By Jill Colvin
MIDTOWN — A new lunch spot named "Pop’s Dollar Food Shop" has opened in Midtown offering $1 – yes, $1 – burgers, hot dogs and fries.
The eatery, which opened earlier this month on Seventh Avenue between West 33rd and West 34th streets, tucked away in the back of a pizza and gyro restaurant, offers a no-frills 10-item menu where the $3 bacon double cheeseburger is the most expensive offering.
Owner Fox Goodman, a long-time Midtown resident who has been in the restaurant industry for 38 years, said he was sick of people being ripped off in the area at lunch.
"I wanted people to be able to afford to eat and get a good value for their dollar," said Goodman, whose face adorns the eatery's dollar-bill logo that reads, "Pop's way or no way."
Goodman said that while it may be cheap, his fare is far better than what's offered at local fast-food competitors such as McDonald's and Wendy.
"There's no comparison," he said. "Mine is fresh. The rolls are freshly baked and the taste is far superior. We just can't afford to advertise."
In addition to fresh meat, he said the burgers are all topped with freshly cooked onions as well as ketchup, pickles and, for an extra quarter, cheese. His business will depend on building enough volume to make up for the low price, he said.
Employee Nelson Jones, 54, who works handing out fliers for Pop’s on Seventh Avenue, said that most who stop to try the food are skeptical at first.
"They say, 'I can’t believe it,'" he said.
Despite the bargain, the eatery drew rave reviews from bargain-happy customers sick of spending their paychecks on lunch Thursday afternoon.
"We love it," said Naomi Naderge, 24, a fashion designer who said she has come to the eatery for lunch every day for the past two weeks and thinks the deal is impossible to beat.
Connecticut resident Jackie Garrison, 27, who works in the neighborhood, said that Pop’s burgers were, indeed, better than anything she’d get at a chain nearby.
"It’s a real burger. It doesn’t compare. It’s like I grilled it as home," she said.
And while she said the portions were a little small, she said she’d definitely be back.
"Who doesn’t want to spend cheap on lunch up in the area?" she said.
Sam Sherpa, 49, who was in the area for a business meeting said that he, too, was lured by the price.
His assessment? "It’s alright." And while he agreed the portions were too small, he said he wouldn’t complain.
"You know what? It’s $1," he said, as he dug in.