Recommended

Stir It Up
1083 Euclid Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30307
www.stiritupatl.com

Good choices: Jerk chicken, salt fish & cabbage, brown stew chicken, stewed oxtails, rice & peas, plantains, mac & cheese, pound cake with rum sauce

Even after all the fretting and handwringing, at least half of them ended up actually liking the food. Still, Robert grew tired of feeling like he was leading a dangerous expedition amid savages who lived on red-hot chillies.

But he couldn’t resist choosing Stir It Up in Little Five Points for the second meeting of the Food Porn Supper Club. He regarded it as the best Jamaican restaurant in Atlanta and, truly, most everything besides the jerk chicken was mildly spicy. Best of all, owner-chef Christopher Williams’ food was always fresh – not served in the steam trays typical of most Jamaican restaurants in Atlanta.

About 20 people showed up for the dinner, a number that nearly filled the small main dining room. About half had come to the first meeting, including Brandon, the muscular Emory professor with whom Robert had a date the week before.

As people drifted to the table, Brandon waved a gold-wrapped condom at Robert, who, embarrassed, looked away quickly. Then, sitting down, he noticed a condom on his plate and on every plate at the table.

“Okay, whoever brought the condoms, thanks,” Robert said, laughing.

“I brought them,” Chase, a hipsterish man of about 25, confessed. “Since this is all about food porn, I thought they would be appropriate. As you know, rates of HIV infection are increasing dramatically among young gay men and…”

“I didn’t come here to discuss HIV and condoms,” barked Bud, a middle-aged man seated near Robert.

“I’m just encouraging safe sex,” Chase replied.

“Nobody has a right to tell me what kind of sex I should have,” Bud replied. “If two guys want to have unprotected sex, it’s their business.”

Robert felt a wave of eye-rolling impatience sweep over him, but, before he could start his lecture on community health, food began arriving. His favorite was the classic jerk chicken smoked on the premises with a layer of herbs and flavors that did have a sting just short of fiery. But other dishes, like the brown stew chicken and yellow curry, were milder and just as delicious.

While the service, run by Vivian Williams, was incredibly hospitable, dishes did tend to arrive erratically, because the chef prepares just about everything from scratch. It was hard to complain, considering the absurdly low prices.

Robert didn’t hear a word of complaint as everyone ate their food. Conversation turned to reminiscing the Hotlanta River Expo, the first circuit party in America, held summers here in Atlanta from 1979 to the early 2000s.

Robert told the story of how the founder of the party would not permit distribution of condoms at Hotlanta events after the AIDS epidemic started. He thought they would spoil the party atmosphere. Later, he contracted HIV and died of AIDS. Before dying, he wrote a letter of apology to the gay community.

That shocked many present. “If condoms had been used from the beginning of the epidemic, thousands of lives would have been saved,” Robert said, while Bud shifted in his chair anxiously.

But all anxiety subsided when the restaurant’s pound cake drenched in rum arrived at the table.

 


Food Porn is a fictional series by longtime Atlanta food critic Cliff Bostock. Set in real Atlanta restaurants, it chronicles the adventures of Robert, a gay man in search of a husband — or at least a good meal.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.