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The Pop Shop

December 7, 2008

The Pop Shop, originally uploaded by elziard.

This week I (N.) finally got to pick up my company car. I quite happy to no longer deal with rental cars or putting excessive miles on my personal car. I realize driving my hybrid is good for the environment but putting 1,000 plus miles a week on it isn’t good for my wallet. I want that car to last ten or so years and that’s not the way to do it. Now that J. and I both have company cars the hybrid will stay parked as we coordinate errands with work or walk/bike to where we need to go.

SInce the dealer I had to pick the car up from is communist and wouldn’t let me pick it up on the weekend (when J. was off of work and could drive me there at a reasonable hour) we had to go at 7 at night on a weekday. The dealer was 40 minutes away and with Jersey traffic we wanted to leave with plenty of time and decided to stop for dinner on the way. I let J. pick the restaurant and he chose the Pop Shop. If you are a Food Network fan like us you may have seen the Pop Shop featured on the Bobby Flay show Throwdown.

That’s in fact where we learned about this little restaurant in Collingswood, NJ with it’s genuine soda fountain and menu of 30 plus different grilled cheese sandwiches. They also serve breakfast all day and while I was tempted I figured I should try a grilled cheese since that’s what they are famous for.

I got the Harrison which Jack Cheese, grilled chicken and garlicky sun-dried tomato aioli on crusty ciabatta for 8.29. Each sandwich comes with a pickle and coleslaw. While the menu says the sandwiches are “really big” I would have to disagree. It was filling but I would say the sandwich was regular store bought sandwich bread size. I’m not going to lie I think it’s ridiculously overpriced especially considering the fact that I asked them to hold the pickle and coleslaw. Taste wise it was good and it’s certainly not a combination I would have thought of but again not spectacular and not in my opinion worth the price.

J. got the Calvert with Jack cheese, roasted turkey, bacon, avocado (he had them hold that) and house dressing on focaccia for 8.59. He didn’t get the pickle or coleslaw either and his sandwich was about the same size as mine. He really liked his sandwich and thought it was an okay price.

I probably wouldn’t have had a problem except the fries are completely separate (no subbing out for a small fee in place of coleslaw) and cost 2.59. They are handmade (ours were a bit overdone) and seasoned with big flakes of salt. One order was enough for both of us and if they hadn’t been closer to burned then not they would have been really really good.

We each got a regular soda for $2 a piece. I would have got some flavor shots but I completely spaced out when I ordered. A lime cherry coke would have probably made the meal a little more unique. By the time we were finished with dinner we didn’t have room for dessert but they have a variety of ice cream desserts to chose from as well as milkshakes, malts, and ice cream sodas.

Without dessert but including tip we spent $30. Personally I think it’s a bit pricey for two grilled cheese sandwiches and some fries but the atmosphere is fun and hip, the people are friendly, and now a days it’s an unusual concept. Regardless we did meet our goal of getting a good meal for a decent price while supporting a small local business.

Are there any unusual restaurant near you that you’d like to try or already have?

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