The Sandwich: Fried Oyster Sandwich
Where: Pop’s SeaBar, 1817 Columbia Road NW
Bread: Potato roll
Stuffings: Fried oysters, lettuce, tomato, Jersey sauce (a tangy, housemade sauce similar to remoulade)
Thickness: 4 inches
Pros: The cornmeal-crusted oysters, crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside, withstand a soaking from the Jersey sauce, which comes spread on the bun and in a cup on the side. The tart mayonnaise-based concoction adds a pleasant pucker of flavor and isn’t too runny or gloopy.
Cons: Even though Pop’s is a seafood spot, the fried oysters lack salt. A bit of that ocean flavor would make them taste even better. And for the sake of less mess, lettuce leaves work better than the shredded white stuff.
Sloppiness level (1 to 5): 3. Potato rolls are quite absorbent, but when you place awkwardly shaped oysters on a flat surface, then cover them in a sauce, things drip. Fortunately, Pop’s rolls its silverware in not one, but two napkins, so cleanup is quick.
Overall score (1 to 5): 3.5. In terms of decor, Pop’s has mastered the casual beach shack look. But for this sandwich to really mimic an oceanside spot, everything needs more sodium. Add some sea salt to the crunchy bivalves, and you’ve got a pretty good snack.
Photo by Caroline Jones