Foodie News x Restaurant Reviews x Hip-Hop Attitude

In 2010, I (Nick Love) spent over 45% of my annual income eating out at some of Atlanta's best (and worst) restaurants. So, who better to guide you through the city's crowded dining terrain?? Now, I, along with my team of Hip-Hop generation foodies, will expose and review ATL's newest hits, hidden gems, and old favorites. Hopefully, this blog will earn us a free meal or two while we point you guys in the direction of some good food and steer you away from the wackness. Let's eat!!!

Sep 26, 2011

Review: STIR IT UP (w/ 50% Off on Scoutmob)

Name: Stir It Up
Cuisine: Caribbean
Neighborhood: Little 5 Points
Address: 1083 Euclid Ave. Atlanta, GA 30307 (across from Bass Lofts)
Phone Number: (404) 963-2384

By way of an invite from Hip-Hop artist Spot (@beingSPOT), I found myself sitting down in this cozy Caribbean eatery one dreary Saturday afternoon a few weeks ago.  From the sound of the name, I assumed we were meeting at a coffee shop.  But to my delight, there was no java in sight.  Stir It Up is a refreshing addition to Atlanta's dining landscape and a credit to the ever growing Caribbean community here in the city.

Now, when evaluating any restaurant, we all tend to look for great food, great service, and a warm atmosphere.  But, generally speaking, when searching for a quality Caribbean restaurant, you usually have to settle for 1 or 2 out of the 3 criteria.  Stir It Up got all 3 just right. 

My initial reaction upon stepping in the door was "this is really nice. . . .for a Jamaican spot".  But upon further inspection, I realized that this place is nice by ANY restaurant's standards.  The solid wood tables and suede upholstered chairs give the restaurant an old world, almost antique store feel.  However, the flat screen TVs and contemporary music add just enough of a modern balance to maintain the hip, funky vibe that L5P is known for.

We were greeted by a lovely hostess who I believe was the manager or owner of the restaurant.  This same woman would also serve as our bartender and waitress too.  And, had it not been for the subtle noises coming from the kitchen, I would've assumed she was cooking as well (thus, contributing to the old In Living Color joke about Jamaicans having multiple jobs).  She ran the establishment effortlessly and with a smile.  Even with 4 other tables seated, our service was excellent!!!

A variety of delicious options were presented to us on a one-sided, brown paper menu.  To our surprise, the prices were beyond reasonable.  Most of the entrees (which included a side item and a salad) were around $8-10.  The most expensive item was the $14 Stewed Oxtails.  I ordered the Jerk Chicken w/ Rice & Peas and plantains and a salad w/ vinaigrette dressing (as recommended by Spot).  While we waited, we were treated to this INCREDIBLE homemade fruit punch (pictured below).  This is a must have!!!  I'm sure I had about 3 glasses BEFORE my meal came.

Then, the food came!!!  First, the linen and food presentation upheld the ambiance that the rest of the restaurant had created.  Second, the vinaigrette dressing on the salad was delicious (I'm usually a ranch dressing guy)!!!  Then, the jerk chicken literally fell off of the bone.  The jerk seasoning was spicy but it also had a barbecue-y quality to it which made it unique to anything I've ever experienced.  And, the rice & peas side was a perfect compliment.  To top it all off, I washed my meal down with another glass of fruit punch.

The only downside to Stir It Up is parking (which is a problem for most of the establishments in Little 5 Points).  Your options are the small paid lot in front of the restaurant, metered parking on Euclid Ave (if you can find it), or free parking on the neighborhood side streets that could potentially put you blocks away.  Even with that, I'd still recommend this spot to anyone looking for quality Caribbean cuisine inside the perimeter.

Grade: A+
What's Great: Food, Service, Prices, Decor, Ambiance
What Ain't: Pay for Parking
Ideal For: Dates, Meetings

Stir It Up Jamaican on Urbanspoon


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