Mojo & Mrs Atha’s, Leeds

A Saturday night and a Sunday morning.

For the former, a return to Leeds institution Mojo.

Calling in for a quick beer last month after a short absence of about 10 years, it was pleasing to see the old place hadn’t changed much at all.

Still flashing was the dive-bar-esque neon sign outside.  Still consistently ace was the music. And still veritably knowledgeable was the bartender. (Yep, this is a place where the bar is passionately tended, not just ably manned.)

Still as full of character and as effortlessly cool as our gin and whisky addled memory recollects.

With one difference. Mojo now does food.

We didn’t leave it quite as long this time and took our place at the bar for a snack. A bar snack, you might call it.

The battered dill pickles were good Super Bowl food, even though we don’t get what that game’s all about. Crunchy, crisp and tart with vinegar.  Nowt wrong with the taste, but a bit overbearing in their whole form. Chopped into chunks and they’d have been more moreish.

But that’s ok because the chicken wings were spot on. Steaming hot, crispy and tender. Skin was scratchy and meat was melty.

They were only made better by the ‘house’ chilli sauce – the sort that burns you, hurts you, but tempts you back for more. We’ll go back to try the sliders, but it’s the wings we’ll want.

Drinks, as expected, were on the money.

 Which meant that the next morning we needed caffeine, and dear Mrs Atha’s duly obliged.

Smart place, this. Bare brick walls, big art, smooth soundtrack. People in good hats. Every day must be like the best kind of Sunday here.

And perhaps it was due solely to our need, but that coffee was up there with the best we’ve tasted. If the flat white was our stimulating, heart-starting upper, the pot of Earl Grey was our blissed out, refreshing downer.

The food menu looked more than reasonable, too. Sausage sandwiches were 4 quid. We’ll be back for lunch.

And, like mum would say; be sure to go for a wee before you leave. Trendy toilets.

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