Inspired Turkey, at 82 Crown Street, is another new business bringing new lunch options to the Ninth Square. Also open for dinners, and offering discount prices on meals throughout its grand opening phase, Inspired Turkey is touting a different way of preparing turkey: pressure cooking it. According to owner Ide Ehigiato, this reduces the amount of oil and makes an already lean and healthy meat even healthier. Ehigiato is an engineer and his wife Melaka, who runs Inspired Turkey with him, has worked as a scientist. They bring special skills to food preparation, able to examine every aspect of the process with a keen eye to how to make improvements. But the couple, along with chef Patricia Hoskie, seek to use their knowledge to create a comfortable, friendly, homey atmosphere. “It’s homestyle cooking at an affordable price,” Ide says. “And it’s a vision that is not like the typical restaurant.”
“Ide looked at what’s already out there,” Melaka adds, “and said ‘Why isn’t everybody doing it like this?’”
The couple takes pride in the value and nutrition of their inspired turkey recipes. “We use our own homemade ingred
ients. You really want to taste it,” Ide boasts. As for the
novel cooking method, Melaka explains that “it’s a nice tender product. The texture’s different, because of the pressure.” Squeezing out more of the oil through the pressurizing process results in a juicier turkey.
“Cooking is not a high-fat meat, but it’s even healthier,” Melaka says, “because the cooking forces the moisture to stay in.”
The Ehigiatos were inspired to open a restaurant when they saw how well their Inspired Turkey brand was already selling in local markets (including Ninth Square’s own Elm City Market). This venue offers them a new outlet to show off their prized pressure-cooked turkey and chicken products. Some of the variations are “Garlic Inspirations,” Basil & African Herb Inspirations” and “Ginger Inspirations.” In the restaurant at 82 Crown, the turkey or chicken is served with delectable homestyle-cooked side dishes: rice, macaroni salad, macaroni and cheese, cole slaw, or salad. An “Inspired Meal” of turkey or chicken with two side dishes is available for special grand-opening discount price of only $5 instead of the already eminently affordable $7. That $5 bargain will remain in effect for customers with a student ID.
Inspired Turkey is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 4-8 p.m. on Saturday. Special treats for the Oct. 4 opening celebration include complimentary beer and wine and free samples of Inspired Turkey products.