SONIC is the largest chain of drive-in restaurants in America. With modest roots as a hamburger and root beer stand founded in 1953 in Shawnee, Okla., called Top Hat Drive-In, the name was changed to SONIC in 1959. The first drive-in to adopt the SONIC name is still serving customers in Stillwater, Okla. and today the chain
Bob's Chowder Bar & BBQ Salmon has its origins at a farmers' market. The bright-red eatery's owners, Bob and Babs, both worked the market on Saturdays—Babs selling jam and Bob grilling salmon and serving chowder. Soon enough, market goers couldn't get enough of Bob's chowder, so Bob and Babs decided to open their own full-time chowder bar.
In addition to Bob's addictive New England-style clam chowder, the restaurant serves up grilled wild salmon, chicken strips, and fish tacos, and oyster burgers. Crisp and flaky fish and chips are made with Alaskan cod doused in a secret batter and fried until golden.
Pearl on the Rock, a AAA Four Diamond award-winning restaurant, presents contemporary Pacific cuisine in a well-appointed dining room with spectacular views of Semiahmoo Bay. The inventive menu binds a harmonious marriage between land and sea with seafaring items such as Qualicum Bay scallops ($28.95), bolstered to daring levels of decadence by mushroom risotto and brown-butter cauliflower puree. The weekend brunch menu also boasts multifarious fare with items such as the pancetta and cheddar omelette ($12.95), with house-made bacon, farmhouse cheddar, organic greens, and hollandaise sauce. The restaurant participates in the Ocean Wise initiative, serving sustainable seafood while protecting the sea's tasty resources and mermaid farm industry. To supplement its creative culinary creations, Pearl boasts a 625-bottle wine list that has been awarded the Best of Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator.
The crafty chefs at Organic Connections' beachfront cafe placate hunger cries with fresh, organic items crafted into the menu's offerings of vegan, vegetarian, and live cuisine. Dining duos can split piping soups, such as a daily special or a classic borscht, a hearty blend of cooked beats and veggies that, like Mrs. Potato Head's cocktail attire, is capped in sour cream. Seasoned pumpkin and sunflower seeds sprinkle over the signature salad, priming palates for entrees such as a traditional red-quinoa bowl packed with nutrients and slathered in a mild curry sauce. Food artisans pile a rice-bowl special high with seasoned organic rice that sings its flavours alongside freshly steamed vegetables and a daily sauce. Though not included in today's Groupon, patrons can sip selections of organic juices and smoothies. Live music dances through the air on the weekends, and guests can belt out menu orders in three-part harmony on open-mic nights each Friday.
Situated cozily within their beachfront fortification, the culinary virtuosos at Iguana's Beach Grill shell out hearty platters of pub grub anointed with a Southwest American twist. The kitchen's bacon-and-cheddar burger (an $11 value) spans the cavernous gap between two bun halves with a succulent, beefy bridge. Meanwhile, the crab-and-gouda dip ($11) blends snow-crab meat with a mighty triumvirate of smoked gouda, aged parmesan, and cream cheese and arrives with an entourage of pita chips for dipping. Freshly plucked fruits of the sea play a starring role in main dishes, such as the portabella ravioli ($17), setting garlic prawns afloat on top of whole-wheat pasta, portabella mushrooms, ricotta, and roasted red-pepper pesto cream. Diners can relax on the beachfront restaurant's heated patio, ideally located for tossing table scraps to vagrant mermaids, or swing by on a Friday or Saturday night for live entertainment.