How I got free drinks at Santana Row
Friday night was unprecedented for me. I got three free drinks for no reason at all. It was such a fluke that I’d thought I’d tell you about it. The rest of the experience, however, was so Santana Row. During the day, Santana Row is for shopping, but in the evening, the restaurants and bars take over. But, they all look much more fun from the sidewalk, and almost all of them close by midnight.
It all started at El Jardin, the tequila bar on the boulevard area of Santana Row. Like every place on Santana Row, it looked a lot better from the outside. (continued after the jump)
Like every place on Santana Row, it looked a lot better on the outside. When we got inside, it was so crowded and disorganized that we didn’t really know where to order drinks. At what was the closest thing to a bar that we could find, my friend and I ordered drinks. And then we waited. And waited. Some seats opened up and we went and sat down. And waited. A waiter came by and asked if we wanted to order anything. We told him that we already ordered, and a third friend ordered another drink. Right away our three drinks arrive, along with a bill for just the third drink. We were there quite a bit longer and never saw a waiter again, so we figured that we weren’t going to get a bill for the other two. Free drink #1.
The night was still young, so my friend and I were determined to find another place to go at Santana Row. Rosie McCann’s had a $10 cover, and we knew that V Bar was not worth going to, so we relunctantly headed to Blowfish. Blowfish’s dark interior and small bar area looked nice enough, but while we were waiting at the bar to order drinks, we quickly realized that this was a Jager and Redbull type of place. I tried to order a sidecar (my latest favorite drink: brandy and citrus), but the bartender with the cute Australian accent, after scoping out the liquor options, advised against it, although he seemed rather impressed that I had ordered it. I got a tequila and tonic instead. I reached for my wallet, the bartender told us to put our money away. Free drink #2.
The two of us sat down (since there isn’t much else to do at Blowfish), amazed at our luck to be drinking our second free drink of the night. Now let me tell you, the friend who I was with, while being an employment attorney in her early thirties, is model tall and model thin, and can easily pass for her early twenties. But she told me that she had never gotten free drinks for no reason before. I certainly had never gotten free drinks before. The only explanation: Wonder Twin Power! I am going out drinking with her more often. Alone we are not strong enough, but together, we have the power!
So we are sitting there, finishing our drinks, and we start to wonder what would happen if we go up to the bar and get another round of drinks. We decide to find out. We wait patiently at the bar, the Australian sees us, and comes over. This time I decide to order a gimlet, just for something different. He whips up our drinks with lots of dramatic shaking and flipping, and once again motions that there is no charge. Free drink #3.
My gimlet was STRONG. I didn’t even finish it, but I realized that I wasn’t going to be driving home right away. Problem was, the clock struck midnight, and everything was shutting down. There was no where to go. No place to get a cup of coffee and some fries or a milkshake or a piece of pie. Even Flames, the diner across the street from Santana Row was closed. So frustrating! So we went back to my friend’s apartment where we ate ice cream and talked late into the night.