Eggplant empanizado

Mojitos Cuban Bistro – Historic Norcross

Fresh Factor 3

3 out of 10

I love me some Cuban food, so I was excited to try Mojitos in historic Norcross. I was also excited because I had never been to this part of Norcross, but had seen it many times on one of my favorite shows, ABC’s Resurrection, which filmed there but was unfortunately not resurrected for a third season.

This area of Norcross is filled with buildings dating back to the 1800s, some of which were immediately recognizable to me from TV, so it was very exciting to check things out. I literally felt like I had gone back in time or stumbled onto a TV set. It was really cool.

While historic Norcross delivered, Mojitos did not. I did love the vibe of the restaurant though. The intimate space with brightly colored Caribbean art made me feel like I’d traveled to Cuba. That feeling unfortunately started to fade when I was served a lackluster pina colada. How do you mess up a pina colada? This one needed way more sugar.

Mojitos pina colada

Mojitos pina colada

For my meal I ordered the beef empanizado, which I’d ordered before at several Cuban spots in Florida and went gaga over. Even though we are just one state away, the Mojitos version greatly paled in comparison to the swoon-worthy empanizados I’d tried before. Beef (or bistec) empanizado is a breaded, pan fried steak, but this breading was super dry and tasteless, as was the steak itself. The one good thing about the steak was that it was huge, but I could tell right when it was served that it lacked flavor.

When the waiter asked if I wanted any sauces with it, the answer was an emphatic yes. Unfortunately, what was described as garlic sauce was really just some sliced garlic and onion floating in vinegar. Not too saucy, and it didn’t add much flavor. My steak was served with plain white rice, some black beans that were good only after I doused them with salt, and some plantains that were also very dry and flavorless. I have made better fried plantains at home.

My husband ordered the eggplant empanizado (breaded, pan fried eggplant). Even though it came with tomatoes, peppers and goat cheese on top, it still managed to be flavorless. Another thing I typically go wild for at Cuban restaurants is the tres leches cake. I’ve hardly ever met one I didn’t like. So as a last ditch effort, I ordered a tres leches to go from Mojitos just to see if they could do that right. It wasn’t bad, but like the other things we tried, it was just okay.

In conclusion, Mojitos gets an A for atmosphere, and an F for food. See what I did there??? Since the dishes were so colossal, we still took our leftovers home of course, but we doctored them up real good with some other stuff we had in our kitchen to make them taste like something.

Historic Norcross

Historic Norcross

A resounding “meh” to goes out to Mojitos. I’d like to check out historic Norcross again though. It has a bunch of little shops and restaurants, as well as a farmer’s market in the summer, so it’s worth stopping by even if you aren’t obsessed with Resurrection and Omar Epps.

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