Monday, December 7, 2009

TBG (Finally) Eats: Sonic~!

Current Weight: 166.4 lbs.

Earlier this year – on April 6, to be exact – Sonic opened up a restaurant here in San Diego County. A few days after it opened – on April 11, to be exact – I readied my tongue for a taste of the Sonic Experience.

I finished up at my barbershop on a rainy Saturday morning and made the 10 mile drive into Santee. Sonic's main entrance was cordoned off but I could make out enough of the hand-scrawled, rain-washed sign to know that the temporary entrance was in the back.

With a single right turn, I was teleported into an amazingly accurate replica of the worst rush hour traffic imaginable.

A single line of cars stretched down this lonely side street as far as my eyes could see – and I've had LASIK, people. There was one poor Sonic-employed soul stationed at the entrance who was assigned the Herculean task of traffic control. I pulled up next to her, rolled my window down and before I could ask the question she'd surely been asked about a bazillion times to that point, she cheerfully told me, "The wait's about 45 minutes, but the line moves pretty fast!"

I made the mistake of spending a few precious seconds trying to wrap my mind around her statement, but was brought back to reality by the honking sound of several cars queued up behind me, eager to drive the length of the line – which formed on the opposite side of the street – to assume their place at the very, very end. I counted an even 50 cars, single file and idle, before I made like Starscream and

My fast food reviews are probably the most popular read here at TBG, but I wouldn't wait 45 minutes for a table in a restaurant with a bar and an HD big-screen. It sure as hell ain't happening within the confines of my four-door sedan and only the six listenable satellite radio stations at my disposal.

It took me 7 ½ months to make another attempt. Two weeks ago, I fully intended to hit 'em up, but my most recently-completed
steroid regimen had turned my stomach into a square knot. So, almost eight months to the day they opened, I successfully added Sonic to the list of accomplices for my eventual angioplasty.

Even though, I knew what I wanted before I pulled in, I still admired the menu like an out-of-town rube touring Times Square.

I pushed the call button with a childlike anticipation and ordered the "number 12" – a SuperSonic Breakfast Burrito with tater tots and a coffee. Blasphemy? Perhaps, but isn't 11:30 AM a little early for lunch? My "cheeseburger window" was established in college (12 noon until 6:00 AM the following morning) with the only other remaining hours all about breakfast.

My meal came out in about three minutes. I opened the nondescript brown paper sack in much the same way Jalen will be opening much more colorful wrapping paper later this month. There was a small mountain of "medium" tots and the burrito – wrapped nice n' tight – was a decent size for a fast food chain.

The tater tots were OK – just barely lukewarm and surprisingly chewy. My lack of Sonic etiquette was obvious, though, as customers are apparently supposed to ask for ketchup while the car-hop is handing over your food. Once he's gone, you’re a** is without ketchup. The breakfast burrito – according to Sonic's website – is: a medley of savory sausage, scrambled egg, melty [sic] cheese, tater tots, diced onions, ripe tomatoes and spicy jalapeños all wrapped up in a warm flour tortilla.

Points for the tots (which were crispier than my side order) and the peppers, but the sausage had an odd, bitter aftertaste, the onions aren't sautéed and the "melty" cheese is actually a small slice of American. Absolutely edible, but not among the fast food chain breakfast burrito elite like Carl's Jr.'s Loaded Breakfast Burrito or any of Jack in the Box's offerings.

Sonic's coffee, however, was crazy good. Of course, I'm grading on a curve, but considering the loose stool that passes for java in some fast food restaurants, Sonic's strong, flavorful blend was the best thing about my meal.

There's a new Sonic that opened up much closer to Stately Bootleg Manor in late October, so I'll give it another go with my family in tow.

Just as long as there ain't no wait.

Grade – SuperSonic Breakfast Burrito: 2.5 (out of 5)

Calories: 570; Fat: 36 g


Joe said...

I like Sonic but the ones around me always have like 10-15 minute wait times... meanwhile you can see cars zipping in and out of McDonald's at a rapid pace.

You should've stuck around Cam. If nothing else, you could have used the time to write another column about the random songs you hear on satellite radio.

Did you tip the carhop? I have friends that are staunch supporters of either tipping or not tipping them.

That Bootleg Guy said...

Wow, really? Tipping the carhop never even entered my mind although now that I think about it...

Now I feel bad, especially knowing that Black folk don't exactly have the best track record when it comes to tipping. I didn't mean to be part of the problem, Sonic!