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Readers' Choice: Toms River Lacks Family-Friendly Restaurants

'There aren't any good places' tops weekly poll

The results are in, and our loyal readers are clear: Toms River just does not have any good places to take the kids.

This week we asked readers to rate the most family-friendly restaurant in the area. Out of 119 votes, 57, or 47 percent, chose "There aren't any good places."

The only area restaurant to get more than a handful of votes was Friendly's, at Hooper Avenue and Route 37. Friendly's 29 votes was good for second place, with third going to "other."

Check back Monday for a new Readers' Choice poll and thanks for voting!

Editor's Note: Because this poll is not scientific, it is not the sole consideration in choosing a winner. The winner will be determined by the Patch editor, based on poll results and reviews on Patch Places. Please vote only once per survey, per Patch. Official rules for the Readers' Choice Poll are attached to this story.

just me March 19, 2012 at 04:48 AM
I think you mean Friendly's at Hooper and Rt 571 (Bay Ave).
thirdgenerationff March 19, 2012 at 02:29 PM
FRIENDLYS AT HOOPER AND BAY AVE. MARY THE MANAGER IS GREAT AND FRANCINE AND CHRISTINA HAVE TREATED US LIKE FAMILY FOR YEARS. COLORING MATS AND CRAYONS, BALLOONS AND LOTS OF SOLID CHOICES FOR PICKY EATERS. WE PRAY THAT PLACE STAYS AROUND FOR A LONG TIME TO COME.
Da Brickz March 19, 2012 at 03:04 PM
He need a Hooters in TR that would be a great kid friendly place all the above selections are crap...
Catherine Galioto (Editor) March 19, 2012 at 03:47 PM
There are two Friendly's in Toms River. One is on Hooper and Bay, the other is on Route 37 West. We set it up so vote for that option is a vote for either Friendly's.
thirdgenerationff March 19, 2012 at 04:02 PM
CATHERINE, I DON'T FEEL THAT THATS EXACTLY FAIR BECAUSE THE FRIENDLYS ON 37 IS ALWAYS FULL OF SENIOR CITIZENS. NOTHING AGAINST THEM PERSONALLY BUT WHEN YOU WALK INTO THERE WITH KIDS THE SENIORS ALL STARE AT YOU AND MAKE YOU FEEL UNWELCOME. AND HEAVEN FORBID YOUR KIDS ARE HAVING A BAD DAY THE DIRTY LOOKS AND UNDER BREATH COMMENTS START FLYING FROM THEM. YOU NEVER FEEL MORE UNWELCOME ANYWHERE IN YOUR LIFE! THE HOOPER AVE LOCATION SHOULD GET THE HONOR ON ITS OWN MERIT.
Catherine Galioto (Editor) March 19, 2012 at 04:11 PM
Don't worry, you can leave a review for either Friendly's (or any other place in town) in the Places section of the site.
1stcav March 19, 2012 at 05:44 PM
There's one in AC , bus leaves every hour on the hour and that's where it belongs in the Adult AC ( already seedy )area...Nice try Bricktucky sleeze
just me March 19, 2012 at 08:09 PM
OOps ... you're correct Catherine! There ARE two Friendly's. Obviously I read it as an intersection, not as an "or".
Da Brickz March 19, 2012 at 08:28 PM
I don't go to AC too dirty for me like most of NJ
Mattie March 19, 2012 at 09:47 PM
The Friendly's on Rt 37 (west end) has become quite a "dump" from the looks of things the last few times I was there. It was dark, dingy, dirty floors, unkempt wait-staff, and I don't know exactly why, but Friendly's food is not nearly as fresh tasting or as good in general as it was years ago. Their ice cream is still good ... I will go there to pick up cartons of ice cream - especially with a coupon or when it's on sale 2-for-$6. But I don't think I'd eat there again.
. March 20, 2012 at 01:46 AM
Friendly's is far from quality food. Many years ago when the only one around was in Brick, we used to go there only for ice cream. I went there last year for lunch as I work nearby and it was disgusting. So bad, we didn't even eat the food. That one has since closed. I think the rest will be right behind it.
DaveL March 20, 2012 at 01:42 PM
Friendly's just emerged from bankruptcy, so the two in Toms River are solid. Brick, Downtown TR, and the OC Mall one were closed as part of the reorganization. I agree, the food is nowhere as good as it used to be, and the ice cream now is way overpriced. A sundae is over $5 now, and their ice cream is nowhere as creamy as the old days.
DaveL March 20, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Oh, and to @thirdgenerationff: I hear that from many of my friends with children. I do not have any, but my good friend brings his family to that Friendly's as they shop at BJs with their 2-year old. The seniors there act as if the world is owed to them, and children aren't allowed in "their" restaurant. I understand a kids restaurant is susceptible to unruly children. Friendly's is one of them, Tiffany's... not so much. I made a stink over a family who brought their unruly children out to dinner on Valentine's Day, and did NOTHING to discipline them or quiet them. When I go to McDonald's or a kid-friendly place, I understand I have no place saying anything about bad kids. When I go to an "adult" place, kids should be under control. That being said, Friendly's has always been a child-friendly restaurant. If and when I have kids, I will go to the Route 37 west one with my kid just to aggravate the seniors. I am tired of their mentality that they own this town (especially that section) and they can do what they want, even in regards to traffic regulations.
Rosie March 21, 2012 at 05:18 PM
It would be nice to have a rain forest cafe here in TR... Somebody get on that! ;-)
Project Bluebeam March 22, 2012 at 12:29 AM
You need therapy.
Bud Boomer March 22, 2012 at 01:16 AM
I know someone who works at Friendly's in TR as a cook he also echoes the same sentiments about the old folks and tell me some tales about how he prepares the food needless to say I'd NEVER EVER eat there after hearing his food prep story, I feel bad for you if you ate there or your kids.
Catherine Galioto (Editor) March 23, 2012 at 02:33 PM
The number one response in this poll is "There aren't any good places," with 47 percent of the votes. The Friendly's locations in town got the second most votes.
Jeff Crisalli Blue Diamond Realty March 25, 2012 at 03:41 PM
Toms River does lack good choices for restaurants kid friendly or otherwise. There needs to be a hard look from the council to loosen up liquor license availability. Our neighbors in Brick have many more food choices because of license availability. There are available real estate choices for new restaurants and the jobs created as well as the property taxes paid would be a great benefit for our town
Rick Molinia March 27, 2012 at 03:26 PM
agreed Jeff..i have a killer idea for an uber kid friendly restaurant with everything from a yogurt creation station to the "get your picture taken with MISS TOMS RIVER!!"
Carol Aller July 24, 2012 at 02:23 AM
I've been to "Shut Up and Eat" with kids and it was great! The food is terrific and you get huge portions! And they will make anything you want for breakfast, dispite their huge extensive and original menu!! And if you wear your PJs you get 13% off your bill! I was just there this past Sunday with my nephew and his little girls who were visiting from out of state and they loved it! I take everyone there for breakfast and have never been disappointed yet! Check it out if you haven't already.=)

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