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.
For some, the word "barbecue" brings thoughts of burgers and hot dogs blackening on a backyard grill. But Kostas Antypas and Lukas Pulos?the Greek?born owner and chef, respectively, at Zagat-reviewed Smoked on Rose?are out to show diners a broader, more delicious world of barbecue. They honor all-American traditions by smoking brisket, ribs, and pork shoulder over fragrant wood chips, creating what one Franklin Park Herald-Journal writer described as "a simple celebration of hickory flavor," and also present the flavors of the Greek Islands in elegant dishes such as roasted suckling pig and tender broiled octopus. At times, Grecian and American flavors come together in harmony; take the pulled-pork pita, for instance, with creamy tzatsiki sauce to balance its smoky notes. Some of the most popular menu items include smoked ribs, brisket, pork, chicken, baby suckling pig, broiled lamb chops, fresh Greek fish sides, and the appetizers. Smoke-inspired art and hardwood floors set a casually refined scene in which to feast, and cocktails from a full bar satisfy the craving for a cold drink.
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.