Johnny Rockets Has 2 New Unexpected French Fry Offerings

Johnny Rockets might evoke thoughts of juicy hamburgers, ketchup-drizzled fries, and thick milkshakes (and maybe waiters in paper hats dancing to '50s rock and roll at your table). Although it shed the classic retro-Americana image that it started out with (via Nation's Restaurant News), Johnny Rockets still relies on the timeless combination of fresh beef, potatoes, and ice cream that classic 1950s diners and malt shops made so popular. Of course, the chain isn't afraid to add some hip items to its retro-themed menu.

In June, the company announced the debut of a chicken sandwich drenched in Mike's Hot Honey on Instagram. Earlier in 2021, Johnny Rockets experimented with plant-based burgers and milkshakes at 80 locations across the nation (via VegNews). QSR Magazine tells us that the restaurant rolled out chipotle-inspired items, including chipotle bacon cheeseburgers and cheese fries covered in chipotle ranch sauce. While one could argue that Johnny Rockets lost what made it unique and is now trying to mimic more mainstream fast-food companies, you could also say that it's merely the style of the time, and Johnny Rockets is simply adapting to keep up with competitors.

Johnny Rockets' newest offerings, however, don't involve reimagining a chicken sandwich or adding chipotle sauce to an impossible burger. Instead, the company is introducing two brand-new French fry dishes, seemingly inspired by the foods of the American county fair.

Johnny Rockets is serving pickle fries and funnel cake fries

Johnny Rockets' menu is taking a trip to the state fair for a limited time. Perhaps no other foods are more symbolic of the state fair than funnel cakes – which Americans have been eating since the 1800s, according to Farmers' Almanac – and fried pickles, which have been around since at least the 1960s. So those foods are pretty retro in their own right. Johnny Rockets is now offering these two classic flavors as French fries.

According to QSR Magazine, the chain's Pickle Fries have "a golden-brown finish" and come with ranch dipping sauce, while the Funnel Cake Fries are strips of dough deep-fried and sprinkled with powdered sugar like your average funnel cake. Those are accompanied by a chocolate dipping sauce. Management at Johnny Rockets seemed to be optimistic about the new releases, hoping they would tap into customers' nostalgia about going to state or county fairs in the autumn season. "We are always looking to roll out fun, new menu offerings, and, for this fall season, we wanted to introduce items that play into the nostalgia of a fall favorite activity – going to the fair," said FAT Brands' Director of Marketing for the Fast Casual Division Taylor Fischer. Whether or not there are more items to come is yet to be seen.