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.
Sisters of the New South flaunts its Southern heritage with a menu that highlights fried chicken, collard greens, and other soul-food staples. The restaurant lives by the motto “real southern cooking,” and its chefs take pride in preparing each dish with the same care that their mothers would have used. Sisters even sells its unique blend of spices through an online store so that customers can re-create the restaurant’s fried chicken or season their bathwater.