Johnny Rockets started in the 1980s as a place to escape a complicated world and experience uncomplicated goodness of Americana. Johnny Rockets is filled with potential and just one visit to their site and you’ll sense the culture that they are trying to instill. Now for the Johnny Rockets tagline of The Original Burger. After sitting down our waitress was nice enough to highlight The Original and The #12 as the best burgers at Johnny Rockets. One has their special chili ketchup and one is the original, I think you can tell which is which.
First off, my first Johnny Rockets experience was at the new Lehi, Utah location on Cabela’s Blvd. Surrounded by new outlet shopping and great views Johnny Rockets is set up for success with a great location and sparkling sign. I walked into a great layout with a fun diner style and plenty of seating with the staff being very welcoming and we were seated quickly. That’s when the energy and atmosphere became less exciting and more like I was in a local fast food establishment with unhappy high school kids reluctantly standing around. Maybe a bad day but that was the vibe and it was uncomfortable.
The food was ok. It wasn’t super busy but the wait was substancial and although the ketchup was presented beautifully on small plates for the children with character drawings, the service and food was mediocre at best. I went with The #12 and regular fries to start out with and was underwhelmed. I’d venture to say that perhaps if this location had a drive thru window or was a serve yourself type of place it would have gone over better but my drink was refilled once at the end of our lunch when the check was dropped off and my wife’s was empty the entire visit. The #12 needed a fresh bun but the ingredients were good. The special chili ketchup is nice but overall there wasn’t anything there that made me want to crave a second visit. The fries were average and the overall atmosphere was visually exciting but the people aspect left me wanting more.
From what I’ve read on their site and the overall vibe of what Johnny Rockets could/should be, I’m thinking that if you are in California you may have a better experience but as the locations venture out it doesn’t feel like the employees are buying into the vision. I’ll go back when I’m older and try a different burger but more out of duty and less because I’m really wanting to go. Good luck.