White Castle: The Little Burger That Could

by Kevin Burton

   Once again, White Castle burgers hit the spot!

   I found out last Friday that the next day, Saturday the 18th was National Cheeseburger Day.

   Too late though. I already had my blogs planned for the weekend. What to do?

   I thought it over carefully and came to conclusion that you, the Page 7 readers, would want me to participate in National Cheeseburger day even if I missed the actual day. 

   So why not roam the region sampling the cheeseburgers and reporting on their relative strengths and weaknesses.  To go with the burgers, I would order a potato product that would break any ties.

   What’s best, I would be doing it for journalism and for you. 

   So I set out resolutely to do so.  Hey, my doctor doesn’t read this blog, right. I can do this.

    I listed all the places one could get a cheeseburger in my town and a neighboring town. I said we wouldn’t venture into the big city seeking cheese burgers unless some other reason made us go there. 

   Then I found that Erin McDowell writing for the Insider had the same idea. I read her story and sort of lost my appetite for multiple cheeseburgers. Her article wasn’t so tasty to me, except for the burger that stood out to her in her, the White Castle slider.

   Now that’s a place I can get excited about.

   There used to be a White Castle restaurant in downtown Columbus that stayed open all night.  My crowd went there a lot, and to the other locations, consuming heaping platters of the little square burgers. I remember once coming from out of town meeting my best friend Brandon downtown. 

    Late night, downtown, big city, was exciting to us then. It seems like an exceedingly stupid idea now. But there we were, deciding on life’s big questions, including cheeseburgers or hamburgers.  We had everything settled in an hour or so and we both headed home. 

   “White Castle blew me away with its small, cheap, and super-flavorful sliders,” McDowell wrote on Insider. That got me doing research.

   As of 2019 White Castle had 377 locations.  But the closest one to me is 186 miles away in Columbia, Missouri.  That makes the most convenient White Castle location for me is the one at 110 Memory Lane.

   And I can get there by way of the supermarket up the street, in the freezer section.

   White Castle now sells its products nationwide. Good thing for me, since I have moved from Ohio to Kansas.

   The only option at the local store was a box of six sliders. Six as a quantity for sliders is absolutely laughable.  In the old days, six might be the number of leftovers you had at the end of the meal, but you would order twelve sliders, minimum, usually more. 

   You eat six White Castles you are just getting started my friend.   So I purchased three boxes of six.

   I used to see coupons for these little boxes of White Castles. I would smile and clip them for memory’s sake and keep them in a little yellow envelope with the other coupons. 

   Most of the time when going through the coupons though, I would say, “I don’t need this.”  They’re on the pricey side.

   Also, if memory serves, the sliders don’t do well in the microwave.  So when I get into my cache of sliders I will warm them up slowly in a skillet.  I plan to do so on an NFL Sunday, this week or soon.

   By the way, my wife liked my original idea of sampling cheeseburgers, so we did a modified version of my original idea. 

   We tried cheeseburgers from two places in town and got two surprises.

   At The Grill, we got surprisingly good, large, juicy burgers (Jeannette says better than Wendy’s, I say not).  At Laurie’s Kitchen, a place we like a lot and have gone to several times, we got surprisingly bad customer service on our takeaway order. They got part of the order wrong and would not add a side of broccoli.

   There are two places in the town north of us me may try later. But we agreed not to waste time, money and cholesterol in national chain burgers we have already sampled.

   Getting burgers from elsewhere is a convenience when en route from point A to point B. It’s not a good habit though. I can make my own burgers that are better than most by adding black pepper while they are being fried. 

   A will take the occasional flier on White Castle though, for old times’ sake.

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1 Comment

  1. Love those sliders. Haven’t had any in years! I’m not brave enough to buy them in the freezer section. Can’t imagine they’d stack up next to the authentic restaurant burgers. LOL!

    Tracy Duffy tlduffy1962@gmail.com



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