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.
Each of Lumberjacks Restaurant’s six locations invites patrons to sup on grandiose portions amid mostly wooden, log-cabin-inspired décor. A giant flannel-clad lumberjack greets guests at entryways, and inside, rustic walls display handheld saws like the one George Washington once used to carve his many girlfriends' initials into cherry trees. Hunter-green booths flank tables weighed down by giant burgers, sandwiches, and steaks that dare guests to leave hungry. Chefs also concoct classic breakfast fare, including skillets, waffles, omelets, and eggs benedict.
The chefs at Ninja Sushi wield culinary skill like a sword, cutting a menu of sophisticated sushi and Japanese entrees preceded by starters such as edamame ($3.95), calamari ($6.95), and fire balls of spicy red tuna and crab ($9.95) for a more adventurous nibble. Rolled sushi offerings include the irresistible Bad Boy roll and its renegade posse of spicy tuna, cucumber, and chili sauce ($10.95). Paying homage to famous local cylinders, the Sacramento roll blends salmon, masago, and the restaurant's trademark sauce ($9.95), and the philly roll packs east coast flair with salmon, avocado, and cream cheese ($7.95). Evening guests fill up on traditional entrees such as chicken teriyaki ($13.95) and vegetable tempura ($10.95).
Black Bear Diner's breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus teem with mountainous portions of homestyle eats, and the restaurant’s dining room abounds with carved wooden bears. House-made corned-beef hash and eggs ($8.99) sidle onto breakfast plates with an entourage of country potatoes and a fresh biscuit. Sandwich crafters design savory bread stacks such as the classic Reuben ($8.99), which bridges slices of grilled rye with corned beef, swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and a handful of suspension cables. Broccoli- and cheese-stuffed chicken breasts ($9.99) ensconce themselves in bacon, and platters of meatloaf ($10.99) appear alongside a supporting cast of sautéed vegetables.
By the time Marco Ramos opened Casa Ramos in 1997, he had been working in the restaurant business for 15 years. While working at his cousin's restaurant in Seattle, Marco soaked up invaluable, hands-on lessons about how to run a business. He draws upon that experience at Casa Ramos, where he and his staff serve time-tested family recipes that date back to his years in Mexico City.
In the kitchen, cooks prepare specialties such as Molcajete—chicken and beef strips sautéed in a mildly spicy sauce—and Carnitas Uruapan—slow-roasted Uruapan-style pork in a Mexican sauce. The fajita salad—a Ramos family favorite that's carved into their family tree—combines fresh greens, mushrooms, sliced eggs, avocado, and steak or chicken.
It is not just the pastas, sandwiches, and pizzas that keep guests coming back to Pete's Restaurant and Brewhouse and Original Pete's—the handcrafted beers also play a major role, quenching thirsts with flavors ranging from the Uptown blonde’s light layers of honey to the highly hoppy profile of the Skinner’s Horse IPA. Pete’s team keeps meals in balance by offering food-and-beer-pairing suggestions, assuring diners that the Midtown ale harmonizes with fish tacos and that the Old Town red—a malty, medium-bodied amber ale—improves coordination for slam-dunking meatballs.
Today's Groupon sends your taste buds across the Atlantic to the South of France aboard a restaurant-ship. For just $10, you get $25 worth of food and drink at one of the best French restaurants in the Bay Area: La Provence, located at 1001 Guerrero St. in the Mission District.