Showing posts with label sonic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sonic. Show all posts

Monday, April 24, 2017

Fast Food Oversaturation In Wareham?

If your doctor told you that you needed more cholesterol, you might want to get into the Fatmobile and bring the pod to East Wareham.

Sonic Drive-In, an Oklahoma-based restaurant chain that banks much green in the South, is slowly edging into Massachusetts. They have set their sites on Wareham, via the Patel family, owners of a bunch of Taunton-area convenience stores.

We had to go to Somerset to get these pics, but of course you know that I stopped for a salad on the way and didn't eat any artery-clogging fast food. We include the pictures for SE Massachusetts people who have never been to a Sonic. They're rare around here.

The same area of Wareham is also getting an Olive Garden.

As near as I can tell, the Sonic is going onto the property currently occupied by an oil-change shop, so your fries will have a Pennzoil taste to them. The Olive Garden is said to be going across the street from Barnacle Bill's.

How much is too much?

A lonely stretch of East Wareham is now host to a veritable takeout Mecca. You can get Burger King, Subway, McDonald's, D'Angelo's, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Taco Bell, Wendy's, Krua Thai, Pizza Boy, Rice Bowl and Dunkin Donuts. I'm not throwing Papa Gino's, Lindsay's or Bailey's into the mix, as you can't order from your car there. I'm pretty sure that the 99 only closed because the building floods in heavy rains.

It's the Cardiac Highway!

We're not Food Snobbing anyone. Stephen, one of our writers, hasn't cooked his own food since 2011 or so. However, about one hundred yards of East Wareham, a depressed region of a small town, now has every fast food place in the Northeast.

They could use a White Castle or a Carl Jr's/Hardee's, but there is only so much Cranberry Highway.

Buzzards Bay had a Burger King fail, which isn't easy. Other than the Hooters: Cape Cod and the Falmouth/Kingston Pizza Huts, it is the most high profile failure of a major fast food chain in the area.

You order off this screen, into the sort of speaker that you used to see at drive-in theaters. Someone skates out with it, and you get into the goods. I need both glasses and a taller car.

Jessica and I passed on the tater tots, as I ate them every day for 4 years in high school. I got the SuperSonic Bacon Double Cheeseburger (pictures below), which came with fries and a soda for about $10. The burger was a-ight, but the fries were Ore-Ida quality.

My meal had over 1500 calories and 2200 milligrams of sodium before I counted the milkshake (it had about 3000 calories with the milkshake... meanwhile, famine victims in refugee camps are happy to get 1200 calories a day), and the unknowable portion sizes makes it impossible to gauge how many calories I stole from Jessica's food. The recommended daily allowance for sodium is 3400 mg, but I consider that to be a piddling sum ascribed to a 105 pound woman. I'm a slim 240 man, so I should get to have twice as much sodium as mortals are allowed. I plan on buying a salt lick and just posting it up in my office somewhere.

I didn't get a pic of it, but when I took the bun and tomato off of the burger, it looked somewhat like William Dafoe.

Jessica got the Chicken Strips Sampler Platter, which was 3 whack strips, more Ore-Ida fries, and onion ring and some toast. That also ran ten bucks, and you can see it below somewhere.

Jessica's chicken did not look like a celebrity.

My man Hardcore Logo got the Chicken Strips Kids Meal, which came with a shake and some Justice League stickers. He didn't let me steal any of it.

The rollerskater (who was a guy) was friendly enough. He's out hustling for his dollar, so I'm not making fun of him. I have had worse jobs. He was the first fast food employee I have ever tipped, aside from the Dunkin' and Marylou's girls.

That's your restaurant review. I made my journalistic bones as a sportswriter. Stacey's French, but she also isn't writing this article. We did go from Cape Cod to Somerset for these pictures, so we deserve some credit.

They must have been out of the Brazilian Man rollerskating waitress neon signs, which is understandable.

