Straw Can Make You Feel Grifted

Like a carnival barker's patter, Straw has been hard to resist. Long before it opened late last month, the blogosphere was atwitter with anticipation about this heavily stylized carny bistro. It seemed like carefully chosen hints were dropped every few days (Jenga-stacked French toast! Sangria slushies! Midway-style games!) In the roar of such buzz, even the most jaded scenester had to be at least a bit curious.

It was a crafty pitch, the already popular comfort-food-with-a-twist genre done up in clown paint and the promise of fun. Straw's twentysomething target demographic craves its childhood carnival fantasies, even as it wants to dunk its fries in cheddar béchamel, not Velveeta (except for the junk-food purists who eat here).

SFoodie recently dropped in on Straw with some friends visiting from New England. We thought they'd be impressed by the razzle-dazzle. Clearly, we forgot about their natural Puritan skepticism.

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