It’s very rare that I get riled up to write a post during my dining experience. If I have that urge – it’s because it’s either outstandingly awesome or just crap that I wouldn’t want anyone else to experience. I first heard of the new carnival themed restaurant Straw in a review from Thrillist. I was initially excited that it was opening in my hood, but I was even more excited when read about the unique menu, mirroring the type of food you would find well… at a carnival. Less than a month old, I decided to give the place a try. After pulling it up on Yelp and saw that it already had more than 40 reviews with an average score of 4 stars, I have to be honest – I went in with high expectations. And boy, I was NOT disappointed.
I was running a bit late meeting my friend, and lucky for me she arrived in time to put her name on the list. She told me to meet her next door at Mercury Cafe because the guy at Straw suggested her to go next door for coffee or a beer. I met her at the cafe and while she was explaining to me that the host promised her he would come get her (next door), a guy comes in with a clipboard and walks towards our way to tell us that our table was ready. ”Take your time. You can stay here and finish your beer and I’ll hold your table for you.” Wow. I was astonished by his pleasant demeanor and hospitable gesture. Since we were both hungry, we decided to immediately leave the cafe and follow him next door. Once we walked into Straw, I immediately understood why he suggested my friend to go next door – Straw is small. But it is oh so incredibly quaint. The delicious wafting aroma was distracting me from taking in the eclectic decor of carnival signs and light bulbs in mason jars. Our waitress was incredibly cute. She was helpful, not pushy and always approached our table with a smile. After staring at the cute menus that replicated home made books, we were absolutely torn. We wanted to order everything on the menu! The menu consists of items you wouldn’t think to put together… not even on drunken nights. But oddly enough, they sounded appealing. We started our dinner with crab beignets. Oh-My-Fuckin-Gosh, these fried lumps of crab were dangerously delicious. After a couple of bites of the beignets, our waitress came to our table to tell us that our sandwiches were ready and inquired if we wanted her to bring out the sandwiches or wait (since we JUST started on our appetizer). I was blown away by her courtesy and politeness. We each ordered a sandwich, me the ‘Hot Tamale’ and my friend the ‘Bearded Lady’. Her pulled pork sandwich was better than my chicken sandwich but only because the pork had much more flavor than the chicken. We ended our dinner with funnel cake, but honestly wasn’t too impressed with it. The flavor was great, but the funnel cake came out in little strands and pieces.
Throughout our meal, my water glass was refilled at least 5 times and our waitress never skipped a beat. She was attentive, friendly and professional. When the bill came out in a wooden box, I noticed that it contained our bill and pieces of Jolly Rancher candies, I felt like a kid all over again. Straw definitely sparks a bit of nostalgia with the decor and radiating vibe. The decor is whimsical, the staff and customer service is outstanding and the food is marvelous. I highly recommend Straw.