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
Twelve lanes of polished wood stretch from players to pins at Viking Bowl & Restaurant. Bowlers can pick the perfect ball from the long racks of weighted spheres, and they can blast as many pins as possible while automatic scoring screens keep tabs for them. Competitive play flourishes at the billiards tables, too. A click-clacking sounds as pool shooters sink a corner shot or hula-hoop with the triangular rack. Patrons can also hunker down in the full-service restaurant and feast on pizza, burgers, and hot wings before heading out for another 10 frames.
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.
Deluxe Beach Restaurant whips up a menu brimming with international options running the gamut from small plates and pastas to surf 'n' turf. Plunge tongue-first into a single-serving vat of apple-smoked cheddar broccolini soup with tomato bruschetta ($9) before taming a troupe of tiger prawns with pancetta ($15). Grilled beef tenderloin with filo-wrapped mashed potatoes ($29) and an optional shiitake port demi peppercorn sauce ($5) argue compellingly for terrestrial proteins, but patrons may prefer to ransack fabled undersea orchards with the lobster, ricotta, and pear ravioli in champagne-shallot cream sauce ($33). This Groupon can also be applied toward a three-course prix fixe menu ($40), or Alex Trebek's favourite potent potables from the extensive wine list, including Cupcake's 2009 chardonnay and Avalon's 2008 cabernet sauvignon. Deluxe Beach Restaurant's modern décor allows diners to eat elegantly on the upstairs ocean-view level, or browse the beach surface from the main level's cocktail lounge and outdoor patio.
Situated a garlic knot's throw from the oceanfront, Italian Touch Restaurant combines the comfort of Italian classics with the modern ambience of its chic dining room. Beneath geometric lamps and surrounded by funky wall art and deep-red walls, white tablecloths showcase steaming bowls of lobster ravioli in a creamy sauce and slabs of meaty lasagna crowned with bubbling mozzarella. Out on the outdoor patio, the wait staff ferries the Italian Touch Platter for Two, a mélange of grilled chicken breast, homemade sausages, and wild salmon flanked by al dente penne and a crisp garden salad.
Like rifling through the office refrigerator at the United Nations, visiting Azul Restaurant involves sampling a lot of different cuisines, from traditional North American flavours and Asian fusion fare to dishes from Italy, Greece, and the Pacific Islands. Wonton soup and spring rolls add diversity to the eatery's signature stuffed burgers, which, like the best fortune cookies, are filled with cheese and bacon. Large TVs and game-day specials entice sports aficionados to cheer on their favourite teams over a plate of Thai-style chili chicken wings.