Sonic Drive-In in Waretown.
In the past year I have tried 3 relatively new to the area fast food restaurants. On this rainy Sunday afternoon we tried out Sonic. First let me say that I cringed everytime the teenage waitress/carhop cruised out into the wet, and crowded parking lot on her rollerskates! While I think the idea is cute and all PLEASE BE CAREFUL!!!!! Sorry , I'm writing like a concerned parent.
First the ordering process: You pull into a parking space/slip that has a detailed menu. When you are ready to order you press a button and order just as you would at any drive thru. As with most fast food chains the #1 is usually the featured burger combo, and as we were three that's what we ordered, three number ones. Nope can't do it like that, the girl on the other side of the speaker made us order each one singularly. With Cheese? Works or just ketchup? Fries or tots? (yes, tater tots!) Type & size of drink? While we were ordering I became hungrier and added a large onion rings, oh and ummmm uhhhh one corndog! The bill was about 20 bucks.
Now the food: I had heard from friends in the area that the burgers were great, and it was pretty good. I ordered the works, but wish I ordered sans mustard, as there was a ton of the yellow stuff on there. We all ordered fries, shoulda tried the tots, fries were kind of limp. To be fair though the place was packed, maybe when they have more time they might cook them longer, or give you more of them, or maybe give you them hot as well. The onion rings are billed as 'made fresh everyday' They were good, but unusually so for fast food, they could have used some salt! Actually the breading was nice and crispy, it just needed salt, not on top but in the onion ring batter. The corndog to its credit was a corndog. I ate it all and wanted another. It's kind of weird, I felt a strange dejavu at this place, when it dawned on me what it was. The menu at this place has all of the foods that used to be available in the snack bars at the drive-in movie theaters! They even deliver the burgers to your car in those little foil bags that used to keep the hotdogs warm at the drive-in.All that was missing was the popcorn and lousy frozen pizzas!
Things I didn't try, but will next time: Specialty drinks, lots of frozen slushy options and well as soda flavoring blends. Cheesecake bites - Deep fried with caramel dipping sauce. Plus alot of stuff I won't try next time like generic fryer basket stuff.
Overall I liked it, but think that a Checkers burger, or Five Guys burger wins out. Checkers and Five Guys being the other two newer franchises that I have recently tried. I actually like Wendys more than Sonic as well. The fries at Five Guys were pretty much the best I've ever had at a fast food restaurant, kind of like handcut board walk fries, actually not kind of like, thats exactly what they were. The corndog was still not as good as my alltime favorite, the little mini corndogs at Nathans, who incidentally make some pretty good fries themselves. Maybe it's a bit of nostalgia, but I still have to pick Jim's Burger Haven in Hazlet over all of them, Unfortunately rumor has it that the Jim's location will be the sight of another national (or regional) burger joint in the near future.
The Sonic people are marketing geniuses. Even though they were a regional chain, they've advertised on national cable channels for years, creating a buzz and a demand in areas that didn't have Sonic. So Sonic finally comes to a new area, and the place is packed. I admit, I fell for it.
However, I went twice, and will probably not be returning. The first time, the service was extremely slow and the food arrived cold. I chalked it up to inexperienced staff, and didn't make a big deal out of it. The second time, I opted to eat at one of the picnic tables. Once again, a friend and I were left waiting for quite a while. This time though, the food wasn't only cold, but my friend's order was wrong, and the "corrected" version was clearly half-hearted. The first time he ordered a sandwich with no shredded lettuce and no mustard, it came with both. The re-order was clearly the FIRST sandwich with the mustard and lettuce scraped off (with remnants of both remaining, and even colder by that point).
Obviously, one location doesn't speak for the whole chain, but it definitely helps to shape your opinion. Also, sure it sounds like a novelty, but while I was sitting in my car eating the first time I didn't quite see what was so fun about eating greasy, messy food in a car.