White Castle

There used to be a White Castle right across the street from my house. I love White Caste so much. When I was in college, I used to go to White Castle maybe three or four times a week, always ordering the same thing: five jalapeno cheeseburgers, five hamburgers, a bag of chicken rings, a box of clam strips, and a milkshake. Sometimes I got a chocolate milkshake, sometimes vanilla. So I guess technically it wasn’t the same exact thing, but if you looked at my order without taking the top off of the milkshake cup, you’d think it was the same thing every time. And it basically was.

I can’t get over the fact that White Castle isn’t an American phenomenon, that it’s only an East Coast thing. It makes me feel really bad for everyone living outside of the White Castle bubble, people whose experience with White Castle is limited to the Harold & Kumar movie franchise. They make it out to be pretty good fast-food in those films, but the reality is so much more delicious than even those two stoners are able to describe.

Whenever you talk about White Castle, nine out of ten people are going to say something like, “White Castle? Ew, gross!” These people are lying through their teeth. Everybody loves White Castle. These perfectly miniature burgers, steam cooked, topped with a whole pile of sautéed onion squares, pickles. It’s like, ask any of your friends, “Do you like McDonald’s?” I guarantee that a majority of respondents will say something like, “No way! I never go to McDonald’s!” Again, lies. Everybody goes to McDonald’s. They’re like the richest company on the planet. And everybody likes fast food. Sure, it’s not great for you, but it’s delicious. And everybody loves delicious.

It’s so easy to hate on White Castle because it’s kind of invisible. They don’t do a lot of TV ads. They’re the underdog of fast food chains. But it’s so good. I really don’t even have much to say except, over and over again, White Castle is delicious. Except for their fries, which are just OK. That’s why if you were paying attention when I wrote out my regular order, I didn’t mention any fries. Somebody who doesn’t go there that much, aside from seriously missing out on some great food, might have assumed that fries come with the burgers. And I think if you get some sort of a combo they do, but the combos suck. It’s always like two burgers and fries. That’s it? The burgers are tiny. I need ten. And the fries, well, they’re like the zig-zag kind that you buy in the frozen food section of the grocery store. Again, I know so many people are like, “I never go to the frozen food section of the grocery store!” Of course you do, stop lying. Everyone eats crap food now and then, so stop trying to be so cool, all healthy and all “I never eat White Castle,” because, every once in a while, you’re going to go out with some friends, and there’s always going to be at least one guy in the group towards the end of the night that starts talking about how hungry he is, how badly he wants some White Castle, and although most of the group will protest, this guy will be so into it that he’ll eventually convince all of his friends to go, even if just because at this point they’re feeling kind of bad for him, like maybe he really needs this. So they’ll go, he’ll order his ten burgers, and everybody else is like, “I’m not getting anything. Except. Well, maybe just one …” and then everybody’s sitting around eating burgers and loving it and it’s just this great moment of great food and everybody’s having a blast.

And then the next day that guy’ll be like, “See? Everybody loved it! White Castle is the best!” but all of his friends will start lying again, realizing that it’s not cool to say that White Castle is awesome, and so they’ll start making up phony stories about coming home that night and getting sick, which is also a lie, because I didn’t get sick, I mean, that friend didn’t get sick. Why does everybody else get sick eating White Castle? It doesn’t add up. People should just embrace White Castle instead of having this weird fake hate/actual love relationship.

Anyway, like I said, I used to live right across the street from a White Castle. It was great. I could smell the sliders throughout different points in the day. One day they boarded the doors up and covered up the windows. “Sorry!” the sign read on the door, “We’re moving to Queens Blvd!” and I couldn’t believe it. Construction crews got to work on renovating the place. I thought to myself, man, whatever takes White Castle’s place had better be good, it better be great, even better than White Castle. And day after day there would be more work done on the building until finally, one day they installed a sign above the store. And it said, “Radio Shack.” And it’s terrible. Who the hell goes to Radio Shack? What do they even sell there? It’s so lame. I’m still so pissed. I barely ever get to go to White Castle anymore, because I have no idea where on Queens Blvd they moved to. It’s such a long road and, you know, how often do you go into different neighborhoods? Once in a while maybe, but not all the time.