It seems counterintuitive to eat fried fish at the beach, which inevitably gets paired with cold beer and ends up puffing out exposed bellies, but what the hey. At Motorboat & the Big Banana at Rockaway Beach, the shrimp and fish po’boys are worth the slightly bloated bikini body.
The beachside counter joint has good pedigree: it was opened by Jean Adamson of Vinegar Hill House and Lindsay Robinson, formerly of Diner. In addition to fried-fish sandwiches and cheese fries, they also peddle frozen chocolate-covered bananas.
The po’boys come topped with chopped lettuce, cabbage, and pickled onions, all stuffed to the gills inside a puffy toasted bun. Chunks of fish are light with a crispy batter, smeared with a bright dill mayo. The shrimp, more hearty and snappy in texture, come with a mustard mayo. There’s a great combination of flavors and textures here: creamy mayo, acidity from the onions, crisp batter, fresh greens. Both sandwiches were just the right size and went down well with a can of Modelo Especial. As for the issue of fried food at the beach, we biked there from Brooklyn, so we figured we could afford the calories.
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