Review: Mokka

Terry and I went to Mokka a couple of weeks ago, and I noticed that Veggie Option posted about it today, so I figured we could compare notes.

Unfortunately, our notes were similar.

I’ve heard good things about Mokka– formerly located on York Street in Newport– but hadn’t tried it or heard anything about it until they moved to their new digs at the Syndicate just down the street.

It was sort of a weird atmosphere– the light was very fluorescent, the decor flowery (the name Mokka implies “cutting edge” or at least sophistication; the surroundings were anything but). It felt like a diner decorated like my mother’s living room. Odd.

I had read that the french toast and the Goetta Avalanche were good, so Terry ordered the Mokka French Toast and I had the Goetta Avalanche.

Mokka-- Goetta Avalanche

This was pretty decent– goetta, eggs and cheese layered on an English muffin, with some salad and fruit. I ate about half of it– the goetta was crisp, the eggs were good, but the “sun dried tomato vinagrette” was Kraft– very HFCS-laden and too sweet.
Mokka-- French Toast

Mokka’s French toast was supposed to involve vanilla pastry cream, bananas, and cornflake battered french toast. The toast itself was pretty good– crispy on the outside, soft on the inside– but honestly? Nothing to write home about. The potatoes served with it were crisp (very obviously deep-fried) and soft in the middle as well, but an odd accompaniment for already-starchy French toast. My major problem? The pastry cream. The presentation was truly bad– you can see in the picture– but I could get past that if the pastry cream tasted good. It didn’t. It wasn’t pastry cream, for one thing: it very obviously had the chemical-laden flavor of instant pudding mixed with Cool Whip.

Veggie Option says that the lunch is much better, even if the service is slow. I might try it, but I’m not entirely convinced. If you go, order the French Toast– without the pastry cream– or some eggs and goetta. They’re basic, but good. It’s the extra touches– trying to be sophisticated– that are their downfall.

Mokka on Urbanspoon

  • Veggie Option

    Sorry you guys had a so-so experience. They are on strike two with me, and honestly I doubt I’ll give ‘em a chance for a strike three.

  • Anonymous

    It’s a shame you didn’t eat at their former location, often the vibe of a place makes food taste better. I enjoyed literally rubbing elbows with Newport officials, soccer moms, goth kids and well to do seniors in the small tastfully decorated space. The new location lays bare all the flaws of the menu. I half expect some awful Elvis impersonator to take my order as well. Just sad the owners didn’t see what the real draw of the old place was.
    I see NuVo has moved into the old space. NuVo’s problem was the opposite, great food in a lousy atmosphere. Good luck to them.

  • ShannanB aka Mommy Bits

    I have to agree with anonymous. We used to eat at Mokka just about every weekend with the boys. We loved the old location and sitting out back on the deck.

    While I am sure that the parking issue, was part of the reason for the move, the new location is awfu and has no personality.

    The first time we walked in, we actually left and went to CitySide for lunch instead.

    We have since been back once and the food was ok. But it just doesn’t have the same draw it did before. It’s a shame really.

  • Rita

    The potatos in the French Toast pic look oddly familiar…..such as those served at the local Frisch’s. Could be that they use the same food distributor?

  • Julie

    Veggie– I usually give mediocre places two strikes, but when Greenup Cafe is right down the street? There’s no use going back.

    Anonymous– I agree! The vibe of this place did not help the food. I’ll be interested to see how NuVo does in that space.

    Shannan– Oh, my. I could do the back deck/fruit salad/coffee thing. They can’t screw that up. There’s no potential for any real “character” here– not in that strange space!

    Rita– they didn’t TASTE like the Frisch’s breakfast bar, but it was the same idea.

  • vudutu

    Ditto on the old location, we started hitting Mokka regularly years ago when Wildflower (now the Greenup Cafe) pissed us off for the last time. The staff was terrible toward the end. Sunday mornings were always packed, we were on a list and we noticed people who had arrived later were being seated. We inquired and discovered there were apparently two lists going, after waiting more I said lets go to Mokka, the counterperson noted my comment and said “our food is better” I replied “but they understand the meaning of the word hospitality!” the idiot instead of apologizing for the list mixup and wait charged us for the coffee we had while waiting. We still refer to bad service as “channeling Wildflower”

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