Tag Archives: pop’s seafood

Pop’s Sends a “Thank You” After a Great Season

The much discussed beach-themed restaurant/bar/club on Reynolds Channel, Pop’s, has just posted a “thank you” message celebrating their first successful season.

Dear friends; Thank you for making Pop’s first season such a success. Even though we suffered some growing pains along the way, we did it together and it was one heck of a fun Summer! I feel so blessed to have met so many wonderful customers who are now friends and to have had the pleasure of working with some of the greatest coworkers that I could have wished for. Without all of you, my dream wouldn’t have become reality and for that, I will always be grateful. I look forward to seeing everyone when we reopen next season. Until then, stay safe and be well. My sincerest gratitude, George Jr.

While they earlier claimed they would stay open through October, this message confirms they have now closed for the season.  With the copious amounts of rain and mix of tropical mugginess and fall cold, it makes sense.  My guess is you will see them reopen for holiday weekends – like Halloween and New Years.  I for one love having someone take a chance and create something entirely new in a downtrodden part of the greater-Long Beach area.  Here’s to many more years of success for them.

Pop’s Seafood Shack & Grill: Part Deux (Electric Boogaloo)

Pop’s Seafood Shack & Grill
15 Railroad Place
Island Park, NY 11558

The last time my wife and I went to Pop’s we had a not-so-great experience. You can read about it here, but basically we left without eating anything. Our original 1/2 hour wait time kept increasing by 30 minutes. After an hour and a half we were told “it could be another 30 minutes.” At that point we were so hungry and just couldn’t wait any longer. Besides, we got tired of watching friends of the owners taking our tables (an observation also made by other patrons.) But, to make things fair – Pop’s just opened and it was obvious they didn’t know what they were doing and were very overwhelmed.

I wrote about this experience and it turns out many of you went through the same thing. Based on the comments, those who actually got to eat the food had an even worse experience! So why go back after all the negativity? Well, I have to admit, I am attracted to Pop’s decor, effort and strange waterfront location. It just feels right to give them another try and proper review. Here I go:

ATMOSPHERE: My first review already talks about the decor – the place looks great, nothing else to add. For those who hate crowds and idiots, Monday nights at Pop’s is for you – no bouncers and plenty of seats are available. Our wait time was zero seconds and you can’t beat that. As far as music is concerned (for those who care), it was a mix of The Beatles, Cyndi Lauper, The Bangles (just another manic monday?), The Police and some wedding music. That sort of stuff.

THE FOOD: You don’t go to Pop’s for gourmet; this place looks like a seafood and burger joint, so that’s what we ordered.

For starters, my wife got the Beach Salad (pineapple, strawberries, blue cheese, arugula, lettuce, horseradish dressing, other stuff). Sounds sort of good, right? Well, the lettuce was rotten. Our waitress, who was extremely nice and apologetic brought out a fresh one. So was it tasty? My wife said it was “Meh..”  Not a good way to start…

Out comes the bowl of mussels. Again, my wife said they were “meh..” and added, “Not bad, but I can get fresh mussels at the farmer’s market and cook them better.” She didn’t seem that impressed. I don’t eat seafood, so I have no say on this matter.

I ordered the Butcher Block Burger topped with onions, jalapeños and feta cheese. The burger was dry with no flavor. It was basically just a large piece of meat that was overcooked. It reminded me of a hockey puck. I generally like a crispier bun and this was like wonder bread. It was disappointing. Burgers are probably one of their most ordered items, so it seems like a no-brainer to get those at least right.  I opted for a house salad instead of fries because I’m just trying to watch what I eat. That was pretty good. Pretty simple and the dressing was tasty. I probably should have put some of the salad in my burger. Maybe that would of help. Hey, at least it all looks good in the photo:

THE SERVICE: Our waitress was extremely nice. After the salad incident, she kept asking if everything was ok and was paying us extra attention (perhaps she knew I was the evil seabythecity food critic?).

A FEW NOTES ON THE MENU: I want to point out that the current menu online is different than what is at the restaurant. Our waitress told us the menu was revamped after they noticed more people were ordering finger foods. All the main entrées were eliminated and the current (as of sept 13th, 2011) online menu doesn’t reflect these changes yet. I know all about being lazy updating websites, so I can’t argue with that. (This is subject to change. If you see a menu online that has no entrées – then it’s been updated.)

THE FUTURE: I asked the waitress what was going to happen to Pop’s once it gets cold out – being that the dining area is completely outdoors. She said  they’ll stay open until Halloween. Then they will close for two months and reopen with tents and heaters. I’m guessing they’re going to try to go after the New Year’s Eve crowd; A big booze-money opportunity that can’t be wasted..

THE VERDICT:  Sorry Pop’s, but your food is mediocre at best. I love the decor and I give credit for improving a forgotten waterfront, but that’s not enough to draw me back, at least for a while. Pop’s needs to figure out the menu and what kind of place it wants to be. My advice for them is to perfect the simple stuff: Burgers and simple seafood dishes. I see this all the time in Kitchen Nightmares, so I’m an expert (rolling my eyes); don’t get too fancy, just stay simple and have the best. For now I’m going to add Pop’s to my long list of mediocre restaurants in the area. I really am rooting for you though….

(Read my first review – Pop’s Seafood Shack & Grill – Island Park)


Summer Review Round-Up (Long Beach Eats and Drinks a Lot)

We’ve spent most of the summer out and about, surfing, running, and beaching – but occasionally found time to eat.  Alright, realistically, we ate a lot.  Long Beach received a bunch of new places this summer so we felt obligated to head down and try them out.  Here’s a summary of this summer’s reviews – in no particular order.

First off, Biddy Mulligan’s.  This new pub on Park Ave had decent food, good atmosphere, and amazing specials.  Now that they’ve been there longer and settled down – any updates from the community?

Barrier Brewing Company:  Long Beach’s own brewery – though located in Oceanside.  A great duo making amazing beer.  Growler fills should be on everyone’s Saturday schedule.

Pop’s Seafood Shack & Grill:  Without a doubt, one of the most contentious reviews and most heavily commented articles on this site.  People love it, people hate it.  Jersey Shore on the bay of Island Park or the perfect complement to this City’s nightlife and eating choices?

Jake’s Wayback Burgers:  Our latest review from our newest contributor.  “Everything was decent” – though they don’t have bacon!

Bahia Social Club: This trendy tapas spot takes over the dingy Tiki Bar.  Some were up in arms that I considered it expensive.  Now that it sounds like every reader of this blog has gone – what do you think?

John Henry’s:  Though packaged as a wing throwdown, John Henry’s shined as the winner of the best wings in Long Beach

JAX Tacos and Dogs @ Sugo: Anthony went down to Sugo – the seller of so many different kinds of food that I’ve lost count.  The Tacos?  Amazing though!