Friday, June 20, 2008

Sonic. And I don’t mean the Hedgehog.

I am both saddened and dismayed to realize there are those of you out there without easy access to Sonic, or (gasp!) those of you who don’t even know what it is. I’ll tell you what it is … it’s what God created on the eighth day when he looked down and had “invent fast food” on his list. And behold, there is Sonic. {cue angel music}

OK, so maybe it’s not that fabulous, but it is pretty darn good food. And amazingly good drinks. And convenience and cheerfulness, served in a cup by a carhop.

In a nutshell, Sonic is a drive-in fast food restaurant (America’s Drive In!) and I’m proud to say it originated here in Oklahoma, and that their corporate headquarters are based right here in Oklahoma City. I’m sure that has something to do with the fact there is one every few miles around here. And yes, to answer those of you who have asked, I do have one very close to my house. Close enough that if push came to shove, I could walk there. (Not happily, I might add, because the only place I walk happily is to the front of the buffet line, but you know what I mean.) In fact, it’s the same Sonic that we used to walk to in high school for lunch, and the same Sonic we used to park at on Friday and Saturday nights when we were teenagers. Nostalgia AND Diet Dr Pepper with soft ice in a Styrofoam cup --- do you SEE why it is the perfect place for me????

According to Wikipedia: Sonic Corporation is an American fast food restaurant chain based in OKC that recreates the drive-in diner feel of the 1950’s, complete with carhops who often wear roller skates. There were 3,290 restaurants in 34 states, plus one in Mexico, as of May 31,2007. The first one opened in Shawnee, OK, in 1953, so to answer the question of the person who wondered if it is a fad, I’d have to say no. Fifty-five years in business means they must be doing something right.

Sonic has always featured unique menu items like hand-made Onion Rings and flavored drinks like Cherry Limeades and Vanilla Cokes, as well as such drive-in staples as hamburgers, Coneys (hot dogs covered with chili and shredded cheese) and corn dogs, shakes and malts. Many different flavors such as vanilla, chocolate, cherry, strawberry, cranberry, apple, etc are available and can be added to drinks. Sonic boasts an impressive 168,894 possible drink combinations, stating that you could have a new drink every day for the next 462 years, a claim that backs up their slogan as "Your Ultimate Drink Stop". All locations also feature "happy hour" every day from 2-4 pm, in which the customer may buy soft drinks, slushes, limeades and iced tea for half price.

Personally, my favorites are the breakfast burritos, onion rings, and tater tots, although Happy Hour is reason enough to get out of bed most mornings.

It’s convenient, it’s fast, and best of all, you don’t even have to get out of your car to eat if you don’t want to. Although I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Sonic with indoor seating (not counting the ones located in malls) most have patio or picnic tables outside. Many days after school we see lots of other moms and kids from our school, because where else can me and all three kids get a soda for under $3 total? So it’s not only the pure joy and happiness of carbonation in a cup, it’s social-hour as well.

Do I think the food is good enough to wait in line for an hour? No, probably not. But that’s because I’m spoiled and have four Sonics within five minutes of my house. When we lived in Ohio, the nearest Sonic was an hour away and although I never made a special trip, believe me, if we were driving past, we stopped. Now, it’s such a staple of my life that at any given time I have Sonic cups in my office, my car, and the kitchen. I am quite possibly the happiest Sonic customer in the world.

{/end commercial}

OK, but HERE is my burning Sonic mystery --- the question that has plagued me for years and years and years … (ok, really, only for a few months since I found out)

See this boy?

This boy right here, standing next to me in this God-Awful picture from my Jr-Prom-that-wasn’t-really-a-prom-because-we-weren’t-allowed-to-dance-at-our-school?**

Although I haven’t talked to him in years, and don’t have his permission, and am probably breaking every internetiquette rule known to mankind, I’m going to tell you a little bit about him (besides the fact he was obviously a genius for taking me to prom ….. no, I’m kidding, he totally didn’t want to take me, I bullied him into it. But that’s another story for another day.)

His name is Steve Vaughan and we went to high school together (duh.) After high school graduation, Steve got an accounting degree, or a finance degree, or something, I’m really not sure. Then, he became a CPA. (He was always a pretty smart cookie.)

Do you want to know what he does for a living now? What is his current job????


WTF??? Somebody *I* know, somebody *I* went to high school with, is CHIEF FREAKING FINANCIAL OFFICER FOR SONIC, and he’s never so much as tossed me a free gift card???? What is up with that? Doesn’t he know I’m the biggest Sonic fan that ever lived? Hasn’t he heard about all the times I’ve plugged his employer on my blog, and all the free publicity I’ve given them? Doesn’t he know that I single-handedly raise company profits every quarter with my Diet Dr Pepper in a styrofoam cup with soft ice obsession????

Um, no, he probably doesn’t. Because I have’t talked to him in like fifteen years.

