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.
Customers enjoy VB to Go’s classic Italian-American entrées in the comfort of their own domiciles, nestled next to sides of salad, steak fries, and bread that come standard. The giambotta is a mélange of sausage, black olives, and an Italian grandmother's garden's worth of veggies bathing in a light tomato sauce ($11.95), and battered slices of eggplant parmigian arrive draped in mozzarella ($10.50). Sixteen-inch specialty pizzas house hearty portions of toppings, with Windy City classics such as italian beef, giardiniera, and mirrored shavings of the Bean ($17.75). Pasta dishes swathe savory aliments such as the ricotta and spinach that meld inside stuffed shells ($9.25) or the shrimp and spicy tomato sauce that accent the capricciosa ($12.95).
Pescatore means “Italian fisherman,” according to Vito Barbanente, Pescatore Palace's owner and chef. He lives far from any sea and seldom pulls anything out of saltwater, but having spent his life transforming catch into cuisine, he might well have earned an honorary place among the ranks of said seafarers. In his signature dish, he tops market-fresh fish of the day with a grilled medley of octopus, calamari, cuttlefish, and shrimp. He also harvests land ingredients, rounding out his seafood-rich menu with veal chops, housemade gnocchi, and metal forks instead of tridents.
The gyro yielders at Kronos Gyros & Café combine authentically Greek ingredients to prepare fresh and flavorful Mediterranean pitas and gyros and salads as well as local specialties. Mediterranean munching commences with the gyros platter, stacked with seasoned meat, rice pilaf, hummus, warm pita wedges, and a choice of salad ($7.49). Flatbread pizza crust keeps a low profile beneath the show-stealing combo of toppings on the barbecue chicken pizza ($5.99), including chopped chicken, tomato, onion, barbecue sauce, and mozzarella cheese. Local specialties offer flavors as familiar as the back of your hand tattooed with your monogram, including the Chicago-style Vienna beef hot dog ($2.49) and Maxwell Street polish sausage ($3.99). Celebrate sweet victory over hunger with honey and granola-filled greek yogurt ($1.50) or flaky baklava ($1).