Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Rockets away!

After a long day of classes and (attempted) studying, I headed over to Toronto General for a clinical skills session with Stewie and Rociel. After two and a half hours of Ballottment tests, Trendelenburg signs, and flexion contractures, Stewie and I decided to stop for some much deserved food.

Back in January, I stopped by Stewie's ghetto apartment to borrow a sleeping bag. On the way there, I passed by a retro-looking diner called Johnny Rockets. With Stewie planning to move out of his apartment in a few days (in light of his discovery of bedbugs and subsequent fumigation), it seemed like an opportune time to check it out.

Johnny Rockets felt unique from the moment we walked in. In place of the "Please Wait to be Seated" sign we are so used to seeing was a "Please Seat Yourself" board adjacent to some scrumptious looking cakes.

The restaurant did a terrific job of replicating vintage diner-style decor, but it was presented with a gleaming, classy approach. It was markedly nicer than Nickels Restaurant in Montreal.

Food was expensive, with $8 hamburgers, $6 fries, and $5 milkshakes - all sold separately. Stewie told me to consider it a typical $20 dinner. I suppose we were paying for the unique old-fashioned character, similar to how people pay a premium to eat at the Rainforest Café.

I had to admit, though, the tone was set just right - right down to our cheerful waitress in 50's-style uniform and cap, who drew a smiley face with our ketchup. It's unfortunate that the food itself was rather average.

I ordered a "Route 66" burger and a strawberry-banana milkshake. How could I resist a burger with a name like Route 66? The food arrived while I was in the washroom. Instead of a typical "mens room" and "ladies room", Johnny Rockets had several individual non-gender specific washrooms, similar to what you likely have at home, except smaller... much smaller. In fact, with a miniature sink tucked neatly into the corner of the room, I could almost be led to believe that I was using the bathroom on an aeroplane. It was so petite that when I turned to close the door, I turned on the hands dryer.


I returned to my seat and began laying waste to my burger and milkshake. Stewie informed me that the metal tin contained extra shake. He had ordered a mocha milkshake, and having emptied half his glass already, had poured extra from the tin and begun sipping on it. As I too consumed my shake, I began pouring from my tin, only to have the colour change from pink to yellow midway. I gawked in confusion.

"Oh yeah!" exclaimed Stewie. "She said that the tin was for leftovers... I forgot." His facial expression suddenly went sour as he realized that he may very well have been drinking refuse from other people's discarded drinks. The sweet taste had suddenly become as unpalatable as vomit. I, having not yet drank from the tin's contents, quickly spooned the top layer of my milkshake back into the container.

Still, I considered, why would they give us a container for leftover milkshake? After all, if we were done with the milkshake, they would take it away, right? There's no need for us to discard the remainder ourselves. Stewie remained unconvinced.

Stewie: Why don't you try it, then?

Andy: No. I'm going to ask. None of this trial and error crap.

Andy: Excuse me, but is this container for leftovers from making the milkshake... or for, leftovers?

Waitress: Oh, it's from making the milkshake of course. No no, we wouldn't give you a container of garbage. [chuckles]

Stewie looked visibly relieved. I later realized that the dual colouration of my milkshake was likely from the strawberry vs. banana in strawberry-banana.

In addition to a classic jukebox off to one side of the restaurant, each table had it's own song selection console, from which you could make a choice for only a nickel. Stewie and I spent quite a bit of time examining it and arguing back and forth as to its functionality. I, for one, believed that it should work. While I had the waitress' attention (to ask about my milkshake), I also enquired about the jukebox.

Andy: I was just wondering... does that thing work?

Waitress: Sadly, it doesn't. It's supposed to... and it should by now, but it doesn't. I can do a dance to make up for it, though. [smiles]

Andy: [eyes wide] You're going to dance?

Waitress: [embarrassed] Well, the staff... [trailing off]

Andy: Sure!

Waitress: Okay!

Stewie had told me about the dancing girls at Johnny Rockets. It was one of the reasons that he had never tried the restaurant himself - he was afraid it would look unbecoming and desperate for a single male to come and eat alone at a diner with a troupe of pretty dancing waitresses. I was interested to see what the hype was about.


Alas, while we didn't leave for some time, there were no dancing girls. Perhaps they forgot or were too busy. Maybe the waitress had thought that I thought she was joking about the whole thing, and so didn't feel the need to embarrass herself and her colleagues. My personal opinion, however, is that since Stewie and I spent the majority of our meal giggling like school girls over our gag-worthy milkshake scenario, the waitress thought we were making fun of her, and decided to forgo our dance.

Don't worry, Johnny Rockets, I'll be back.

Above: My burger, the Route 66: Built Like No Other. I can't help but be reminded of Pixar's animated treasure, Cars, featuring John Mayer's cover of Nat King Cole's classic song by the same name.

1 comment:

Teddy said...

I don't know why but just from reading your entry, it seems like the waitress was super hot. Or maybe I'm just bored from staring unproductively at my notes and need some diversion for more imagination and cerebral stimulation.

But yeh, she sounds hot.