**Originally published on 09/13/2014
I’ve been to Johnny Rockets many times over the years. The first time when I was a preteen down in the United States. Back then they didn’t have any locations in Canada but they do now and I’ve been a few times. I went again today, this time with the ideology that I would be reviewing the burger experience.
Now a quick history on what I thought of the burger up until today. I can’t remember the times in the States but when they first opened here their burger was delicious. Delicious with a price. It was a fresh patty (well two of them) and the requisite toppings of mustard, ketchup, tomato, onion, lettuce and pickles. It was a decent bun and although the fries were the regular frozen variety they were cooked perfectly and were mouth wateringly delicious. But it cost, with a coke and after tipping, somewhere close to twenty five bucks. For a double burger and fries and a drink?
That was around 2009 or 2008 or something like that. Cut to 2011 (these dates are made up but are as close to actual as I can remember) and I go to Johnny Rockets and lo and behold they have lowered their prices. I can now get a burger for virtually the same price as before but it actually comes with fries. If I order the same thing as before I save four bucks. Not bad.
So I order the same thing and the fries are damn fine but the burger, oh my god, the burger. It sucked. What did they do? They lowered the price by lowering the quality. The burger felt and tasted like a prepackaged no care taken burger from your run of the mill grocery store. Yuck!!! Then I go back in 2012 and not only do the burgers still suck but those (best frozen fries ever–except for McDonald’s of course) suck too. Gone is the crispy on the outside and hot and tasty on the inside and instead we got limp and not so great tasting crap.
Cut to today and I go in and order the same thing as always. It’s been at least 10 months since I last had Johnny Rockets and I wasn’t expecting much. I ordered the usual, got my Coke and sipped it while waiting. Then the food came.
The fries were… better than before but not as good as they used to be. This time they were the same thick cut, but were skin on and tasted okay. Just okay. Not terrible but not great. They were nothing to write home about.
But the burger… The burger was back baby! It was yummy! It was fresh! It was tender! It was delicious! I guess they re-upped their quality, something that you need to do in today’s world. This burger was freshly griddled (or smashed) and it was the right size for the bun. Yep, a good sign of a good burger is when you have one bite left of the burger and it contains the last of the patty and the last of the bun. Gone was the sort of tough and bland taste and retuned was the quality of old. Almost.
It was very good yes but it still doesn’t compare to a lot of places out there. And for it’s price (after tip twenty one bucks) it was a little bit expensive. The beef had a good flavour if still a tad on the bland side. The toppings too were alright but nothing spectacular. There was no bite from the pickles, and very little little crisp in the shredded iceberg lettuce, Everything tasted fine on their own but were almost tasteless when all mixed together.
With the Johnny Rockets burger nothing really stood out to make theirs the best or one of the best burgers in the GTA but overall it was still a very pleasant eating experience. And after today I would most definitely, with out hesitation, return.
So Johnny Rockets seems to have returned to their former great glorious standards. Not as good as they once were but pretty damn close. I’d recommend this burger, if you have the money, in a heartbeat but with that said there are better burger experiences out there.
Out of 7 Johnny Rockets scores 5