Originally opened as the Top Hat Drive-In in 1953, Sonic has grown into a burger-franchise mecca that today operates out of 3,500 locations across the country, making it the nation’s largest chain of drive-in restaurants. Sonic specializes in made-to-order American classics—including burgers, hot dogs, milk shakes, and marshmallow Ford Thunderbolts—which customers order and receive without ever having to leave their cars. Unique menu items include toaster sandwiches stacked on thick slices of texas toast, as well as the brand’s signature tots and fresh limeades.
Sonic’s numerous awards include a 2011 Zagat survey ranking it among the top five fast-food restaurants in three categories: Best Value Menu, Best Milk Shake, and Best Drive-Thru. The benevolent eatery has also donated more than $2 million to public schools throughout the country through their program Limeades for Learning, which helps to fund educational projects and retirement plans for classroom guinea pigs.
Sandwichville's amiable servers expedite made-to-order bread-and-protein towers. The Elvis the King's amalgam of peanut butter, bacon, bananas, and honey ($5.29) saunters and swivels its way across the mouth’s threshold with gooey charm. A menu packed with stackable sustenance lets customers concoct You Call It dagwoods ($4.99) that sport custom assemblages of bread, fillings, condiments, and extras such as guacamole and bacon ($0.50 each). Symbolically make up for past encounters with subpar paninis or all-too-human human childhood heroes by triumphantly tackling the Cuban, which piles high ham, roast pork, salami, and swiss cheese on a pressed roll ($6.29).
Nicodino's Pizza Co. & Café bridges the culinary gap between sweet and savory with a multipronged menu that couples sizzling pizzas with piping-hot café drinks, as well as cataloging gluten-free pizza and pasta. Fresh toppings adorn hand-tossed pizzas and run the gamut from succulent meats, such as italian beef and roasted chicken, to veggies, including green peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, and jalapeños. The kitchen doesn’t restrict itself to making pizzas, though; chefs also grill chicken-pesto paninis and bake spinach calzones and mostaccioli. To complement the savory food, the café side of the eatery presents offerings such as mango smoothies and tiramisu. When it’s warm, Nicodino's Pizza Co. & Café invites guests to an outdoor seating area. In addition, the restaurant offers catering for those throwing a dinner party or a pizza-themed wedding in which all the toasts are cheesy and made with marinara sauce.
“Best Mexican Restaurant I own!” Matt Waxler quips on his Facebook page, and it’s clear he really does enjoy the food he vends at North of the Border Mexican Restaurant. His menu diversifies burritos with more than the standard meat selections, stuffing in boneless chipotle seasoned wings, stir-fried shrimp, or steak with three kinds of jalapeños, a word which translates to English as “pepper of many guises.” American- and Mexican-style tacos vie for plate space, and strips of skirt steak simmer in a tomato and jalapeño sauce in the Bistek a la Mexicana, Mr. Waxler’s favorite dish.
There is no dine-in service at The Golden Bowl, a Bartlett Chinese restaurant specializing in takeout and delivery. But that doesn't phase the regulars who keep coming back for spring rolls, house-made dumplings, and pan-fried noodles. In addition to these classics, the eatery's chef whips up original creations such as Crunchy Bartlett Chicken, which pairs shredded, lightly breaded chicken with tangy apricot sauce. Diners can order all of these dishes and more online, preventing one from having to pick up the phone or softly pray for chow mein to rain from the sky.