Elks, bison, yaks oh my!
EVERETT - Tucked between the Irishman and the Historic Everett Theatre, Stuff What I Like is serving exotic dishes rarely seen anywhere else.
The restaurant dubs itself an “eclectic grillery.” On top of the standard restaurant fare, the menu features a wide array of exotic meats including bison, lamb, yak and elk.
That’s how restaurant creator Shawn Lloyd likes it. It turns out, Everett’s lunch rush likes it too, business is continually picking up since Lloyd and wife Cynthia Gaub opened the restaurant in September, Lloyd said.
Stuff What I Like can prepare a sampler of four “exotic sliders” for $13, grass-fed bison burgers for $13 and ground lamb steak seasoned with rosemary and garlic, also $13. The restaurant serves everything from caribou to yak on a rotating basis.
Some of the food is quick to prepare. A plate of lamb tacos was ready within 10 minutes.
The restaurant also offers a four-course elk steak dinner if given a day’s notice, Lloyd said.
Stuff What I Like’s beer list includes Red Hook beers and Ninkasi’s Total Domination IPA.
Lloyd began experimenting with game meat on his grill six years ago. He calls himself the restaurant’s mad scientist.
Gaub has a strong hand in what gets on the menu. She brought in bacon cheddar fries and bacon-waffles into the mix for the restaurant’s breakfast menu, Gaub said.
The restaurant’s menu is equally influenced by food Lloyd grew up with. His mother is from Saipan, a small island near Guam influenced by numerous cultures.
Saipan was a former Spanish slave colony. During World War II, American troops brought lots of meat to the island.
“There are these weird, disparate cuisines that came together,” Lloyd said.
The locals call the mix Chamorro cuisine. This helps explain why the menu lists dishes of Chamorro chicken and Chamorro grilled beef, which are served with a side of SPAM fried rice. Stuff What I Like’s Chamorro foods are marinated in special sauces that Lloyd makes from scratch.
There’s an added bonus to eating exotic meats: they are leaner and healthier for you than beef, Lloyd said.
Elk has 1/10th the fat content of beef and yak has one-third the fat content of beef, Lloyd said.
All of the restaurant’s game meat is processed by USDA-approved suppliers, which makes the food less gamey than hunter’s meat, Lloyd said.
The menu changes based on what’s available. For example, right now Tuesdays are Taco Tuesdays, with bison and lamb tacos as the specialty.
“If someone has their heart set on something, call ahead,” Lloyd said.
The restaurant’s name takes some people by surprise, but the advertised menu surprises people the most.
“I’ve had people see the sign in the window, come in and say, ‘frog’s legs, are you crazy?’,” Lloyd said. “They feel compelled to say that.”
Lloyd said he came up with the name “Stuff What I Like” while he was fooling around with a pad and pencil at Microsoft.
Stuff What I Like is located at 2915 Colby Ave. It is open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The restaurant’s phone number is 425-257-0357 and its website is www.stuffwhatilike.com.
By MICHAEL WHITNEY
Published April 25, 2012