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Sonic Drive-In

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    Score: 3.00. Votes: 1

    Troy Smith isn't the one who came up with the idea to use an intercom system in the parking lot so that customers could pull up to order, and then eat while still in their cars. He was inspired by another hamburger stand he saw while driving through Louisiana, and had the same system designed for his place. Today Sonic is the only major fast food chain still incorporating the nearly 50-year old service concept. And just as in the '50s, roller-skating carhops still bring the food right to the car window so diners can stay comfortably seated behind the wheel. 

    This is a flavor variation of Sonic's signature Cherry Limeade.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes: Sodas, Smoothies, Spirits & Shakes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.68. Votes: 22

    Here's the signature drink from the chain that revived the old-school drive-up burger joint. In 1953 Troy Smith obtained the parcel of land in Shawnee, Oklahoma that was big enough to fit the new steakhouse and root beer stand he had always dreamed about. Troy thought he'd make the steakhouse his primary operation, but as it turned out folks preferred the hot dogs and cold drinks over at the root beer stand. Troy did the smart thing and ditched the steakhouse to focus all his efforts on the other restaurant. At first he called the root beer stand "Top Hat," but when Troy found out later that name was already being used, he came up with "Sonic" to signify "service at the speed of sound." Today the chain is the sixth largest hamburger outlet in the country. 

    This Sonic cherry limeade copycat recipe makes a simple, old-fashioned drink by combining Sprite with cherry juice and some lime wedges. Use cherry juice made by Kool-Aid under the brand-name Jammers for the best home hack.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes: Sodas, Smoothies, Spirits & Shakes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.43. Votes: 23

    Sonic Drive-in is best known for its retro 50's theme, where carhops on roller skates bring you burgers, onion rings, corn dogs, and tasty milkshakes. These easy-to-make milkshake clones are crazy delicious. Re-create the straight peanut butter version, or add a little fudge and you've got what tastes like a creamy Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. Good stuff, man.

    I'll bet you're craving a Sonic Burger right about now. Click here for more Sonic copycat recipes.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 3.00. Votes: 1

    These awesome Sonic ice cream shakes are unique—the graham cracker crumbs in the mix make them taste like a creamy chilled pie, crust and all. Delicious. You can either crumble up your own graham crackers or use the already ground stuff in a box that's often used to make graham cracker pie crusts. 

    Source: Top Secret Recipes: Sodas, Smoothies, Spirits & Shakes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 2

    The cool thing about this Top Secret Recipe is that many of the ingredients come in a kit designed for making strawberry cheesecake. Find Jell-O No Bake Strawberry Cheesecake Mix near the puddings in your supermarket and you have half of the ingredients locked up. Inside the box are three separate packets: strawberries in syrup, the cheesecake mix powder, and graham cracker crumbs. You'll also need vanilla ice cream, a cup of milk, and some canned whipped cream. Toss the first four ingredients below in a blender until smooth, fill 2 glasses, and then top off the shakes with whipped cream and graham cracker crumbs from the kit. Everyone will freak out when they suck strawberry cheesecake through a straw. The recipe below makes 2 regular size shakes, but you can make another 2 shakes using up the remaining strawberries from the cheesecake kit. If you get some additional strawberries in syrup, you can make as many as 8 more shake clones with the remaining cheesecake mix powder and graham cracker crumbs.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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    By 1978 there were more than 800 Sonic Drive-Ins in 13 states, but throughout the 1960s and 1970s there were no standardized procedures in place for franchisees. Recipes varied from restaurant to restaurant, so loyal customers never knew what their burger would taste like when visiting a new location. This inconsistency caused a sharp decline in business, and by the 1980s Sonic was in trouble. A new management team came on board in the mid-'80s and established standard franchise procedures and a Sonic Management School that turned the company around. Sonic redesigned all stores with a "retro-future" look, and today business is booming. These days a jalapeno burger that you purchase in Seattle, Washington, is guaranteed to look and taste the same as one purchased near Sonic's headquarters in Oklahoma City. How many jalapeno slices can you handle on your burger? Now you can find out.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.25. Votes: 8

    Any Sonic Drive-In regular knows the three or four unique fountain drink favorites on the menu: there's the Limeade, the Diet Limeade, and, of course, the Cherry Limeade. But that bright blue stuff called Ocean Water has become a recent favorite for anyone who likes the taste of coconut—it's like pina colada soda. The server squirts a bit of blue coconut syrup into some cold Sprite. The big secret to duplicating this at home is re-creating that syrup. After that's done, make the drink as they do at the restaurant in less time than it takes to say, "Does my blue tongue clash with what I'm wearing?"

    Source: Top Secret Recipes: Sodas, Smoothies, Spirits & Shakes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Driving through Louisiana in 1953, Troy Smith discovered a hamburger stand that had installed an intercom system to speed up ordering. Troy thought the idea of ordering food from parked cars would be perfect for his Top Hat Restaurant in Stillwater, Oklahoma. He borrowed a bunch of cars from a friend who owned a used car lot and parked the cars in a row as a guide to form stalls around his restaurant. He wired an intercom system to the stalls and renamed his drive-in "Sonic" with the slogan "Service with the Speed of Sound." The new concept was a smash, and revenues for the redesigned hotdog and hamburger stand doubled during the first week. There are no secret ingredients in this clone of Sonic's signature hamburger, just common hamburger components. The secret is how you stack the ingredients that makes this burger taste like a sonic burger.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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    Word quickly spread through Oklahoma of Sonic's early success in the 1950s. One day Sonic Drive-In founder Troy Smith noticed a man measuring car stalls that surrounded the restaurant. Troy went to see what was going on, and the man introduced himself as Charles Woodrow Pappe, an entrepreneur. Charles said he was trying to figure out why the stalls were different sizes and if this had something to do with the booming business at the restaurant. Troy explained that he lined up several cars from his friend's used car lot to lay out the stalls and that the varying stall sizes were not part of the business plan—the cars he used were different sizes. The two men hit it off after that, and Charles eventually became the first franchise owner of a Sonic Drive-In, in Woodward, Oklahoma, in 1956. This burger variation is similar to the signature Sonic Burger, but with smoky BBQ sauce instead of mayo, and no pickle or sliced tomato.   

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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    One day in 1958, when Top Hat restaurants were operating in several Oklahoma cities, lawyers informed founder Troy Smith that Top Hatwas already a copyrighted name and that he would have to make some hasty changes. The chain's partners searched for a name that summed up the company motto: "Service at the Speed of Sound." They agreed that the name Sonic had a nice ring to it.

    Sonic is now the country's fifth-largest hamburger chain and boasts some amazing statistics. For example, if you were to take all of the hamburger patties Sonic served last year and stack them up, they would be as tall as 2,576 Empire State Buildings stacked one on top of the other. 

    If you like your burgers with a spicy kick and dig mustard, try this reduced-fat clone for one of Sonic's tastiest creations.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–1 sandwich
    Total servings–1
    Calories per serving–400 (Original–380)
    Fat per serving–10.5g (Original–16g)

    Source: Low-Fat Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur. 

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