Before journeying into patrons' bellies, the organic and fair-trade coffees and mochas at the Corner Perk are roasted locally and ground just before being brewed. To avoid confusion and offending tall people, the Corner Perk sizes their imbibing treats in plain English: a 12-ounce Lil', a 16-ounce Big, and a 20-ounce Biggest. The coffee selection includes international varieties such as the mild Columbian Huila peaberry, the medium Ethiopia harrar, and the bold Malawaii Wowwee. Those in need of stronger pick-uppers can also dabble their taste buds in hot or iced Americanos ($1.90 Lil', $2.30 Big, and $2.60 Biggest) and Mochas ($3.10 Lil', $3.60 Big, $3.90 Biggest). Great for saving syllables and helping a yeti through a 12-hour workday, ice-blended frappys ($3.35 to $4.35) are made with Ghirardelli chocolates and come in coffee, caramel, mocha, and white mocha flavors. While beverages or smoothies can quench customers' thirsts, a wide selection of breakfast and lunch sandwiches can amuse bored teeth.
International flavors and 17 vibrant cocktails color 9 Promenade's creative menu of gourmet tapas, pizzas, and salads. Chefs dexterously craft bite-size plates under high-powered microscopes, braising chorizo in red wine ($8) and coupling slivers of blackened ahi tuna with a made-to-order version of tartare drizzled in cilantro-soy sauce ($12). The Rock Lobster ($9), a martini blended from whiskey, black-raspberry liqueur, and cranberry juice, blushes against the bar's gray walls like an embarrassed bride, and listless stomachs perk up with the Breakfast salad ($9), a bed of spinach piled to the leafy heavens with bacon, garlic toast, and an over-easy egg. The restaurant's doughsmiths also engineer a selection of gourmet pizzas ($12–$15) mounded with eclectic toppings such as tequila-marinated tomatoes, crab, and shaved steak.
Named the best deli in 2010 and noted for its crinkly fries in 2005 by Bluffton Today, The Downtown Deli boasts a savory menu of delicious breakfast and lunch fare. While morning munchers kick-start their day with french toast ($3.99), bagels ($1.75–$1.89), or a hearty breakfast sub with bacon, eggs, and sausage ($5.99), afternoon nibblers can dine on an egg-salad sandwich ($4.99) or opt for a sans-sandwich salad, such as the chicken greek, which features tomato, cucumber, grilled chicken, red onions, and feta cheese on a bed of greens ($6.99). The Downtown Deli also boasts a selection of large, meaty sandwiches such as a traditional half-pound cheeseburger with fries, the New York reuben, and the Alljoy, which—like your Christmas decorations—is carefully packed with barbecued pulled pork ($6.99 each).
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 Milkshake, and Best Drivethru. The benevolent eatery has also donated more than $2 million to public schools throughout the country through its program Limeades for Learning, which helps to fund educational projects and retirement plans for classroom guinea pigs.
On a warm August day in 1938, a father and son unveiled the first sample of what was to become Dairy Queen, selling 1,600 samples on the first day, a feat as unheard of as a dragon that breathes ice. Its ensuing prolific expansion was fueled by its frozen treats, which propelled the dessert shop from 100 stores in 1947 to 1,446 in 1950. Today, their dessert recipes remain largely unchanged, and Dairy Queen has added hearty grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, and fried chicken to its menu. Dairy Queen's enormous dessert menu boasts treats ranging from soft-serve cones and blizzards filled with cookies to takeaway ice-cream sandwiches and cakes.