Once Mariner has Boimler on board with her plan to fight for her mother’s innocence, they must find the Cerritos, who are in secure spacedock. To find it they need Ensign Rutherford, one of the few engineers who may have been kept on board to dock the ship and who may know where it is. When they find him, he’s having dinner at a famous “Star Trek” joint, a legendary Earth restaurant called Sisko’s Creole Kitchen.
Not only is the restaurant a nod to “Deep Space Nine” Captain Benjamin Sisko, but it’s also an in-universe meal on Earth that we’ve seen before. In fact, Sisko made his first on-screen appearance in two episodes in Season 4 of DS9. It has been owned by Ben Sisko’s father, Joseph Sisko, for decades, and Captain Sisko himself practically grew up in the restaurant. The Lower Decks premiere Grounded marks its first appearance since 1999, when it was featured in the final season of DS9.
In this episode, the restaurant is identical to its previous appearance as the animation team obviously did a perfect job of recreating its facade and interior. We even get a glimpse of the alligator hanging from the ceiling, mentioned in the DS9 episode “Homefront.”