Does the population of Wareham have enough kids who know how to roller skate to staff a Sonic these days? You may not want to go there until the girls get their skating legs under them, lest you get a milkshake to the face (doh!) like the cop in the Happy Days intro.

Will this be enough for Sonic- who for some reason can't seem to come to some sort of spokesmanship agreement with the Sega hedgehog- to hold up on the Cranberry Highway against the heavyweights?

We'll goof on the Olive Garden in some future article where we have pictures of one. We consider going to an Olive Garden for Italian food to be akin to going to Red Lobster for seafood. It works if you don't have Italians around to call BS on it.

Olive Garden competing against Mezza Luna should be a devastating loss, but people like franchises. Don't count the OG out of it by any means.

Here's Jesse's dinner. I stole her onion rings before the picture could be taken... because I'm eeeeeevil.

Note that Sonic and Olive Garden are two more businesses who declined to move into (and perhaps revive) the Main Street area of Buzzards Bay. The only big names willing to dance with Buzzards Bay are Subway and Dunkin' Donuts, and we know that Dunkin' would set up in Aleppo if they were allowed.

How much fast food can one region consume? Will the added presence of Sonic be too much for BK or lil' Miss Wendy to bear? Wendy's in Wareham is sort of smelly, and Sonic may just walk them out behind the barn and put them out of their misery.

... or maybe Wareham needs more fast food? Does more fast food exist? Wahlburgers may be a bit high end. I'm not sure if Jack In The Box still exists. In-n-Out Burger or Phatburger (Fatburger?) may not make it here. I'm not sure if dropping a White Castle in Buzzards Bay or East Wareham works, especially for B Double. Chick Fil-A will help along people looking for a less gay-friendly chicken sandwich, but would you run the Bourne rotary for one?

Will the East Wareham economy survive if it is reduced to a bunch of people selling shoddy hamburgers to each other? If that happens, will employees eventually just be paid in hamburgers?

Will the very town of Wareham fracture along supper preference lines, with the higher-end West Ham and their Longhouses and Red Robins break away from their more ghetto McChicken-eating cousins in East Wareham?

Only time will tell.

Playing ring toss with onion rings makes the hardened arteries well worth it.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Sonic Expanding Into Massachusetts

Smithfield, RI
I have friends who don't eat fast food in any form. They're the smart ones, no doubt, and nature should reward them with longer lives and slimmer waistlines. Pulling into one of these fast food joints literally takes minutes from your lifespan... but we're all dying at some point, right?

Once you go all in and commit, part of the fast food lifestyle is discriminating between different brands. Some people have no brand loyalty at all. Others will deliver an Eff Wendy's rant while holding a quarter pounder that, when you peel the bun off of it, looks like that Noriega guy who used to run Panama.

What kills the fast food lifestyle for many is the paucity of choices. You have the King, you have Wendy, and you have Ronald. If your town or mall rules, you may also have a KFC or a Taco Bell... maybe even both in one store! The presence of a KFC/Taco Bell nearby was a selling point for me when I moved to Buzzards Bay, although this was before I met Jessica and started getting food that comes from the stove and so forth. A man can get used to that.

You still have to pull off the highway and get lunch in 3 minutes sometimes, and I cook poorly enough to invoke a situation where a Happy Meal is a safer nutritional choice than me trying to not burn chicken. At worst, Logan can at least make money suing McDonald's.

Now, Logan will also have the opportunity to get salmonella or Legionnaire's Disease from a new restaurant. Sonic Drive-In is setting her sights upon the virgin territory of New England.

Also known as Sonic, the Oklahoma burger joint has been spreading across the nation since her 1950s inception. She has been slow to come to New England, with just 4 stores in Massachusetts (Peabody, Lawerence, Wilmington and Stoughton) and one in Smithfield, Rhode Island. That ish is about to change, Big Man.

Sonic is expanding the franchise to Somerset, Massachusetts. My sources tell me that the new store opens on April 13th, just one week from when I'm typing this. You'll have to leave pretty early to beat me there. I've never even seen a Sonic, despite going to Florida recently (the only low-rent meal I had there was at a strip bar right when we got off the plane), and I'm long overdue.

