For the last 20 years, Stir It Up has served up positive food in a positive place: it’s an outdoor restaurant on the porch of a beach house that was once a commune.
The atmosphere is funky and laid back in the way only a place very near the ocean can be. There are 21 seats on the porch and down the steps in the yard.
Owner Cynthia Michael had an auspicious start: she purchased the restaurant the week of Hurricane Mathew, and opened up a week later. Michael has kept the menu essentially the same with smoothies, pitas, salads, burritos and quesadillas. She expects to roll out a breakfast menu with a secret-recipe French toast, breakfast burritos and an avocado toast black-bean hummus. Plus, she added fresh-squeezed lemonade.
The menu has a vegan and vegetarian streak. The kitchen is scratch, and laid out like a ship’s galley. Kids can have grilled cheese and a bean-and-rice quesadilla, and dogs can gobble down Stir It Up’s homemade treats.
Q&A WITH OWNER CYNTHIA MICHAEL
How would you describe the restaurant’s atmosphere?
Fun, inviting and comfortable. We are so big for a small space. This is a positive place with positive food. Colorful and laid back. We’ve added some hammock chairs from a trip to Cancun and will add a few more. I am upgrading gradually.
What is your food philosophy?
Serve healthy, fresh, good food, reasonably priced. We want the food to make you feel good, and the portions are big. The young kids working here are teaching me about the vegan movement. Robin Cook, my right hand woman, brings a lot of new ideas to the table.
What types of cuisine do you specialize in?
Smoothies started it all. For instance, Hannah’s hybrid: strawberries, peaches, raspberries, apple juice and honey. Our menu is chock full of healthy and satisfying fruits and vegetables in different delicious combinations. We make our own goddess dressing. One lady said it was so good, she wanted to drink it.
What is your signature dish?
A salad called the nutty mother and our pita tosh. Your nutty mother comes with mixed greens and romaine, avocado, Roma tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, purple cabbage, cheese and sunflower seeds. Top it with turkey, tuna, chicken salad or hummus. The pita tosh is Boar’s Head turkey on a warmed pita, with hummus, melted Monterey jack and cheddar blend, avocados and carrots, tomatoes and fresh greens. Our homemade goddess salad dressing comes with it.
What would you recommend for a first timer?
Try one of our original smoothies like Missy’s mango with mangos, peaches, bananas and apple juice. I’d recommend a local favorite, the greenrito, a burrito with hummus, black beans, rice, avocado, red salsa, cucumbers and fresh greens: it comes with gluten-free corn chips.