Hey, I bet you anything you've seen the exterior of Carlo's Bar more than the inside of your own stove or maybe even your mother's face. That's because it's perched next to 24th Street BART and everybody takes 24th Street BART all the time. Or maybe just me. And the other people who take 24th Street BART all the time. ANYWAY.
It's interesting sociologically and anthropologically that there are these mostly- or totally-Latino bars sprinkled around the Mission, which makes sense because, of course, the Mission is (still) a largely Hispanic neighborhood, but which most of the white people who live in and around there never go into. (PLEASE don't leave an angry comment if you're a white person who hangs out in a Latino bar. Good for you, I believe you, etc. Just making a generalization.)
SO in the interest of seeing what the deal is, we headed into Carlo's Bar. Being a Wednesday night at 8:00, it was pretty empty. As expected, we were the only non-Hispanic people in there. Everyone stared at us. Not in a mean way. Or maybe in a mean way; I don't know. There was very loud Mexican music playing. I'm sure there's a term for the specific kind of music but I don't know what it is. There were three female bartenders, which seemed odd because there were about 8 customers. They all rushed over to us and started speaking very rapid Spanish. We said "Tecate" and got some Tecates. They switched to English, sort of.
Like I said, about 8 people. Couple of guys playing pool. One M/F couple dancing energetically to the music. At this point, we're just soaking it all in when the guy next to me strikes up a conversation, sort of. Jesús, as it turns out, is from Mexico and is EXTREMELY FRIENDLY. Also a little drunk. I could understand about two out of every 20 words so I nodded and smiled a lot. He introduced himself to all of us and proceeded to say, I think, that he likes San Francisco a lot. I might have accidentally told him I was from Mexico. I'm not sure. Jesús works at a very well-known Indian restaurant, so if you've had Tandoori chicken in the Mission in the last two years, chances are Jesús has cooked for you.
We would have stayed for another beer but here's the thing. Everyone was incredibly friendly and it was fun and everything but I was cornered and, frankly, Jesús would not shut up and it's kind of awkward to try and have a conversation with someone when you can't really understand a word they're saying. Also, his breath was deadly, I'm not joking. So we had to take our leave.
I know what you thought when you saw Dirty Thieves in the title of this post: How could TK have never been to Dirty Thieves? Either that or "Ugh, I'm not reading this bullshit," one of the two. Anyway, I went there a few times when it was Treat Street, but I haven't been since it became Dirty Thieves. Anyway, perfectly fine bar. I bet it gets seriously hipstered up on weekends. Just saying. Interestingly, there was a M/F couple dancing here, too! Is there a new Dance Dance Revolution I don't know about? So it's got booths and a pool table and bathrooms and an Internet jukebox and blah blah blah it's fine.