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.
El Presidente exemplifies a classic Mexican restaurant, with a colorfully decorated dining room, a bar stocked with frosty cervezas, and a menu of authentic dishes. Follow the aroma of sizzling carnitas and roasting peppers into the kitchen, where you'll find chefs whipping up enchiladas, burritos, and Mexican specialties—such as tender steak picado and sweet and spicy chicken mole. They also extend their culinary expertise towards variety of seafood dishes, smothering jumbo shrimp in house-made ranchero sauce and packing burritos with crab, shrimp, and chicken.
Guests await meals at tabletops and booths out in the expansive dining room, where Mexican artwork speckles the walls. Crystal-clear speakers create a festive atmosphere by playing lively tunes in lieu of stuffy muzack or recordings of the word "sorrow" repeated over and over again.
Dedicated to maintaining an atmosphere that is energetic and amiable, Lindo Mexico Restaurant and Cantina boasts festivities every night of the week. As patrons munch on lauded fajitas paired with drinks and specials from the bar, singers storm the stage for karaoke Sunday through Tuesday, bearing their souls before feeding them with combination platters, burritos, and the restaurant’s popular fajitas. During the rest of the week, FunkShop DJs deliver jams and body-shaking beats, inducing mad dancing in those not currently performing fork-jives. Fueling the lively atmosphere is the flavorful work of the bartenders, who mix nine varieties of margaritas along with beers, wines, and top-shelf tequilas.
Pow Pow Wings, a casual sports bar written up in The Columbian and Clark College's The Independent, serves up 13 styles of wings and 10 sauces. A raspberry-chipotle sauce was recommended by The Columbian, whereas the ghost pepper-infused Super Pow was reported to create "an inferno on the palate" by The Independent. Pow Pow Wings also grills burgers that can be doused in any wing sauce or topped with a stack of fried-mozzarella sticks. A full bar supplies beer, soft drinks, and other libations, and pinball machines and foosball distracts patrons from shouting curses in Esperanto at the sportsmen on TV.
The giant circular grill can be seen from almost anywhere inside the restaurant. Yummy Mongolian BBQ's chefs stand around it waiting to stir-fry the custom creations their diners assemble from a long buffet brimming with colorful veggies, noodles, and meats. Guests pile their selected ingredients into a nearly endless number of combinations before ladling on freshly made sauces and waving goodbye as their plates are carted off for cooking. Additionally, a full appetizer bar warms midsections like an electric fanny pack with bubbling soups, chicken fried rice, and honey chicken wings.
When Ken Knight first started Gateway Produce more than 15 years ago, he sold his goods out of a small tent. As demand grew, so did his inventory, which now occupies an expansive indoor space filled with stacks of fresh produce that almost overflow from their displays. Sourced from local farms, merchandise includes fruit such as plums and watermelons, seasonal items, and dairy products. Gateway also has a grocery section that gathers different ethnic foods and everyday edibles such as chicken tenders, energy drinks, and treats for the neighborhood guard lion.