Hello America (and parts beyond), today I'd like to talk to you about White Castle.
Yes, White Castle, that legendary fast food chain I constantly ramble on about. I can safely say that this is my favorite fast food chain, with Checkers, McDonald's, Wendy's, and ogling at pictures of In & Out pretty much rounding out my Top 5.
The main deal is this: The burgers they have there are small enough so that two of them can fit on an index card, with a juicy taste that is really indescribable in any available synonyms of "delicious." In fact, they're so tiny that you can't just eat one, you pretty much have to eat at least 4 per visit. Hell, they offer the "Crave Case" (30 burgers) and "Crave Crate" (100!) which are gigantic boxes full of meaty goodness usually reserved for parties and the occaisional depressed Nerd needing sustentence for the Dr. Who Marathon. I've split a Crave Case once between myself and two friends, and we got through 24 of them. I took home three, and my friend took home the other three. Needless to say, my share was gone by the end of the day. That's the beauty of the place: you eat 17, then take the rest home to reheat later!
You're not being forced into actual combo meals or anything (even though they offer really crappy ones), so you can just have one single burger. But you'll get strange, insulted looks from the counter ladies if you do. Douche.
These places are mostly confined to the Midwest, but for some strange reason, they're all over NYC and Long Island. I should consider myself lucky. We have "Northern" Chains like White Castle, Checkers and Friendly's in place of Krystal, Rally's (which is the same as Checkers, but a different name), and Stuckey's, respectively. I should point out that Checkers & Rally's aren't Northern/Southern chains, but Eastern/Western ones, but that still doesn't change the fact that the Eastern Counterpart has the better name.
Conversely, Long Island is riddled with ads for Sonic, Jack in The Box, and Dairy Queen despite NOT ONE OF THEM ARE WITHIN TWO FUCKING STATES OF HERE!!!
Before I digress, let me talk to you about "The Crave." No one can really describe what it is, but I firmly believe in its existence. It's this strange sensation in your mind that "I MUST HAVE THAT!" and you'll beat anyone in the face with a hammer if you don't get to it before such an event occurs. It's usually triggered when looking at thei website one day, or looking at pictures of the food. Or just thinking in general. So when I do eat these decadent delights, my "Crave" is satiated until the cycle begins again.
I'm attempting to make this phenomenon my senior thesis. Laugh, but you probably haven't met the Psychology Department at my college, they would think I'm brilliant.
So what do I usually get there?
One of my favorites is what is known as a "Surf & Turf," which is the equivalent of a Double Cheeseburger with a Fish Sandwich patty wedged into the middle. It's pretty much 3 burgers in one. There was this one "miracle" where I had gotten two Fish patties on my Surf & Turf, which was Four in one. I did a happy dance when I found that one. Then promptly slumped in my seat from fullness.
Above you see a glamour shot of said burger, which looks absolutely nothing like the real thing. I even bet those aren't real onions.
Here's what an actual Double Burger looks like in its full glory. Don't be surprised, the picture (well, none of these) isn't mine, they're all random photos at Flickr. Notice that little green thing on top of the top patty? It's a pickle, which many White Castles around here don't use for some reason. Those things on the bottom of the bun? THOSE are the onions. Yum.
Perhaps I don't see pickles because I usually don't order a regular cheeseburger or a Surf & Turf. What I usually get are mutiples of the Jalapeno Cheeseburger.
The burger on top is the Jalapeno. It's basically the same thing as a regular Cheeseburger, except it's 20 cents more expensive and there's a jalapeno flavoring in the cheese. It's all thanks to extract put into the cheese. It's probably the biggest difference between the glamour shot & the real thing: The glamour shot actually has pieces of jalapeno in the cheese. But I'll let these guys slide because I love them so much.
But they offer so much more than these, like fried Clam Strips, Bacon Cheeseburgers, Chicken Rings (both in Side and Sandwich form!), Fried Chicken, delicious little thing that are known as "Fish Nibblers," as well as the various Chicken sandwiches for the people who want to be health conscious, but would still like to know how they earn their nickname "Slyders."
You may think that this group of food is the most disgusting thing imaginable, but I call it "Lunchtime."