High flyer

. February 1, 2013.

The Landing Pad
1123 W. Trenton Ave.
Facebook page: The Landing Pad
Open Sunday thru Saturday, 11am-11pm

Though we’d seen The Landing Pad sign as we got on and off Interstate 75, we’d never ventured off the highway to try the airplane-themed restaurant. Now that we have, however, we wonder what took us so long.

Stepping into The Landing Pad, we were struck by all things aeronautical. From the propellers and plane wings on the wall, to the coconut trees bringing to mind a destination reached only by prop plane, it was clear The Landing Pad took its theme seriously.

That realization was reinforced while perusing the menu. Want an appetizer? You need to look at the Preflight Checklist portion of your menu. The kids’ menu is not merely a kids’ menu, it is the Lil’ Pilot’s Menu. And more than one sandwich or entrée had a catchy airworthy name, such as the No Leg Room pizza and the Destination Philadelphia cheesesteak sandwich.

But unlike air travel of old, The Landing Pad has extra conveniences that will make all members of the family happy. Lunch and dinner specials abound, with no need for trays to be pulled down. We counted at least 12 televisions in the place, excluding the two we found in the restrooms. There is no excuse for missing the game here!

 Still, people come to The Landing Pad for the food. And we found plenty to fill our tummies. We decided to try The Lost Propeller stuffed breadsticks ($6.99) as an appetizer — there was a lot of golden buttery-ness to share. My husband ordered the Open Runway sandwich ($7.99), a chopped steak BLT, while our newly-minted teenager chose the Grilled Flyin’ Chicken Sandwich ($6.95) off the lunch menu. While there were several vegetarian options to choose from, I ordered the Lil Fear of Flying Calzone ($7.99). And, just to confuse everyone, my tweener ordered the Vegetarian Wrap ($5.99) with added chicken — a combo our waitress said many people opt for.

Everyone had mile-high praise for their meals. “This has to be the best grilled sandwich I’ve ever had,” said the teen, a connoisseur of chicken sandwiches. “It’s juicy but not soggy.” My calzone was eyed by all, and I was forced to share a little bit. For once I ordered something and didn’t ask them to take the onions off, and I was rewarded with finely chopped onions that didn’t overpower the dish. Half the vegetarian chicken wrap came home, since it was such a generous portion. And my husband loved his sandwich, stating that “it’s great — it has bacon and steak.”

We weren’t so full, however, that we couldn’t stomach dessert. We both ordered the Carry On brownie with hot fudge and ice cream ($3.59) and the Flowing Lava Cake ($5.99). Without even asking, the waitress brought us four spoons to share, because that’s how we roll — er, fly. What ensued was the international sign of a good dessert –  the sound of clinking spoons.

We are looking forward to making The Landing Pad our dinner destination in the future. How can we resist a restaurant which has such good food, and has so much fun with its menu? Maybe next time we’ll try the Crash Landing Chicken Parmesan or the Shark Attack Burger.

Yes, kids eat free on Tuesdays with paying adults
To avoid the wait: Consider off-peak times or lunch
Bathroom amenities: No changing tables, but televisions!
High chairs? Yes
Got milk? Yes, as well as chocolate milk and lemonade
Anything healthy for the kids? Pizza toppings include many fresh veggies, and salads are an option
Food allergy concerns? As always, ask