Going out to dinner with toddlers is risky. It is a risk I only take when I really need to get out of the house. To make it clear I do think you need to teach restaurant behavior so practice is important but I also don’t like to put my boys in situations they may not be ready for.
So when I heard about the kid friendly Pop Shop Restaurant from N.J. Mom Magdalena I really wanted to check it out. Over the bridge and about 20 minutes away with traffic and such we were in Collinsgwood, NJ and ready to eat.
For Collingswood locals I can see how this is a regular spot to take the family. For Philly families this is not a destination spot if you have busy toddlers that have trouble waiting. You are better to head over to Honey Sit’n Eat. Same deal but with a Jewish Southern spin.
First glance it is a 50’s inspired diner that is family friendly. From the checkered floor to the turquoise counter stools and booths the place gives off a fun vibe. Where I went wrong was going on a Friday night at 6:00 p.m. There was a 15-30 minute wait for a table (shoot me now was the first through in my head) and very few places to stand that you were not blocking a busy waitress. It was busy, crowded and people kept coming through the door. When we did get to sit they gave the boys paper hats and they got busy destroying the already crowded table with its mound of condiments, napkins and crayons.
- Parking was not bad (metered).
- The tables are too small.
- The waitresses are quick and understood that we were on borrowed time without me having to say it. I do get a wild doglook though unconsciously.
- The menu is too big and needs to be scaled back. The food was greasy and not that great.
- I had the grill cheese sandwich that was on Throwdown with Bobby Flay. I am going to hope Bobby Flay won that one.
- We got milkshakes to go and they take longer then a few minutes to whip up so order in advance.
- If we ever did go back I would go during the week for breakfast and the kids would be 3 or older.
- I think that dinner was the cherry on top of stress mountain (me).
- We had to push through a crowd of people to find the door when we were leaving.
Having gone on a Friday night around 6:00 p.m. left me with mixed feelings about the experience. If we had gone on a more quite night I think it would have made a huge difference. The menu still is not something I would go for but it would be cute to sit there at the counter and order some triple thick shakes. I hate to say it but this one is not worth the $5 toll for Philly families.