Saturday, August 15, 2015

Back in the Day at Pop the Top Soda Shop

Anyone who has ever driven to Auburn knows there are many ways to get there and none of them are good. Our current least despised route takes us through Talladega. In the early days of Alabama's history, Talladega was a Creek Indian village. The city is also home to one of the most comprehensive educational institutions for the Deaf and Blind, the state's oldest private historically black liberal arts college, Talladega College, the Talladega Super Speedway and the nearby Talladega National Forest. The city of appoximately 15,000, has had its ups and downs economically. Like a lot of southern towns, downtown Talladega has beautiful old buildings that are desperately in need of revival. 

 I am always on the lookout for things of interest along the way, no matter where we are going or which route we take. As we drove through Talladega, I was playing around with my Around Me app when I found a business called Pop the Top Soda Shop. With a little fast talking and persuasion on my part, we were soon on a detour to check it out.


Pop the Top Soda Shop is located on E. Battle Street in a nondescript strip mall that also houses Griffin's Jewelers. It is really hard to see. In fact, while Siri tried her best to give us directions, it finally took a phone call to get us there.

This tiny establishment definitely has a back in time feel. From the decorations, to the bar stools, to the big screen television playing reruns of the Lucille Ball Show, you get the impression that you might have just walked into a sock hop. 

The menu is simple and really breaks down into just two categories: hot dogs and ice cream.  Sure, I think I saw nachos on the menu, too, but only one version, so it wasn't really another category. The hot dogs were Nathan's, so I felt good about that. There were lots of toppings for the dogs, which came in two sizes, regular and junkyard (bigger). I opted for a regular dog with chili, slaw, mustard and onions. Scott got a junkyard chili cheese dog with mustard and onions. 

My chili slaw dog was perfect! I loved the slaw. I loved the chili. And I loved the Nathan's dog. In fact, I wish I had another one right now! 

Scott's dog was too big and messy to pick up, so he had to use a fork and knife. I guess the server anticipated this, because Scott did not have to ask for utensils. The only real complaint he had, besides it being so messy, was that he prefers real cheese and not cheese sauce on his chili cheese dogs. I, on the other hand, do not understand why anyone would ruin a good hot dog by putting cheese on it to begin with.

I could not resist trying out some of the ice cream. There were lots of hand dipped flavor choices, even one called Scooper Hero which was the brightest red, yellow and blue I have ever seen. The pictures of Pop the Top's banana split looked yummy, but I chose the chocolate milkshake instead. It was one of the best milkshakes I have ever had, so thick I had to eat it with a spoon. 


If you are moseying through Talladega and you happen to get a craving for hot dogs or ice cream, you should most definitely take a detour to Pop the Top Soda Shop. It is a sweet little step back in time!

Three Friends and a Fork
Three Friends and a Fork

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