Review: Refreshing medleys at Estero’s newest Asian eatery

- Name: Stir Crazy Fresh Asian Grill

- Setting: Casual, family style

- Décor: Asian, contemporary

- Seating: 250 indoors or at seven tables outdoors, under a covered awning

- Happy Hour: None

- E-mail Club: Sign up online to receive information on menu specials and special events.

- The Scoop: You may have already sampled the contemporary Asian cuisine cooked up in sizzling woks at Stir Crazy, at the Coconut Point Mall in Estero, but if you haven’t been there lately, you may wish to visit soon.

“We offer Crazy Eight menu items for $8.88, some of which have been on the menu since December, and have expanded some of those popular lunch items into all day versions. What’s new, is the Banh Mi, quickly becoming a new favorite,” said manager, Matt Stensrude.

The Banh Mi is a traditional Vietnamese sandwich made on a crispy baguette, with a side of Asian slaw. Filling choices are chicken breast, chicken satay, ahi tuna sashimi or sloppy cho pork barbecue (specially created by the Stir Crazy culinary staff in Creve Coeur, Mo.). Other Crazy Eight menu items include Sesame, Teriyaki, Pad Thai or Kung Pao Chicken dishes, Chinese Chicken salad, Sweet and Spicy Chicken and Mongolian Beef.

Guest favorites, according to Stensrude, are the Market Board, where guests select their own stir-fry combinations and choice of sauce (classic Chinese, garlic ginger, sweet and sour, Thai Curry, Teriyaki, Kung Pao, Peanut or Szechwan) and watch while the chef cooks before their eyes. The Almond Crusted Chicken, Japanese Steak and Bangkok Noodles with Chicken, also weigh in as top choices.

“With 65 entrees to choose from, everyone can find a favorite,” said Stensrude. “We have a full bar and great wine list — 35 wines by the glass — and nice bottles not usually found. Pinot Noirs range from Francis Ford Coppola’s Pinot version, ‘Rose,’ served cool, to ‘Chateau St. Michelle Pinot,’ one of my picks.”

Vegetarians can choose from a full selection of items and those with allergies are easily accommodated. Stensrude cautions that those who suffer from allergies should always alert their server. He adds that since all Stir Crazy dishes are made from scratch, sauces can be altered. For those following a gluten free diet, three different sauces are available.

“I want your readers to know that Stir Crazy is not the Asian restaurant of 25 or 30 years ago. We are the Asian restaurant of today, best describes as Pan Asian, a fusion of all Asian cuisine from all over the world,” added Stensrude.

The Stir Crazy web site offers special menus for at home cooking, the most recent of which is Blazing Noodles with Steak.

- Appetizers ($4 to $9): Crab Cake Hand Rolls, Mu Shu Duck Wraps, Potstickers and Chicken Satay to Crispy Sesame Calamari and Five Spice Ribs (tender pork spare ribs, glazed with hoisin plum sauce and served with Asian slaw.

- Soup and Salads ($2.50 to $14): Hot and Sour or Asian Chicken Noodle Soup (cup or bowl), Chinese Chicken salad, Asian Caesar with grilled chicken or crispy calamari to a Fuji tuna salad (wok seared tuna sashimi and grilled shitake mushrooms, served with mixed greens and apples in the signature wasabi soy dressing) to Mango Salmon salad.

- Beef and Pork ($13.50 to $19): Mongolian Beef (with mushrooms and scallions in a sweet soy ginger sauce, served on a bed of crispy glass noodles, Beef and Broccoli, to Japanese Steak and Hong Kong Steak (sliced filet mignon served with onions and mushrooms in a spicy pepper brown sauce).

- Seafood ($14.50 to $19): Szechuan, Sesame or Crazy Coco Lime Shrimp and Cashew Crusted Tilapia to Asian Cajun Tuna (Ahi tuna, wok seared, with Cajun spices and topped with signature soy wasabi sauce, served with garlic spinach).

- Desserts: Mandarin Chocolate Fondue, Banana Wontons (banana filled and white, chocolate filled wontons, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and topped with vanilla ice cream and house made caramel sauce) to Pyphoon (house made ice cream pie, layered with coffee, chocolate and Swiss almond Hagen Daz ice cream on an Oreo cookie crust, drizzled with house made caramel sauce) and Mango Crème Brule.

© 2009 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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