Thursday, March 14th, 2013
In anticipation of my lunch with BG at Stir It Up in Little Five Points, I bought a 6-pack of Red Stripe….Light. With no liquor license, the restaurant allows diners to BYOB, so I packed a cooler.
It was bittersweet to find Stir It Up located in the old space that used to house D & D, a Volkswagon service and restoration garage. I remember stopping by there in the Winter with SS, huddled by a heater in the shabbily furnished waiting area. Those were the days of Karmann Ghias and velvet Jesus paintings. It was strange to see the space decorated with vibrant Jamaican colors, the smell of jerk spices in the air a pleasant change from the noxious engine fumes.
Our plan to dine at Stir It Up was already made when I discovered the restaurant was recently listed as one of Cliff Bostock’s Top 10 of 2012 in Creative Loafing. He loves their inexpensive yet authentic menu. We chose it because BG is a vegetarian and Stir It Up offers a plentiful selection of meatless dishes…and it’s cheap.
We chose a table in the sunny front room and requested a bottle opener. BG ordered the tofu chop suey which we were warned would take an extra fifteen minutes, odd since it was simply vegetables and tofu. I was torn between the jerk and curry, hoping to choose the spiciest dish available. Our server recommended the chicken curry for me, which I ordered with rice and peas.
Our lunches arrived as we popped open our second round of beers. BG’s tofu, cut into triangles, was in a tasty brown sauce, probably the same one used in the brown stew dishes with meat. An oily yellow curry enveloped my bone-in chunks of chicken, the meat falling off the bones at the touch of my fork. I wouldn’t describe the dish as spicy, but it was certainly delicious. BG was perplexed at the rice with peas, as the peas were actually red beans. Neither the rice nor the chop suey that accompanied my curry was inspiring, but for $8, there were no complaints.
My only disappointment with the food was the thin sliver of plantain. When I visited Jamaica, I loved the thick-sliced sweet plantains served with ackee and salt fish at breakfast.
And then we got the check. It included a $10 corkage fee for our beer. Ouch! No one mentioned the fee when I called or when I came in with my cooler….so much for cheap.
1083 Euclid Avenue NE 404-963-2384