Walter Mencken 11 a.m., May 24
Old Town: Cheap Nibbles, Free Tipples
Tuesdays and Thursdays are turning into quite a scene at Barra (4016 Wallace Avenue, in Old Town Plaza, between San Diego Avenue and Congress Street).
I like it because, okay, tourist central, yes, but this is the remains of a genuine adobe from 1838. That's when corporal Jose del Rosario Aguilar, one of the Mission’s guards, would sit right here at evening times like this, looking onto the square and bouncing his kids on his knee. Probably this exact spot.
Old Town Plaza
So, Taco Tuesday? I called Tiffany Arcand, the manager (I'd met her when she ran the morning bar at The Waterfront) to find out.
Yes, she says, but more. “We’re calling ours “Wacky Tuesdays,” she says. Happy hour's from 4:00 p.m. till close, and yes, 3 for $3 street tacos. (I remember the carnitas is really luscious. They also do machaca, chicken and veggie). But also specialties like BBQ chicken quesadillas for $7, and potato flautas for $4.
And wait. There's more. As the sun sets, a live singer. “Gus Mezza. He’s amazing,” says Tiffany. “He sings Latin songs, but sometimes even a little Johnny Cash. Plus, we’re organizing trivia quizzes, about, like, the history of the plaza, with giveaways of teeshirts and shot glasses.”
I’d called because I wanted to know if they were still giving out samples of tequila like they were last time I went to Barra Barra.
Tequila tasting table
“Yes,” says Tiffany, “but that’s on Thirsty Thursdays. This Thursday, if you get a plate of coconut shrimp with orange marmalade sauce [$7.95], or even say a flatbread taco ($2), we offer complimentary samples of Peligroso tequila. That’s our tequila of the week.”
Sounds great, even though I’m no way up to speed on tequila.
Best thing, actually, is jes' settling back at sunset, de-stressing with Carla, and watching the world go by, in this little world that’s already gone by.