But you better believe at next year’s reunion there had better be some cards passed from him to me, is all I’m saying!

Ooooh, or maybe I’ll get lucky and Steve will google himself in the next few days and find this journal entry and read about how much I love Sonic and be nice and send me some gift cards.

Oh, shoot, except maybe he’s not over the fact I bullied him into taking me to the prom.

Dang, Mom always said not to be pushy; looks like she was right.

**No comments about the dress, please. Remember, it was the early 1980's, and I was actually quite stylish. (shudder)


Anonymous said...

Uhhhhh.........just curious. If you don't dance, just what do YOU do at a Prom and when do you do it? Forget it, I don't think I want to know. Guess you could drive to Sonic. LOL

Amy said...

OMG, how timely this post is! I have been obsessed with Sonic since my bachelorette party three years ago. We stumbled into the New Orleans airport, hungover as hell after a weekend of drinking, and there was a Sonic. Greasy breakfast food and a hangover? Yes maam, sign me up.

But then I realized later they had millions of slushies too. But we don't live anywhere near a Sonic in Chicago.

BUT! My in-laws live in Peoria, IL and they are building a Sonic there right now. It will be done in September and I am so freaking excited I told them I am planning to visit all the time now.

As a random aside, right before I clicked your post I was talking all about Sonic and going to the one that's 15 miles from their house and then you blogged about it and it was like internet kismet!

Anonymous said...

Oh my - he does look a bit scared. ;) Seriously though, if you have a prom and cant dance what is it then - just like a social where you get dressed up and hang out?!
Erin R

lynne said...

My mind boggles with the thought of having so many choices of soda!!!
Um,do they have Dandelion and Burdock?

Anonymous said...

I am so angry I don't live near a freaking sonic.

Anonymous said...

I am even angrier now. I just went online and New York doesn't have any Sonics!!!! This sucks.

Rhonda said...

I'm a Texas girl and totally agree with you - Sonic is the BOMB!

Now on to the dress - I graduated from high school in 1983 and that prom picture looks dangerously similar to mine! I wore a lovely lavender tiered dress too! BUT....I had the gorgeous babies breath intertwined in my hair!

Kathryn said...

I am seriously in love with Sonic's Java Chillers. Oh, they are wonderful.

Anonymous said...

Breakfast Bistro from Sonic...or cheddar bites...yum.

Denise said...

Kristie - I share your love and obsession for Sonic. I was introduced to Sonic as a kid on trips to the south to visit my grandparents in Tennessee and I became obsessed. In my grandparents small town in TN there is one and I would beg to each their everyday...of course as I could drive I DID eat their everyday. I have since introduced my husband and boys to Sonic and now 2 of 3 of the boys share my same obession. I live in Michigan where the climate didn't fit with their style due to our winters, but guess what? We got our first Sonic which opened in May about 30 minutes from my home. It has been so busy since it opened that we waited for the hype to die down a bit. Last weekend we decided it had been a month so we would go now. We drove the 30 minutes only t get their and realize it was a 30-40 minute wait. Well by golly with 3 Sonic lovers in the car we waited. It was so delicious, in fact I would have to say it was one of the BEST sonic experiences I had had in many years. According or our local paper the owners who built have a contract with sonic to open 14 or 15 more in the next 5 years. As luck would have one is slated to be within 10 minutes in my hometown. Now I would and will drive the 30 minutes again for Sonic, but look forward to one being so close. Sorry for the long winded typing, but I just had to share. Take Care!

Anonymous said...

I just read in the newspaper that the first Minnesota Sonic has arrived!

Time for a field trip!

My husband and I were lucky enough to have known of Sonic during our Texas days, long ago, but our kids'll love it!


Melissa in Mn said...

I have already been to the new Minnesota Sonic twice, although I gotta tell you that there really is a LONG wait right now. Slushies were totally worth it though!

Stacey said...

I visit Sonic daily. I always get a large diet coke with extra ice. I just love the ice!!! My kids love the grilled cheese. We have 4 sonics in my town. Couldn't live without it.

Anonymous said...

That was the best post I have read in a while. I know the feeling about the lack of a sonic. When we were stationed at Ft. Meade Maryland there was no sonic near us I think the closest one was VA. People didn't even know what a sonic was.(what a shame)What I wouldn't have done in those days for a nice Cherry Limeade slush!!!!! I eat Healthy now blah so I don't get to enjoy it; But I will always have my memories of it and I still steal a drink or two when my son wants sonic. The sonic back home has people still on roller skates the one here in San Antonio though are just bum kids...oh well... Great Post I hope you get free passes the only thing better then sonic is FREE SONIC!!!

Mrs. Who said...

