Monday, October 05, 2015

French Fry Diary 675: The Pop Shop, Medford NJ

Divorce is a terrible thing, truly it's a tragedy, but sometimes, just sometimes, something good can come out of it. For the foodies of South Jersey, divorce in the family of one of my favorite restaurants - The Pop Shop - has resulted in two Pop Shops. This was my first visit to the new one in Medford. The building used to be an old bank, but the Pop Shop has really revamped it, but there's still a giant safe in the middle of the restaurant. Kinda cool, kinda kitschy, I like it.

The Bride and a friend visiting from out of town, Lisa, decided to go there for dinner on a recent weeknight. I was excited, as it had been almost four years since I had dinner or lunch there. Usually when we go to the Pop Shop, the agenda is breakfast, not that I mind breakfast (it's really great there, and served all day), but I prefer their lunch/dinner.

I like the new venue in Medford, an older two-story building that seems very open and welcoming. There's even an elevator and ramp for handicapped folks. I also liked the new Pop Shop shirts the employees were wearing that said either "fries with that shake?" or "got 08055?" Guess which one I liked best?

As I hadn't had it in a while, and it's what I wanted, I got the burger and fries. I was surprised by the small differences when my order arrived. I'm not sure if they're because of the time lapsed since last I visited or the different venue, but it was different. First off, the burger was big, juicy, and perfect, but not on a sesame seed bun as expected. No worries, it still rocked, and thankfully it made up for the fries.

More changes came with the fries. Rather than natural cut regular cuts, these Pop Fries were natural cut shoestrings. Ordinarily I would say that's a level up, as natural cut shoestrings are a rarity and hold a crisp very well, but that was not the case here at all. These fries were a little underdone and soggy, not good. Our friend Lisa had ordered the Parmesan Garlic Fries, simple and quite tasty, but they were done and crispy, nearly perfect. Based on the fries I saw on nearby tables, mine were sadly the exception - the other fries looked awesome.

For dessert (as always, with so much food, it's rare we order dessert at the Pop Shop) The Bride and I went decadent and split a Shakin' Bacon - a breakfast milkshake in a Mason jar with vanilla ice cream, pancake syrup, and crispy bacon. Pretty tasty, but it was a little weird having bits of bacon come up through the straw - still very good.

The power mysteriously flickered off and on a few times, but all in all it was a fun night out with friends. I look forward to visiting again to verify my faith in the Pop Fries. Highly recommended.

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