I'm being told just now that they also have one working for nearby Swansea. Fall River and New Betty can't be far behind, at that point. Somerset was a bit behind schedule.

The chain has plans to open 36 franchises in the Greater Boston area. "Greater Boston" technically means the eastern third of Massachusetts sans the South Coast and Cape Cod, but it can mean whatever you need it to mean if you think that one will hit it big in Hyannis. I've even read estimates as high s 40 in some articles.They also plan for a smaller amount of franchises in New Hamster and Maine.

You'd better bring a lot of green to the Sonic man if you want to open a franchise. Don't even bother calling unless you have two milly in the bank. My people tell me that it would cost a million to build one up from the ground, or a half million to turn a financially-faltering Wendy's-type building into a Sonic.

If you hurry and establish one before anyone else within 50 miles does, you could have a novelty hit on your hands. Buzzards Bay should try to get one, it would really help their Main Street out.

From what I can see on the Sonic menu, it's the same garbage that you see at the other joints. Burgers, chicken strips, chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, fries and so forth.

They seem to have 8 different burgers, the most impressive being one mashed between two pieces of Texas toast. They also have 8 different kinds of hot dogs, each worse than the last.

They do have cool side order options, including chili fries, onion rings (a must in SE Massachusetts and extra-especially in Rhode Island)  and mother-loving tater tots. They seem to be shake and slush focused for drinks, although I'm sure that you can get a Coke if you need one.

They also have a Taco Bell-ian/Burger King-ish breakfast menu, but you gotta draw the line somewhere, kids.
If your burger sucks (and if you're armed), why not see if you can throw it into the face of the guy in the car next to you?

UPDATE: This column went to the Smithfield Sonic! We had just taken Twin River for a quick $150, and decided to live large for a meal.

You can go inside, or you can pull up to an individualized service screen parking spot. They have people who skate the food out to you... or run it out if you go when it's raining, like we did.

I do wonder if enough kids roller skate these days to fully staff a Sonic in a small ton. At least the Somerset one is within skating distance of Fall River.

If you eat inside, they take your order, give you a number, and run it out to you when it's ready.
I felt just like Richard Petty!
The food blows pretty hard, like the mighty North wind. We only have ourselves to blame, as we just got a Coney (what they call hot dogs), fries and a strawberry-banana shake. The shake was really good, I wish that I had another right now.

The food?

The hot dog was around the quality of what you'd get at a Food Mart-style gas station if you were fortunate enough to grab one right when it neared optimal temperature. The french fries had a Wal-Mart Great Value sort of taste and appearance, but they're edible if you hide them in ketchup. I did have a seagull refuse one, a first for me.

It stayed down, which is saying something. I can see a lot of this food being regurgitated out of a car window on side streets in Smithfield by people who stopped at a Sonic after a day spent defeating a 30 pack.


That's why they grow the more powerful strains of marijuana, folks.

I don't believe that they are endorsed by the hedgehog from the video game, although it seems that he'd work cheap and would be a natural. He might be in PETA or something.

Some franchises never take off in New England. Krispy Kreme is the most famous example, as New Englanders violently prefer Dunkin' Donuts. You also don't see Papa John, Domino's or Pizza Hut survive here long... we have too many serious Italians and Greeks running house-of-pizza shops around here to tolerate processed pizza. Taco Bell, however, usually does well wherever they put it.

How will Sonic fare? Only time will tell. I hear that Smithfield does 500 orders a day. I have no idea if that is a profitable rate.

Even with a poor review from this column, it behooves the fast food ninja to make the hajj to whatever Sonic opens near your home town. I wouldn't recommend driving to Rhode Island from Plymouth to get some Sonic, unless they open one in Wareham or Kingston.

We only got Sonic because we were gambling nearby, This is important, as we knew that we were writing a Sonic article, and we weren't planning to bother with the drive from Buzzards Bay. Things worked out for the best.