Monday, July 6, 2009

a pleasuresome peek into collingswood's pop shop

Nothing screams "summertime" more than a spontaneous field trip to an quasi-new place to tantalize my always grumbling tum'. My oldest brother, once a resident of Collingswood, NJ (the destination of my brief road trip), never once mentioned visiting The Pop Shop. Yes, he is a fan of the overcommercialized Cherry Hill, but come on, his sister is a food-obsessed fiend!

So, on a tip from myself, and also, a reminder that a few months back I had enviously viewed my food editor Drew Lazor chowing down on the shop's specialty, a mighty grilled cheese, while participating in Bobby Flay's Throwdown, we put the pedal to the metal.

Without a doubt or a single second of hesitation, a journey across the Ben Franklin became immediately in order for B and I. Located on downtown Haddon Avenue, a street flooded with cutesy small-town boutiques, sits the retro-styled and adorably-decorated Pop Shop.

Splashed in my utmost favorite color, turquoise, the soda shop is quaint and cozy, and supplies it's guests, at seating, with a newspaper-styled menu that's pounded with an overwhelming choice of options. Do you want the served-all-day breakfast, lunch, snacks, a vegan option, one of almost 30 grilled cheeses, ice cream, just sodas, etc.?

Being that Bobby Flay beat the shop at their own grilling game, and then, in exchange, the eatery created a similar 'wich in the episode's honor, I opted for just that, the 5B's -- a crunchy and toasted country white smeared deliciously with brie and goat cheeses, applewood-smoked bacon, watercress and tomato.
For B, he was giddy in anticipation on building his own burger (can choose between an old-school Black Angus beef burger to a salmon, veggie and chicken patty), without an exchange for an extra add-on charge for his obsessive-layering addiction. From caramelized onions, Granny Smith apples, Swiss cheese, applewood-smoked bacon -- all on sliced sourdough --his build-your-own reached an impressive top-notch slot as one of his top five favored burgers.

Other necessary notables do include anything from the fountain (I'd be a jerk not mentioning the soda at this shop!). Opting for swirls of vanilla and chocolate in my creamy and bubbly coke was definitely one of the better decisions I've made in the prime of my chowdowning. For B, he kept his build-your-own theme alive by sweetly stirring together seltzer with chocolate and raspberry.

The Pop Shop, excellent in its attempts to replicate a 50's diner without being too smack-in-the-face showy, will be seeing this girl again 'cept next time, I promise to save room for the ice cream!