Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sonic Drive-In: Now I get it….

For years I was confused by the Sonic commercials that frequently appeared on my television screen, because there are no branches of Sonic in NYC. (Apparently it's cheaper for the fast food chain to buy airtime in nationwide blocks.) Thanks to the ads, when I moved to Fort Collins last August I noted the presence of a Sonic next to campus; my interest, however, ended there.

But last Sunday I spent the afternoon biking the Poudre Trail with GS and her friends, and as we made our way back from the river they started talking about Cherry Limeades and happy hour. I soon learned that from 2–4pm every day, drinks and slushes at Sonic are half off. And then we were all pulling up to Sonic's bike rack and piling around the wooden tables on the patio.

Sonic calls itself a drive-in, which I thought was just a gimmick until I discovered the series of parking spaces with intercoms and saw that there was no actual counter at which to order. It's the same even if you're planning to eat in—you sit down, look at the menu suspended at your table, press the button, make your order through the intercom, and a server comes out of the kitchen five or ten minutes later with whatever you've asked for.

I wasn't hungry, so while everyone chowed down on corn dogs, onion rings, and chicken strip sandwiches, I went for a Sonic Chiller: Strawberry Limeade blended with vanilla soft serve. It turned out to be an excellent choice. Sonic claims their limeades and Chillers are made with freshly squeezed lime, and I can believe it—the flavor of the soft serve popped with a bright citrus tang that didn't seem artificial. Plus, as I dipped my spoon down into the cup, I came up with whole chunks of real strawberry. My Chiller wasn't included in the happy hour special, but on a hot day after a long bike ride, nothing tasted more refreshing.

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