When you walk into Rockwell’s express, you are struck by the red and black tiled wall mosaic, the catchy music, the flat-screen TVs tuned to ESPN, and most of all, the laid-back ambiance that says to students, “This is the perfect place for you to grab a burger and catch a study break with your friends.”
The concept behind the restaurant is the mix-it-in burger. As the name suggests, you get to choose the ingredients that get mixed into your burger patty. First you choose ground beef or ground chicken, and then select up to four more items, with options such as onions, cheese, and bacon. Finally, you pick from one of their many sauces. The staff hands you buzzers that light up when your food is ready—an added bonus.
I ordered the Cajun BBQ cheeseburger, and knew almost immediately that I had made an excellent choice. The meat was tender and tangy with just enough spiciness to give it a slight kick. Rockwell’s serves regular fries, sweet potato fries, and onion rings, and the owner was kind enough to let me sample all of them. All three were crispy and not the least bit over salted. He also let me sample all of the sauces. The buffalo, barbecue, and chipotle sauces all went perfectly with the fries and chicken wings, and all three were made on site.
Just when I thought I could not manage another bite, the server asked me if I wanted a shake. I couldn’t resist, and so I ordered the chocolate one, which arrived almost immediately. The richness of the shake rivaled some of the best I’ve sampled in the city and elsewhere.
For those who are less carnivorous, Rockwell’s also offers salads. You choose greens, select up to five vegetables, meats, cheeses, and fruit and nuts, and pick a dressing. I can’t recommend this gem of a place highly enough.
By Adam Davis
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