Pinkys pays homage to its Windy City location with a vintage tough-guy logo and a menu of Chicago-style polishes and gyros. Daily specials include classics such as catfish strips, a Maxwell Street-style polish, and barbecue-rib tips. Containers of croutons and thousand-island, blue-cheese, or creamy-ranch dressing sit on the side of meaty salads, ensuring that dishes get the partner of their choice, unlike most cops who live on the edge. Diners can round out their meals with a side of sauce or wash down each bite with a milk shake.
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.
Heritage Health Foods’ family of owners stocks the store’s shelves with vitamins, supplements, organic produce, beauty products, and wine to inspire healthier, happier lifestyles and foster overall well-being. The expansive and welcoming warehouse of nutritional needs furnishes pill organizers, medicine cabinets, and secret vitamin flasks with essential supplements, such as Rainbow Light Women’s One Daily vitamins ($11.59 for 30 pills), Barlean’s Total Omega 3-6-9 Orange Swirl ($15.99 for 12 ounces), and Enzymedica ViraStop pills designed to strengthen immune systems ($28.99 for 60 pills). Jay Robb whey protein ($27.99) works to bolster muscles during workout regimens and lend a competitive edge during the Miss Muffet impersonation portion of Ironman competitions. The Health Plus Original Colon Cleanse Powder ($9.49 for 12 oz.) helps regulate internal highways.
As the name might suggest, Daddy's Kitchen is truly a family business. The restaurant recreates traditional meals with Southern-inspired soul food and dessert recipes plucked straight from grandma's cookbook. Although the specials change every day, heaping portions of beef short ribs, turkey wing and cornbread dressing, and fried catfish frequently play well with sides including macaroni and cheese, greens, and candied yams. Homemade desserts, including peach cobbler, banana pudding, and a rotating assortment of cakes, bring each meal to a sweet conclusion.
For more than 30 years, owner Art Trevino has loaded tables in Cilantro's dining room and patio with a menu of traditional family recipes. One of 11 children, Art learned to cook and precisely divide a taco into 11 segments alongside his siblings in their mother's bustling kitchen. Veggies add a hint of virtue to platters of cheesy burritos, steak, and chicken in options such as seafood-stuffed portabella mushrooms and chiles rellenos. A bright purple bar marqueed by garlands of colored lights pours 16-ounce "Mugaritas," house-made sangria, and a list of anejo and reposado tequilas designed for sipping through the finest cactus straws.
A smattering of 20 sauces and seasonings dripping from handspun wings coats patrons' fingers as they cheer on their favorite professional sports teams broadcast on Buffalo Wild Wings' TVs. Eyes are torn between watching teams dribble a ball, shoot a puck, and land a grand jeté, and plates of plentiful wings, burgers, wraps, salads, and ribs. For more entertainment, trivia games exercise brains, and the Blazin' Challenge offers recognition for those brave enough to down a dozen wings slathered in the eatery's hottest sauce in 6 minutes.