Mojo’s Famous Burgers & More

When McB and I decided to try a new restaurant, we headed over to Mojo’s Famous Burgers & More, 2541 N. Pleasantburg Drive in Greenville. There’s a good buzz about Mojo’s and after reviewing the menu, I was eager to try one of their very unique burgers.

Mojo's Famous Burgers & MoreThe food is made-to-order. There are free peanuts for hungry dine-in patrons to enjoy while they wait. McB selected the “chubby cheeseburger” with bacon and an order of fries. I had the “Texan” with onion rings. As you can see from the photo, the portions are quite large. Neither of us came close to finishing our meal but then, I didn’t really want to.

The Texan Let’s start with my burger which came with jalapenos, cream cheese, avocado, and salsa. I know it seems like a bit of an odd combination but it’s also the kind of thing that could work if the ingredients were combined in the right measure. It’s not the case with the Texan. There is a thick slab of cold cream cheese stuck on the top of this burger. It’s roughly half the thickness of the burger patty itself. I think the cream cheese is meant to add a tangy flavor and balance the heat of the jalapenos. What it succeeded in doing was adding a cold gelatinous mass to the burger. The bun was so puny that it couldn’t begin to stand up to the heavy-duty ingredients. It was a messy, greasy sandwich that cooled down far too quickly. The onion rings were large and fresh but they were fried a bit too hard. The onion on the inside of the breading was hardly recognizable as an onion. It became a tough, transparent circle of nothingness.

Chubby cheeseburger with baconMcB’s burger was really thick. Even before he took a bite, he regretted getting the double patties. His bun also disintegrated. He did not think the bacon’s sweet, hickory flavor tasted right when combined with the oddly spiced burger meat. He also found the fries to be under-salted and just a bit lackluster.

Despite how others feel about the place, we found it to be bad Mojo indeed.

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Wild Ace

Last Saturday I was craving wings in the worst way. McB wanted pizza or maybe boneless wings. Given the foul weather, we decided to skip a trip downtown Greenville and instead set our sights on downtown Greer and The Wild Ace (109 Trade Street, Greer) as our destination for wings and pizza.

We arrived at The Wild Ace just after 2:15 p.m. The place was fairly crowded but not overwhelmingly so as there were still a number of empty tables.

The hostess stopped by our table to get our drink orders. After a short wait, our waiter brought the drinks and said that he would return to take our order as he had food waiting to come out to another table. We were both ready to order when he walked away but I was under the impression that he would be right back so I chatted with my husband and waited.

It turned out that I WAITED AND WAITED. After delivering food to the table in question and taking orders from patrons who had just walked in, our waiter stopped to help another staffer bus a table. That table wasn’t needed immediately or during the next hour that we were in the restaurant. At this point I started to fume. We were left sitting for at least 10 minutes at this point. If the decision were mine, we would have paid for our sodas and hit the road. McB reminded me that we weren’t in a hurry. In a compromise, we agreed until 2:45 and then cash out if the waiter had not returned. He made a few other stops and finally came back with about five minutes to spare.

The waiter did apologize for our wait and took our order. At this time I ordered wings and McB got a caesar salad and a 14″ pizza for us to split. He said “for us to split” when placing the order. McB’s salad came out (the croutons were quite good but the dressing came on the side and was so thick that he had to dip his lettuce into it) but my wings didn’t appear. The wings finally came about 25 minutes later when the pizza arrived with a single plate for McB. I had to ask for another plate.

The wings were reasonably good. It was a hot sauce, and I like heat, but it was also had a little of the hot-to-be-hot flavor that I’m not as fond of. I had a slice of the pizza and thought it was also tasty thought not any better than Mythos. McB agreed that the pie was good but not worth the hassle. At one point he was torn about whether to hope for good or bad pizza since he knew that no matter the flavor, there was little chance we’d be back again.

I do have to say that while he failed us in many ways, our waiter did do a good job of refilling our drinks. There is something to be said for that.

I don’t think we’ll be going back to The Wild Ace Pizza & Pub. I don’t mind a relaxed atmosphere but it shouldn’t involve this kind of service.

Lil Rebel 290

I passed the Lil Rebel 290 last December as I was making my way down route 290 to catch up to 25 and then on to Tennessee. It’s a nice looking building from the outside and on the day I passed, the parking lot was pretty full. I love small, local restaurants and immediately made a note to Google it at some point.

McB and I first tried the Lil Rebel (2608 Locust Hill Rd, Taylors) the day after Christmas. On that visit we both ordered burgers and were quite impressed by the portion size, speed of service, and friendliness of the waitstaff.

Lil Rebel has a large menu with lots of choices but I’m not sure I’ll ever fully appreciate them all because I’ve fallen for their Calabash chicken dinner. It’s unlike me to order the same entree but during our last two visits, it’s been the Calabash chicken. The only change up has been whether I order all fries or a fry-onion ring split. Again, this is not like me but look at this plate.

Calabash chicken - little rebelThe succulent chicken breast planks are surrounded by a light breading that is perfectly seasoned to provide just the right kick for the palate. I used very little dipping sauce because frankly, it wasn’t needed. The fries are hot, fresh, and plentiful.

regular chicken fingersOn this particular visit, McB ordered the regular chicken fingers. He liked the fingers but was eying my Calabash. He loves the fries at the Lil Rebel. He likes very few fries so I’m glad that these can help fill the void left by our departure from a Raising Cane’s city. On this visit, McB also tried the house BBQ sauce. It is a slightly watery sauce made with Greek sauces. I found it to be curiously delicious. McB liked it but regretted not choosing the more traditional hickory sauce.

The portions are large and the prices are low. The quality of the food can’t be beat. It’s not a gourmet meal but it’s good homey cooking. There are healthy items on the menu; I’m just too stuck on the Calabash to get to any of those. I’ve also been unable to order one of their many dessert options. It’s not that I don’t want to but we generally leave stuffed to the gills with a doggy bag in hand.

The staff is so nice and friendly. They are always willing to make recommendations. I also like that you typically don’t have to ask for a “to-go” cup and our instead are asked whether you want one or not. I think local restauranteurs just have a better understanding of the role good service plays in customer loyalty. It definitely shows at the Lil Rebel.

Oh and for the parting shot, our “clean” plates from this visit. You can see the corner of the box housing our leftover chicken planks. It’s important to note that this meal occurred after 1:30 p.m. on a Saturday when I didn’t prepare breakfast. We were famished and STILL couldn’t finish all the food.

Lil Rebel 290 is a great little local gem. I can’t wait to take visitors there.

Now that’s more like it

It’s our every-other-Friday pizza treat. Mythos (6140 Wade Hampton Blvd) makes a New York pie that makes our bellies very happy. Our regular (half cheese – him, half pep – me) is a bit greasy but McB, and most native New Yorkers, would tell you that grease is part of a good pizza.

They are a bit stingy with the pepperonis but those that are there have a nice flavor. There is enough cheese that McB doesn’t find it necessary to order extra cheese. I haven’t tried it as cold pizza but it does reheat quite well.