It was Friday night of Parent’s Weekend at The Ohio State University and our teenage daughters were hungry so we stopped in at Johnny Rockets. It’s a few miles from campus in Columbus, Ohio, and none of us had ever been to this restaurant and being a pesce-vegetarian (veggies and seafood eater), I wasn’t sure what I was going to eat.
Upon receiving our food, the manager came over, said “hello”, and using ketchup, and proeeded to draw happy faces in our small, cardboard dishes. Because we had never seen this before in a restaurant, we looked at him quizzically – especially considering there was no ketchup on our table. Initially, we thought the smiley faces represented our ketchup ration – it was only after we inquired about additional ketchup that he realized our initial rationing thoughts about the limited ketchup. Indeed, we all had a good laugh, as he obliged by bringing over ketchup from another table.
Regarding the food, my daughter had a grilled cheese, which contained processed cheese in between three layers of white bread. There didn’t appear to be anything else on the bread besides cheese and was not visually appealing. She lost her appetite after taking a few bites. She quickly realized the grilled cheese tasted how it looked. Being the type not to waste, I later grabbed her sandwich but had a similar experience and quickly left it as waste.
With my unique eating arrangement, my options were obviously limited so luckily I found a tuna sandwich on the menu. It tasted Ok although it contained gobs of mayonnaise and I found it difficult to taste much of the tuna – I’d probably not order that sandwich again.
Most meals were served with French fries, devoid of any salt whatsoever. I wonder how they are cooked? I did enjoy a number of sliced pickles, which certainly didn’t disappoint.
We ordered a few malts to be shared among my wife and daughters – the most delightful part of the meal. Those were served right before our warm food arrived so it wasn’t such a bad thing – to have the tasty malt before being served our sandwich. Sometimes it’s a backwards world eating the sweetest item first but why not? I’d certainly order malt at Johnny Rockets!
The chicken served as part of the chicken sandwich was OK, although it wasn’t that fresh and had very little flavor.
Clean restrooms, and the restaurant was fairly clean, espeicially considering it was Friday night in mid-October.
Honestly, the food tasted like it was prepared by a bunch of high school and college kids not too interested in being at Johnny Rockets that night. In my feeble opinion, they appeared to succeed in their lack of effort and passion.
As we sat and relaxed and chatted with my daughter who we hadn’t seen in a month, the last thing on my mind was writing about this restaurant. It was only after experiencing the mediocre food that I felt compelled to comment. Because it was our first time at Johnny Rockets, we felt an unusual dichotomy between the staff and food. The service and friendliness of the staff was very warm and welcoming, I very little good to say about the food besides the shakes.
I gave them a 15% tip plus solely due to their friendly atmosphere. I’d go back to say hi to the wait staff and stick with the malts and shakes.