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North Babylon: Sonic, not so super

An order with a chili cheese hot dog,

An order with a chili cheese hot dog, "Blast," fries and drinks rests on a table at the new Sonic in North Babylon. (April 25, 2011) Credit: Ed Betz

Sonic Drive-In opened this morning and you can read all about the frenzy here on FeedMe readers get the scoop on the food.

Many of the folks I talked to characterized Sonic’s quality as a step up from other burger chains, but the Sonic cheeseburger ($4.09) tasted pretty much like every other fast-food burger I have had. They tell me it’s cooked to order, that it's fully customizable … to me it was a thin disk of cooked meat topped with unripe tomatoes, iceberg lettuce, don’t make me go on.

The foot-long “Coney” hot dog ($3.59), topped with chili and cheese, was notable mostly for its length. Certainly the “Coney” did not take me back to the Coney Island of my childhood, where my parents introduced me to Nathan’s. Frankly, this dog didn’t measure up very favorably to one at the Nathan’s just a bit north on Deer Park Avenue.

Sonic does not publish the ingredients in its menu items, so I have no way of knowing if the “tots” actually contain “taters.” From the allergen guide on the company's website, I learned that they do contain soy, as do the French fries. For all that, I preferred the tots to the fries, which were wan and on the limp side. They both cost $1.89.

The best thing I ate was a Super Sonic Breakfast Burrito ($3.29) containing eggs, sausage, onions, tomatoes and sliced jalapenos; chalk it up to the immutable rule of the universe that everything tastes better in a burrito.

Sonic calls itself  “Your Ultimate Drink Stop” and claims that it offers more than 398,929 fountain drink and slush combinations to choose from. I ordered two popular ones: Cherry Limeade ($2.19) and something called “Ocean Water [$2.19], a refreshing blend of Sprite with Blue Coconut.” In a blind taste test, I WAS NOT ABLE TO TELL THEM APART. I made two other people try this and they couldn’t tell them apart, either.

I ended my meal with an insouciant little number, a Sonic Blast, “candy and real ice cream the way they should be. All mixed up.” This is one of those unholy mixtures that would have required both a straw and a spoon — had I been moved to take more than a taste.

Sonic is at 1380 Deer Park Ave., North Babylon, 631-242-2700.

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