A Carnival of Food, Friends, and More Food

Random decor at Straw; the ruler and numbers are part of the colorful menus

Some people fall punch drunk in love. Me, I fall in love potluck/brunch/ice cream/sunshine-drunk-style. If that doesn’t make sense, it’s not supposed to; the twenty-something life never does.

Strawberry basil lemonade mimosa – best way to get my morning started; Jenga French toast – Delicious, but SO heavy; our eyes were bigger than our stomach with this one

To persevere through this ungainly young adult limbo, it is important to have one or two things with which to stay grounded and to serve as a reminder that these days months years are terrifying, but they are also a party – a carnival even, of the familiar and unfamiliar.

Clockwise from top left: The Scrambler (Eggs with mushrooms and goat cheese, hash browns); Hanky Panky (Belgian waffle with eggs, bacon, and cheddar-potato croquettes); Rocky Mountain Madame (Egg-in-a-hole brioche wit cheddar bechamel and hash browns); Fiesta Grande (Chilaquiles with tortillas, tomato sauce, avocado, eggs, and sour cream)

What better of a reminder is there than Straw, a carnival-themed restaurant in Hayes Valley. This place is tiny but packs a punch with its whimsical and buttery fried foods of fantasticness. Menu items like Fiesta Grande and Hanky Panky made it evident that I should be ignoring calories and going all out for this meal, while the Jenga French Toast and the Egg-in-a-Hole brioche teleported me back to simple childhood games and weekend lunch antics. I left ready to embark on my own moonshine nights, but only after dawdling in the park for two hours because I was so full.

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This restaurant is delicious, but it is not for the dieters or haters of all that is fried. Jenga the French toast at your own risk (I barely finished half a piece myself), and don’t do what I did and eat ice cream afterwards because then you might just explode (Bi-Rite, Y U SO GOOD?!).

Artsy avocados. No real reason for this photo except that avocados are delicious and every party should start and/or end with them.

Ultimately, if you don’t take yourself too seriously (and you never should), enjoy the carnival that is Straw and discover your own party, fiesta, or whatever you want to call it with the people you love and who love you right back.

Keep your friends close and your hungry friends closer.

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