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Your Princess is In Another (White) Castle!
cap, captain miss america

Those of you who follow my personal blog know that I have undertaken a project by which I am challenging myself to do things I’ve never done before.

Some of these things are exciting and brave things. Others of these things are kind of, well, a bit silly, because they are the sorts of things that one would expect I would have done at some point in my life.

This one is one of the latter.

Today, after work, I went for a bike ride, and after my bike ride, I was pretty hungry. I started thinking about what there was to eat in my neighborhood, as I felt a little too sweaty and gross to be up to cooking.

And then I recalled that there was one place that I had never been, and it was probably one of those places that I should eat at once in my life, if only to fully experience the breadth of culinary opportunity of the place and time into which I was born.

Yup, that’s right. I’ve never eaten at White Castle before. Was this really something that needed to be changed? Probably not. But since last night’s sliders at a bar that used to make a semi-decent burger and excellent fries proved to disappoint, I decided they couldn’t be WORSE than that. Especially since I was expecting…well, not as good a burger as I had been expecting at last night’s bar.

Now, I have to call attention to the single most exciting thing of the evening. When I walked in the door, I saw this thing.

I wanted to buy something out of it SO BAD. Do you know how bad? Gosh, really bad. But you know, I have this thing with vending machines where even now that I am an adult lady, I feel like I need to ask my mother’s permission to buy something out of it. Is that weird? Probably! But I totally forgot that I could just fish fifty cents or a dollar or whatever it was out of my own grown up lady purse and buy one for myself, so I just stared longingly at the false mustache vending machine. Alas, perhaps another day!

Anyway, unsure what to order, I decided I couldn’t go wrong purchasing something from the combo menu. I got combo #1, which is four burgers, fries, and a small soda. They gave me my soda cup right away. I declined cheese, because I have a hangup about processed cheese food (yes, I realize that is sort of silly given what I was about to ingest). Then I noticed that they did actually advertise cheddar on the menu, but oh well! I went to fill it and noticed a soda I’d never heard of before, Vault, which claimed somehow to be an “energy” soda. I don’t know what that means, but I figured I’d try it, and it was sort of like a flashback to Surge. Remember Surge? I sort of lived on Surge at one point. Man, I loved that stuff. And then I didn’t even really notice that they stopped making it!

Anyway, a flashback to it reminded me that it was probably godawful, then, too, and I filled my cup up with Coke.

The nice thing I noticed was that I could see the White Castle employees preparing every burger as it was ordered. It did take a bit longer than I expect fast food to take, but I actually got to watch them assemble my burgers and fry my fries. The nice thing about this was that my food was still piping hot even after the six or seven block walk home.

Here is my meal in all its incredibly caloric glory! It cost $5.94 plus tax. The fries were pretty darn good– probably better than the fries I got last night in my meal that was three sliders and a basket of fries for $10. They were hot and crispy and not too salty as fast food fries often are.

The burgers were…well, they were not quite the magical life-changing experience I was expecting. I mean, I didn’t expect them to be a culinary masterpiece, but I did expect them to be more different from your average fast food burger. I was at least hoping for them to be really, really hideously bad, but they were not. Mostly, they had more onions. I felt like two burgers could have made a good meal, and I am a little disturbed by the fact that I can still taste the onions four hours after the fact. Those are some powerful onions!

All in all, I am pleased that I have come through this rite of passage unscathed, but I was a little disappointed that they weren’t more terrible. Or more good. One or the other, you know? Like a romantic comedy. This was one of those ones where you just can’t bring yourself to be happy when the protagonist gets together with the love interest because you’ve just been looking at the screen saying, “okay, already,” for the past half hour. Except with more onions.

Also, for those of you reading elsewhere, I’ve added a whole slew of new cocktail recipes. Check them out!

Mirrored from Nommable!.

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I felt the same way the first time I tried haggis in Scotland in '85. It wasn't surprisingly great or horribly wrong, just there. Then, in '07, I had -proper- haggis and LOVED it. All I can say is perhaps you had a bad White Castle. The one time I went I was stunned that anyone would steam hamburgers (do they still do that?). I found them greasy and guiltily wonderful though I've never been back. Still, good for you in braving something so potentially dangerous!

