Sunday, June 10, 2007

Diners and Greasy Spoons: White Castle

Ah, Le Chateau Blanc. My culinary love. White Castle is a chain of fast food restaurants n the midwest and northeast of the U.S. The signature item on the menu is a small hamburger on a square bun, approximately 2.5 inches / 6.3 cm on a side. The square meat patty is "steam grilled" with chopped onions and served with a sliver of pickle.

The steamy heat from cooking softens the bun and creates a unique flavor. The small size makes them look like hors d' oeuvres - you buy four or five and pop them in your mouth. Some people think they are awful and claim that the meat is bad quality, greasy and they feel like they slide down your throat. Others, including me, consider them a delicacy. I grew up on the same block of Queens, New York City that NYC blogger Ming the Merciless lives on now. There is a White Castle there in Sunnyside and a visit was a special treat during my childhood. People in New York and here in St. Louis call the burgers sliders for the reason just mentioned. White Castle celebrates the name and has trademarked the term Slyders.

The restaurants glow white at night. In the fall, when the sun sets earlier, I want to get out for some night shots of them.

Ming, do you ever visit the White Castle at Queens Boulevard and 43rd Street?



Anonymous said...

They are still good to go to here if you can find them. After World War II, most of those here were sold and became coffee shops and mini-diners. But they have recently come back in style and people still love them.

Nice shot in the rain.

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Ming_the_Merciless said...

I had my first White Castle's sliders when I came to Sunnyside to look at apartments in May 2005. Since then, I have been there a couple of times primarily for the really good Southern-style iced tea, which you can't get from other fast food chains. And while I'm there for the tea, a few squares of meat slid down my throat too. :-)

Yes, the June 1 photo is looking south across 43rd Avenue. All my windows faces 43rd Avenue.

GiuCe said...

nice view of the rain ^^

Sally said...

Hmmmm...sounds like an acquired tast. Me, I'm an Aussie...I prefer beetroot to pickles on my burgers! (a 'proper' hamburger here has a firmer bun than the soft Maccas style ones - toasted - meat, lettuce, tomato, beetroot, fried onions, as a minimum. NEVER mayo - maybe tomato sauce or bbq sauce if desired. "The lot" will include cheese and bacon, and possibly a fried egg, and maybe a pineapple ring...)

Strangetastes said...

Sally - I've been to Australia only once, and that was 15 years ago. There were two things that absolutely shocked me upon arrival: the sun was in the north and hamburgers were served with sliced beets. I got quite used to that over a couple of weeks, even decided that the latter was pretty tasty. Vegemite, however, wsa a completely different matter.

jules said...

I'm a California girl and when I moved to Michigan I was taken to White Castle as "something I must do" to initiate me to my new home state. Well, I must say that they have a certain "something" that keeps you coming back for more.