June 16, 2009

So I found a Sonic

A trip to Wilkes-Barre this weekend netted more excitement than I expected when I discovered a Sonic Drive-In.

I'll admit this wouldn't have been as exciting were it not for the absolute blitz of advertising I've been subjected to while watching sports over the past few years. As much as I hate to admit it, these snarky fun ads always made me want to eat at Sonic. The only problem was that I didn't know of any around me -- I've lived in Syracuse and Albany New York as well as Carlisle Pennsylvania while Sonic revved its advertising engine, and there are no Sonics in those places.

Judging from the line of cars in Wilkes-Barre, Sonic's ads managed to drive people to attend its newest location. Yes, I said line of cars. People were sitting in their vehicles, idling the engines while waiting for a slot in the drive-in to open up. The Sonic even deployed folks in reflective vests to direct traffic.

I just walked up to the picnic tables, but if I had to wait in line for a spot, I would have promptly headed down the road to grab food somewhere else. The food critique spins its wheels for no man or restaurant, after all.

Honestly, it wasn't even as if the food was that great. I had a Bacon Cheeseburger Toaster meal and later came back for an Orange Creamslush.

The toaster was okay -- it was a burger with some barbecue sauce stuck between two slices of buttered Texas toast bread slices. Ironically the bread wasn't toasted -- a touch that would have helped the meal live up to its name and bumped it up a spork. As it was I'd give it three and a half sporks out of five.

The drink was a big bonus. You can add all sorts of flavors to your soda. I chose to fill'er up with some cranberry in a Sprite, and it was delicious. Four sporks.

But those tots ... To paraphrase one of those aforementioned Sonic commercials, they should not have brought that weak tot action! No texture, little flavor ... a very disappointing one and a half sporks out of five. That's a huge letdown for an item I was eagerly anticipating.

When I returned for my Orange Creamslush I was more satisfied. It tasted like a mushed-up orangecicle, which is to say absolutely perfect. My only complaint about it was that it was gone too quickly. That's five spork material, folks.

In the end, I can't say I would have wasted gas waiting in line for the Sonic. That leaves me to ponder why everyone was running their engines to wait in line. Are people so lazy that they'll wait forever just to avoid having to get out of their cars to eat? Was it the novelty factor of a new eatery? Successful advertising?

Whatever the case, it would have been a long time to sit in a voluntary traffic jam to eat in a place that only pulled an average of 3.75 sporks in my tests. People would be more satisfied if they were waiting for drinks than if they were waiting for food, but who wants to sit in the car for 10 minutes so they can sit in the car for five more minutes and slurp a drink?

Here's my advice: Folks, wait until the crowds shift into a lower gear and you can drive right up. Sonic, don't you dare bring that weak food action again. It's time to kick off a drive to make your food better, or else you'll be running on empty.

1 comment:

  1. The thing about Sonic is, the food is just good enough to go there for how cheap it is. One big thing you didn't mention is I bet you paid less than $5 for everything. There are a ridiculous amount of things to order and every one of them is cheaper than a Big Mac meal at McDonalds.

    You hit it on the money with the drinks. Sonic's frozen / ice cream drink selection is outstanding and also quite tasty. Nice to see they are starting to expand.