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Chef Andrew Bennardo does for the beachside seafood shack what his adjacent Talia’s Italian Deli has done for the gritty-but-agreeable Bronx neighborhood joint. Seafood this fresh seems to have no business being so far from the source material. Plump rock shrimp rest in a sea of spicy sweet Thai sauce; tender fillets of snapper are corralled into fish tacos so abundant with coleslaw, avocado and shredded housemade mozzarella you’ll need a fistful of napkins to get the job done. Like the Italian restaurant with which it shares a space and owner, Baba’s skips table service in favor of a do-it-yourself system. Diners seat themselves, order and pay at the deli counter, and grab their drinks from the cooler or serve-yourself keg tap. Many nights you’ll have a chance to rub elbows with Chef Andy, a gregarious fellow who is just as likely to bust your chops as he is to offer you a plastic cup of cheap suds when you sidle up to the shack’s wooden bar outfitted with nautical rope and a designated “Captain’s Chair.” Most dishes clock in around the $10 mark and drinks are dirt cheap. Note: It closes at 8:30 p.m.
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