Utensils have it easy at AJ’s Sandwiches. From time to time, forks may get called upon to dig through one of the shop’s fresh salads. Other than that, though, it’s all hands. Visitors wrap their paws around slices of freshly baked artisan breads that bookend popular creations, such as The Godfather, whose family of ingredients includes oven-roasted turkey, zesty peso, and melted provolone. Aside from sandwiches, all-natural ground beef burgers keep hands full, too. The Marysville Rodeo, for instance, combines breakfast and lunch into one savory stack, with a sunny side-up egg and bacon heaped upon a half-pound of beef. For do-it-yourself diners, AJ’s also offers a “Build Your Own” menu, though the shop does not supply the bolt of lightning needed to make sandwiches think.
Mammoth portions of sandwiches, comfort fare and classic breakfasts test table strength within the log-cabin interior of Lumberjacks Restaurant. After perusing the lengthy menu, patrons can gaze up at the towering façade of roasted turkey clubs ($8.99), whose three layers of toast house bacon, american cheese, lettuce and tomato. A chili burger ($8.99), topped with cheddar and onions, doffs its uppermost bun to chivalrously greet suiting mouths. A slow-braised post roast with vegetables and gravy ($12.99) assumes its honored position among dinner entrees, arriving at tables with a choice of a side as well as soup or a custom-made lettuce amalgamation from the salad bar.
Originally branded as the Top Hat Drive-In, Sonic Drive-In didn’t acquire its nationally recognized name until 1959—six years after its inception in 1953. Today, the franchise operates out of 3,500 locations across the country, making it the nation’s largest chain of drive-in restaurants. Sonic Drive-In specializes in made-to-order American classics, including burgers, hot dogs, milk shakes, and 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 Drive-In’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 Limeades for Learning, which helps to fund educational projects and retirement plans for classroom guinea pigs.
While most people are sleeping, the bakers at The Pink Box Donut Shop are hard at work. They're up before dawn to craft light and airy donuts by hand—from the batter to the creamy icing—for a breakfast so sweet it's hard to believe it's made without trans fats or biodiesel. Donuts come in classic flavors such as glazed and devil's food, as well as in buttermilk and jelly variations. All of them taste even better when dunked into a cup of artisan coffee brewed fresh in-house.