Well, we are lucky here in Lexington, Kentucky to have a couple of Sonics here in town - one about 10 minutes away. I guess I took it for granted that everyone had Sonic so the next time I get a cheeseburger, tater tots and a Sugar-Free limeade, I will think out you poor saps! (And you should contact Sonic and send them this post. The worst that can happen is that you never hear anything.)

Becky, in N. TX said...

Oh Kristie,

I went to my 20th high school reunion a few years ago. And, guess what? Some freaking retard (really smart guy) that I can't EVEN remember from school days is now the CFO for Travolta Enterprises!!!! WTF....wish I had paid more attention to that one in school.

Jacqueline said...

To the Chicago reader...I just read yesterday that Sonic is going to open like 30 stores in the Chicago area.
How fitting is it that I had Sonic for dinner last night? I still have a sundae that I didn't eat up in the freezer.
I love Sonic so much...the coneys...the chili cheese fries and tots...the cheddar bites...the's the best place, and I feel sorry for people who don't have one close by.
As for inside Sonics...I think the one in Bricktown is an inside Sonic, and I think the one in Medicine Park might also be (I know they have a drive thru, which freaked me out)...but yeah, Sonic is amazing...try a Cherry Chocolate Dr Pepper!

Kristie said...

Jacqueline, I completely forgot that the one in Bricktown *IS* a sit-down one ... there are probably others, as well. And yep, most of them here are adding drive-throughs. The Sonic in Warner Robins, where we used to live, was warp-speed. You could order through the drive through .. NO cars in line ... and by the time you got to the window they had your drink ready to hand you. I never did figure out how they did it so fast, but I sure wasn't complaining!! :)

Cathy said...

I, too, share your passion for Sonic. I first happened upon Sonic on a trip to Texas a few years ago. The drive-up aspect made it feel so old fashioned and fun. (Although, since then I have found that not all servers are quite as polite and fun!)

I fell in love with their breakfast burritos, tater tots and something that I believe was called a Sunshine (Sunrise?) Smoothie. Oh, and Limeade!

How cool is it that they have grilled cheese for the kids? Love it!

We have nary a one in San Diego, but did have the pleasure of Sonic when we went to my son's wedding in May.

Now my dreams are filled with Sonic once again. (And, as you can tell, my arteries are probably plagued with plaque!)

lynie said...

My nephew just got a job at our only Sonic! Not sure what that is going to do to the place....:o)

My fave is the blended rootbeer float...could drink them alllllll

lynie said...

And I forgot to add that I think
Mr. CEO-dudes ruffled shirt is
way more impressive than your

Anonymous said...

Sadly, I don't live near any Sonics, but I am willing to drive 40 minutes even with gas at almost $5 a gallon to get a pineapple milk shake....or one of the sandwiches on toast....or onion rings....or Diet DP....but for sure a pineapple Milkshake.


Renee said...

Steve's cute but Blaine ROCKS. Nice dress -- I think I wore the same one in red to my prom. Aren't the ruffles great? And the feathered hair? Just need to remind you that our Sonic has Happy Hour from 2-5!

Monica H said...

We went on vacation for 2 weeks and when we got back yesterday we realized they built a new Sonic in our back yard. Kinda weird- kinda exciting. I love their breakfast tacos, tater tots, coneys and limeades- yum!

Also, we have a sit down restaurant here in Austin, TX. At this same restaurant, they have 4 drive thru lanes, but you have to pull up to the window to get your food. No parking and eating at this one.

Cate said...

Sonic Apple Juice Slush. End of discussion. Bend, OR just got their very first one.

The lines are unreal, so I just hit it for happy hour right now.

Julie said...

I was going to tell you about the sit-down Sonic in Bricktown but someone beat me to it. I take my class to OKC every other year for an overnight field trip and we go there for lunch one day. By the way, I can take my kids for two days in OKC what it would cost for one day in Wichita. It's insane!
My cousin who has lived all over the US and in England had never had a cherry limeade (or regular limeade) until one summer she visited Kansas. She will never be the same.

Stacie from MN said...

We do not have a sonic near us in MN, but this past weekend, my husband had a weekend away with no kids. It wasn't too hard to pick where we should was either Sioux Falls, SD or Des Moines, IA. Why, you ask? Because those are the 2 closest Sonic's! It's the Cherry Limeades. Seriously, although they do sell something called Cherry Limeade at the grocery store, it is not the same!

Lucia said...

I saw a sonic whilst at my aunties on holiday in PA at christmas and thought of you! I looked on the sonic website (being english had never heard of it) and I doubt they would ever let the menu be sold over here sadly. Can I just ask, what are "tater-tots?" are they the same as mashed potatoes?


Lucia said...

