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Sonic Drive-In Is it worth seeking out?

  • h

I see ads on TV for Sonic Drive-In, but the closest to my house is 37 miles away.

Is it worth the drive and what do you recommend?

website linked below

Link: http://www.sonicdrivein.com/index.jsp

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    1. re: Kirk

      I agree, nothing to seek out. Nothing to avoid, per se, other than greasy charmless food. You can do so much better without hardly trying.

      1. re: kimpossible1138

        At first I thought this was a trick question -- 37 miles. To try new chow that seems close. But as for Sonic -- I agree with you two.

        Years ago Sonic made a mistake of testing the waters in the L.A. area (Covina) and died a fast death. Just to many In-N-Out Burger stands in L.A. They placed a Sonic within a three minute drive (North or West) of two In-N-Out stands -- Duh! I tried the Sonic burger. I have noticed that all the positive reviews above have not mentioned the burger but only a cherry/lime drink, fries, ... I agree, the burger is nothing to post about. Now if you want a Good Hot burger at sonic speed try an old two lane In-N-Out drive-thru. Worth a drive.

    2. Sonic apparently advertises on a national level, even though they are not present in several major local markets. I guess it is easier and possibly cheaper than managing a bunch of local campaigns. You're lucky(?) to have one only 37 miles away. Many who see these adds are hundreds of miles from the nearest Sonic.

      The advertising is effective, but, the food is just typical fast food, IMO. People like the variety of drinks and, tator tots. I thought the breakfast burrito looked good, but, the one I had wasn't any better than McDonalds - just larger and more expensive.

      1. I am a sucker for their cherry limeades. But I don't know if I'd travel 37 miles for one...

        1 Reply
        1. re: wyf4lyf

          Wyf, I used to live in the Midwest near the home of the first Sonic drive in and also became addicted to their cherry limeades. After not having had one in 20 years, I ran across a Sonic while driving between Sante Fe and Taos, New Mexico. (In the tiny town of Espanol.) It was amazing how fast that first sip took me back to my high school days and the original Sonic. It reminded my why we Chowhounds have cell memory for certain flavors and tastes. Now, if I could just find that same girl I was with back then...

        2. I think they are a cut above the national fast-food chains, so I'd go if I were close and a more chowish place were not known or available.

          1. g

            I would make a mental note of Sonic for future reference on a road trip or something, but I wouldn't drive 37 miles out of my way for it. If you happen to be close to one, defintely get a cherry limeade and cheese covered tater tots. The toaster sandwiches made with thick Texas toast are worth ordering as well.

            1. Sonic is a great Oklahoma company, they pioneered several things, their employees have a taste-say in what is sold and served. Their onion rings are the best of any fast food chain anywhere, same for their "tots", they were the first fast food place in this region at least with jalapeno poppers, and they are great Democrat Party donors.
              They are the only fast food chain where I will actually eat.

              1. I have one in my town and stop once a week to get a bag of ice (oh those little ice cubes....i love them!) and I will usually get a cherry coke because I gave up soad but it doesn't count if it is a cherry coke from Sonic.
                I only get something to eat if the boys are with me because the y like the food.
                I hear a lot of people that don't have them in their towns always stop when the find one so I quess the have a little following.

                1. Yes. I think they have the best fast-food fries I've ever had. My rule is, if they don't need ketchup, they're good, and Sonic fries rarely need more than just a dusting of salt. I also like the cherry limeades. The green chile cheeseburgers are good, if you live somewhere where there are few specimens available. They used to have these small deep-fried burritos that I liked, but they seem to have been discontinued...

                  1. we went to Sonic for a late lunch after hiking and all I can say is it's better then eating Cliff bars. This place looks really cool because it's like an old drive-in fast food place. You can park and then order from the menu, very soon someone will bring out your order. Our guy in-line skated, a girl I saw roller skates. They don't have a dining room so NO A/C unless you count your car. There are some tables outside in shade but it's still too bloody hot like over 100 degrees in the summer!

                    I ordered a ex-long cheese coney $2.99 which was a chili cheese dog. I thought it was just ok. Hotdog was long, pale, and rubbery. Chili cheese was decent.

                    I also got a cherry limeade $1.39 or so which was like cherry 7-up and they put a marachino cherry in it and a wedge of lime. Just sweet soda is all it tasted like w/ lots of tiny ice. Just ok.

                    My friend A. got jalapeno cheeseburger-which he said was ok, but likes In-N-Out better.

                    Bathrooms on the opposite side of building, both men and women available.

                    my pics: http://www.kodakgallery.com/Slideshow...