Oh I love haggis! The thing is that I don't think it's that I had bad White Castle; I genuinely think it's that I was unimpressed. I am not a big fan of fast food to begin with (my go-to fast food is take out tofu and veggies from the Chinese restaurant, or take out salads) and in the past year, I've had one burger at Shake Shack, one burger at Goodburger, and one burger at Five Guys, and that's all in terms of fast food hamburgers. I think if I had just had one it would have been like "oh isn't this a quaint novelty!" but by the time I finished the second I was downright bored.

Interesting! I've never been to a White Castle, so I enjoyed reading your impressions so that I have some idea what to expect if I ever do go to one. On reading this, I was also expecting it to be different from average. I suppose onion-y is different from average?

Yes, considering it is the next morning, I have brushed my teeth twice, and my mouth still tastes like onions, I would say it is different from average!

So. I used to live a block from a White Castle. I cannot tell you how many sliders I ate in the year I lived in Manhattan. (They were open 24/7, so it was my "food after last call" spot.) I was just thinking the other day how much I wanted a White Castle slider. The cheese really makes it, though!

Aw, man!

I am lucky I rarely eat past midnight these days. When I lived in Boston, I ate a lot of Krispy Kreme because of this same principle. Now, there isn't much around me that's open 24 hours so I tend to go to the grocery store if I have to eat late.

Oooh, I love onions. I would be all over those burgers :D

You need to really love onions! I have brushed my teeth twice and slept since eating them and I can still taste the onions.

Stefan has a. . .thing about White Castle. It's a childhood nostalgia thing, and he LOVES it. I have eaten it exactly once with him and found it horrifying beyond all measure. Although it is fun to order a ridiculous number of burgers and then pretend to be a giant when you eat them.

I get the childhood nostalgia thing; it's why I dig Friendly's grilled cheese. These things are pretty blah though. And there are definitely things I ate when I was younger that I can't wrap my head around now.

Besides, if you want to pretend to be a giant, eating babies will do the trick!

I eat at White Castle about once or twice a year. I just wind up craving the burgers and then once I eat a bunch I'm done for the next 6-8 months. The onion taste sticks around for a couple of daysand sometimes I feel like I smell like the burgers for the next 48 hours regardless of how many showers I take.

The fries are usually pretty decent though!

Yes, I can still taste the onions. Man, I wish someone had warned me. I guess I didn't put out an alert or anything though. I don't feel burgery all over, fortunately.

That is sort of how I am with a couple foods. I tend to get a Dairy Queen Blizzard once a year, and McDonald's chicken nuggets, shake and fries. And that is it. Although now that I think about it, I don't think I've had McDonald's in two years at least.

tea goes to white castle sounds like some kind of weird german art film.

It was probably like a weird German art film, except for the lack of Dutch angles or existential angst. Okay, maybe there was a little existential angst.

Wie soll ich meine Burger halten, daß sie nicht an deine rührt?

I have never quite understood White Castle. If you're going to buy 4 small burgers why not just buy one regular one??


I almost never eat white castle (but I rarely eat fast food anyway and there aren't many white castles around) but I'm quite fond of it! mostly because I have a small mouth and I like things that are easy to fit into it. so there, an answer to the comment above. also I wonder if you can get more refined numbers of hamburgers - like if 3 mini hamburgers is exactly the right amount of food for you, can you be more precise in your order? I haven't been recently enough to remember.

I think two of the mini burgers is probably equivalent to a whole burger somewhere else, but I'm not sure.

Aww, do you like grapes?

You might have to take Whirlarse there :) We have watched Harold and Kumar go to White Castle, i think thats the only reason a tourist would want to go there. Maybe you'll need a white knight ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Knight_(chocolate) ) after for the onion breath :D

Oh, god, I have way too many GOOD foods I want to make her eat, I don't know if I can waste a meal on this stuff!!!

Those white knights look delicious. They sound like mint flavored Charleston Chew.

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