Monday, December 1, 2008
Lucky Mojo's - Lucky To Be There...
Lucky Mojo's - 5-14 51st Avenue, Long Island City, NY 11101
7 Train to Vernon Blvd/Jackson Avenue
Very fond of good barbecue, I was eager to give Lucky Mojo's a try, especially after glowing online reviews and positive feedback from friends. So Dan and I took a short drive to my new favorite neighborhood, LIC and met Vicky and her boo Eric for some homestyle "Q." If you love sports and good food, Lucky Mojo's is for you.
Mojo's is casual and brings meaning to the words "laid-back." Set up like a saloon, it has exposed wooden beams, rustic chairs and tables and lots of colorful embellishments. Some things that caught my eye were the hanging bead lamps, bottle cap wall art and the huge gold shrine at the bar--I guess that's their tribute to Asian influence.
I liked that the vibe at Mojo's was very boisterous and it's a good place for large parties. They have a huge screen in the back of the restaurant that shows sports games and yesterday's feature was Sunday Night Football. The guys were in heaven, while we women tried to bring their attention back to where it should've been in the first place--on us. Besides the huge screen, there are other smaller TVs around and some of the booths even have individual flat screen TVs. Pretty cool!
Another cool thing to mention is that Mojo's is musically oriented. You can enjoy live blues, zydeco country and roots rock every Saturday night at 9pm, while Sunday brings a live "Mojo session", which is open to everyone.
We received praise about the food from the minute that we sat down--one very enthusiastic diner told us that the wings were a must. None of us ordered sushi although I heard that it's pretty good. Instead, we opted for the BBQ dishes that Mojo's is famous for.
Corn Fritters - We started with these and I absolutely loved them! The outside was crispy and the dough was really sweet. Crunchy corn kernels nestled in the dough were a nice compliment, and some of them showed off a dark, golden skin. The cup of spicy mayo that accompanied the fritters was great - creamy, tangy and a pleasure to dip these beauties into.
Cajun Popcorn Shrimp - Another starter, this one went fast, as we all devoured the bits of crunchy shrimp that came with a smokey honey mustard sauce. The shrimp was fresh and literally went down like popcorn--once we reached into the basket, we lost control of our fingers, which gravitated to the shrimp like magnets. This dish seemed to please everyone and the flavors in it weren't too strong.
BBQ Chicken and Ribs Combo - Dan ordered this and while I didn't try the chicken, the ribs were spectacular. They were so tender that they were falling off the bone and the skin was slightly crunchy and also sweet. They were marbled on the medium side so if you're expecting a leaner cut of meat, this isn't it. Dan said that the chicken was good but that it didn't compare to the ribs. He said that he'd like to try the brisket next time.
Blackened Catfish Sandwich - This was my choice and I liked it very much. It wasn't too heavy because it wasn't fried and all the ingredients in it tasted very fresh, including the veggies. A side of creamy mashed potatoes accompanied it and that's what put me over the edge. I couldn't help finishing the potatoes even though I was horribly full--they were silky soft and interlaced with delicious potato skins.
Other Dishes - Eric got a cheeseburger with mushrooms, which he seemed to like. He ordered a side of fries too, which came in a very generous portion that he couldn't finish. Vicky opted for a lighter choice with the chopped salad with chicken, avocados, red beans and a cumin vinaigrette. She didn't know what to expect from the dressing but it was surprisingly light and she enjoyed it.
Mississippi Mud Pie - Despite all the food that we ate, we still wanted to split dessert. The mud pie sounded better than it tasted. Not to say that it wasn't good but it just wasn't that impressive. Word to the wise: maybe skip dessert and load up on other dishes that they do so well. Something delicious about the dessert though was the fresh whipped cream--it was as light and airy as a cloud.
Service and Cost:
Just like Mojo's, our waiter was laid-back and unobtrusive. He was there when we needed him and was quick with the check. He was honest when we asked him questions about the food--for example when Dan asked if the ribs were fatty, he said that they were more marbled than not.
Mojo's boasts reasonable prices. Appetizers range between $5.95-$14.95 and entrees between $7.95 - $22.95. The dinner that I just described plus a round of beers set us back about $33 per person. That's pretty good for all that we ate!