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No-Bull Burger Purist, born and raised in NJ, the heart of the tri-state area and home to the oldest (and best) burger joints in the country. I don't need all the frilly toppings, happy servers or trendy decor, just a good burger...

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Johnny Rockets, Garden State Plaza Mall, Paramus, NJ

Milestone - 200th review...

Where -
Johnny Rockets, 1 Garden State Plaza Mall, Paramus, NJ 07652
 (201) 291-1700
What -
The Rocket Double

Build -
This is Johnny Rockets’ classic cheeseburger made up of two 1/3 pound burger patties, cheddar cheese, shredded iceberg lettuce, tomato, a thick slice of white onion and special sauce.

Comment -
I've got a warm place in my heart for Johnny Rockets. Living in New Jersey, Johnny Rockets was my first exposure to the "fast casual" food culture. The throwback decor along with the old school flat-grilled burger aroma rising from the grill had my mind on overload. This place was reminiscent of a very realistic time travel dream, complete with upbeat 50's tunes – I would have liked to stay the entire day at this place.

Although Five Guys and Johnny Rockets were established the same year (1986) I hadn't yet heard of Five Guys at the time, so as far as I knew this new fast casual concept was all due to JR's. I thought, "Finally, somebody's thinking.”

The burger I had this time was every bit as good if not better (the grill is completely seasoned now) than my first trip many years ago. The place is always very clean, the staff could not be nicer and I'm talking myself into going back tomorrow...

If you are like me and absolutely love hamburgers, or even if you just like them, this is the place for you.

On to the burger...
I was dying to get back to a J.R.’s especially after my son told me he'd never been, so we finally went this week.  It should be noted that my son – who has been on all of our burger runs, said his Johnny Rockets burger was on par with In-N-Out burgers, and that it was better than Five Guys hands down. I mean, he knows a good burger from a mediocre one. So naturally when I heard him utter those words, I couldn't wait to take my last photo so I could eat. And I had to agree with him.

As with all food establishments, they are only as good as the last meal they served, but we found the consistency at J.R.'s to be impeccable. That’s huge for any fast casual food establishment since they are historically (and notoriously) known for high employee turnover rates. 

The combination of toppings on The Rocket Double is, very simply put; perfect.

And ICEBERG LETTUCE? AWESOME!!!  I love the fact that J.R.'s doesn't buy into that green leafy stuff that's "good for me.”  There is a huge age range of Americans that were, and still are, very happy with iceberg lettuce served cold out of the fridge with its crispness and perfect inability to add a green leafy flavor to your food. Rather than adding flavor, iceberg lettuce provides a nice crispy texture and moisture, which is all you really need to spruce up any sandwich. 

The combination of other toppings and condiments especially the white onion (my fav), were also done just right and the use of two slices of Cheddar instead of American cheese provided an added richness to the burger.

I believe the buns must be prepared in close proximity to the burgers in order to gather just the right amount of grease misting off the grill. The result is; a nice, shiny, flavorful bun that harbors some wonderful burger flavor – so darn good. 

A minor nod to the cheese fries – the cheese sauce wasn't disgustingly thick and salty like most, in fact, the consistency was perfect but overall it lacked flavor. The fries themselves were good, hot and crispy.

I can't find anything wrong with Johnny Rockets' burgers so I have no choice but to rate them a 10/10 on the BC rating scale. 

Seriously, these burgers are very, very good – I couldn't have chosen a better burger to eat for my 200th review.


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