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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

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Johnny Rockets
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6 posts in this topic

I was traveling this week, and the other day I found myself at the mall in Downtown Sacramento looking for dinner. After quickly ruling out Panda Express and all the other restaurants in the small food court, I came across a place I'd never heard of before: Johnny Rockets.

Before I went in, I looked up their website in my iPhone. Lo and behold, they have a detailed ingredient listing for everything they serve in their restaurant:

http://www.johnnyrockets.com/themenu/ingredients.php

That was helpful in and of itself. I went inside, and found I could sit at the counter where I could actually watch them cook the food -- the kitchen is right there, not in a separate room. The assistant manager took my order. I explained to her that I had "food allergies" and ordered a burger with no bun. I asked about the fry oil for the french fries; she explained that although they have a "dedicated" frier, they do sometimes fry chicken fingers in the french fry frier. I really appreciated her honest answer. I ordered a side salad instead, and after looking up the ingredients on their website for the ranch dressing, I got that as well.

Although it's not a gluten-free restaurant, I could see how they prepared the food. hamburgers (and buns) were assembled in a separate area from where they grill. I didn't ask whether they *ever* put buns or bread on the grill, but they didn't have any there while I watched. The grill was very clean and I felt comfortable (with my level of sensitivity) that there wouldn't be any significant cross-contamination even if the grill was occasionally used for gluten-containing foods. In fact, I don't think they have a higher chance of contamination than I do in my own kitchen (which is not gluten-free either).

The assistant manager came back around later and asked me to tell her more about my allergies. Not because she needed to, really, but because she was interested / curious. I mentioned that the reason I have them hold the tomatoes is because I can't eat them raw, but I can eat catsup or cooked tomatoes. She offered to grill some tomatoes for me to put on my salad! What an idea -- I would have never thought of it, but it was tasty!

They served my bacon cheeseburger wrapped in layers of lettuce, with a paper wrapper around that to hold it together. They obviously serve bunless burgers regularly (whether to wheat-sensitive or low-carb folks) and now how to make it feel like a "real" burger.

Overall, I really was happy with the experience, and if I am in Sacramento again looking for a burger I would definitely go back. The person taking my order was friendly, listened carefully, and went out of her way to make sure my meal was just right. The restaurant was clean, and it gave me a lot of peace of mind to be able to watch my burger being made. I noticed that their milkshake machine had a separate mixer marked for peanut-butter milkshakes, so they obviously take peanut cross-contamination seriously, too. And their website really made it easy for me to decide whether it was worth even walking through the door in the first place!

I just wanted to share. :-)

-Elizabeth

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Good food and fast! We used to eat there when we lived in NY. I don't think we have them here.

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Thanks for posting this. There is a Johnny Rockets in one of the malls by me and I've often wondered about giving it a try. Next time I definitely will.

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Thanks for the info!! There is a new one located right by the movie theater and we have been wanting to try it!!

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Good food and fast! We used to eat there when we lived in NY. I don't think we have them here.

Thanks! Too far away for me though. But since they are now in this state, maybe they'll put one closer to me. All sorts of commercial buildings are going up around me.

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