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White Castle 100th Anniversary


tx-ogre
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2021 marks the 100th anniversary of White Castle hamburgers.  As someone who grew up in the Twin Cities area, I have many memories of White Castle.  I remember my mother bringing home 2 or 3 bags of “gutbombs” from the White Castle on Lake Street in Minneapolis on a regular basis.  I always thought it was a real treat.  Of course, I was only about 5 or 6 years old and someone could have given me a boiled combat boot and I would have though it was fillet mignon.  Anyway, I used to frequent White Castle on a regular basis, especially the obligatory 2:00 AM excursions after the bars closed,  until I moved south.  I did live in a few areas that had Krystal Burgers, a sort of cousin to White Castle.  So I could still occasionally get my “fix.”  And I have been able to get the frozen White Castle at the supermarket for an occasional indulgence, but it just doesn’t seem the same.

How many of y’all out there, especially in the Midwest and Northeast have fond memories, or better yet, colorful stories/adventures at White Castle?

Note: I also posted this in the Epiphone Lounge.

Edited by tx-ogre
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3 minutes ago, rct said:

Thursday, Friday, Saturday nights, 9 - 2  at Club Mardi Gras in Westville NJ.  Up 130 to White Castle at 3 or so, couple of those nights a weekend.  Good times.

rct

Is that the same one from “Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle?”

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9 minutes ago, rct said:

Heh.  No man, I wish it was.  That's another hunnert miles or so up.

rct

Ok.  Just checking.  I don’t know much about NJ.  I did ride through NJ on my motorcycle at a high rate of speed in 1979 and not slowing down until I got to MD.  Not a slam on NJ, I was just in a hurry to get to Camp LeJeune before I was late reporting for duty and got my “pee-pee” whacked.

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We had Royal Castle in Miami:  An imitation  that spread throughout the state in the 70s.  Same sliders -   but Royal Castle had  Birch Beer, which was worth making the hike across the apartment parking lot and the Grand Union Parking lot on a Friday night.  When you didn't have to fear for your life.  Seems like 100 years ago. 

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In the seventies they had quite a few of them on the South side of Chicago and the southern suburbs.  Frequented them often after gigs as they were usually the only place open after the bars closed.  Did a lot of work at a recording studio on 55th street and more often than not made a stop at the Castle on the way home.  Never considered them a very good burger, but when you are starving at 3:00 AM they were a welcome sight and affordable.  The fries were pretty good as I recall.  Don't  have any great crazy stories although most of the people in there at that time in the morning were coming down from something.

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I already replied to this in Epiphone.  All I can add here is the regret that in my town a lot of dolts called the place "Monkey Meats", NOT because they were dissing the meat used, but because it also was a favored hang-out for a lot of African-Americans.    However too......

I do seem to recall a WEDDING PARTY , including the Bride and Groom coming in one night and ordering a ton of 'em at the carry-out line.  [omg]  [laugh]

That was in '66.  I wonder now if that couple are still married?

Whitefang

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When I was kid in the '60s the sliders cost five cents, so for a quarter you could eat like a king (or at least an 10 year old's idea of a king).  I was devastated when the price went up to eight cents, totally ruined my burger budget.  Thing I remember about the 60's version of the slider was that the patties were square and had five penny-sized holes in 'em.  The working theory of knowledgeable ten year-olds was the pickles were placed on the patty to hide the holes. 

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Went on a road trip back in 1987 with some good buddies. 
Lower Alabama to Lake St. Louis and back in four days. 
The plan was to drive the gas guzzling rag top Cadillac up there, pick up a boat that Bill's mom didn't want anymore, and bring it back home for some fixing up and water skiing enjoyment. 

Two of the fellows dropped us off, and they split off and visited family in Herculaneum, MO for the weekend. 
Bill and I spent some time with his mom, and then had an evening out in St Louis with his brother Scott, who was about to graduate college with a business degree. 

I recall a lot of drinking, and then the three of us ending up at the White Castle on Broadway at 1:30 a.m.

Good burgers, good friends, good times. 
🙂

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSMdPdS_bJCiCskrGOFnge

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11 hours ago, CNJ said:

When I was kid in the '60s the sliders cost five cents, so for a quarter you could eat like a king (or at least an 10 year old's idea of a king).  I was devastated when the price went up to eight cents, totally ruined my burger budget.  Thing I remember about the 60's version of the slider was that the patties were square and had five penny-sized holes in 'em.  The working theory of knowledgeable ten year-olds was the pickles were placed on the patty to hide the holes. 

Ah, the holes aren't really THAT big.  And the idea for those holes(what WC would say) is to cook the meat more thoroughly.  But most of us reckoned it was to use less meat but still charge like they weren't there.  [wink] All in all I'd say those holes weren't any larger than the circumference  of a no.2 pencil. 

Whitefang

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Coming up on the west coast I had never heard of them until I went to track school at Fort Knox in 67/68. Getting a box of them that didn't really last long enough to inspect the insides.. I saw my first strip show in Louisville shortly after my visit to White Castle. 

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8 hours ago, Whitefang said:

Ah, the holes aren't really THAT big.  And the idea for those holes(what WC would say) is to cook the meat more thoroughly.  But most of us reckoned it was to use less meat but still charge like they weren't there.  [wink] All in all I'd say those holes weren't any larger than the circumference  of a no.2 pencil. 

Whitefang

It was always my theory that WC did the holes to maximize the amount of grease that the patties could absorb, therefore increasing the lubrication factor and making them slide down your throat easier.  Having one get stuck on the way down could have been deadly.  😁

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I remember reading on the side of the box the burgers came in the holes were to (paraphrasing from distant memory here) "fully cook the patty and enhance the flavor"

Where else could you get a good fairy tale about WC burgers than Chateau Blanc itself.

