The Chino Basque Club‘s annual picnic this weekend was epic. Here’s why:
Even though there was a dinner going on at the fairgrounds, my parents and I opted to stick with our tradition of having dinner at Centro Basco on the eve of the picnic. After hosting the grandchildren of Monique Berterretche, Centro Basco’s owner, for San Francisco’s Udaleku in 2007, my family has been pretty close with the Berterretches. It’s great to check in with all of them at the bar.
I had the veal named after my Chino bestie, Taylor Berterretche. Ever since I met her six years ago and found out she had a dish at Centro Basco, I order her veal every time.
My aita had a chicken the size of his cute little face.
At the end of the meal, Monique the owner ended up buying our dinner. Such a sweetheart! And her daughter Bernadette bought our drinks. They treat us like kings over at Centro Basco. Gotta love the Berterretches!
After dinner, we headed to the fairgrounds. My parents followed their friends who wanted to see the stage production, Domingo Ibarburu, which they had scheduled to show after dinner. I tagged along to see who was around and where the party was going to be later that night.
I can tell you the party wasn’t at the fairgrounds. So I met up with some friends for a kickback. It turned out the aita whose house we were at is a Hella Basque fan. He walked out into the yard to say hi to everyone, and when he saw me, he was all, “Hella Basque is in my house!” It was super cute.
Thank you, sir, for giving us a venue for our catch up on Saturday night. Also, thank you for having so many awesome religious statues in your yard.
If you want to see what we got up to, I have a video of one of the drinking games up on the Hella Basque Facebook fan page.
Chino, only for you do I go to mass. This was my eighth Basque festival of the summer, but the first where I actually attended mass. I go to Chino’s mass mostly to see all of my friends dressed up in costume. The dance groups there have beautifully varied costumes, and the Besta Berri men are a uniquely Chino sight.
I noticed in the walk up to mass that Chino’s klika sounded really good. Maybe they actually practice? (*Ahem* Step it up, San Francisco. SoCal’s bugles put us to shame.)
Other than that and the appearance of the Biotzetik Basque Choir from Idaho, mass was standard.
Although there was one awkward moment… The priest was about to move on to the Prayers of the Faithful when a group of singers interrupted him by belting out Sinesten Dut. The priest was flustered but admitted he had forgotten the song.
Now maybe it’s the years of mass I sat through in all girls Catholic school where you’re expected to sit there and shut up, but I thought they had a lot of nerve to correct a priest in the middle of his mass. Was the song really that important? To some people, I guess it was. I just thought it was a shame it made mass longer.
Afterwards, lunch was standard, the same as usual. The line went way out the door.
On the menu: steak, chicken, mashed potatoes with gravy, salad, bread, and cheese. The salad dressing was delicious, and the cheese was strong.