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“Awesome burnt ends and amazing fries!”
Review of Pop's BBQ

Pop's BBQ
Ranked #48 of 277 Restaurants in Iowa City
Restaurant details
Reviewed December 9, 2017 via mobile

Found this place about 6 weeks ago and make a point to drive there every couple weeks. Great food, fair prices and we always buy extra to take home leftovers!

1  Thank terishalo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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5 - 9 of 28 reviews

Reviewed September 3, 2017

We've eaten a Pops a lot. They have always had great BBQ and great service.

I went in the other day to get some carry out for my wife and I to eat dinner. My meal was simple...two sandwiches, two sides. I could be wrong but pricing has gone up like crazy. Paid $23.00. Things have changed in side the restaurant too. The drink stations are gone, not sure if that is to cut down on refills but it's just an empty corner now. Any way, the staff member who took my order asked me if I would like BBQ sauces or ranch to go with my sandwiches and sides. I ask what you have and she read them off. I said I'll take one of each except the mustard one that she described as I didn't know what my wife would enjoy best so she put three small, half full bullets of my request. I get home and look at my receipt, I was charged for each of the BBQ sauces and ranch. So if I was eating there, I could use all the BBQ sauces I want but if I take a half a bullet full home, I'm charged for them? It would have been nice to tell me that instead of just throwing it on my bill. I guess that's my problem since I didn't bother looking at my bill. But what kind of BBQ sandwich doesn't come with BBQ sauce? And they took the good sauces away, I didn't even care for them so ended up using some BBQ sauce I had at home.

It is just sad that this place has taken a downward turn....used to love coming there and trying the different BBQ items and sauce and now it felt like it was all about the bottom line instead of customer enjoyment and making sure a customer comes back.

But, the sandwich tasted good with my sauce, the sides were soggy and not very warm but they do make good BBQ pork.

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Thank Dave S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed July 3, 2017

Good food, EXTREMELY poor catering service, and unprofessional management.

We chose Pop's to cater our wedding because we love the food there. In spite of our guest's rave reviews about the food (for just a lunch or casual dinner this place is awesome), the catering service left a LOT to be desired. Eric, the owner, was difficult to work with, rude, and we never did receive the requested copy of their certificate of liability insurance, which was required by our venue.

We chose our menu and placed our deposit for our food in January 2017 for a June 2017 wedding. We were quoted $2000 for 130 people with a 10% deposit up front to reserve our spot. When we asked for a copy of the contract we received a photo copied order form with poorly written out instructions for what we had ordered. I had to fill in all the information for our venue, date, etc. even though the person I talked to on the phone (Eric, the owner) said he had taken all the information down. Our requests for a more formal contract were ignored. We thought it was a small thing and didn't think much of it until halfway through March when we received a call from Eric saying he had lost our "contract" and couldn't remember what we had ordered, what our date was, and whether we had paid our deposit. Again, we got things straightened out, but I was beginning to get worried. It was also during this phone call that Eric told me we were being "way undercharged" but that he was going to "let it slide" since he had had some staff turnover since we placed our initial order (according to the catering prices posted online we were charged correctly).

When we contacted Pop's again at the end of May, 30 days out from our wedding, Eric was still shaky on the details but seemed to have things mostly in order. That is, until the week of our wedding when my fiance called to do our final confirmation... First, Eric had again misplaced our catering "contract" and had no idea when or where the wedding was, what time he needed to arrive, or what he needed to bring. He attempted to confirm back our order to us only to find he had mixed us up with another event the same day. He also asked if he could serve HyVee potato salad instead of his own recipe (why would we pay $2k to be served grocery store food?). He complained about our venue to my fiance, and then asked to show up to set up half an hour before dinner was to be served at our reception.

The service only got worse on our wedding day. Eric sent his mother out while we were setting up to tell us that she and her husband would be at our venue at 4:00 on the day of to set up, and that Eric would be coming with the food later. We reiterated to her that we required all vendors to be completely set up before the ceremony began, and she assured me they would be. Come the day of there was no sign of anyone from Pop's at 4:00. Instead they showed up in the middle of our outdoor ceremony, distracting our guests from the service. They were still setting up when dinner began at 6:00, and Eric snapped at my bridesmaids saying "you need to fix this mess" when he had issues with the electrical plugs ins (we asked him to bring extension cords and power strips, but he didn't). Our DJ ended up having to unplug all his equipment so Pop's could power their food warmers, which left us with just a Bluetooth speaker to play music during dinner. We even had guests running around with extension cords trying to get the Pop's crew up and running, instead of enjoying the cocktail hour.

Overall we were really looking forward to supporting one of our favorite mom and pop eateries, but the constant headaches made it barely worth it. When we called Eric to discuss our experience after the wedding he was defensive and rude, and dismissive of our concerns. Our guests very much enjoyed the food but I think we will be taking our business elsewhere in the future.

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1  Thank lauraQ4044FZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 24, 2017

This is a cozy place,not fancy but comfortable. All the usual bbq dishes are available: ribs,chicken,pork,and brisket. You can order 4 bone,6 bone,10 bone,or full slab of ribs. The ribs are big and meaty, and for me 4 were plenty. Several sauces to choose from; I chose the classic,which was very good. We ordered onion rings and fries,which were excellent. Outstanding fries are so rare, I'm extremely happy when I find them.
We arrived shortly after they opened,and they got quite busy during our time there.

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Thank _bookworm2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 17, 2017

Driving down Market Street on a rainy early evening we caught the sweet smell of barbecue smoke and were drawn irresistibly toward it . . . I had a good burnt ends sandwich; my wife thought her brisket sandwich was average. I liked the blackberry habanero sauce and may go back to buy a jar of it. This is a pretty basic place, essentially self-service. Unlike most restaurants—in the tiny IC barbecue sample, I'm thinking of Mosley's—Pop's is basic enough that they don't play "background" music, so you can actually enjoy a conversation while eating. I gave it 3 circles since my wife was a bit underwhelmed, but I'd go back for more burnt ends and maybe try the ribs.

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1  Thank prof_ic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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