Located in the pretty and quaint village of Fair Oaks, right off the American river trail, "Sunflower Drive-in" is the best vegetarian joint in the Sacramento area. It has apparently has been around since 1978! Even though it is called a "drive-in", one has to park the car and walk up to the window to order. Once you step out of the car, you will be greeted by a fleet of clucking chickens. There are a couple of wooden benches outside and a long wooden bench in an indoor area next to the kitchen, but the place is not designed to seat as many people as it attracts! It is particularly popular with the bikers who come off the American river trail.
Now, getting to the food, the "Nutburger" which is Sunflower's signature item, is simply divine! If you are going to Sunflower for the first time ever, you have to order either the "Nutburger" or better yet, the "Super Nutburger". In fact I have taken V there around 3 times now and he still orders the same, reluctant to try anything else on the menu. The "Nutburger" comes in a bun with lots of sprouts, greens, tomatoes and minced red onion and a creamy dressing. The "Super Nutburger" has the same fillings but comes in a pita bread. Being more willing to experiment, I have tried the "Nutty Taco", "Mushroom Millet Burger" and others, but I have to say that the nutburger remains my favorite! Oh, also they make very good milk shakes, and my favorite is the Banana Walnut milkshake. One "Nutburger" + a small Banana Walnut milk shake makes a satisfying filling lunch, especially after a good hike or bike ride.
V and I went for a late lunch this time and still found the place to be busy. We ordered and then found a seat inside. Food does take around 20 mins to get to the table, but it is worth the wait! V ordered the Super Nutburger and a small berry walnut shake, and I ordered the Nutty Taco and a small banana nut shake, and the bill came to around $25.
V started chatting with one of the guys that worked there and found out that they do not have any branches, but they do sell frozen patties, limit 6 per customer for $1.80 per burger. Of course we got some! Wish they would open a branch in the bay area!