Remember Jackson's Bar & Grille? It didn't last long. In its spot is "Tropics Restaurant and Bar," a restaurant that has a Hawaiian theme.
This is the third restaurant I've known of in that location since I moved to Morgantown. I can only assume it doesn't do very well because of the location and how it's hidden all the way at the back - 2500 Cranberry Square. But my experience at this place was the best of the locations, yet, so hopefully it breaks the curse.
Walking in, it looks similar to the other places with some light-colored wood and nice fixtures. It's clean, classy and looks like the interior probably cost a pretty penny. Tropics has added some Hawaiian-themed photos and decorations, but the bones of this place are still gorgeous.
The menu is pretty expansive with a ton of different offerings. Poke, fish tacos, salads, burgers, Hawaiian-style plates, steak, pizza and more. It's really all over the board. Our waitress was pretty friendly, so I asked for her favorites. She told me the "Mochiko Chicken" is her go-to, so I ordered that.
For an appetizer, I ordered the pork spring rolls. I really don't know if these are homemade or what, but they are amazing. So good. So perfectly crisp on the inside with ribbons of cabbage, pork and veggies on the inside, and it was just pure bliss. Their soy-chili dipping sauce is a great sweet chili sauce that I got extra to use with my main dish.
I even ate some of the garnish. What can I say, I love cabbage.
When the Mochiko chicken came out, it certainly had a presence. Mochiko is a kind of flour used in Hawaii. And this dish is a classic.
The chicken is marinated in soy, garlic and ginger, then lightly breaded in Mochiko flour and fried. It was serve with rice and macaroni salad. And there's some dotted sauce around the edge.
The chicken is quite good. It's just lightly crisped on the outside and hot, white meat inside. It is good, but I really just wanted that balance of flavors (like pineapple would be awesome on this dish, I think), so I dipped a lot of it in that chili sauce that I had. As well as the sauce around the plate. But yes, tasty.
The rice warranted a tablespoon of soy sauce on it, and the macaroni salad was fairly mild, but had a slight hint of banana. Weird, I know. But I confirmed this with my friend.
So, it's good. It's a little different, and I got good vibes. Will go back.