Mandatory Last-Minute Happy Hour at T-Rex BBQ
My DJ/interior designer friend Fresh Pink and I had just done an SF Station Shopping section research trip to this high-end consignment shop run by an old neighbor of mine, after which we took a good long hike up West Blithedale.
Cruising back to Pink's place in the East Bay, we passed T-Rex BBQ on Gilman, and she reminded me about their legendary happy hour.
(I love appetizers. I love happy hour.)
This is a restaurant I've been meaning to patronize since the Fonda/Lalimes/Sea Salt empire opened it a few years ago, so I looked at my tiny telephone to check the time.
4:48pm. Happy Hour.
We swooped in and got all set up with $1 oysters, $5 apps like BBQ pork riblets, smoked salmon toast, and pulled pork nachos, as well as a $2 trio of deviled eggs so good they'd be worthy of placement in my grandma's crystal deviled egg platter.
And don't forget about the $5 Herradura Silver margaritas.
(I love a restaurant where Herradura is considered well tequila.)
The bar was full, and the dining room started to fill in as the clock neared 6pm.
(Am I aware that there are two flat screen TVs in the bar, and that I am being a little bit hypocritical considering my recent post on the Owl Tree? Welllllll, yes. But T-Rex is an upscale BBQ joint -- a different animal entirely!)
Just as I'd slurped my first oyster, I noticed a couple of familiar faces looking my way from behind the line in the open kitchen.
It was Miles Kline, T-Rex's Executive Chef, and Reyes Rivas, Sous Chef (pictured), both of whom I had worked with years ago at Enrico's!
I had just been wondering where those guys had ended up; during my miniature nostalgia tour of North Beach last Wednesday, I was wistfully recalling Reyes' deft hand with the pasta specials when he was the day chef at Enrico's.
This guy had the magic touch with a saute pan of orechiette, housemade sausage, arugula, and stock-based sauce made up on the spot.
Scott from City Lights Bookstore would come in, sit at the bar, and order one of Reyes' specials just about every other day.
At the time, it seemed so indulgent and leisurely to have a fancy pasta (and a Stella, I think it was?) for lunch on such a regular basis.
I suppose it still is.
(But so is a Friday afternoon spent shopping, hiking, and hitting happy hour.)