Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Mojo Kitchen in Jacksonville Beach

Ever been running errands and you catch a whiff of barbecue floating on the air that instantly sparks an insatiable craving? That happened to me not long ago, so when I finally had the opportunity to do something about that craving, Mojo Kitchen was the obvious choice. I had never been before, but virtually everyone I had talked to had raved about Mojo Kitchen, so I was excited to try it.


Not knowing a great deal about it, I didn’t really know what to expect about the atmosphere when we got to Mojo Kitchen, but I was very pleasantly surprised to find a really cool vibe. Themed around the blues and highlighting many of the legends of the art, Mojo Kitchen absolutely put me in the mood to kick back with a cold drink and listen to great music – a great start! What caught my attention first was the stage, no doubt a cool place to catch a live band.

Since it was a slower Monday afternoon, we were able to have our choice of tables in the dining area and were greeted quickly by our waiter, who was fun and helpful in helping us decide what to order. I opted for the lunch sized portion of the North Carolina pork (what I had been told was their specialty) with a side of sweet potato mash and green beans, while my friend ordered the two meat combo with beef brisket and chicken. As we settled in to wait for our lunches, I could tell this was going to be a meal that satisfied that craving I had for good barbecue.


In what seemed like a shorter than normal wait, our food arrived – and I realized just how much food came with the ‘smaller’ lunch portion. The North Carolina pork was absolutely perfect – falling apart and tasting of their homemade Carolina vinegar sauce, it definitely didn’t need any additional barbecue sauce whatsoever. I tried it with several of the barbecue sauces on the table, and found the Mojo seasoning to be excellent, the mustard sauce to be delightfully tangy, but the best by far was adding some additional vinegar sauce. I dug into the green beans next and was absolutely shocked to find that these were by far the best green beans I had ever had. When I ordered the side, I expected them to be fairly standard and boring, not a side that had a wonderful smoky flavor that I would be sure to order every time I walk through the door. In addition, the sweet potato mash did nothing to disappoint either, featuring the perfect consistency in the sweet potato as well as a nice swirl of brown sugar and nuts.

I was also lucky that my friend was willing to share what he had ordered as it initially looked like he would be protecting it from anyone trying to take it from him. The chicken was excellent with its smoky flavor and tender consistency, it really didn’t need any additional sauce at all, but the mojo sauce certainly didn’t hurt the flavor at all. But the clear winner of his dish was without a doubt the beef brisket, it was just tender enough to be perfectly chewy and exploded with flavor as soon as I took a bite. Once again, this meat absolutely didn’t need any additional sauce to be some of the best brisket I’ve ever had, I will definitely be adding the brisket to my order next time I go to Mojo Kitchen.

To me, Mojo Kitchen surpassed the expectations and hopes that I had going into my meal. Everything from the staff to the ambiance to the food was excellent and I am already looking forward to going back to enjoy more great barbecue! If you’re looking to satisfy that craving you get when you catch a whiff of barbecue wafting on the air, Mojo Kitchen is absolutely worth the trip – you won’t be disappointed.
Mojo Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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