When you think of Coastal Mississippi it is generally either seafood or BBQ that come to mind. Pop’s Pizzeria is a place where you can get mouthwatering New York-style pizza and other casual Italian food that is authentic and reasonably priced.
Location: Pop’s Pizzeria is located at 921G Cedar Lake Road in Biloxi, Mississippi. It is found in a small shopping plaza at the corner of Popp’s Ferry Road and Cedar Lake Road, perhaps 3 minutes – traffic dependent – from Interstate 10, one of the major thoroughfares of the area. Pop’s Ferry can be a very busy intersection, but there are plenty of entrances into the shopping plaza. If you’re coming from downtown Biloxi or Gulfport, it is perhaps a 15-20 minute drive.
Menu: In an area of the country that is not well-known for casual Italian, Pop’s is the place for exceptional food and value.
Thoughts: As a native of New York State, I know the difference between a mediocre pizza and a true, authentic tasting pizza. It took me several years to find it here on the Coast, but I did find it at Pop’s Pizzeria. This area of the country truly has some of the most remarkable seafood dishes you can find, but every now and then, you just want good, casual Italian food offered by an Independent local restaurant whose owner is involved in his community and employees a great staff of knowledgeable, friendly people who are always courteous and smiling.
When you enter the restaurant, you will be greeted by at least one hostess – perhaps two depending on the night – who will help you find a table or booth. Or, if you’re just headed to the bar to meet with your friends at the end of the week, they’ll wave you by and let you proceed.
The atmosphere is casual, welcoming and uplifting. The smells from the kitchen permeate the area as you walk in, and then comes the realization there will be an upcoming decision and internal debate on which menu item to choose tonight.
On any given day, there will be families with children of all ages, couples enjoying a date night, or a group of friends gathering and enjoying Happy Hour with a bite to eat in the bar area.
The bar is separated from the dining area by a short wall but still allows you to look out through large glass front windows to see if the rest of the group is arriving, or to watch a rainbow after a storm. There are huge TVs above the bar which allow patrons to watch the news, sports, or even Jeopardy or Wheel of Fortune. Many of the tables in the dining area also have TV’s, for viewing of cartoons for the little ones or the local Friday Night football games.
The owner always makes it a point to walk through the restaurant, welcoming new patrons and old friends as well, always taking a moment for a quick hello or a pat on a child’s head. This standard runs through all staff members as well. They are knowledgeable and engaging, which makes for a very pleasant dining experience.
I would highly recommend either the garlic knots or fried pickles to get the experience started. Both items are less than $7. The knots are large, soft on the inside and full of flavor. They are smothered in garlic butter, covered with shredded parmesan cheese and served with a marinara sauce that is one of the most flavorful I’ve had the pleasure of consuming.
The fried pickles are crunchy and explode with flavor as you bit into one. But be careful not to burn your mouth in your haste to taste them.
For your entrée, if it’s a sandwich that sounds good, I would go for the Muffaletta. This sandwich is authentic, bursting with meats and olive salad, and tastes as good as one can find in the French Quarter of New Orleans. If you’d rather something different, the Philly Steak Sandwich is exceptional, with the sliced ribeye covered with fresh peppers and melted cheese and served with crispy onion rings.
However, the true masterpieces from the menu are the pizza and chicken wings. While the other varieties are just as delicious, the Margherita pizza and Lemon Pepper wings are my current favorites.
The Margherita pizza begins with a thin crust covered in olive oil, garlic, and spices. Add to that fresh mozzarella, plump, firm tomatoes, and parmesan and it becomes a taste bud’s delight. Top it off with hand ripped fresh basil leaves, and you’re in heaven. The freshness of the ingredients used to make this dish is the key to how fabulous it tastes. When you place a slice on your plate and inhale, you could close your eyes and be in a little trattoria in Italy. It’s that good!
The chicken wings that accompany the pizza are crisp, meaty, never greasy and seasoned with the perfect combination of spices or sauce, depending on the flavor selected.
Whatever dish you decide on, whatever craving you want to satisfy, it will be a superb meal and well worth the few dollars spent for a pleasant evening with others. This restaurant is a place where locals go and where we bring our out-of-town family and friends – one of the best compliments a restaurant can get.
Stop by and say hello to Chuck and his staff!
Price Range: The starters and appetizers range from $3.99-6.99, with the one exception of pulled pork nachos at $11.99, but in my opinion, this one item is large enough for a meal! The entrees start at $7.99, with a house salad as low as $3.99. Of course, they offer a wide variety and different sizes of pizza and chicken wings, with prices starting at $8.99 with no single item on the menu higher than $25. There is also a kid’s menu and dessert menu, all with the same affordable pricing.
Guest Reviewer Bio: Lisa Evans is a freelance travel writer and photographer, currently based in Coastal Mississippi after having relocated from upstate New York several years ago. Her love of travel and admiration of beautiful, poignant photographs has ignited her desire to write stories and take photos that will instill a desire in her readers to explore the world and discover new places. With a background in tourism and event planning, she has a unique perspective of the interests of many people. She maintains a website at http://writerlisa.com as well as a social media presence on Instagram at http://instagram.com/mygypsytravel
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