Thursday, February 10, 2011

Dining in Beverly Hills (kind of) - Johnny Rocket's

Yes you can see yourself visiting Beverly Hills, South Beach or Beautiful Downtown Burbank by simply eating lunch at Johnny Rocket's right here in Birmingham. This diner is literally in Birmingham since their location, which appears to be suburban, is actually located within the strange meandering city limits of Birmingham.

We recently paid a visit to Johnny Rocket's to try their hot dogs. Both Robert and I were generally pleased with our meal and impressed that their hot dogs are given real attention. Since the hot dogs are clearly of the jumbo size we each restricted our order to one chili cheese dog each with a shared order of onion rings and out drinks. We left well fed but not overly stuffed.

The kosher hot dogs appear to be well grilled and are served on a lightly toasted bun with the toppings of choice. The onion rings were really good, served hot and fresh.

The "fun" diner atmosphere was dampened a little by the dried ketchup spill on the table. Their dark tabletops make it a little difficult to spot spills so I can understand why wait staff might easily miss them.

We actually have an evaluation sheet we complete for each of these hot dog excursions. There are several options for overall impression:
  • Love it and want to return
  • Like it and will recommend it and return
  • Might go back but won't suggest it
  • Not very good, but not horrible. Don't plan to return
  • Ugh! Will not return
Robert and I both rated it somewhere between the second and third bullets, thinking we liked it but probably won't go back for hot dogs. While the food was good the prices are high (What one would expect in Beverly Hills or South Beach). I couldn't help but think about Lyric Hot Dogs in downtown; if you want to eat at a diner, go there! The prices are better, it is a one of a kind historic Birmingham business, and the food is just as good if not better.

Oddly, as I was writing this I actually considered stopping in there to pick up lunch for a brown bag lunch meeting tomorrow but have decided against it.