Mojito Madness

June 2018
Written By: 
Paul Grimshaw
Photographs by: 
Jon Stell

New restaurant offers up authentic Caribbean cuisine and delicious cocktails in an intimate modern setting

PHOTO: The Cuban sandwich comes with sliced ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickle and mustard with homemade plantain chips and fries.

 

While there are plenty of ethnic and international restaurants along the Grand Strand, Mojito’s Bar & Grill in Myrtle Beach is the newest and perhaps only purely Caribbean eatery, featuring authentic Cuban/Mexican and Puerto Rican cuisine created from decades-old family recipes.

Owned by Veronica Montalvan and operated by husband and wife Gabo and Karla Rufino, Mojito’s opened in February 2018 at the site of the former Boom Boom Wine Room in the Northwood Plaza Shopping Center in Myrtle Beach.

An intimate but not overcrowded interior with splashy graphics gives Mojito’s a cozy and modern feel. Several booths line one wall, while tables of varying sizes share the rest of the space with an eight-seat bar along the back.

The food will be new to many, coming from Karla Rufino’s home traditions in Belize and Mexico, where a large Cuban population settled. The menu features pork, beef, chicken and seafood dishes all with a decidedly Caribbean and slightly Mexican flair. The most widely known to average American palates, the Cuban sandwich, comes with sliced ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickle and mustard with homemade plantain chips and fries ($12). Entrees include Quiero Mas, which features shredded beef brisket in a broth of white wine, onions, garlic, tomato and peppers served with rice and beans or a salad ($15). Some 16 entrees ($12–$18) offer a choice of grilled chicken with curry, an 8-ounce top sirloin flamed with rum and served with a potato-like starch called Yuca (pronounced yoo-kah), fresh catches (some of which are marinated in tequila or lemon-lime juice), fried chicken, surf and turf and more.

While some of the dishes may be novel to diners, their signature drink is a well-known favorite. Each must-try house-made mojito ($7, $6 at Happy Hour) is fashioned with muddled mint, lime juice, a bit of sugar, club soda and a premium Nicaraguan rum, Flor De Cana.

Happy Hour is from 4–6 p.m. Monday through Friday and features discounted drinks and a few right-priced food items.

Mojito’s is open daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m. (bar stays open later) and features periodic live entertainment and a DJ each Friday and Saturday from 7–11 p.m.

Mojito’s Bar & Grill
7713 N. Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach
(843) 712-2989
Hours: 11 a.m.–10 p.m. daily (bar stays open later)