Because experiences and shared memories are way better than gifts, and because my mom, my mother-in-law, my daughter, and I all have birthdays within 30 days of each other, we started doing something fun together to celebrate instead of buying each other presents. We did an overnight in San Francisco to see Wizard of Oz at the Orpheum, we did a girls trip to Las Vegas to see Blue Man Group and Mystère, and this year, we we went back to San Francisco to see Les Miserables and have tea at Crown & Crumpet.
We had Friday night tickets for Les Miserables, so we picked Natalie up from school early on Friday, drove into town, got checked into our hotel, and headed to dinner. I did some research in advance to find a parking garage and a restaurant super close to the Orpheum.
Cadillac Bar & Grill
Cadillac Bar & Grill, located at 44 9th Street, San Francisco, California 94103, offers guests deliciously authentic food prepared the same way it is prepared in Mexico — but we came for the puffy tacos and guacamole!
The San Francisco Cadillac Bar Restaurant can be traced back to the original Mexican Cadillac Bar which opened in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico in 1926. In 1982, the concept came to San Francisco and opened with an authentic look and feel in the South of Market neighborhood. The menu was authentic, the house margaritas were always hand shaken, and when visiting, it felt like you were south of the border.
For years, the Cadillac was voted the best Mexican food restaurant in San Francisco. Unfortunately, in 1999 the restaurant was forced to close due to the expansion of the Moscone Convention Center. Luckily, in 2012, one of the original founding partners revived the Cadillac Bar and Grill with the goal of recreating the Mexican restaurant with the same feel and look of its famous predecessor.
WE LOVED THE CADILLAC!
- Our server was attentive, friendly, and fun, and he really took our experience over the top.
- A Mariachi band wandered the restaurant while we ate, without stunting our conversation.
- The puffy tacos are to die for. They are everything you want them to be. The fajitas were fantastic. The guacamole was fresh and full of flavor. The empanadas… OMG, you have to try them!
All of us want to come back with our families and I have recommended the restaurant to several friends. It was the perfect place to enjoy a great meal before heading over to the Orpheum. Because the Cadillac Bar & Grill and the Orpheum are close together, we walked to the theater after dinner, which helped settle our food (because we all ate way too much).
Les Miserables At The Orpheum
Based on Victor Hugo’s novel, Les Miserables is one of the most popular musicals in history and has won over 100 major awards, including Oliviers, Tonys, and Grammys. It is a tale of love and revolution with a classic score, written by Herbert Kretzmer and Claude-Michel Schonberg, that includes the timeless I Dreamed A Dream, One Day More and Do You Hear the People Sing.
The latest Broadway production debuted at the Imperial Theatre in 2014 and ran for two years, drawing huge acclaim for its stripped down storytelling and the atmospheric video projections that lend the show a hugely cinematic backdrop.
Me, Natalie, and mother-in-law had not yet seen the musical, and my mom wanted to see it again, so it was the perfect choice for our birthday weekend getaway in San Francisco. Plus, it was playing at the Orpheum theater and I love that theater!
We arrived early to snap photos outside the theater and peruse the gift shop, then grabbed out seats for a night of spectacular entertainment and music. If you have never seen Les Miserables, I highly recommend it! The show was fantastic.
The Orpheum Theatre
The Orpheum Theatre, in the Civic Center district of San Francisco, was originally the Pantages Theatre. The theatre opened in 1926 as one of many designed by architect B. Marcus Priteca for theater-circuit owner Alexander Pantages. The interior features a vaulted ceiling, while the facade was patterned after a 12th-century French cathedral.
In 1998, after a previous renovation in the 1970s, a $20 million renovation was completed to make the Orpheum more suitable for Broadway shows.
The Orpheum, as well as the Golden Gate Theatre and Curran Theatre in San Francisco, are owned by SHN, a theatrical production company owned by Carole Shorenstein Hays and partner Robert Nederlander. It has hosted numerous Broadway shows, including a two-year sit-down production of the musical Wicked, The Grateful Dead gave six performances here in 1976, and in 2007, the theatre hosted Late Night with Conan O’Brien. Productions that were staged at the Orpheum prior to opening on Broadway have included Bring It On: The Musical, Evita, Mama Mia!, and The Act.
Tea In Japantown
The next day we woke up, grabbed breakfast, and headed to historic Japantown to explore the Japantown mall where we found treasures and trinkets in small shops along the mall, including cute hats to wear to tea. We then had high tea at Crown & Crumpet a super cute and colorful tea shop (not a tea house). Tea was so much fun that we’re already planning another visit!
After tea, we made a slight detour on our way out of San Francisco to drive through Chinatown and stop at the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory — they make the BEST fortune cookies you will ever eat and we try to stop there every time we visit San Francisco to eat fresh fortune cookies hot off the cookies presses and buy several bags to take home!