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Restaurant Review: Stir It Up

March 2, 2010

Hellooo readers!

So, have you checked out the results of our Nut Butter Contest? Caitlin and I were really excited to hold it, and we hope you all were excited to participate—thanks again to all those who entered!

Anyway, moving on to more current matters, I am extremely backblogged. I still have 2 or 3 posts to make from my time in NYC and I’m already start to amass photos from the things I’ve been cooking this past week in Toronto. Please bear with me as I play catch up for my next few post. Don’t worry—there will still be plenty of deliciousness to share. Case in point: today’s post, and the little West Indian restaurant known as Stir It Up.

First, a lesson: West Indian food is food from the West Indies (don’t worry, I didn’t realize at first either). This means it’s packed full of lots of Caribbean flavors and Caribbean spices and, of course, hot Caribbean heat.

Now usually, West Indian is fairly meat-centered. But Stir It Up is different, offering a nice number vegetarian options also with their other entrees. Needless to say, Caitlin and I were intrigued. And so our meal begins… (apologies for the photo quality)

We started our meal off with two homemade juices: the fruit punch for me and the ginger beer for Caitlin. Both were really good, although I’d never be able to drink the ginger beer myself. It’s an acquired taste, I guess. But even I could tell that it was some good ginger beer.

Our first entree was their Veggie Jerk Chicken, a fiery hot platter of faux meat slathered in smoky sauce. You may not be able to tell from this picture, but the faux meat they used was actually shaped in the form of a chicken (or maybe it was closer to a turkey). It was weird. A little too close to chicken. Still, it was a tasty dish, even though its spiciness was off the charts!

Our second entree was what they call the Sweet Source: a mix of veggie steak and vegetables swimming in their “island style” sweet and sour sauce. I liked this dish a lot more, but perhaps that was because it didn’t take away all the feeling from my taste buds! But seriously, this sauce was mighty tasty and worked well with all the things with it.

So how did Stir It Up rate in our book? Overall, we agreed that the major downside to the meal (and to their menu in general) was their heavy use of all the faux meat. So if you’re into faux meat, this place is definitely for you. But if you’re like us and like your vegetarian meals a little lighter, Stir It Up will not have many options for you. That being said, however, their kitchen can whip up some very tasty sauces, and it’s rare to find these Caribbean flavors in vegetarian contexts, so we definitely appreciate what Stir It Up has to offer.

One final note: Judging by our experience, Stir It Up is not the most happening dine-in joint. By which I mean, during the entire one and a half hours that Caitlin and I were there for our meal (on a Saturday night, from 6:00 to 7:30), not a single other person or couple or group of people were dining with us. A few people did come in to pick up call-in orders, and a few employees went out to make deliveries. But be forewarned: dining in may leave you feeling awkward and isolated. That is, of course, unless you like listening to Bob Marley CDs that have been on continuous loop for so long that they’re starting to skip.

Until we eat again,

Willie

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