I have entirely biased feelings towards the chain “Sonic”. When I first arrived in the Atlanta area, I was staying in a weekly hotel on Cobb Parkway, about half way between the Marietta Diner and the Big Chicken. The closest restaurant to that hotel was a Sonic, and especially on days when I had little if any money, I was living on Sonic Jalapeno Double Cheeseburgers, onion rings, and a large fruit slush.
These days I live near Snellville, and the closest Sonic to my house is the one on 820 Oak Road, near the corner of Oak and Dogwood, just across the street from Danthai. A number of my daughter’s friends have worked at this one, on and off, and it tends to gather a teen aged crowd in the afternoons. These days, the Jalapeno Double Cheeseburger, as a menu item, is long gone. You can approximate it, though, by ordering a Double Cheeseburger, add japalenos.
It’s the rich variety of options that sets this restaurant apart. You have all kinds of side items, a crazy-quilt selection of drinks. It has a way of making customers feel like kids all over again.
Some food reviewers from Snellville have tried to make comparisons between 5 Guys and Sonic, as in, which one is better. To me, that’s an apples and oranges comparison. A typical 5 Guys is a small restaurant, compact. A 5 Guys restaurant would live well in a crowded urban downtown, and the menu is focused on doing just a few things well. Sonic, by contrast, is selling a past that never existed – seriously, these burgers are just too big to be 1950s and 1960s authentic – and doing so in expansive fashion, with a big menu. I could imagine sneaking a 5 Guys franchise into San Francisco, but I can’t see it being done easily with Sonic.
Not surprisingly, when we get relatives in from San Francisco, they like going to Sonic, with the caveat that to a San Franciscan, nothing ever beats an In and Out Burger.
But to summarize, Sonic is good greasy fun. It has large burgers with decent options, plenty of sides, and over the top drinks that make this a kid pleasing place to park a family.
820 Oak Road
Lawrenceville GA 30044