Pop’s Place

Pop’s Place is at 4795 N. Main St., right across the street from Pine Forest Bap
Although we couldn’t get Pop’s Place employee Virginia Dyson to give away the se

Sometimes the best food is in the places you’ve never heard of, and in our quest to find the best food in Southeast Texas, we found a gem of a catfish restaurant in Vidor.

Word is spreading quickly about Pop’s Place, which reopened over the summer but is only open Thursday – Saturday from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., a business plan that makes sense, especially given the restaurant’s remote location across the street from Pine Forest Baptist Church, north of Vidor.

“(The owner) thought we could do better in three days than in six days,” said Pop’s Place employee Mary Smith.

Pop’s atmosphere was clean with hardwood floors and country décor, is inviting and the employees are friendly. Perhaps this is because owner David Moore treats them like family.

“He cares about his employees,” Smith said. “He’ll help you out any way he can. … He tries to teach his employees values. … He talks with us and jokes around. He’s even brought his guitar in here and sang to us a few times. I don’t know any other bosses that do that.”

The combination of food and friendly service makes this restaurant worth the drive. What will keep you coming back, however, is the catfish. Pop’s serves up some of the best we’ve ever tasted.

Although we couldn’t get Pop’s Place employee Virginia Dyson to give away the secret as why this catfish tastes so good, she did say it is seasoned just right and it is all in how you cook it.

“It’s got to be fried right,” she said. “Everybody always likes the fish.”

Customer Kenneth Quick of Vidor said he has only recently begun visiting Pop’s but hasn’t been disappointed.

“I’ve eaten everything from fish to shrimp to hamburgers,” Quick said, adding that all the menu items he has tried so far have been good.

During the restaurant’s first go-round, Moore was still trying to formulate a vision for Pop’s, offering more complex offerings like tacos and hot dogs among other dishes, but now with a simplified menu of burgers and seafood, Pop’s seems to have found its identity.

One of the favorites on this new, improved menu is the Boudain Burger. Served with lettuce, tomato, onion, a jalapeño sauce and, of course, fried boudain, this concoction takes an already tasty burger and adds a little something extra to make it a mouth-watering success. Because we’re bacon lovers, we even added bacon to ours. Smith and Dyson didn’t mind fixing it the way we liked it — we substituted mustard for mayo.

For those looking for something other than burgers and seafood, we recommend the loaded baked potato. It comes loaded, of course, and you can add grilled chicken, fried chicken, shrimp, or taco meat.

We had the loaded potato with fried chicken, and it was everything we thought it could be — plenty of fried chicken in perfect bite-sized pieces covered with mouth-watering white gravy.

You can definitely tell that Pop’s is geared toward family. They currently offer specials like an eight-piece catfish dinner with six hush puppies, a large fry, and two Coca-Cola fountain drinks for $15.99. They also are offering a 16-piece catfish dinner with 10 hush puppies, a large fry, and four Coca-Cola fountain drinks for $23.99. Or if you have a large crowd or are very hungry, you can get a 30-piece catfish dinner with 12 hush puppies, a large fry, and four Coca-Cola fountain drinks for $42.99. This is a great deal for those special meetings and events. The deal is good through Dec. 31, according to a Pop’s Place coupon.

And speaking of special events, Pop’s does birthday parties, so reserve your space in advance by calling ahead. Call (409) 786-3338 for call in orders or more information. 

Pop’s Place is at 4795 N. Main St. in Vidor.

— Chad Cooper contributed to this article.