Sturring the Pot at Stur 22 Lounge!
For this restaurant exposé, our team decided to mix it up…or should we say, stur it up. We were very excited to dine at Stur 22 Lounge (stur22lounge.com), known for its colorful array of Caribbean and West African cuisine. Upon our anticipated feast, we were warmly greeted by friendly servers and restaurant owner Trokon (Charles) Brewer. The vibe at Stur 22 is intimate and chic, but also laid-back and fun! Bright-colored paintings on the wall and lime green chairs really add to the electric atmosphere. The lounge is divided by a bamboo pony wall. The front half has booths and tables for eating, while the back, where the bar is located, has high-tops and bar stools for drinking. On weekend nights though, the whole place is cleared out and transformed into a night club for some major partying. But we’re here to talk about the food…which, as we found out, is kind of a party of its own. The dishes served up at Stur 22 are packed with so much flavor—it’s like a party in your mouth!
What we learned from our dining experience at Stur 22 is that it’s all about pairing. All entrees are served with your choice of rice and a side. Whether you’re a person who likes to mix all your food together on your plate, or your adamant about your food not touching, you’ll want to pay attention to the combination of entree and sides you order at Stur 22. We were fortunate enough to have a very knowledgeable server who gave us good recommendations for pairing.
African Fish Stew—Paired with white rice and cilantro mixed greens.
Our first dish was the African Fish Stew, which is tilapia topped with a sautéed vegetable braise. It definitely has a spice to it, as is the way with most African-inspired dishes. The rice and cilantro balanced out the flavor very well.
Have you ever eaten the tail of an actual ox before? Don’t knock it until you try it! Stur 22 does an excellent job with the cooking and seasoning of the meat, mixed in well with turmeric curry peas and carrots. It literally melts right off the bone, which you’ll soon find out as the chef leaves the bone in for an extra authentic touch. The plantains were a highlight of this ensemble. They were fried to perfection. Our group noted that they were yummy enough to be a dessert item!
Caribbean Jerk Chicken—Paired with red beans & rice and mango pineapple coleslaw.
This pairing was unanimously voted our group’s favorite. The marinated chicken was perfected baked and flash fried, the sweet Jamaican Jerk BBQ sauce on it was savory without being over-powering. We were really impressed with the coleslaw (so much so that we even asked for more). It’s peanut and mango flavor was a pleasant surprise.
Caribbean Lamb Stew—Paired with white rice and rum fruit salad.
Another tasty pairing, the stewed lamb meat melted in our mouths and the white rice mixed in well. The fruit added a refreshing balance to the plate.
Jollof Stew—Paired with chuck rice and mango pineapple coleslaw.
Our last dish was truly an African staple. The Jollof Stew had great flavor and consistency. We noted that this dish reminded us of Jambalaya. This pairing is also a gluten-free option.
Stur 22 also offers their Carribean Jerk Chicken as an appetizer. Our group started out with a plate of chicken wings, along with a plate of blackened shrimp. These are great for groups to share! All of the dipping sauces served are made in-house and offer unique flavors. The restaurant has vegan/vegetarian options as well. These include their Vegetarian Rasta Pasta, Vegan African Okra Stew, and Vegan African Spinach Stew. The pasta had a good spicy kick to it and the stews were both full of flavor.
For dessert, we enjoyed a delicious slice of coconut cheesecake. For a group with a few non-coconut fans, we all really liked this treat. The chocolate and caramel drizzle on top really sealed the deal. Another dessert item Stur 22 boasts is a Plantain Flambe. We are very excited to go back and give this Carribean dessert staple a try.
As mentioned earlier, Stur 22 is known for their lively nightlife scene too. The restaurant is proud of their colorful drink menu, featuring creative blends that are mixed up at their bar. Charles has experimented and perfected some yummy drink combinations over the years. Whether you are hitting the club for the night or you need a delicious beverage to wash your food down with, Stur 22 has you covered. From their specialty cocktail menu, our group tried a variety of drinks. These included the known house favorite and our group’s decided upon favorite, the African Paradise. The drink is infused with fruit slices, which compliment the Malibu rum very well. The other drinks were a little more intense. The Red Mountain had a strong sweet and sour taste and the Carribean Escape made an impression with a subtle honeydew flavor. We highly recommended Stur 22’s classic mojito and their mango mule as well. It was probably the best mojito we’ve ever tried, and the mango mule gave a refreshingly fruity and sour twist to your average Moscow Mule. Most of these tried and true cocktail recipes are rum-based, as it is the Carribean way. The bar also carries bottled beer and beer on tap, along with an accommodating wine list.
Overall, we were very pleased with our experience at Stur 22 Lounge. We are lucky to have an authentic Carribean and African restaurant here in Lincoln.
Fun Fact: Stur 22 Lounge got its name from Charles’ memory of cooking with his mom when he was a young boy. Originally from Liberia, Charles’ mom was big into African cooking, and she let Charles help her in the kitchen. As stirring is a common direction with African dishes, Charles remembers his mom always telling him to stir things at least 22 times. He also remembers her spelling the word “stir” as “stur.” Thus, the name Stur 22.
Hours: Tues–Thurs: 4 p.m.–11 p.m.; Fri–Sat: 4 p.m.–1 a.m. (Special events until 2 a.m.); Sunday: 4 p.m.–9 p.m. (Sunday dinner buffet); Closed Mondays for private events. Kitchen opens daily from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. (Closes at 9:30 p.m. for special events)
Social Hour: Tues–Thurs: 4 p.m.– 6 p.m.; Fri–Sat: 10 p.m. to midnight.