Pop's Raw Bar & Grill
Great food and wonderful service …
if you can stand the smoke
If you want "seafood with an attitude," head
to Pop's Raw Bar & Grill in Buxton. They serve seafood, burgers, BBQ,
crab cakes and cheesesteaks year-round. Pop's is the kind of place you
might not venture into on your own. We wandered in for lunch one day during
the off-season because they were open and we were curious. The front door
was blocked, so we headed to the back entrance. We walked in and zinnnng!
A dart flew by our heads towards the dart board located near the back
door. We'd advise entering from the front.
last visit to Pop's was in February 2006. We got the seafood special for
two ($40) that included shrimp, scallops, crab legs, crawfish, hush puppies,
fries and cole slaw. All of the food was delicious and there was plenty
of it. We could have fed a third person easily. If you order iced tea,
they put a pitcher on the table so you don't have to wait for refills.
Other menu offerings that tempted us were steamed shrimp (their most popular
item), crab cakes, jalepeno poppers, popcorn chicken and crab legs. Pop's
doesn't serve dessert because "folks usually go out for ice cream
afterwards," manager Heather Brushwood said. Plates are paper and
utensils are plastic; there's nothing fancy here.
The restaurant is one large rectangle.
There is a ring of tables along the exterior walls and a huge rectangular
bar in the center that seats about 25 people. The decor is mainly a Budweiser/Dale
Earnhardt, Jr. motif. (This may be enough to keep the Jeff Gordon fans
in my family away.) Lots of folks, most of them locals, hang out at the
bar ... and smoke.
Yes, that's the downside at Pop's. The food, service and atmosphere are
wonderful, but the place reeks of smoke. Whenever we go there, we strip
down as soon as we get home and put our clothes directly into the washer
(or at least in another room). It's that bad. But we're willing to do
this several times a year because the food is so fresh, good and relatively
cheap. We hear the place is so packed during the summer that they put
tables outside. That would be the thing to do to avoid the smoke: go for
an early dinner and sit outside.
There's a TV in the corner that usually shows The Weather Channel and
the music piped in via XM satellite radio is old school rock and roll
- George Thorogood, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bob Seger, etc. Heather
says they'll be happy to switch the television channel to a baseball game
or cartoons for the kids upon request.
Pop's is open 11 am until 9 pm during the winter and 11 am until 10 pm
during the summer. Heather says they'll even stay open later if there
are hungry people to feed.
There's a sign on the back wall that says "Notice: Prices Subject
to Change According to Customer's Attitude." That about sums up the
atmosphere at Pop's - you treat them well, they'll treat you well.