Also, I fell in love with cheese fries whilst in the USA. I must return for some one day! We only try to cheese and chilli combo with nachos here in England.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
lizinsumner (aka soniclessinseattle) said...

well, I for one LIKE the dress....although I'm a bit confused about how one "proms" without dancing - and also, how the heck there was even a school ANYWHERE in America in the 1980's that didn't allow dancing - you weren't on, like, a "Juniper Creek"-type compound or something, were you???!! (The HBO fans like me will get the reference anyway, I'm sure....). Also - another question that I just HAVE to ask - what's the big deal about styrofoam cups?? I don't get it. Maybe because I'm up here next to Seattle which is the GREEN capital of the world (and I'm NOT talking the color of our evergreens, folks - I swear, it's like a TOTAL religion up here to "go green" and some of us already HAD a religion and are being dragged, kicking and screaming into the green one because, let's face it, we grew up in the sixties when everyone just threw everything away and that's what our lazy butts are used to)...but, I digress PLUS I think I just beat Kristie out for the world's longest run-on sentence....but, I really DON'T get the styrofoam thing.....

Mama Bear said...

I love that Steve has the same haircut that you did! haha!

No Sonics this far north. I've heard of them but have never had the experience. On the other hand, you've probably never experienced Abbott's frozen custard, Beef on Weck or "real" Buffalo wings.

Jacqueline said...

LOL @ Juniper Creek...I don't think Kristie is Mormon...but hey, I could be wrong...Southern Baptist sounds more like it...actually all the Mormons I've known had dances at their wards.
Mmm...tater tots are a thing of wonder...I can't believe there are places in the world where they still don't exist!
For the record, indoor Sonics freak me out :D

Tracey in Calgary said...

Ok, there are Sonic's in ND, in Fargo, Bismark and Grand maybe on the way to my SIL's cabin in MN, we can manage to stop on the way!....since MN has no Sonic, what's up with THAT?? LOL
No Sonic's in Canada, what a tragedy!! lol

Stefunkc said...

After 10 days on Disney property with no Sonic I was having serious withdrawals. Shawn called last night while we were in route home to say that Sonic's home office had called and mentioned that their sales were down considerably and were wondering if I were out of town.

Smart mouth, isn't he?

Anonymous said...

Salem OR just got their first one too! Going there soon... because of you... :o)

Kelli In ORYGUN.

Denise said...

Oh Look! You both have the same haircut! (lol) At least I didn't comment on the dress!

Thanks for ALWAYS making us laugh!


Ang said...

Ok, I am literally drooling here! Sonic tater tots and banana cream pie shakes are just awesome!! Something about their hamburgers...just YUM! We discovered Sonic when we moved to coastal SC in '95....and since we've moved back to Ohio two years ago I am really, really seriously bummed, missing my Sonic fix! Of course my best friend from Texas usually rubs it in when she goes there!
Hubby found a Sonic in SE Ohio (but about 2-1/2 hours away) and we did stop there once. It's an indoor seating place, no drive up, but you have phones at each table and order from that phone, so it's still kind of cool. Though I have found out- a sonic just opened near my sister in Parkersburg, WV, and we are back and forth from her place quite often SO you know where I'm going EVERY trip I can!! :-D
Yes, I agree, I think Mr. Vaughn should at least give you a hefty bundle of gift certificates for you ad services. :-D

Hannah Chambers said...

I live in North Little Rock, Arkansas and am lucky to have MANY Sonic's within minutes of my house!

I'll take a Route 44 Sweet Tea cut in half, please! :)

However, in Little Rock (about 20 minutes from my house) there is a Sonic with an INSIDE! Yep, they do exsist! You place your order from your table by picking up the phone (located at every table/booth) and "call" it in! It's great!

Colleen said...

I'm cracking up here, Kristie! We just got back from Valdosta, Georgia where there was a Sonic right across the street from our hotel. Because of you, I knew about the Diet Dr Pepper in styrofoam cups. I went through at least a dozen of the Rt 44 size drinks in less than 4 days. Thanks for the info!! Please tell Steve Vaughn to build me a Sonic in the Chicago western suburbs. Thank him in advance for me.

Anonymous said...

So Kristie,

We had a Sonic open here in town in the last 3 months. We stopped by there yesterday for drinks and a kids corndog meal, and my husband asked me if he was supposed to tip the girl who brought our order to the car. I didn't think so, but maybe I'm wrong.... Do you tip at Sonic?

Pam in Princeton, WV

Ginny said...

I think my family is in the minority, but we don't really like the food at Sonic. We do, however, LOVE their drinks and desserts!

We live on Mtn. Home AFB, Idaho. Our closest Sonic is an hour away. We usually get a drink as soon as we get into town and another on the way out. lol Shakes, slushies, the Reese's heart is beating faster just thinking about them. Our Happy Hour here is from 2-5. I always get a watermellon slush with extra flavor. YUM!

I've made it my mission to introduce Sonic to all of our friends and family who come to visit. Some of them will say they're not thirsty and look at me like I'm crazy when I say they HAVE TO get a drink!