Thank goodness for social and community feeds such as DailyCandy and Thrillist. It's almost overwhelming to try and keep up with all the happenings of my glorious city and these little gems always give me the best suggestions of where to start.
After seeing plugs in both DC and Thrillist, a friend and I decided to head over to Straw, a carnival themed restaurant, for it's grand opening last night. I grew up attending carnivals, fairs and festivals so the idea of a "grown up" menu highlighting some of the token flavors was super appealing.
I guess I should preface the meal images to follow with a mini summary of my eating habits. A little over a year ago I decided to become a vegetarian (for both health and environmental reasons) and since initially making this decision I have tweaked my no-meat allowed rules a bit. In short, I like to call myself a "Pescatarian Opportunivore". I'm pretty proud of that label!
Definition; I still eat fish (a LOT of fish, but certainly try to be conscious of the Seafood WATCH Guide to eating sustainably) and when certain opportunities arise to indulge in other meat based meals, I allow myself to be agreeable as I see fit. For example, if I go to a friend's home for dinner and their parent has been so kind as to cook a lovely chicken dish for my visit I'm not going to turn my nose up and say "oh, I don't eat that! Do you even know how that chicken was farmed??" Even a polite declining makes me feel badly. Also when traveling my rules are far more flexible; a huge part of being present and truly experiencing the local culture includes dining on local dishes. Gotta live it up while you can, right?
So anyway, for the most part, I generally avoid meat and whenever possible I stick to veggies, fish and grains. Pescatarian Opportunivore. Done and done.
Let's just say my stomach is still attempting to digest the feast we ordered (so great to have a buddy who is equally committed to splitting the occasional indulgence). And admittedly, I don't even care.
Once inside, in honor of the vintage carnival theme, all photos were snapped with the Hipstamatic iPhone App. to preserve that old timey feel...
I don't know how the decision to *start* the meal with a reverse root beer float (vanilla soda with root beer flavored ice cream) came about, but it was a pretty solid decision.
I put on my most excited and cheesy smile while deciding what to order! I don't know why I look at little stoned. I promise I wasn't. Also, those are my naturally chubster cheeks and not a result of wisdom teeth extraction. Just thought I'd out-right own them.
Awesome authentic Tilt-A-Whirl booth; doesn't that couple look like they are having such fun?
Cool mason jar lighting;
Sweet potato tater tots with BBQ dipping sauce; please note the amount of grease on my thumb from already having popped about 6 in my mouth. Classy.
The best dish of the evening;
Yep, that would be a beef burger patty sandwiched between...wait for it....
A Krispy Kreme glazed donut.
Amazing combination of salty and sweet. I can't even do this justice with words...and I totally get how this looks so disgusting. But if you were thinking "That looks so disgusting", you would be oh so wrong.
The entire restaurant turned to look at our table once all the entrees were delivered (and no I'm not exaggerating...literally the *entire* restaurant). We got a few gasps, "that's awesome!" and "tell us how that tastes!" comments on our deep fried utopia, which included fried chicken and waffles monte cristo and crab beignets with a nacho-ish style cheese sauce. The man sitting next to us even gave me a high five :) We completely embraced our fat American sides. True Opportunivores.
Are you gagging a little yet? Truly you shouldn't be. It was all decadently delicious, I promise.
The check came in a cool vintage jewelry box with an image of an old Carny sisters duo. It also contained a card for Hayes Valley Farm, a non-profit community-run farm and urban agriculture education and research project located in the heart of San Francisco. Every Monday Straw plans to donate 10% of sales to this non-profit and I gotta tell ya, this just makes me love their digs even more.
And just because it made me giggle, my favorite wall image of the night;
What a fun meal! Now back to my veggies...
In Gratitude and 2 rounds of TUMS later,