Monday, November 22, 2010

Once again, saved by the Pops!

It is often quite challenging to find a restaurant that is still serving food in the South End once a show gets out.  This is what most dancers have to deal with post-performance, especially when the performance is an epic three hours and begins at 8 oclock...
When my father came in for a visit, he met me after the show and the stage door and we began walking towards the South End while deliberating the options. I figured Picco was a safe bet, as it was a Saturday night and it was only 11 20 p.m. I believe that during their summer hours, this would have been alright, however apparently they made the switch back to winter hours without my knowledge and I found myself walking up to an unwelcoming looking Picco.
Luckily, my disappointment was short lived, because I knew Pops would be open until midnight and in we walked to be seated at a nice table with food menus awaiting our review.
I was in the need of some real food, so instead of going straight for a dessert, I ordered their tuna ceviche (which I intended to compare with that of Zocalo's the other night) and my dad got their beet salad, upon my suggestion.
Now, I am always fairly confident in the quality of food I will receive from Pops, they have always been consistent and I am always satisfied with what I order.  This time was no different, the beet salad was as beautiful and fresh as I had expected, the tuna ceviche, although not made right in front of me as at Zocalo, was fresh with nice chunks of raw ahi-tuna, just the right amount of avocado and cashews zested with lime and topped with come crispy rice. Very satisfying and just what I needed.

I unfortuanately cannot award the same praise to the service.  For some reason, the service at Pops always leaves something to be desired.  Occasionally I will have no problems, but most often, the waiters are un-informative (granted, I do ask a lot of questions...) and always far too slow with the bread.  I had to ask twice before I saw a basket of bread materialise in front of me.
I understand that it may have been 11:30 at night, but I honestly don't care, it's your job to be fresh and attentive throughout your shift.  I have no sympathy for moody waiters.
On the whole, my dad and I were satisfied, and quite appreciative of good ol' Pops being open just late enough to feed some starving artists.  We finished the meal off with their house made hazelnut gelato, despite the waiters look of frustration when I asked them to top it with whipped cream (god forbid!), it was quite tasty albeit a bit on the small size.

I do however truly appreciate this place, and the many times I have had to fall upon it as a second plan...perhaps, if the service were to improve, it might be my first plan a little more often!

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