The White Castle quest

I recently traveled by NYC’s healthiest mode of transport (Citi Bike) to have lunch at one of the country’s unhealthiest burger joints – the medievally monikered White Castle.  Why?  To try their Impossible Sliders.  It’s a vegetarian burger made to feel, taste and even bleed like meat.  I also wanted to see what Harold & Kumar’s fuss was all about.

The venue (and the patronage) was predictably sad and dirty but boy was that burger good.  It was crispy on the outside and beefy on the inside.  If you ate it blind, you probably wouldn’t realise it was meatless.  I’ll definitely go back next time I’m nearby.  I also tested out their fried cheese curds (great but too greasy), fudge-dipped cheesecake on a stick (a true innovation), and a mango smoothie (healthy?).

For the uninitiated, White Castle is known for making small, square sliders.  Sliders are essentially small burgers (often lacking salads) where the bun is allowed to cook a little on the greasy grill.  Now, boys and girls, why do we want more grease on the bun?  Because we can!  Apparently, White Castle both invented and trademarked the word slider, in response to anti-German sentiment towards the word hamburger around World War I.  So, essentially, I was biting into a little slice of historically approved freedom.  White Castle is also credited as the creator of the hamburger bun, the kitchen assembly line, chain-wide standards, and indeed the fast food movement.  And they started a whole 19 years before McDonalds (whose foundation story, BTW, is told in an excellent movie with Michael Keaton called The Founder).

To summarise my experience, White Castle is comparable to any of America’s famous obesity chains, but this new Impossible Burger has made my imminent return more than a fantasy.

Impossible review –

Wiki –

The Founder trailer –

Harold and Kumar trailer –

One Response to “The White Castle quest”
  1. Oak Aitken says:

    Second time reading this and just picked up on that etymology of the ‘Slider’. First time I was in NY my friend got some sliders and they were tiny, so ever since then I thought that Slider just meant ”Tiny burger” :D

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