So today’s review is of an establishment with whom I have a bit of a history since I used to work for them. The place in question is Stir Crazy Fresh Asian Grill, or just Stir Crazy for short. They have branches all over the United States, but the one I went to is located at Oakbrook Mall in Illinois in the western suburbs of Chicago. My history with them derives from a brief period of time where I worked for them as a host, so I’m quite well versed in their menu and their franchise in general.
First, Stir Crazy is a pan-Asian restaurant that offers dishes that are not quite as authentic to the actual cuisine of the nations they claim to represent (Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai), but they do have some creative entries like the plate I ordered. Second, they are very accommodating for any sort of dietary restrictions in terms of dieting customers, food allergies, and gluten-free sauces. Finally, they have good service which my former fellow coworkers manage to bring to all of the customers who entered the doors even if they are being difficult.
Their menu contains many Asian restaurant classics like orange chicken, different kinds of fried rice, and even pho. Plus, the name Stir Crazy comes from their signature “make-your-own” stir fry bar. You can choose between this option or a classic sit-down meal, but with the former, you have the option of making your dish a bit healthier since you control everything that goes into your meal without any extra specifications. It’s a very straight-forward process where you pick your meat or tofu and then rice, noodles, or no starch option. After that, you go up to the vegetable and seasoning bar to fill up your bowl with various types of produce and sauces. From there, it is fried up by the cooks in an open kitchen for all to watch, or you can sit down and have your food brought to you. I forewent this option and instead ordered my favorite dish on the menu: Thai tacos ($15.25).
While tacos are normally synonymous with Mexican food, Stir Crazy has managed to combine a perfect fusion dish where they take the roti flatbread common to southern Asian cuisine and create tacos. I ordered two beef and two chicken tacos, but there is also a tofu option for all those veggie heads out there. It came with a side of fried rice that was rich but not too greasy. I also enjoyed the broccoli pieces that pepped up an otherwise standard recipe. I finished that off first before tucking into the tacos. They came with a spoon of chili-infused mayo that I liberally showered upon the tacos, and I did not regret that decision at all. These tacos had everything going for them with each bite. From the sweet and savory sauce that enveloped the pieces of tender meat to the cool and crispy cucumber strings and crispy roti, I was loco for these tacos. They were light but filling which checked all the boxes for this starving gourmand.
So if you’re looking for a good pan-Asian restaurant with some creative but slightly more expensive dishes, check out a Stir Crazy by you!