Mojito Latin Soul Food Opens Today!

Michael and Michelle Millan are officially opening the doors to their newest venture, Mojito Latin Soul Food, today, at 11a. Michael and Michelle are from Miami and Michael’s family is Cuban. So, instead of just focusing on the Cuban aspect (which he does lean into heavily), he’s taking a little bit of all Latin cuisine and making it his own.

One of my co-hosts on The Man Who Ate the Town Podcast, Lea Metz and I got to sample the offerings early! Here’s the preview for your enjoyment!

Puffed pork rinds (Chicharrones)

Pork Belly (Chicharrones)

This is the Chicharron duo. The first picture (left) is the “pork rinds” or the “popped” version, tossed in a slightly salty house seasoning and topped with Mojito sauce. The second picture (right) is the Fried Pork Belly version, also tossed in house seasoning and Mojito sauce. Either of these, I could eat full plates of them. Delish!


This is one of the things I was most excited about when it got put on the table during my tasting with Lea. This is the ceviche! Citrus marinated fish and shrimp with pepper, corn, hominy, cilantro, and tomato. All that covered with Mojito aioli and Tajin seasoning and put it on top of a fried tortilla! I love ceviche and I didn’t let any of it go to waste. I mean, outside of what Lea had.

Jambon Croqueta

The jamón croqueta (ham croquette). Traditionally, these are served with saltines and a lime. So, guess what Michael gave us? Yep, he’s cool like that. They also put these on their “Cuban Deluxe” sandwich.


The most excellent pork tamale. Cornmeal dough, wrapped in a corn husk and steamed. It’s topped with black beans, fried onions straws, Mojito sauce, cilantro lime cream & Cotija cheese. Lea and I both remarked to Michael how we’re used to the cornmeal being gritty and granular. This was not that! The cornmeal was smooth, like velvet. Amazing stuff. We had nearly NOTHING left when we finished this tasting. We kept going back to this.


The fried hand pie, which is and should be called an empanada. This is the beef version, with a sort of tapenade. Acidic from the olives and tomatoes but man! Such vibrant flavors. We both really enjoyed this.

Street Corn

Street corn, y’all!!!! Flavors almost literally jump off the corn and into your mouth. Acidic, spiced, and tender. Lea and I both kind of moaned and said, “mmmm” when we tasted it. So, good.  I don’t usually do corn on the cob (gets all in my teeth) but this was so tender and flavorful, I couldn’t stop eating it. It was a bit messy but what good food isn’t?


This is the mashed plantains (I think). Mojito will have three different kinds of plantains: Tostones (green) served with Mojito sauce, Maduro (sweet) with cilantro lime cream sauce, and Fufu (mashed) with garlic and chicken broth. Whichever this is, it was good enough to keep eating it. I think the confusion to me was that it was kind of sweet, I thought of it as a dessert. But, no matter the style, I’m sure they’re all great. And I’m not even a big fan of plantains. I really enjoyed these.

Mojito Grilled Chicken

The Mojito Grilled Chicken. I remarked to Lea and Michael that chicken is versatile but a lot of times you have to trick it out. This was good at minimal trickery level. It’s topped with Mojito sauce, it’s seasoned well and was just divine. You can get it 1/4 with one side, 1/2 with two sides, or whole with FOUR sides. This is great chicken!

Ropa Vieja

The Ropa Vieja (shredded beef in tomato sauce). Such good stuff. This is shredded, slow-cooked beef, in a Creole tomato sauce, sliced olives, cilantro, and scallions. Don’t let the Creole thing scare you, it’s not overly spicy in any capacity, heat or spice. Just delicious. That’s really ALL you need to know.


Slow-Cooked Pork

Slow-cooked pork that Michael topped with Mojito sauce. Lea and I both said, “you had me at pork.” The Mojito sauce is made from parsley, cilantro, lemon and lime juices, vinegar, and probably garlic.

Rice and Beans with Pork Belly

The last stop on the Mojito Latin Soul Food tasting train that Lea and I got to ride yesterday: Congri (rice and beans with pork belly). It’s a side, so really, it goes well with just about everything. Michael talked to us about all the ways he cooked his items and you could tell he has a passion for what he’s doing. Pork belly, pork fat in the rice, and with the black beans. There is flavor just waiting to burst onto the scene.

Mojito Latin Soul Food opens today at 11a at 723 N. Trade Street in Winston-Salem. They are open for lunch and dinner.  11a-3p & 5-9p on Thursday
11a-3p & 5-10p Friday
8a-3p & 5-10p Saturday.
8a-3p on Sunday

They are closed Monday through Wednesday.

They have Cuban coffees available, beer, and wine. Full ABC permit is coming in the (near) future. I mean, you can’t be called Mojito and now serve them, right? But, after the long and arduous fight with the FCDHHS, they were more worried about getting open, and here we are!

One thing to note, Cuban food is generally more about flavor and not about the heat. Some Latin food can light you up. That’s not happening at Mojito Latin Soul Food. They are turning up the flavor profiles, not the Scoville Heat Index. Lots of flavors. Lots of delicious flavors.

So many thanks to Michael and Michelle Millan for allowing Lea and me to come in, preview the wares, see the space, and talking with us.

Your hospitality is amazing, inviting, and warm.

Gracias! Amamos tu comida, amigos!

Mary’s Gourmet Diner Officially Closes

In one of the saddest posts I think I’ve ever had to make, I’m reporting that Mary Haglund, founder and co-owner of Mary’s Gourmet Diner, along with Michael and Michelle Millan, has announced that Mary’s Gourmet Diner is now officially closed.

Mary’s Gourmet Diner

To say that I’m sad is a bit of a double-edged sword and may not be the right word.

I am sad that Mary’s is closing, but I am inspired, uplifted and smiling at the way Mary announced it. She has started her own video series called “Voices of Winston” and today, she was her own guest. Mary gave a history of her involvement in the restaurant which I’ll save for Michael Hastings as he’ll do a better job of that. But, her delivery was poised and while she is sad, you could see great relief in her face and in her voice.

There are many, many memories at Mary’s that Stephanie and I share (including Stephanie actually helping on the opening waitstaff) and that’s something I may reflect on at a later date. I’m still trying to process this.

I knew it was probably coming as there had been no activity in Mary’s for a while and Michael had no updates for me. There have been losses with this pandemic, but this one may sting extra deep. The other side is I know the only alternatives would have been to perhaps turn Mary’s into anything and everything Mary didn’t want it to become. This way, she goes out on top, with style, grace and on her terms (mostly).

Mary Haglund, we love you and know you’re going to do fantastic things, still.

Michael Millan does own the Mojito Mobile Kitchen and has started that back up.

Stay tuned to see what wonderous things that will come from both Mary and Michael.

You can watch the video announcement here.