You have to love a place that has “Café” in its name, yet doesn’t serve food.
Husbands, take notice. Saturday was a dream day for me. Perhaps it was repayment for my attendance at a Blues’ hockey game the week before, I’m not sure. It is how a good marriage works, though. Sometimes you are the giver, sometimes the givee.
The morning started with a lie-in. This happens seldom-to-never as our sleep partner (See Buzzkill McGhee) likes mornings, a lot … Hubs took her downstairs with him and kept her from running back up and doing her usual “Are you up yet? Are you? Are you coming downstairs? Now?”
Next was a delicious breakfast, the famous Egg McKarl’s, which put McDonald’s McMuffins to shame.
A lazy morning of reading all the news I could get my mitts on, a long bath, then off to Beauty and the Beast. Yes, Hubs went, voluntarily. Oh, we were smart about it. We didn’t want any of those pesky children ruining our kids’ movie, so we reserved seats in the over-21 theater. Good call, and surprisingly, he wasn’t the only man at the show. Some may feel he should relinquish his man card for attending something like this, but a smart man knows the benefits to be reaped by such actions.
Then off to dinner with our favorite partners in crime, whose recoiled horror at the thought of the possibility of encountering children, as well as disdain for the manufactured merriment of all things Disney, prohibited them from attending the movie with us. We went to Frazer’s, a local restaurant with good reviews that we hadn’t visited in years. I’m not really sure why it fell off the radar, but we will put it back on. Get the chorizo-stuffed dates, trust me.
In fact, the dates were so amazing that we got a little date obsessed. Who else has great stuffed dates in St. Louis? We finally instituted a new dining policy for future culinary conquests; the menu must contain stuffed dates. You won’t be sorry if you adhere to this rule, as well.
And if you are wondering if the date infatuation lasted past that evening, our dining partners messaged us the next day, exclaiming “AWESOME dates!” I texted back, “You’re not so bad yourselves!”
After our dinner, the social butterfly of our group (obviously not me) was intolerant of my usual “That was fun, let’s all go home so I can be in bed by ten” nonsense. She insisted on a nightcap. We weren’t sure where to go, and were heading towards the Central West End when we drove right by Venice Café. We had to stop.
Although we haven’t been there in many years, I remember the bathrooms fondly. Plus who can resist entering a bar attached to a patio that looks like a regurgitated carnival? A cover of $5 got us access. The décor on the inside of the Venice Café is unabashedly, overwhelmingly kitschy, with a distinctive decorative style best described as “less is for sissies.” Every inch is covered with stuffed animal heads, mosaics, ceramic frogs, glittery bowling pins, UFO driver’s licenses, graffiti and things that would make you laugh at a garage sale. The centerpiece is a flying mannequin over the stage, a woman’s body with an old man’s head. There are cozy living room places tucked around, and a second floor that allows a great view of both the band and the pet snake behind the upstairs bar.
My favorite room, and I don’t believe I could ever say this about any other bar I have ever been in … ever … is the upstairs bathroom. Correctly referred to as the throne room, the well, throne, is up on a pedestal, giving one a commanding view of all the eclectic doohickeys around the unisex yet surprisingly clean facility.
The band playing was fantastic; smooth and jazzy, but not so loud that conversation was difficult. My very favorite part, though, is that the Venice Café doesn’t serve food.* It makes me want to change the name of my blog to Cheri’s Math Tutoring.
*In the summer, when the patio is open, they do have a “Jerk Shack” that serves limited food items. Although this takes a bit away from the amusement of the name, it is more than replaced by the enjoyment of the outside “art.” For me, summer does nothing to improve my basic lack of math skills.