Bestselling Asian Cooking, Food & Wine in 2020
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Indian Instant Pot® Cookbook: Traditional Indian Dishes Made Easy and Fast
Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking
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The Banh Mi Handbook: Recipes for Crazy-Delicious Vietnamese Sandwiches
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The Asian Slow Cooker: Exotic Favorites for Your Crockpot
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Chinese Cooking for Dummies
Japanese Soul Cooking: Ramen, Tonkatsu, Tempura, and More from the Streets and Kitchens of Tokyo and Beyond
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Hot Thai Kitchen: Demystifying Thai Cuisine with Authentic Recipes to Make at Home
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Pok Pok: Food and Stories from the Streets, Homes, and Roadside Restaurants of Thailand
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Vegan Richa's Everyday Kitchen: Epic Anytime Recipes with a World of Flavor
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Thai Slow Cooker Cookbook: Classic Thai Favorites Made Simple
Stir Crazy: Trendy, DIY Stir Fry Restaurant in Oak Brook, Illinois
Fans of contemporary Asian food will rejoice in Stir Crazy, a trendy make-your-own stir- fry feast. Stir Crazy doesn't fail to deliver in both a menu featuring traditional dishes and a large bar to create your own lunch or dinner.
I generally frequent the Stir Crazy located in Oak Brook, IL, but there are locations throughout the Midwest and Florida. When you first walk in, you are greeting with minimal Asian dÃ©cor and a large bar full of fresh veggies and sauces. In the middle of the room is a large cooking area, where chefs stir- fry your self-made creations. There is seating located near the cooking area and beyond, and there is also a small bar area. I like to sit in the main dining room so I can watch the chefs cook and ring their gong every hour.
Stir Crazy is busy at both lunch and dinner times, but I've never had to wait more than 10 minutes for a table. The lunch and dinner menus are essentially the same, though if you are making your own stir-fry, you will notice a difference in the portion size. If you're making your own stir-fry, you will receive a small pot with a handle to fill with veggies, toppings, and sauces; the dinner bowl is almost double the size of the lunch special, which still creates a huge portion.
As the meals are so large, I usually skip appetizers, but there are a few that I have sampled. My favorite is the chicken satay, which is large skewers of chicken that come with a peanut dipping sauce and an Asian slaw. The chicken is cooked in a coconut milk, giving it a tasty flavor, with a bit of a kick later. My boyfriend is also a fan of the green beans tempura, which is no longer on the menu. However, some chefs will still create this dish. Here, the green beans are battered and fried and come with a dipping sauce as well. The appetizers are great, but I'd definitely save room for lunch or dinner.
The menu offers over fifty different choices, but I would recommend making your own stir-fry. Your server will ask you your choice of meat and your choice of rice or noodles. After this order is taken, you will receive your bowl and be instructed to go to the veggie area. Here, you will find tons of vegetables: baby corn, peppers, broccoli, carrots, snow peas, onions, and many others. There are also many sauces to choose from; my favorite is the Ginger Garlic, while my boyfriend prefers the Thai Curry. You can mix and match as many sauces and veggies as you may desire, which can create a very different meal every time you go. There are also peanuts, cilantro, garlic, and red peppers to season your meal. I like to add peanut and hot peppers to my meal for some additional flavor.
After selecting your veggies and sauces, you bring your bowl to the chefs. They will add the meat and rice or noodles to your food, and everything is cooked quickly and usually to perfection. I have had experiences where my food was slightly burnt, but it didn't really take away from the experience. Often times, the chefs are working on two woks at once, so it's understandable that things might get a bit overcooked.
I love the lunch and dinner at Stir Crazy, but I have to admit that the dessert menu is not my favorite. Once, I decided to order to Mango CrÃ¨me Brulee, as that is one of my favorite desserts. The texture of the crÃ¨me brulee was runny, and the mango flavor was composed of a sprinkling of mango on top of the crÃ¨me brulee. Needless to say, it wasn't what I expected. On the other hand, my boyfriend loves the Bananas Wonton, which come with ice cream and caramel sauce. On my next trip, I plan to try the Mandarin Chocolate Fondue, which comes with fruit for dipping.
Overall, I love Stir Crazy for the inventive menu and the fun atmosphere. While I wouldn't recommend going just for dessert, Stir Crazy is a great place to meet for a quick lunch or dinner. Make sure to come with a big appetite, as the portions are huge! Stir Crazy is well suited for families as well, though with the crowd, I wouldn't plan to go for a special occasion. Prices are also extremely reasonable; for lunch and appetizers for two people, your bill will run around $30. Stir Crazy is an all-around great restaurant for a giant meal and entertaining experience.