Thursday, April 19, 2012

Burger joint of the week: Mojo's #1

Some sailors have a girl in every port. I have a burger in every neighborhood, and years ago my MacArthur Drive burger was the burger served up at Andy’s Drive-In. Well, times have changed and so has the name, but there are still great burgers to be found at that old location -- now home to MoJo’s #1.

Yes, there is a MoJo’s #2, in Rose City. Both of them serve up soft serve ice cream, burgers and fries, and both are dependable for smashburgers served up on toasted buns with lots of melted cheese.

I ran over to MoJo’s #1 for lunch the other day. The weather was perfect and I wanted to eat on a patio. What I didn’t know was that the little dairy shack has expanded and now has a tiny indoor seating area -- that you have to go through to get to the patio.

I placed my order up front, waited for my number to be called and took my bag-o-burger with me to a nice comfortable seat at the end of the patio where I could watch the line of cars pull up and pull out as the lunch rush ebbed on. When I took my seat there were seven cars parked nose-in along the front perimeter. Windows were down, radios were on and the scent of hot meat on a griddle permeated the air.

The bag felt heavier than I had anticipated; I’d gone for a #1 special, the Jumbo Double Cheeseburger with French Fries and a Drink for $5.99 advertised on the front of the building. I figured since it was a dollar more than the regular double cheeseburger that I’d be getting my money’s worth. Still, I guess I wasn’t thinking how heavy that bag might be for the price.

The fries were on top -- yes, pre-cut fries, but salt-dipped fries that were extraordinarily crispy on the outside and mellow on the inside, addictive sturdy fries that could be appetite busters. It took all my self-control not to eat them as I photographed them alongside the burger and the cup of Hunt’s ketchup that went along with them.

And that burger... a heavy burger. I would estimate ⅔ lb. of beef between those seedless, toasted buns, wrapped tight the old-fashioned way with wax paper. The default for the burger was a butter-sweated bun, a nice toasting, a slick of mayo, a smattering of iceberg lettuce and white onion pieces under a round of tomato. No pickles here, a small surprise.

The twin third-of-a-pound patties were likely pre-formed but of a top quality beef that didn’t need much seasoning. What little it had, it had undoubtably picked up from the griddle itself, with a bare background taste of long-charred cheese and a crusting that belied a little salt in its makeup. Speaking of cheese, it was American, and the melted-on slices glued the patties and bun together delightfully.

This burger was of the juicy/greasy quality you’d expect from a good drive-in, and required every bit of that wax paper to keep the wetness from rolling down one’s arms. Moreso, napkins were required (and provided in-bag) for sopping up the runaway juices that formed just about everywhere.

An enjoyable, unfinishable by the normal person burger, once the fries were added in. I walked away from the rest of my fries and the burger remnants guiltily. They were good, but I was unwilling to injure myself to consume it all.

You’ll find Mojo’s #1 at 3801 MacArthur Drive in North Little Rock -- and Mojo’s #2 in Rose City. I will have to go back for a banana split someday. (501) 753-4445.

Mojo's on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. Great serving which is very generous that is priced very pocket friendly. Try their small goods sandwiches that are bite sized.