Mojos Bar and Grille in Troy
By Paula Johnson
Photo: Monte Cristo sandwich and Slaw at Mojos Bar and Grille in Troy; photos: Paula Johnson
Funny enough, that refrain from the Doors song “L.A. Woman” was playing in the background as I sat at Mojos Bar and Grille in Troy, musing about what to call this piece. I was going to go with “They’ve Got Their Mojo On,” but once I heard Jim Morrison, it was a sign from above. This is one great bar that takes its bar food seriously. And I seriously can’t wait to go back. A DCP pal and I visited on a recent Tuesday and found a menu full of well-prepared dishes perfect to accompany the array of cocktail and craft beer selections found on the menu. And the menu states, “Mojos is proud to utilize only the freshest of food and ingredients provided by local merchants and suppliers. Our aim is to buy fresh and buy local to celebrate our local meats, produce and ingredients.” So you can support the local economy AND your need for a great sandwich at the same time.
Before we got to the sandwiches, our server informed us that it was $2.00 Taco Tuesday so we immediately put in an order for a chicken and a pork taco when we ordered our appetizers, Scotch Eggs ($7.50) and Buffalo Goat Cheese ($8.50). Just what is a Scotch egg, besides the best bar snack ever? It’s only a hard boiled egg wrapped in sausage, breaded, then deep-fried. And only served at nearly every pub in the British Empire. The London department store Fortnum & Mason claims to have invented Scotch eggs in 1738, but they may have been inspired by the Mughlai dish narcissi kofta. No matter who invented it, it’s what you want to sample when you visit Mojos. Theirs is served with a tasty hollandaise style sauce to dip. This is a substantial appetizer, and you’ll want to share (or take home for tomorrow’s breakfast like I did).
Less interesting was the Goat Cheese, panko-coated and drizzled with a buffalo blended butter sauce. Not bad by any means, but not exciting in the face of other options. Like the tacos. Nice, slightly crispy tortillas, tasty meat, pico de gallo, and fresh-made Verde sauce to accentuate made these a perfect accompaniment to a beer or some tequila. Also not to be missed, and what I’d recommend as an appetizer, is the Parmesan Green Beans side dish. It’s offered as a side with a sandwich along with Mojos’ excellent zingy fresh Mojos Slaw with colorful ribbons of cabbage and vegetables tossed in a slightly sweet celery seed dressing, or house-made Fries with harissa oil and chocolate vinegar (an odd combination, but it worked—served on the side for the faint of heart). All three (each $3.00) were terrific sides, and worthy of trying, but I’ve got to go back to the Parmesan Green Beans. Because, well, they’re green beans and not exactly the first thing you think of as a great bar snack. Our server urged us to order them and I am forever in his debt. A slight grilled char on the surface and sprinkled generously with shaved squares of Parmesan cheese and nuggets of sweet garlic, these beans had a deep smoky taste reminiscent of something cooked in a really hot wok. The flavors weren’t Asian, but the treatment seemed to be. So good I wanted more, and would order them as a starter.
We tried three sandwiches: A Monte Cristo ($8.99), Philly Cheesesteak ($8.99), and Blackened Tuna ($11.99). All offered nice flavor upgrades such as the wasabi aioli and pickled red onion on the tuna, and a toasted hoagie bun and garlic aioli on the cheesesteak. No cheese whiz here, instead a nice mozzarella with grilled peppers and onions made this a satisfying choice. The Monte Cristo, in lieu of syrup, was served with a smear of blackberry preserves and a dusting of powdered sugar to make for a sweet/savory success.
A final thing worth noting about this gem of a neighborhood bistro is the price. Everything we tried, plus one drink, came to an incredibly reasonable $62.03. I left carting home the next day’s breakfast and lunch to boot. If you’re in the mood to drink and dine, deploy to Troy. Mojos Bar and Grille is that cozy bar with great food you wish were in your neighborhood. I sure do wish it were in mine.
Mojos Bar and Grille is located at 109 E. Main St. in Troy. For more information, please call 937.552.9172 or visit TroyMojos.com