Not Quite Singing the Praises of Johnny Rocket

Johnny Rockets
1644 Hillside Ave · (778) 406-2101
228C-1150 Douglas St · (250) 590-1170

El DeBarge’s tune “Who’s Johnny” will come to mind for a few who is not familiar with this burger chain. When I saw the signs by The Bay Centre of another burger chain opening up in this garden city, I was slightly curious. I’m aware of them since I see them nearly everywhere in Los Angeles, California, and I like the 50’s theme. Their first operation opened last year over the early Summer and the other had their grand opening at the start of Autumn. A few months later, I hope their consistency stabilizes, otherwise this franchise is in trouble.

A few of the ideas remain in their international operations — with vintage photos decorating the walls and a few stock furnishings — but the image is not complete. The only holdovers are with the condiments sitting at every table instead of walking up to a center kiosk like in a MacDonald’s or A&W. If I want to the real deal, like visiting Arnold’s from Happy Days, someone needs to develop time travel technology.

Before considering writing about this operation, I had to visit more than one time to ensure the first meal was not a fluke. There’s a curious inconsistency with their burger patty when considering the number of various burgers offered. One visit had the very puffy meaty patty which I thoroughly enjoyed; the texture was perfect. The next time I was in, I ordered a different burger and I wanted to scream where’s the beef? The only good part of the Smoke House was the onion ring.

I should have been fuming, but the milkshakes makes up for the space oddity. I found leftover chunks of strawberries which did not meet the blades of the blender. These are flash frozen product so it an be offered year ’round and I can live with this fact! This drink is almost authentic, but over the summer, I will have to make comparisons.

This summer delight will have me over during that season than this current cold spell this city has. As for the burger, it’s a hit and miss affair. Let’s just hope this chain does not get Lost in Space because of all the competition out there.

3½ Blokes out of 5


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