At the Motorboat & The Big Banana stand on Rockaway Beach in Queens, fresh fish po' boys in a Bud Light batter, crispy hand-cut fries, and frozen bananas dipped in dark chocolate add fun and flavor to beach-boardwalk food. CHOW.com contributing editor Liza de Guia filed the following report.
In my experience, most beach boardwalk food is predictably mediocre. So when I came across Motorboat & The Big Banana fish fry shack and frozen banana stand at Rockaway Beach Boardwalk in Queens, I was surprised to find something other than the same old same old.
Set in the back of an old vending bunker off Beach 96th Street, you’ll find some of the best po’boys north of New Orleans, extremely addictive, twice-fried french fries - cut by hand daily - and dark chocolate dipped frozen bananas in an array of interesting toppings like pretzel or toasted coconut.
Co-owner Lindsay Robinson opened the space a year ago with chef Jean Adamson on a mission to bring “classic dishes with a punched-up flavors” to beachgoers.
When it comes to the po’boys, stick to the fresh seafood options. I loved their spice-rubbed shrimp po’boy slathered in a tangy creole sauce made with tarragon, mustard and pickle brine.
Their oyster po’boy, sold twice a week, are worth a try too, showcasing large local oysters fried in panko.
But my favorite is their Bud Light battered fish po’boy, featuring a flaky, delicate hake fillet. It’s a whopper of a sandwich, generous on the fish and set in a soft griddled bun, piled with crisp romaine, purple cabbage, pickled red onions and a lemon dill tartar sauce.
It’s quite a sight, almost too big to hold, but one bite tells me: someone spent a lot of time dreaming up this sandwich.
For the full experience, order a side of the loaded fries and cool off with their sea salt & peanut crusted frozen banana — food so good, you’ll throw your beach body diets out the window.
Motorboat & The Big Banana is located off Beach 96th Street in Rockaway Beach, Queens. Everything on the menu is under $10.
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