A Macon staple since 1935, Fincher’s savory smoked fare and signature sauce is the first of its kind to leave orbit, traveling on two separate space missions at the request of an astronaut. Topping the streamlined menu is the barbecue pig, a classic chopped-pork sandwich ($2.28), which pairs perfectly with french fries ($1.59) or a cup of brunswick stew ($1.10). The chicken plate ($6.85) unites a half pound of the prized protein with fries, slaw, and buns. For fall-off-the-bone goodness, sample the slow-cooked St. Louis rib plate ($7.99), accompanied by three sides and a succession of satisfied lip smacks.
• For $7, you get $15 worth of in-house Mediterranean fare. • For $35, you get $70 worth of catered Mediterranean fare. Papouli’s Mediterranean Cafe and Market quells Corinthian cravings with a menu stocked full of Greek favorites and contemporary Mediterranean dishes. Accentuate a lively debate about first-century Olympians with sharable sides, such as hummus ($3.50) or eggplant-blended baba gannouj ($3.50), smooth dipping sauces perfect for skinny-dipping pitas. Entree-minded diners meet carnivorous cravings with souvlaki plates (chicken $9.25, lamb $11.99), savory spears of marinated meat grilled with green pepper and onion and served over rice pilaf with Greek salad and bread. Alternatively, appease corporate crowds with catered fare ($5.99/person), such as dolmades, seasoned rice and raisins gift-wrapped in marinated grape leaves, or beef and lamb gyros. Pastryphiles can mow down spanakopita, a wedge of spinach, feta cheese, and phyllo dough that doubles as a discus when frozen.
Sporting a moniker inspired by the owners' daughter, Mia's Cafe (formerly Shelly's Corner Cafe) offers tasty renditions of traditional lunch café favorites. A menu of midday dishes kicks off with portions of lush greenery such as the chicken salad, a half garden salad topped with tomatoes, cheese, croutons, and a heap of tender chicken ($6.50). Kindergarten food critics give rave reviews to the namesake Mia's PB&J ($2.34), while dual-acting parental agents tag along for an assortment of toasted options, including a freshly made chicken salad sandwich ($4.45) or a rye-flanked corn beef Reuben topped with an alliterative array of swiss, sauerkraut, and dressing ($5.50)—all offered on a variety of breads. Carb-evading diners may choose to bundle disorderly toppings of the roasted turkey and swiss, club, or chicken salad into a neatly packed wrap optimized for on-the-go eating ($5.50).
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](http://www.sonicdrivein.com/About/Community, which helps to fund educational projects and retirement plans for classroom guinea pigs.
The first IHOP—the dream of founders Al and Jerry Lapin—opened in 1958 in Toluca Lake, California, and was originally dubbed the International House of Pancakes. Since then, rapid expansion has led to myriad milestones across the company's colorful history, from introducing its modern IHOP acronym in 1973 to its 1,000th restaurant opening in Layton, Utah, in 2001. Today, the company stands strong with around 1,500 locations across North and Central America, each one an enthusiastic dispenser of pancakes, french toast, and tables constructed entirely out of bacon. Though IHOP is known as a bastion of breakfast, it also stays open during the day and into the evening, delivering lunch and dinner as well.
After 30 years of curating and perfecting recipes, founders Linda and Julie unleashed their culinary powers to create a Roly Poly menu of more than 50 rolls and sandwiches, plus a tempting selection of desserts. Slinging sandwiches for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the sandwich artisans envelop a variety of inventive ingredients inside warm, floury tortillas, from scrambled eggs to pesto chicken to mustard-splashed tuna. Customized sandwiches may also be rolled to suit various diets, preferences, or carbo-loading competitive mimes.