A 5 yrl old's dream to set up a restaurant where quality rather then speed of service or low prices was given importance ...came into being after Ronn Tietlebaum sold his succesful mens fashion company ,to open Johnny Rockets in 1986 in the heart of Los Angeles.He named it after combining the timeless American " Johnny Appleseed" legend with the name of his favourite car, the classic Oldsmobile Rocket 88.
Johnny Rockets , UAE , has added new menu items and I was invited to a bloggers event to have a taste of what the American casual diner had in store for us. There are many American gourmet burger chains in UAE now as opposed to when they established here 19 years ago. So there is more competition and they are aware of this..
I usually donot go to American diners..unless I am really craving for a burger..but I wanted to understand their positioning in the food world and what would they be doing about the rising concern for the negative effects of such fare .
For starters, they served a platter of mozarella cheese sticks and the jalaepeno poppers.. the poppers were absolutely mouth watering with the right amount of chilli.With their introduction they have expanded their starter selection along with their existing sweet potato fries, chilli fries,onion rings , rocket winges and all the comfort food you can think of! Yes , all of these are fried and one can indulge in these only once in a while.
Then came the signature handcrafted burger..the Rocket Single, with a beef patty,which is 100% HALAL,farm raised certified Black Angus, Hormone free fresh beef which is not ever frozen, slice of fresh tomato and onion, crisp lettuce, cheddar cheese and a special sauce.
Served with their yummy coleslaw
Then came the new line of vegetarian options , the vegetarian double stacker sandwiches and the Route 66 Veggie stacker and a Jalapen -Cheddar Veggie Stacker.
The Route 66 Veggie stacker is a crunchy double stacked sandwich covered with sauteed mushrooms , caramalised onions, smothered in melted swiss cheese ,topped with shredded lettuce , sliced tomato and Chipotle ranch sauce.
The Jalapeno Cheddar veggie stacker ,a spicy double stacked sandwich..which has jalapenos instead of the mushrooms as above. This was a clear favourite...
They do have sandwhiches like the Tuna Melt , Chili cheese dog and a Philly steak sandwich on their menu...just hope they could introduce a meaty chicken hot dog too since most kids relish the chicken version too.
Apart from the Beef burgers , they do serve a selection of grilled and lightly breaded chicken burgers, some new items being; crispy chicken sandwich with their signature melrose sauce or a garlic teriyaki chicken which is a grilled and marinated chicken breast sandwich with their special teriyaki sauce amd and deep fried garlic.
At the end, there came the dessert selection of delicious cheesecake ,double chocolate fudge and Strawberry melba...all worth a try.
I was quite pleasantly surprised when I was told that they reduced the portion sizes of the meals, the burgers are now 100 gms rather than the previous weight of 150 gms with a reduction in price too.And added the option to make their burgers into a DOUBLE, if anyone wants more. They have surely been llistening to customer feedback !
The senior management was present ,talking to each one of us about their new food items, their vision in the UAE ,taking feedback.
I do commend them for the bold step they have taken to reduce portioning and left it to the customers to choose the sizes they would like thus reducing wastage and showing responsibility towards the community and also recognizing the growing numbers of vegetarian customers.
An evening of indulgance in comfort food ... they do serve smiles and a fun experience while dining that lasts well after one has left the restaurant....I wish them all the best in their new endeavours and expansion in the Middle East.
Johnny Rockets , has 14 restaurants currently in the UAE and will expand in their home market -Dubai .
They do deliver throughout Dubai , Abu Dhabi and Ras al Khaima ,800-JOHNNY.
They have a breakfast selection too at their Dubai Marina Walk and Shk. Zayed Road restaurants.