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7 minutes ago, CNJ said:

I remember reading on the side of the box the burgers came in the holes were to (paraphrasing from distant memory here) "fully cook the patty and enhance the flavor"

Where else could you get a good fairy tale about WC burgers than Chateau Blanc itself.

Perhaps “enhance the flavor” was synonymous with “an increase in the grease.”  I can see where one could make that argument.

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16 hours ago, sparquelito said:

Went on a road trip back in 1987 with some good buddies. 
Lower Alabama to Lake St. Louis and back in four days. 
The plan was to drive the gas guzzling rag top Cadillac up there, pick up a boat that Bill's mom didn't want anymore, and bring it back home for some fixing up and water skiing enjoyment. 

Two of the fellows dropped us off, and they split off and visited family in Herculaneum, MO for the weekend. 
Bill and I spent some time with his mom, and then had an evening out in St Louis with his brother Scott, who was about to graduate college with a business degree. 

I recall a lot of drinking, and then the three of us ending up at the White Castle on Broadway at 1:30 a.m.

Good burgers, good friends, good times. 
🙂

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSMdPdS_bJCiCskrGOFnge

Hey Sparky,

If you’re interested,  there appears to be several Krystal Burger restaurants in Alabama, mostly in the Montgomery area.  While not actual WC restaurants, I dined at some of them in Georgia and also here in Texas.  There used to be one open on the west side of San Antonio that I drove by every time I visited our office in San Antonio and obviously had to dine there while passing through..  Krystal is not exactly the same as White Castle, but I would definitely say it qualifies under the old “close enough for government work” standard.  😁

Edited by tx-ogre
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8 hours ago, tx-ogre said:

Hey Sparky,

If you’re interested,  there appears to be several Krystal Burger restaurants in Alabama, mostly in the Montgomery area.  While not actual WC restaurants, I dined at some of them in Georgia and also here in Texas.  There used to be one open on the west side of San Antonio that I drove by every time I visited our office in San Antonio and obviously had to dine there while passing through..  Krystal is not exactly the same as White Castle, but I would definitely say it qualifies under the old “close enough for government work” standard.  😁

Thanks, tx-ogre. 

We've actually got a few Krystal burger joints here in Huntsville. 

I have had breakfast sandwiches from them before, but not the actual burgers. 
Maybe today is the day!

😀

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15 hours ago, tx-ogre said:

It was always my theory that WC did the holes to maximize the amount of grease that the patties could absorb, therefore increasing the lubrication factor and making them slide down your throat easier.  Having one get stuck on the way down could have been deadly.  😁

[laugh]  And don't forget.....

To make 'em "slide" through and out easier too!  [lol]  And actually, it's the BUN that would absorb all that grease.  [wink]  But still provide all that lubrication.

Whitefang

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On 9/15/2021 at 9:59 AM, Whitefang said:

[laugh]  And don't forget.....

To make 'em "slide" through and out easier too!  [lol]  And actually, it's the BUN that would absorb all that grease.  [wink]  But still provide all that lubrication.

Whitefang

Actually, I firmly believe the patties and buns are partners in the lubrication collaboration.  The patties facilitate the initial grease saturation, then the grease oozes into the buns, completing the cycle.  A partnership rivaling that of Lewis and Clark, Antony and Cleopatra and the Captain and Tennille.

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On 9/15/2021 at 5:43 AM, sparquelito said:

Thanks, tx-ogre. 

We've actually got a few Krystal burger joints here in Huntsville. 

I have had breakfast sandwiches from them before, but not the actual burgers. 
Maybe today is the day!

😀

I definitely think you should go for it.  No balls, no glory!  😁  Seriously, I wish they would open a Krystal Burgers in the Austin area, since getting a WC around here is extremely wishful thinking.  At least then I could get a pseudo-fix.

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As I mentioned before, the primary WC competition 'round here(White Tower, Top Hat)  have long gone while WC keeps chuggin' along.   I've never heard of Krystal Burgers in these parts.  Might be having one open up in the Austin area might cause WC to move into that area too.  And it'd be interesting to see which of the two survive.

Whitefang

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Krystal Burgers are a Southern thang.  I used to work a lot of cases in Mississippi and would eat at one of the Krystal Burgers in the Jackson area, most of which appear to still be open.  I would also eat at the one in Brunswick, GA whenever I was at FLETC  for training.  It looks like that one is now closed.

We used to have Krystal Burgers in San Antonio, which is about 60 miles south of here.  Whenever I ate there, they seemed to be doing a good business.   I also believe there were some in the Houston area around the same time.   They all closed several years ago.   Right about now, I would settle for either.

FWIW, we got In and Out Burgers here just a few years ago.  

 

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White Castles are known as Body Builders in these parts.  I think I'll get a sack this early evening and remember my Uncle Larry of the 101st who would arrive at my parent's house on leave at 2:00 am with 2 dozen of my favorites!

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Along with several locations of WC and other major burger chains( McDonald's, Burger King etc.) there were also many regional local burger joint locations.  'Round here we had;

DALY BURGER( one or two still operating, some were just dine-in and some had both dine-in and drive-in service) 

CARTER'S( Can think of five withing walking and driving distance from where I lived, but only where two are still operating.  The Lincoln Park location is still there, but now one of those ham places.  Was THE big hang-out when I was in high school)

MOTT'S( way similar to Carter's burgers, the main feature being grilled onions on 'em.  One still operates in Southwest Detroit).

Whitefang

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