Downtown Historic Norcross has become a popular destination since revitalizing the area began attracting more eateries a few years ago. Mojitos Cuban-American Bistro is the unique player on the block, with quality Cuban cuisine. My paranormal team, NORCROSS PARANORMAL has dined there many times, as well have gotten to investigate the location! But first let's get to the delicious food!
Luis and Yanin Fernandez opened the restaurant, bringing some eclectic Latino style to the casual dining setting. A dining room, with picture windows allows passersby to peek into the eatery and watch some of the live entertainment on weekends. There is usually a little wait over the weekends the place is small and fills up fast, but it is really worth the wait I promise.
When starting the NORCROSS GHOST TOUR back in 2008 I was hearing a lot of chatter and stories about the possible haunting in the location, which really made me want to give the place a look. But most of all the lack of a good place to get a good Cuban sandwich in Atlanta REALLY had me wanting to go in and chow down! With the loss of Kool Korners and The Havana Sandwich Shop (At the time it had burned down and the talk of re-opening was bleak) I was longing for one! When I walked in with my team the smells of home Cuban-Latino cooking smacked me and the flood of memories of my grandmothers' kitchen in Costa Rica hit me. When I sat I quickly ordered my beloved Cuban sandwich with a side order of Congri (Black beans and rice) a bowl of black bean soup and beef empanada as an appetizer. The turnover-shaped empanadas, filled with ground beef, onions and potatoes quickly disappeared from my plate. The sauce accompanying the empanadas is spicy and flavorful. It is not a chunky salsa like many would expect from many "Latino" Mexican locations, but a smooth tomato based sauce with some spices and a touch of chile. Now others in my team ordered the fried ham croquettes that I have to admit was not pleasing to my taste but way better than most places had to offer. Then came the black bean soup, I have to admit to most it would be unsatisfying, as it is more like a cream of black bean, with the beans puréed into a thick rich broth. It was not what I was expecting since in most places and at home. The soup is filled with cooked black beans in rice. But LORDY it was perfect! The taste and texture had me smiling. A unique twist well worth the try.
While eating and conversing with the team and owners about the alleged haunting in the location the Cuban sandwich came. Now before I go gushing on how delicious the meal was I do have to give you some fair warning. I have for the sake of it no longer existing have removed Kool Korners for comparison. There will never be another place like it making the Cuban sandwich in that traditional manner in Atlanta in my lifetime, I am sure of it. BUT! Mojito's does a damn good job! The first thing I noticed when the plate touched the table was the butter, cheese and mustard running off the edges. Perfectly looking cooked ham and roast beef glistening between toasted bread. The whole sandwich came to the table cut in half and at an angle like it is supposed to be. If you don't know by now that I am a fan of these sandwiches and there is a science and manner in which it should be served. then you are truly not a fan of my writing… Mojitos did it right and I knew from the smells that it would be perfect before I took my first bite and I was not let down! The Cuban sandwich is an art no doubt about it and Mojito's is one of the best. If not the best outside the perimeter of Atlanta.
Now if the standard Cuban sandwich is not your thing you can also get their amazing Media Noche a Cuban sandwich made on sweet bread. The delicious empanizado, their version of a country fried steak, its so large it hangs off the plate. Let us not forget their amazing signature Guava B.B.Q. Baby Back Ribs! Juicy tender, fall-off-the-bone slow-cooked pork ribs, broiled and finished off with their sweet and tangy guava B.B.Q. sauce. Most of these dishes come with your choice of a side order my usual choices are the sliced fried maduros which are plantains ripened to the point where extra ingredients like sugar aren't necessary to bring out their sweetness. Another version of plantains, tostones, are salty and crispy. Then my favorite traditional black beans and rice also known, as congri is a must!
Now you ask... What about the haunting in this fine dining establishment? Mojitos currently enjoys being watched over by a little girl, sighted within the kitchen area and through the picture window, even though she makes it known she does not like the music, she seems to be happy with the Spanish speaking tenants who refer to her as 'La Nina'. Translated meaning the little girl.
My paranormal investigation team, Norcross Paranormal, first made contact with La Nina when digging into the town's history and snapping shots of the downtown structures. After setting up a photographic tripod across from Mojitos, a former member and myself spotted a small-framed female in the picture window, appearing to be dressed in clothing reminiscent of the 1980's. Thinking at first some parent was allowing their child to stay up way past bedtime, it was about 3:45 a.m., we quickly realized this was an apparition and with that conclusion the little girl quickly disappeared. As the 2008 season of Norcross Ghost Tours progressed, tour guides and myself began stopping tour groups in front of Mojito's to tell of the encounter. On one such night the owners, a married couple, were standing in the door jam of their bistro when the wife spoke up, "So," she commented, "you have seen our little Niña, too!" Since that evening the team and I have returned to Mojitos for a snack and some spirit snooping. We have questioned a remodeling contractor who reports he and his crew of builders have had some run-ins with the little girl. His workers often play Spanish music causing the little one to speak up apparently asking them politely to turn it off. She would seemingly say, "I don't like that music." The workers also believe their tools and materials would be moved when they left the site for a lunch break. They felt as though someone had been checking things out. Some of the contractor's men claimed to have seen her, again in the red dress and short brown hair, just as she had appeared to my investigators.
One late Saturday night in December of 2009, after the crowds had long since departed, the owners of Mojito's allowed Norcross Paranormal spend some time and investigate the location. My team listened for evidence of a La Nina, taking raw video of ghost balls, paranormal props used to coax a spirit into moving them on command. The balls did not appear to move but after one team members teases, "Burst my bubble again" you may hear a faint EVP which sounds like it could be saying "yeah" Still we are not sure... Could it be the spirit of the young girl? We also got a recording of a loud harmonic noise, which seems to be getting louder throughout the evening. You can see and listen to most of our evidence at the following site HERE
Research from my team historian Sally Toole and I have come up with a possible candidate of who La Nina could possibly be. But have decided not to release the name since we are not 100% sure and have yet to be able to find next of kin. The young girl passed on in the mid 1980's. Why she is at the location we can only guess. Although at one time Mojito's space was an ice cream shop that had the name of a little girl.
Mojitos Cuban American Bistro is Norcross's gateway to delicious Cuban cuisine. When you enter the Cuban bistro, you will enjoy their wholesome, atmosphere and service. This Norcross Cuban bistro is independently owned and operated by the Fernandez-Cortes Family. At Mojitos, they take exhaustive measures to ensure that every meal is prepared the same way as if you were a guest in their home. Go there for their Palomilla Steak & Cuban sandwich!! Also don't forget The Guava Cheesecake if they have it is a MUST! Owners, Luis and Yanin are musicians, as well as devoted restaurateurs; you can catch them every Friday and Saturday night performing live music which is a treat and possibly a gateway in to the paranormal...
You can go visit Mojito's Cuban-American Bistro at:
Mojito's Cuban-American Bistro
35 South Peachtree St.
Norcross, GA 30071
Or on the web at: http://mojitosbistro.com/
You can find out more about this and other paranormal investigations at