In case you haven’t heard yet, a cozy little spot on the corner of Line and Jordan in Shreveport is now THE space to be. A lot of stuff goes on in the old “Motor Hotel” building. Currently and over the years, it has housed cafes, business offices, community organizations, and more.
However now…Stem Events & Lunch is open and ready to dazzle the SBC with its delectable menu, contemporary style, and charming/modern decor. I have said it before and I will say it again: Stem is an inspirational atmosphere that speaks to the creative artist in us all.
Co-owners Yancy Cazes and Amy DesOrmeaux have really worked hard to bring it all together. Amy hails from Natchitoches (she’s a steel magnolia) and her style is not only innovative, it is charming and sincere. Ms. DesOrmeaux created some of the delightful art that graces the walls, yet she also enjoys showcasing her own collection. Her true passion, however, lies in giving other artists the opportunity to exhibit their work. “I want Stem to be a place that people actually want to come hang out,” says Amy. “The goal here is to create the ultimate in comfort, while attempting to relate to our guests through art and atmosphere.” In my opinion, and those of many others I have asked, Stem is a success and will most definitely continue to thrive.
Now let me talk about the FOOD for a mo….yes….because I LOVE to eat. But not junk. Not processed food, not pre-made or frozen, not something scraped out of a can or dumped out of box. I love to eat GOOD FOOD. Enter Chef Kevin Medlin and his amazing kitchen crew. Chef Andrew Basciano, Chef Jacquet Willlams AKA “Slim,” and morning cook/head bartender Courtney Taylor (the sweet, flirty one) are just some of the folks here who make all the deliciousness happen. Chef Kevin does has a secret weapon back there in the kitchen with him sometimes….and her name is Mrs. Medlin. Kevin & Katie have six beautiful daughters in their little (well, not little!) blended family, and just one look at them together will stop you from wondering WHY the food tastes so dadgum good: it is made with LOVE! (and high quality ingredients, of course!)
I have tried a few things on the menu, but today it was the soup of the day: Chicken & Sausage Gumbo…FINALLY! I don’t have to drive all the way to Clear Springs Restaurant in Nacogdoches, TX to get a good cup of gumbo! (but I still will sometimes because it is great there, too!) I have tried gumbo all around the SBC and Chef Kevin has it down pat. Not too spicy, but perfectly seasoned. Don’t worry, you can add some Tony’s…its in a shaker on the tables because hey….this IS Louisiana, after all!
I spoke with friends Kristen and Amanda during lunch. It was their first time eating at Stem. Their co-workers had been bragging and they just had to try it out. Kristen went with the signature sandwich, The Stem: “So delicious! Full of flavor, just the right amount of spicy. So much meat I could barely fit it in my mouth!” (well….that’s what she said) Amanda had the Southwest Panini. She said it was, again as with The Stem, “just the right amount of spice, lots of flavor and very nicely toasted.” It seems like every dish that comes of out Stem’s kitchen is spot-on, distinctive, and exquisitely scrumptious with every single bite.
But that’s not all! Stem is also the space to host any event that your little heart desires! Don’t have an event? No worries! The new event manager, Mat Latz, has already gathered a crew of actors and performers called “Theatre Macabre.” Events are being created and planned as I write this, and you will have the opportunity to come enjoy dinner and a show right here in our humble little Louisiana town. Recently, Stem hosted Latz’s first production, an interactive murder mystery titled “Receptional Behavior.” The entire storyline, including the characters, are from the mind of Mat. Opening weekend was June 24; both Friday and Saturday performances sold out in record time. You KNOW it’s gonna be amazing when that kind of stuff happens. And people, it WAS amazing. Tickets will be on sale for other performances soon, so keep your eyes peeled at Stem on Facebook and jump on it as soon as you can or you will regret it! TICKETS SELL OUT REALLY FAST!
I got a chance to chat with guests during the pre-show on Saturday evening, June 25. Unfortunately, I showed up to cover this story in a dress that looks almost EXACTLY like what all the waitresses were wearing. (Leave it to me!) After explaining that I was actually not part of the production, I asked a couple of folks what they were expecting, and here is one of the best answers I got:
“I think this show is gonna be awesome, and me and my friends are gonna solve this murder faster than that weird bunch of kids that live in a van with a talking dog.”
Yep. Stem is THE SPACE to be in Shreveport. They are open for lunch weekdays 11 am – 2 pm. Check out the menu here. This week’s special is Jamaican Jerk Chicken that Chef Kevin assured me will be off the chain. I can’t wait to try it!
My next story will be about the cast and crew of “Theatre Macabre,” the ones that bring the funny during murder mystery events. Keep up to date with everything going on at Stem by liking them on Facebook and sharing with your friends. You will enjoy the “Los Angeles Vibe” that I felt as soon as I walked in the place…and I just spent 5 days in the City of Angels, so that is saying a lot. 🙂