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Free Food at Johnny Rockets

June 23, 2017

I’m trying to remember the last time I was in a Johnny Rockets.

Back in Miami, when I was in high school, I very clearly remember when this burger chain came to town. I loved the 50s vibe. The Americana. The simple menu. The personal touches, like having ketchup poured for you by the server.

In those early days it was fun to bring some nickels for the mini jukeboxes and watch the staff sing and dance to Aretha. Because that was part of the package too.

Even after moving to California, I went to the Johnny Rockets maybe once or twice out by Fisherman’s Wharf. Partially to try and recapture some of those fond memories of my youth, but it was also one of the few reasonably priced places to eat out in the tourist-trap section of the city.

That means it has probably been at least fifteen years since I’ve been to one of these restaurants. So when I was invited to yesterday’s grand opening of the new outpost in Albany’s Times Union Center, I decided to give it a go and see what it is about. And thanks to their generosity, I even have some free meal vouchers to give away to a few FLB readers.

This new location is definitely a departure from the concept that popularized Johnny Rockets, but that has also gotten tired over the years. The inside looks more like a typical casual dining restaurant than a recreation of a 50s diner. There are big televisions everywhere, and in lieu of a soda fountain, there’s a large central bar.

The menu is also greatly expanded from the four, maybe five items I remember from the distant past.

I went with Little Miss Fussy, and I got her out of her plain burger comfort zone with her first ever bacon cheeseburger. Sure, Tony Bourdain may have had a soul sucking experience at an airport Johnny Rockets, but this was not that.

Our patty was well seared, the bun was toasted, and the bacon was thick enough to be substantial without being overbearing. And I have to say, after coming off the Tour de Burger, the Johnny Rockets bacon cheeseburger was definitely tastier than some of the sandwiches we were served at a couple of local summertime institutions.

The best thing, however, was the strawberry Oreo milk shake. I didn’t expect to like it. But it was free and came highly recommended. There were two things that made this better than expected.

For starters, the whipped cream was light and delicious. No fake whipped topping here. But more importantly the Oreo component wasn’t actually Oreos at all. They were Oreo cookie crumbles without the sweet and greasy centers. So it was more like a strawberry shake studded with crisp dark cocoa cookie bits, which is a very clever way to make the chocolate and strawberry flavor combination work in milkshake form.

Now, it wouldn’t be fair to fully evaluate a place based on the grand opening event. So I will be going back to see how it holds up when the top brass isn’t there keeping an eye on things, and when the staff isn’t totally overwhelmed from seating an entire restaurant in a matter of minutes.

So who wants a voucher to go and try it for themselves? Each one is good for a single burger or sandwich, fries, and a soda. They don’t expire until 12/31/2017 and I’ve got four to give away. I would have offered these in pairs, but the fine print says, “One offer per table. Valid for dine-in only. Tax and tip not included.”

To get one, simply say so in the comment section below. And if there are more comments than vouchers, I’ll let random.org do the choosing next Thursday night, June 29. Good luck and have a good weekend.

20 Comments leave one →
  1. June 23, 2017 10:32 am

    Sure, I’ll bite!

  2. Sue Hyland permalink
    June 23, 2017 10:42 am

    Would love a coupon for a free meal

  3. June 23, 2017 10:46 am

    I would love a voucher to Johnny Rockets – thanks for the chance to get one! r

  4. Buffsoulja permalink
    June 23, 2017 10:52 am

    Yeah why not?

  5. Sara Berg permalink
    June 23, 2017 10:53 am

    “so” :D

    That milkshake sounds awesome!

  6. Jen N. permalink
    June 23, 2017 10:57 am

    I’d love a voucher. I work downtown and really want to check them out!

  7. Fisher permalink
    June 23, 2017 11:40 am

    I’d love a voucher. Thanks so much!

  8. Sharon Murray permalink
    June 23, 2017 11:48 am

    I’d take one!

  9. Debra permalink
    June 23, 2017 12:03 pm

    Me too! I haven’t ever eaten at any Johnny Rockets. Just noticed a couple of weeks ago that they had opened at the TU Center. With all the construction going on over there, it was hard to tell. Thank you Daniel if you pick me for a voucher.

  10. June 23, 2017 12:06 pm

    No thank you.

  11. Nick permalink
    June 23, 2017 12:07 pm

    Sure!

  12. June 23, 2017 12:23 pm

    Nice article. We have been to the one in Crossgates multiple times. Have seen it change, but always return. I would definitely be interested in a voucher.

  13. Bob W. permalink
    June 23, 2017 1:15 pm

    I haven’t been in one in well over a decade, so I’d give it a try again. Count me in, please.

  14. Kerosena permalink
    June 23, 2017 1:19 pm

    Sure, I’ve never been and I’ll bet my big kid would like it.

  15. WCF permalink
    June 23, 2017 2:30 pm

    Yes please

  16. Fuddley permalink
    June 23, 2017 4:54 pm

    I’m in, please.

  17. June 23, 2017 10:48 pm

    after a month in India, a burger will taste most awesome.

  18. June 26, 2017 3:39 pm

    yes I would love one or two lol. Nice article

  19. June 30, 2017 12:06 pm

    The winners were announced today on the blog in today’s post. Thank you all for playing.
    https://fussylittleblog.com/2017/06/30/winning-and-cheesecake/

Trackbacks

  1. 7 and 7 on Saturday, June 24, 2017 – Chuck The Writer

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