Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Stir It Up at St. Augustine Beach

“I’ll do a Get up Stand up with a Nutty Mother,” says a barefoot young lady wearing a hot pink bikini, as she adjusts her dark sunglasses and green visor.

“And I’ll take The Boss with Good Karma,” says her friend in navy swim trunks as he shakes his foot sporting a white ankle bracelet. 

This is what you’re likely to see and hear if you’re in line at Stir It Up. You’ll find this Florida eatery on “A” Street just a few doors back from the St. Augustine Beach front. Locals regularly line up in tank tops, shorts and flip flops for their favorite “Veggie Heaven” menu items. Tourists find Stir It Up on their way to the beach or through the fantastic online reviews. “If all vegetarian food was this good I would consider becoming a vegetarian,” says one reviewer on TripAdvisor.

Look for a white house with blue trim and a line of customers on the front steps. Although this lunch spot has the right location, location, location, it also has the right burritos, quesadillas and salads made primarily from organic ingredients. Whether you’re looking for a turkey sandwich (Smokin’ Turkey), a vegetarian hummus burrito (burRita Marley), or a chicken quesadilla (Cheesy Chick), you’re in the right place. If you want vegan, be sure to ask. And a healthy beach lunch wouldn’t be complete without a fresh fruit “Natural Mystic” smoothie made with thirst-quenching tropical fruits such as bananas, mangos, pineapple and coconut.

This isn’t a typical restaurant where you walk through the front door to be greeted by a hostess. Here you walk up to the front door and look through a screen window to place your order. Nothing goes through the front door except your order and your cash. No credit cards. While waiting you can play with toy dinosaurs or leaf through magazines. If you’re here to stay a while, check out the community bulletin board to find a yoga class, concert, or apartment for rent. When your name is called, you pick up your food from the window next to the front door. 

You’ll see customers sipping smoothies at barstools pulled up to the front porch railings. From here you can read lyrics to Bob Marley’sStir It Up tune such as: “cool me down when I’m hot,” and “quench me when I’m thirsty,” which are painted in bright colors on the inside of the porch trim.

Yelp appropriately categorizes the ambiance as “hipster, dive-y and casual.”  In this 100% open air restaurant, you’ll feel like a welcome guest hanging out on a surfer’s porch which wraps across the front of the house and opens up to a large side deck extending to the entrance of the Pit Surf Shop.

You’re likely to see ladies in sun dresses eating at a black wrought iron table on the deck, and a group of surfer dudes under a thatch roof gazebo at the corner of the deck. You could see a family at the picnic table under palms in the front yard and a couple sitting at purple or white Adirondack chairs by the mailboxes. Wherever you sit, you’ll get to enjoy the beach breeze.

You might hear music coming from the kitchen, but what you’ll surely hear is “yums” and “ahs” in conversations among companions as they enjoy “positive food in a positive place.” This isn’t just a slogan at Stir It Up, it’s exactly what you’ll experience when you eat at the best lunch spot at St. Augustine Beach. Bob Marley says it best: “Your recipe is, darlin’, is so tasty.”

Stir It Up on Urbanspoon

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