Bender’s ketchup gumballs

Well, not exactly a ketchup gumball, but a gumball-sized container of ketchup.  Our pal Laurie explains:

i put in 25 cents into the gumball machine at Bender’s and got this little plastic thing full of ketchup. not the weirdest thing that’s happened tonight, but maybe the most fucked up

Perhaps this is their way of charging extra for condiments?  Regardless, that’s a lot of Leann Rimes songs available for karaoke!


Start Your Own Mission Gumball Empire for $60

Gumball Empire Solution

Gumball Baby Head

Finally, a new pinball machine at Benders!


Just as we were all getting used to the sticky trigger on the left-hand side of the machine, Bender’s went ahead and got a new pinball machine — Theatre of Magic.  It’s fast, it’s a little tricky, and the combos are aplenty. Also, no more complaining that you lost because of said sticky trigger (there goes my strategy).

Bonus: Benders is also now serving King Cobra for $3. Wednesdays will never be the same.

12 pack hat


It’s not a tecate hat. It’s not a pbr hat. It’s an awesome hat.

Besides that, though, anyone know what kind of hat this is? Freitag employment awaits!

Bender’s bloody Sunday

We’ve been on a quest to find the best bloody mary in the city for quite some time now.  There are plenty of contenders, with Zeitgeist, thee Parkside, and the Phonebooth coming to mind immediately.  Well, now it looks like we’ll need to make a new addition to the list, because the Bender’s bloody mary is a monster.

Spicy, sharp, and zesty, the Bender’s bloody may seem a bit pricey at $8 a pop, but it’s basically brunch in a cup.  For meat eaters, it even comes with a bonus Slim Jim in addition to the usual pickled green beans and olives!  Truly the perfect way to start a relaxing weekend.

Who makes your favorite bloody marys?

Bender’s Orgy

Well, it may not have been as scandalous as the orgy in Dolores Park, but if you’re going at it for more than ten minutes in a crowded bar, you’re bound to have someone yell this at you (before they ride away listening to Kraftwerk).

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

Cat Party at Bender's

In case you missed soon-to-be Orange County punk legends Cat Party a few weeks ago at Bender’s, Andy Miller (who last brought us the supremely metaphysical “Women on the Women’s Building“) has you covered here with a quick and dirty interview interwoven with some of their best tunes.  Singer and guitarist Ryan Nichols has a lot to say about everything from San Francisco vs. Orange County to fast vs. slow songs.

If you like what you see, they’re playing again on New Year’s Eve Eve (December 30th) at the Hemlock along with the frenetic Face the Rail and (once again) my band, La Corde.  Stick that in your planner!

Dave Hillyard Rocksteady 7 This Sunday Afternoon @ Benders!

The Dave Hillyard Rocksteady 7 is playing tomorrow afternoon at Bender’s. Heard of it? It’s on 19th and South Van Ness and they don’t serve fried pickles anymore. They start at 3:30pm and will play until about 6:30pm.

You may recognize the group from that Give ‘em the Boot Vol.1 Hellcat compilation that everyone had in high school. Expect some old school instrumental ska and rocksteady sounds with a heaping of jazzy improvisation.

Dave is the sax player for the Slackers, a great NYC ska/rocksteady/reggae group that everyone tried to sound like (including me!). He will be joined by percussionist Larry McDonald, a Jamaican legend who played with pretty much everybody that mattered (no big deal, just the Skatalites, Bob Marley, Toots and the Maytals, and Lee Perry to name a few). The group will be filled out with members of Hepcat and the English Beat! It’s an all-star lineup all the way.

The 19-year-old rude boy in me is losing his shit right now. Caution: you can’t hang your Vespa up on the bike racks at Bender’s.

Eulogy for the Bender's Weird Fish Satellite

Black Bean and Cheese Quesadillas: a new menu item

I got news of the Weird Fish Satellite leaving Bender’s a week ago and all I could do was stuff with my face with even more seitan.  Some sort of denial.  Couldn’t even bring myself to post about it here.  Dramatic?  Maybe.  But I’ve basically been eating at this counter two to three times per week for the past year and a half–ever since Gestalt started falling apart–and I always felt like this little menu in an unapologetic dive represented everything that was wonderful about the Mission and San Francisco in general.  It always seemed like that ordering some of the best goddamn vegan food in the city from a guy that looked like he would punch your grandmother just to say he did so was an “only in San Francisco” experience.  The food was out of this world, you could almost always find a table, the beer was served in cans, pints, and pitchers, and you could even sit outside if your skin was up to it.

And then there were the fried pickles.

Obviously this isn’t all doom and gloom.  Justin, the man behind the grill, has enough chops to make sure whatever menu he eventually lands on is as epic as possible.  For the meat eaters, the burgers are still around, and from what I hear the quality hasn’t changed.  The new black bean quesadillas are definitely solid and nothing beats a grilled cheese and tomato sandwich.   But, at the end of the day, that deep-fried seitan was the jam, something that you just couldn’t get in any bar, grill, or city, and it’s gunna be missed.

Sausage Plans Flacid; Weird Fish Swim Upstream, Breaking Bender's-Loving Hearts

Aw HELL NO!  2010, I’ve grown awfully fond of you, but you’re messing with my foodstuffs already and it’s only day 6.  Two items:

Item #1: The unveiling of Rosamunde: Mission District has been pushed from January 11th to a January 15th soft launch and a January 18th grand opening.  Sausage, soft, launch… these jokes write themselves, people.  Let’s just hope this story has a happy ending, hyuk hyuk hyuk. [SFoodie]

Item #2: The fine folks of Weird Fish have officially moved their asses out of Bender’s.  Burgers and fried things are to be replaced with sausages, sandwiches, potatoes.  Just when I thought I’d left the Eastern bloc behind me!  I eagerly await KevMo commentary on this critical update.  [Eater SF]

P.S. The title is a haiku.  Count ‘em syllables, I dare you.

you're a fucking asshole. merry x-mas

I’m really enjoying these free Christmas cards that you can get at Bender’s.  I already send one to my parents with a little note inside to show them how much I love them:

More designs after the jump: