a few minutes away from the restaurant on Beach Blanket Babylon Boulevard in Club Fugazi.

Although our seats were toward the back, there wasn’t a bad seat in the house.  The sold-out show followed a character named Snow White, who was searching for her Prince Charming around the world.  She encountered politicians, celebrities, musicians and athletes on her quest to different cities, including San Francisco.  There was singing, dancing, live-music, incredible costumes and endless inappropriate jokes.  There were quite a few jokes about living in the city of San Francisco, which we certainly would not have caught when we were newer, including digs at the ban on nudity, the stereotypes of neighborhoods and making fun of the overall vibe of the city.

I was laughing out loud, dancing from my seat and smiling from ear-to-ear.  Even though he hadn’t expect to enjoy it so much, even Dave was pleased with the irreverent entertainment.

After the show, Dave and I stopped in a local Irish pub for a beverage and began talking with some visiting English businessmen who were rather chatty and entertaining.  Guess what they asked us mid-conversation … “Did you guys eat garlic tonight?”  Why, yes … yes we did.

I had set out Saturday night ready for a warm meal after a big day, but I got so much more than that during this line-up of fun activities.

A fabulous and fragrant night of fanfare.

Please note: Sadly, I was not able to take any photos of the show.  Imagine sparkles, headpieces, drag queens and everything else wonderful you hope to see on stage.

The Stinking Rose
The perfect table-for-two at The Stinking Rose.
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