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Bar: Butter 

Wednesday, Sep 9 2015
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My favorite place to get blackout drunk in San Francisco is Butter, a white-trash-themed watering hole on SOMA's 11th Street. As Dos Equis's Most Interesting Man in the World might say, I don't always go to Butter, but when I do, it's the best night I won't remember.

I've spent my past three birthdays at this bar, and for good reason: Butter knows how to throw a party. Moderation doesn't exist here, from the unreasonably potent drinks and microwave-blasted food to the eardrum-perforating (but undeniably enjoyable) '90s hip-hop.

You might think a white-trash themed bar would end up taking itself too seriously, but owners Vlad and Marco are self-aware enough to know that what they're doing is ridiculous, and they have a lot of fun with it. Their website sets the tone, warning potential guests about the fact that they don't do reservations: "In the event that you're so stuffy that you must eat at a restaurant that requires a reservation, you probably won't like Butter anyway." Take that, snobs!

Walking in gives you the next indication of the kind of fun being provided for you. The front half of a Winnebago R.V. adorns the wall to your right, really cementing the theme.

If you're there early enough, you can take advantage of the popcorn, which isn't the worst idea when it comes to prepping your body for the onslaught of binge drinking that's sure to follow. This is also a good opportunity to use the restroom, a chance you won't have later once revelers take up every square inch of the floor. If you procrastinate, you'll have to elbow your way through enthusiastically dancing drunkards with smiles plastered on their faces, your bladder uncomfortably full as a result of the generously portioned drinks.

The only expectation at Butter is that you will get drunk. Really drunk. The drinks are an exercise in ridiculousness, a veritable buffet of bad decisions waiting to happen. No matter which poison you pick, you'll get a sugar-blasted headache the next day, free of charge, because Butter's M.O. is to pair its booze with all the favorite sodas of your childhood.

Fill your plastic pint cup with the kind of concoctions you'd brew in high school, like the Whitetrash Driver, a blend of vodka and Sunny-D. (No purple stuff in this fridge!) If you're feeling more of that tropical sunburn vibe, the Tiki Trash might be for you, in all of its rum and Hawaiian Punch glory. Or go for my personal favorite, the Bitchin' Camaro (Sailor Jerry and Dr. Pepper), which will deliver you to Blackout City just in time for you to get down on the dance floor.

Butter is one of the few places where everyone is happily shaking their asses without fear of looking silly (or having to wake up for homeroom). On a typical weekend, the sound system blasts '80s mash-ups and '90s hip-hop, making it impossible for strangers not to grab each other and boogie to the beat together. Butter's bartenders — or "Intoxicologists" — will happily accommodate you, especially if you're like me and alcohol makes you think dancing on the bar is a good idea. If it's your birthday, they'll even commemorate the occasion by repeatedly smacking your booty with their proprietary spanking paddle, guaranteeing top-notch blackmail fodder for your friends.

If there's one thing that goes well with excessive drinking and vigorous dancing, it's the kind of food that makes carnies say, "No, thank you." With that said, everything Butter serves is excellent drunk food. You can take a shot made from bacon and whipped cream, or if health food is more your thing, dine on a deep-fried Twinkie. If you're big on eating food and drinking at the same time, don't pass up the Jell-O shots circulated throughout the night. You'll probably end up vomiting at some point anyway, so you don't even have to add it to your calorie-tracking app!

Even though the potential for blacking out at Butter is somewhere between high and guaranteed, the chance of having a fantastic night is even higher. My recollection of the nights I've spent there is admittedly hazy, but what I do remember is enthusiastic dancing, delicious drinks, and everyone around me having the most fun they've had in a while. And for those of you who would want to know this information, I've never gone to Butter and not had a friend go home with a stranger.

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Ali Wunderman

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