Frozen Yogurt of Hinesville and Frozen Yogurt on the Hill team up to cool down tongues with comparable caches of sweet treats. At both stops, self-serve fro-yo stations beckon visitors to pull their levers, filling cups with an assortment of flavors that the owners rotate every couple of days to keep things fresh and cover for those flavors summoned to jury duty. More than 30 toppings, such as Skittles, chopped granola, and M&Ms, can then be used to crown frosty creations before they’re weighed and priced by the ounce. In addition to yogurt, each shop dishes out Hawaiian snow cones, smoothies, and milkshakes.
At lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunches, the culinary team at Ailsa's Restaurant & Bar presents an upscale spin on classic American cuisine. They top fried-green tomatoes with deep-fried gouda, slather an Angus beef burgers in red-pepper mayo, and baste lamb chops in a peach-bourbon glaze, using numerous ingredients sourced from local farmers. Like its food, Alisa's interior draws from elements of both fine and casual dining, with elegant light fixtures dangling from exposed wooden beams and paintings adorning the wood-paneled bar.
When night falls, Alisa's models a bistro pub atmosphere. Live entertainment enthralls guests on Friday and Saturday nights, and competitors gather every Thursday night from 10 p.m. to midnight for trivia, or as some know it, a way to study for the LSATs while drinking.
Papa's Pizza to Go's food artists prepare more than mouthwatering pizzas. Their specialty is baking bubbling pies laden with such toppings as canadian bacon, mushrooms, cheese, and black olives. But their vision extends to oven-baked breadsticks in sugary cinnamon and stretchy cheese variations, and their skill with toppings helps them to fashion fresh subs decked out in provolone cheese or steak. No matter what day of the week it is or how many plates children take to build a fort of noodles at their table, cooks maintain a buffet brimming with pastas, salads, and pizzas.
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.
The Loft bolsters its menu of fresh, deli-style sandwiches with the hardwood accents and natural lighting of a comfortable bistro. The club sandwich throws a flavor party in patrons' mouths, inviting turkey breast, ham, and provolone to join a traditional BLT in capering around a carbohydrate dance floor made of texas toast ($6.99). The portobello flatbread brings together a freshly picked cap, mozzarella, and pesto ($6.49), and the tuna melt pairs fresh tuna with swiss cheese and piquant mustard for a flavor combination as familiar as your own face stitched onto a childhood blanket ($5.99). The grilled-chicken salad combines the juiciness of an expertly cooked chicken breast with the crispness of a house salad ($6.49).
You would think that a restaurant inside one of The Hill's 200-year-old historic homes would have a menu steeped in traditional American cuisine. But that's not the case with Blue Mermaid Island Grill, which instead serves the sweet, spicy food of the Caribbean. Popular dishes include everything from guava-braised short ribs to a New World paella with chicken, shrimp, mussels, and sausage in curried rice. Chefs can prepare many menu items vegetarian or gluten-free.
Blue Mermaid Island Grill also has full bar service, including eight rotating craft-beer taps and margaritas in nine flavors. Cocktails contribute to an upbeat vibe—which landed it a feature on Food Network's Rachel Ray's Tasty Travels—as does live music four nights a week with both professional and local musicians. The indoor and outdoor dining areas are decorated with pieces from local artists, adding to the grassroots vibe and relieving owners Scott and Karen Logan of trying to pull off a major museum heist.