Consequently, it was with some trepidation that we headed out for some deck drinkage at La Cocina Del Puerco (9097 Metcalf in Overland Park). We had received a tip that Wednesdays were the most fun nights there, especially on the small patio. "It is not a bar but a restaurant, and not too wild until the margaritas have sunk in and people start singing with or heckling the singer (usually a guy with a guitar playing Jimmy Buffett and Eagles covers)," wrote our tipster, adding that "the staff drinks heavily as the evening goes on." Excellent. We've always liked it when management understands that the staff that drinks together stays together.
We blew in one Wednesday night, accompanied by Research Assistants Cat and Brett, while the island-rhythms/acoustic-blues sounds of the Bobcats (guys in Hawaiian shirts) dominated the patio. We snagged a table with ease, perhaps because the clouds looked ominous and the band announced that it might have to stop playing if there were any errant lightning bolts. The patio was somewhat festive -- long and narrow, with the band at one end and a dried-grass streamer occasionally mingling with the ubiquitous beer-banner streamers.
Margaritas seemed the way to go, so we ordered two frozen and one on the rocks. They arrived in tall, white-plastic cups, salt clinging desperately to the rim, topped with an unsqueezed wedge of lime. After a few sips, we were disappointed. The drinks were somewhat weak, with a Gatoradelike flavor infused with salt particles. "It tastes like an armpit," Cat said.
Both RAs were equally unenthusiastic about the atmosphere; the loud band made it hard to socialize. "That's the reason people get drunk," Cat went on. "They can't hear a single thing people are saying, so they keep drinking."
"I'm not happy with your tipster," Brett said.
Our opinion was in the minority, though. We talked with Britt, who was there with three of her girlfriends. "Frankly, I'm not old enough to be here," she said. All were college sophomores relaxing before school started. A coupon they'd found in an entertainment book had inspired them to go out to see the Bobcats the previous week, and now they were massive fans. "They're awesome," Britt said spiritedly. "They're so much fun -- they talk to the audience."
"It's perfect party music," added her friend Sarah. So, were they groupies? "They call us the Bobkitties!" Britt said. "It's not like we're going to follow them around the country, but if they're in KC, we'll see them ... and we'll definitely buy their CD."
We went to chat up the band, whose members were taking a break. Talking to percussionist Shems Nickle, we commented that the band had groupies. "And wives," a woman sitting at his table said pointedly. We backed off, but not before requesting "Why Don't We Get Drunk and Screw."
"We'll do the song just for you," one band member promised. Not long after their rousing rendition, the Bobcats broke into their original hit, "Show Us Your Titties!"
"I like the gray-hair singing it," Brett said.
"He's a titty connoisseur," Cat said.
"He's seen many a titty," rejoined Brett, who then pointed out that, after the song, the Bobcats didn't get a single bra thrown at them.
If there were any bra throwing to be done, it wouldn't have been from the table where Steve, aka "Pinche" (which he said means "good in a pinch") and his buddy Ric were sitting. These two older firefighters from Fort Worth, Texas, were visiting their friend Catherine and craving some real Mexican food.
"Love it, love the music," Ric said. Pinche called the margs "very good."
According to night-shift manager Destry Pirch, La Cocina Del Puerco has live music on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. "Wednesday tends to be a pretty fun crowd," he said. "It draws in a strange mix of college-age and middle-aged professional types. It's relaxed, and people have a good time listening to fun music."
Bra still intact and fully supporting our chest, we were just happy we hadn't suffered a drink-induced heatstroke.