                    1. I love Sonic: their grilled cheese on Texas toast and ESPECIALLY their new Cranberry slushies. I also like getting a Diet Coke w/lime, which I usually order when I dine in restaurants, btu they really go crazy w/fresh limes and it's awesome.

                      BUT, like others said, it's really just fast food. We go there pretty often and prefer it to Mickey D's or Wendy's, but not worth driving out of your way for.

                      BTW if you check yoru Sunday paper (or Entertainment Book) there are occasionally rally good Sonic coupons. As if it weren't cheap enough!

                      1. SuperSonic (2X Patty) #2, large onion rings, Route 44-sized root beer. Best fast food onion ring by a long shot. I'll go out of my way for those when the notion strikes. Sonic tops my list of fast food joint.

                        Wait 'til your on a road trip to hunt one down, though.

                        1. I live in the DC area, and see Sonic ads regularly. Oddly, the closest one is 100+ miles away.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Mister Big

                            I'm in NJ and I see the ads all the time as well. I just checked the locator and the closest one to me is 75 miles away.

                            1. re: SarahEats

                              We had the same problem for the longest time with Kohl's in Florida. Broke my heart because I loved going to the one in Secaucus, and my mom would mail me stuff, but they buy ads for the whole Southeast. (They started building them eventually, so I can get my fix now.)

                              Maybe that means Sonics are coming soon?

                            2. re: Mister Big

                              No, there's one in Fredericksburg, VA.

                            3. Why don't more places offer cherry limades? why does this have to be such a rare treat? There is a Sonic on the way out of my hometown in NC, so whenever I am making the roadtrip home from NC back to DC, I grab one for the road. But, otherwise, I don't know of anywhere to get a good limeade.

                                1. recently had my first Sonic experience in Reidsville, North Carolina ... mighty good ... mighty good. If we had one in Chestertown, Maryland i might eat fast food more often. best fries i've ever had in a chain, burger was far better than MackieD's or BK's ... not a Uno Chicago but pretty darn good. wish i had gotten one of those cherry limeades

                                  1. I liked their menu because I could get a sandwich other than chicken breast or a burger. My local one had a grilled cheese and a blt. But unfortunately, they were so soggy, the bread was just water logged from steaming in the bag while I waited in the drive through line.

                                    The blt had more "b" on it than I have ever gotten in a restaurant, or at home, for that matter, lots of bacon.

                                    The cherry limeade is really good, but as others have said, not worth the drive for any of it.

                                    1. For some reason, I'm really enamored with Sonic. The onion rings are fantastic and even a small order is kind of huge. The bacon cheeseburger I had was good. And rather than a cherry limeade, I had an ocean water. Sprite with coconut syrup, but not overly sweet or anything...just a hint of coconut. The banana shake had real bits of banana in it.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: spellweaver16

                                        Me too, spellweaver. For some reason (maybe just because we don't have any in NY--closest one's in PA--so I go very rarely), I really like Sonic. Like others have said, though, I wouldn't go especially for the burgers. I love the cookie dough blast, the tots (as mentioned), the cherry limeade, and the frito pie is just disgustingly delicious. I wouldn't specially make the 3 hour drive to the nearest Sonic, but if I am near one, I would definitely go for a snack.

                                        1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                          I'm not terribly picky when it comes to burgers. Mine was better than McDonald's so I was perfectly happy. We have Sonic all over the place out here...I think I need to go more often.

                                      2. I have to vote no. We have one within walking distance of our house and won't even go.

                                        1. God, NO!!! They have greasy food and genuinely *disgusting* drinks whose technicolors don't come from any food ingredient.

                                          1. No. We got them up in CT a few years ago, after being INUNDATED by their commercials. When I finally visited one it was nothing special, at all. (and I'm a tater tot, hot dog loving person)

                                            1. A few years ago the first Sonic opened in the Twin Cities, in St.Paul. The crush of customers caused them to hite off duty police officers to direct traffic. Sonic paid a nearby church to use their parking lot as a holding area for the customers to wait their turn to drive to the Sonic to get their food. It reminded me of the hype that also happened when Krispy Kreme opened several Twin Cities locations. All of those doughnut shops have since closed. There are now four Sonic restaurants in the Twin Cities and the hype is gone.

                                              Peesonally, the first time I ate at a Sonic was about ten years ago in Arizona while visiting my snowbird parents. We decided to eat at one of their tables under the awning. My mother was in a wheelchair and they did not have a spot at the tables for someone in a wheechair to use the table. I wonder if that has since changed? There is a Sonic about five miles from my house. I might stop by and find out the answer to my question.

                                              1. Went once...will not go back...perhaps it was a one time incident, or maybe for my likes, tastes, etc., I just did not like their burger.