Saturday, November 28, 2009

Flashpointz -Johnny Rocket's

While my friends, Coach Alex and her hubby John and I were out and about in Seattle today one of our missions was to find gluten free restaurant food for Coach Alex. She is higly intolerant of glutens. THey make her hurt and make her feel very aggressive and make her want to kill the people she loves. Not such a good thing.

Today was a very busy day for businesses in the area. Imagine that on Black Friday. We waited until late to look for food so that we wouldn't be trying to get special service during rush times. We went to Johnny Rocket's in Westlake Center for dinner. Coach Alex surveyed the menu and asked to speak to the manager when he had a few minutes. It took him a little while before he was able to get away, but he came over to us and Alex asked him about a bazillion questions about the menu, how the food was prepared, what was in it, etc. Johnny Rocket's does not have a gluten free menu but the manager on duty, Stephen, was amazing and willing to accommodate in any way he possibly could. Alex ordered a burger, sans bun, with chili on it. We were seated at the counter and could see the cooks preparing the food. They toasted the buns on the grill. That causes cross contamination for those who are gluten intolerant. They wear gloves to handle the food but they touch the buns which is a cross contamination route as well. They also use the same spatula to remove burgers and buns from the grill. They place buns directly on the work counter which can also be a route for cross contamination for glutens.

When Alex explained her health situation Stephen was SO acommodating. He promised to do all he could to make sure her food was gluten free. He make the cooks sanitize the counter, change their gloves, get cheese and tomatoes from the back that had not been touched by gloved hands that had touched buns, get a clean spatula, clean the grill and he gave them explicit instructions, in SPANISH to make sure Alex's food was safe for her. He did all this very cheerfully, with a constant smile, even when he had to direct his cooks to change gloves when they touched a bun from anothe order. He told Alex he was sorry she had to go through all that to get a good bite to eat, he showed compassion for her. He stood guard over the food preparation to ensure no mistakes were made. He then chatted with us willingly for over 10 minutes. He gave us his e-mail address and asked us to let him know how she felt tomorrow because he really wanted to know if the efforts he and his staff put forth had paid off.

When he wrote down his name for us he wrote "Steve" and Alex commented that it had a "V" when his name tag said Stephen. I said it was because
"S-T-E-P-H-E" looked a little funny and was harder to pronounce. He repeated it out loud "Stephe" with an "f" sound. He laughed and said that was really funny and he liked it. He said he would like to have a name tag made up that said Stephe!

In talking with Stephe we discovered that this wasn't even "his" store. He usually manages the store in University Village, right next to the UW. He encouraged us to come by his store and promised that he would always ensure Alex could have gluten free food.

I did NOT order gluten free food. I had the route 66 burger. All beef patty, REAL swiss cheese, and fried onions and mushrooms. It was absolutely amazing. All in all the food was delicious, the prices were very reasonable and the service was absolutely incredible. Please tell all your friends and have them tell their friends to tell their friends!!

Johnny Rocket's is worthy of your business and Stephe is an awesome manager.

When you try it out for yourself, drop me a line and let me know how it went. You'll be glad you went!