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Mojave Grill & Cantina

Gresham's premiere sports bar

2016-0203 Wednesday

2016-0203 Wednesday

an unsolicited review by JACQUES NECHQUES. Recommended number of wine glasses before reading this piece:   2WG



my head needs scratching when I think about Mojave, downtown. My bafflement surrounds this question: “Why in heck isn’t this place packed-to-the-rafters every day of the week?”

This location was originally the home of 4th Street Brewing, back in the day. (Well, not orginally. For that we’d need to consult the Gresham Hysterical Society, or maybe the Chinookans, yea, even, perhaps the Lord Himself.) It is a fantastic location, right in downtown—the heart of historical Gresham, and the hub of so much activity these days.

For now—and the foreseeable future—the place is a restaurant and bar (“Grill & Cantina”). From my limited observation, the restaurant is quite popular. It always seems to be buzzing. [Note: I’m not reviewing the restaurant side right now, since I haven’t et there (or maybe I have but I can’t remember, okay? Leave me alone.) Although, now that I think about it, I don’t see why I shouldn’t be able to review a place just because I’ve never been there. Maybe later, as I develop my reviewing skills…] 

Why, I want to know, doesn’t the bar get as much business as the restaurant? Maybe it does; perhaps I’ve just missed it because I stay home too much. [Actually, that’s quite the possibility.] Regardless, Mojave’s bar is a great way to watch a game. Sup' Bowl 50 fans, are you reading this? Big TVs surround the room; it’s a two-story-high affair, kitted out [I just found this term, "kit" in the dictionary] with very comfortable and warm furnishings. It has to be one of the best bar ATMOSPHEREs in Gresham, especially when there’s a big game on and the place is full of rabid fans.

My son (you may have heard of him) and I decided to meet after work a week or so ago, to watch the Clemson vs. Alabama game. [Well, it was after work for him. I sort of shun work now-a-days. My plan is to make it big on the Web.] We easily scored the best seat in the house, right in the middle of the room, under the big screen (the place's "feature" screen is bigger'n' the others).

BoxMojaveThe SERVICE was good. My expectation for service at a bar has diminished as I’ve aged; when I’m in a restaurant-proper, I expect the staff to grovel and accede to my every thought—even before I think said thought. In a bar, I’ve come to realize the servers are usually quite busy, and they seem to expect that patrons aren’t necessarily in a hurry. I get it. That said, our servers (from the hostess, to our wait person, to the other people who brought our food, etc.) were great. I almost never had to begin screaming and throwing silverware to get their attention. (That was a joke, for those of you in Boring. I’m being funny. The service was four-pips.)

FOOD? Awesome. I had a nacho thing (can’t remember the name of it) that was huge and delicious. Exactly what I want when I’m hungry. I actually think it was intended as an appetizer for a few people, but I ate it myself; my son ordered an entrée. My son told me said entrée was quite good too.

I know that with this next statement, some of the CWSs will almost-violently flip the OFF switch of their computers and be tempted to toss it—monitor and all—out the window; I can handle that: I ordered Coors Light. I know. I know. I’m not a beer connoisseur. The astute CWS will note that I prefer wine, given that most of my articles are prefaced with a wine consumption recommendation. Nor am I wine snob, though. I’ve been known to consume wine out-of-the-box. (Have I just lost the other half of my readers?) The wines I like best?: Those with, as Michael Scott of The Office TV show says, have an “Oaky afterbirth.” Yeah, I know my wines.

Okay, now that I’ve alienated those of my fans who actually have good taste, I am free to speak to the 6% of my readers what are still here. (And given the early-stage situation of, that’s prolly like, about, two-and-a-half people…)

Good golly. My mind is scattered. To the wind. Is it not? Alrighty-then. Where wuzz-I?

Beer. Okay: I love a good pilsner. Pale lagers are my friend. My sons can have all the soil-infused dark brews they want. [Yeah, I have more than one son, and they’ve both been known to order the dark, earthy, full-of-body (corpses, I’d say) Porters and Stouts—and actually enjoy them, methinks.] Let ‘em drink the darks. Just leaves more Corona Lights, Heinekens and Coors Lights for me.

My Gresham son (the one who has chosen to live close to me, and love me—as opposed to the one who has ended up living under a bridge in San Francisco) commented, “[Mojave has] a pretty good selection of brews on tap. Definitely one of the best selections in Gresham (as far as that goes).” Gresham son continues, “The atmosphere is great. It's hard to believe that place isn't busier for the big games. I love the big screen they have.” So yeah, Gresham son is quite smart and observant. But I think we've already established that.

In fairness, I have to post that said Gresham son (love him as I do) differs from me regarding Mojave’s food. In his (admittedly youthful, inexperienced and green-behind-the-ears) opinion, the food is “just on this side of sub-par.”

Perhaps I need to Facetime with San Francisco son a bit more, in spite of his living-under-a-bridge status.

Okay, the runway is in sight, and we’re ready for a VFR approach. Time to reign in this article and come in for a landing. [ mix a metaphor or two] Yeah. We’re going to do this manually: I’ll land in the same manner with which off I took: Mojave Grill & Cantina deserves to thrive. Its location at the hub of Gresham’s physical downtown/center foreshadows (I hope) its centrality as the go-to place for social gatherings, sports events, great food and all-around fun.

When next you text your friends, deciding on a place to meet, give Mojave a try. You won’t be disappointed.

In fact, I think you’ll be very pleased.




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