Now that I’ve made my first visit of the year to Rockaway Beach I can’t seem to get enough. As eager as I am for the waves I’ve even more stoked to support the neighborhood’s vendors and restaurants. That’s why this week’s Sandwich Wednesday is devoted to a dynamic duo of seafood sandwiches that can be found on the boardwalk.
First up, the soft shell crab po boy ($9) from Motorboat and the Big Banana. My favorite way to eat soft shell crabs is salt baked as they are prepared at Great N.Y. Noodletown in Manhattan’s Chinatown, but when I saw the soft shell crab po boy on Motorboat’s menu I was game to try it. And I am glad I did. A meaty specimen rises like a dorsal fin from waves of pickled onions and a sea of greenery. It’s a crunchy, messy, and thoroughly satisfying sandwich. With a bag of Zapp’s potato chips ($2), it’s as fine a pre-tanning lunch as any.
If Motorboat’s po boys evoke New Orleans then the pan bagna ($7) from La Fruteria calls to mind the Mediterranean, specifically Nice. I am somewhat ashamed to admit that until yesterday I had never had the classic sandwich. The combination of tuna, hard-boiled eggs, pesto,and salty capers is a great way to fuel up for a day of frolicking in the waves.
There’s a lot of interesting and tasty stuff going on in Rockaway Beach this summer. So much that as I told John DiCosmo last Sunday, I might never leave.
Motorboat and the Big Banana,Boardwalk and Beach 96th St., Rockaway Beach
La Fruteria, Boardwalk and Beach 96th St., Rockaway Beach