Sunday, April 29, 2012

rockin’ in the diner

I have never eaten at a Johnny Rockets on shore.  But I love Johnny Rockets At Sea.

It may be the nostalgia (and campy-ness) of eating in a mock diner on the stern of a giant cruise ship.  Maybe it is nothing more than the comfort of eating food that will guarantee my next cardiac arrest.

Or it may be nothing more than the place is a stranger to pretension.  Patrons are greeted by a big “hello” (from staff and other diners) when they walk through the door.  And the waiters periodically break into line dancing to the booming voice of Gloria Gaynor.

The food?  Exactly what you would expect.  Burgers.  Hot dogs.  Fries.  Onion rings.  Milk shakes.  All tasting just like the food of your favorite little hamburger joint on McLoughlin Boulevard. Back when The Day was Doris.

Johnny Rockets is not a regular eating spot for me.  I doubt my arteries would take it.  But I stopped by twice on the New Orleans-Dubai leg of my journey.

On visit number two I tested the diner’s flexibility.  There is a chili dog on the menu, but no chili burger.  So, I tried improvising.  What arrived was a hamburger with barbeque sauce.  Not what I anticipated.  But it was a great lunch.
The cook seemed to be as confused as the older guy in the next booth who ordered a Double Whopper.

Eating here reminds me that going out to eat is only partly about food.  We Americans have reduced our relationship to food to the same relationship we have with gas pumps.  We treat it as mere fuel.

It is not.  Eating is one of the great pleasures of life.  It should be savored.  And fun.

And this diner on the ship is all that -- and more.


Ronda Grimsley said...

Sometimes Fun should just be simple and easy. This place sounds Fun. 

Don Cuevas said...

Most of our visits to family in Northern New Jersey inckude a lunch at Johnny Rocket's, in the Short Hills Mall. We enjoy the hamburgers and the half and half fries and rings. But I have to say that for us, the entertainment schtick is wearing a little thin.

Saludos,Don Cuevas 

Andean said...

Thought Johnny Rockets sounded very familiar, looked it up, yep, around 10 in this area. I have never been to one.

Steve Cotton said...

 I suspect the experience on land would merely seem cheesy.  On a ship, it is

Steve Cotton said...

 I suspect it works better on a ship where you get to know the "performers."

Andean said...

I didn't know of "performers."
Onion rings-- if very crispy, could be so good

Steve Cotton said...

And this place certainly qualifies for "just plain fun."