A new eatery opened up this year in Murrells Inlet with little fanfare, but even with the pandemic, it's built a loyal, local clientele that walk away with taste buds satisfied.
Mojo's Marina Bar and Grille, part of the Wicked Tuna restaurant family, took over the former Marshview Seafood Kitchen and Bar and has rolled out a great, flavorful menu relying on local seafood and fresh ingredients.
Plus, it inherited one of the best inlet views in the area. It truly encompasses a panoramic view that will leave you in awe of nature's beauty while enjoying some great food.
While the outside is divine, the inside is spacious and has a great bar area. With comfortable chairs and a relaxing setting, this "magical" eatery will provide just the relaxation you need to browse the menu and try many items.
More importantly, the restaurant has the ability to allow for mass air flow. This should be comforting for those weary about dining inside a restaurant.
Let us get to the food, shall we?
A great way to start your meal is with these Korean BBQ Fries. We were split between these and the Smothered Gravy Fries, but the flavorful pop from the sauce and garlic aioli were so satisfying. We were told these were a customer top pick. Can't argue with that.
OK, so you see the Peach Mai Thai. Yes, it was as good as it looked. It's one of many they have available - and working on more flavors - alongside their freshly made mojitos and mules. They truly are going for an island feel and these drinks really help solidify the concept.
Speaking of island, these tacos below were doing their best to leave others on one.
Both the Blackened Fish and Braised Short Rib taco dishes came in threes. The short rib was fresh. Prepared the day we dined in. You could smell it from the kitchen, with the help of the breeze pushing it.
The fish was fresh and cooked well. Short rib was so tender it melted in our mouths. They're both a must-taste item.
But, the main course of the meal was SUPER!
This Super Steam Pot came with a WHOLE lobster, cut in half. Piled in the pot were potatoes, shrimp, clams, oyster clusters, andouille sausage (with great flavor) and a crab leg cluster. It was enough for three people.
Fresh seafood from Seven Seas Seafood Market helped create this dish.
The oysters were cooked perfectly, not overdone. The boiled shrimp were amazing. Loved the lobster.
You can't end a meal, however, without some delectable dessert. Pastry Chef Tricia Greene has found herself with a bigger area to work in, and with that, my friends, comes more pastry creations.
Three desserts were presented. All three were different in profiles and tastes.
The Boston Cream Cake was a legit hit. Heavenly fresh cake and the chocolate ganache was just superb. The Blackberry Cobbler was super moist and rich in flavor. Got you all in the Thanksgiving feels. But, the Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie was out of this world. For those looking for a great one, you must stop in and have this pie. It'll have you craving for one to take home. To enjoy for yourself, not to share.
Stop in at 4139 US-17 Business in Murrells Inlet and tell them we sent you. Open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Serving brunch Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
I enjoy the culinary adventures taken to many areas in South Carolina. You'll find great food with great people creating and serving it. But, the visit to Franco's NY Pizza at 3120 South Highway 17 Business in Murrells Inlet took me to another level.
Was it the unexpected uniform greeting we (my wife and I) received when we walked in the door? The consistent smiles? The hospitality? The bombardment of full-size pies to photograph without asking? I'd say all of it played a part.
But, it was the heartwarming welcome from Richard Franco, owner of Franco's NY Pizza, that sealed the deal.
Known for giving to the community, I expected a pleasuring visit, but including his staff we met, the atmosphere here was really culinary heaven.
Let's get to the pizza pies, shall we?
The Balboa was the first pizza we tasted. Made with Homemade Meatballs, Pepperoni, and Italian Sausage, it sure didn't disappoint. Matter of fact, I think I heard Rocky up front ordering his pie to go. The cheese pizza was just Richard and his crew showing off, giving us just the cheese to taste to solidify it's top-notch. The Apple Pie pizza, one of a few dessert pies they are trying out, walked away from us without being tasted, teasing us with that smell you can relate to being at Grandma's house for the holidays. Speaking of holidays...
What you see above is not an illusion. It's a Thanksgiving Pizza pie, full of gravy, Franco’s homemade stuffing, turkey, cheese, and cranberry dressing.
If you wanted a pizza that had all the flavor and fulfillment of Thanksgiving dinner without having to cook it or dive into multiple pots to serve it, here's your superb alternative. It's a tasty masterpiece, for sure.
One of my favorites of the day were the Franco's Pizza Bawls. Made with A Blend of Franco's Homemade Meatballs, Pepperoni, and Cheese Wrapped in Dough and Deep Fried, these were surely a treat. And the homemade marinara sauce just sent them into outer-culinary space.
But's the best is saved for last.
Yes, folks, Franco's NY Pizza and their chicken wing game is in the upper tier. And on this day, I was the first to try these wings pictured.
Maple Bacon Bourbon BBQ Wings.
I kept going back for more and more. These were some of the best I'd ever had.
When the food tasting was done, Ricard and his staff cleaned up and made sure we knew how appreciated we were. We responded back by saying it was our pleasure. They said we know.
Again, everyone we meet are truly nice people and show you the best culinary hospitality, but it's rare you meet people who make you genuinely feel you're part of the family. The folks at Franco's NY Pizza are in that list set.
Go by and see Richard, Stacy, Robert, Tim and all the friendly people at Franco's NY Pizza for some great, made-from-scratch food, served with love. Not only from the love for what they do, but from the love of knowing you chose them for your meal.