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Deconstructing The White Castle

By Misnomer on Tuesday, 27th January 2015 12:18pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 28


Alcohol, as an intoxicant, is unique in its ability to interfere with a person's ability to judge size and scale. While under its influence, I have fought men twice my size, and bedded women bigger still. On more than one occasion, I have attempted to eat 20 White Castle burgers. As deeply regrettable as two of those activities turned out to be, the focus of this article is on White Castle, which opens in Las Vegas today at Casino Royale.

I live in the Midwest, where you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a White Castle. (If you'd like to try, a good place to find a dead cat is probably near a White Castle dumpster.) Here, I preview a number of the restaurant's selections.

This is a standard White Castle cheeseburger, which they call a "Cheese Slider". Do not confuse this with a Sugar Glider, which is a type of possum that lives in the forest and smells better.

Disassembled into its component parts, we see that the slider is made up of a top and bottom bun, cheese, grilled onions, a pickle, and a meat patty. The patty is approximately the thickness of a human hair, with a very similar flavor profile. Also note that the tiny patty is perforated with several holes arranged in the same pattern as the pips on the "five" side of a die. Perhaps double sliders at the Las Vegas White Castle will become known as Ten the Hard Ways, but probably not.

A word about the meat. In the 70s, my mother - a notoriously terrible cook - had one of those cookbooks that supposedly revealed the secret recipes of various famous restaurants. There was a recipe allegedly containing Colonel Sanders 11 secret herbs and spices, a recipe for making your own strawberry pancake syrup like they had at IHOP, and so on. The recipe for making White Castle hamburger meat was simply this: mix in one jar of veal baby food per pound of ground beef. That was it. And she made them all the damn time. Mushy, mealy, vealy baby food burgers. They were disgusting, and they were exponentially tastier than actual White Castle hamburgers.

White Castle also serves fish sandwiches. The fish portion of the sandwich is engineered to fit squarely within the same dinner roll-sized bun as the hamburger. They must use small fish. Something like a Betta Fish. That's why you must never put two White Castle fish sandwiches on the same tray - they will fight until one of them dies.

These are White Castle's "Chicken Rings". Other fast food places form their breaded chicken-food products into nuggets or fingers that ostensibly could have been carved from an intact bird. White Castle gives no clucks about poultry plausibility, and fashions their fried chicken-squish into rings, gaddamit. Prediction: Someone will get married at a Vegas wedding chapel wearing a chicken ring within the next three months. Book it.

Cheese fries. Taken from the deep freeze and plunged into scalding fryer grease, these fries reach a searing room temperature before they're served up, tepid and ready, with a generous dollop of Wisconsin's finest hydrogenated yellow. If you must order these, bury them under six salt packets and as many ketchup packets as you can reasonably get past the judgmental eye of the restaurant manager.

The aftermath. Shortly after consumption, your body will begin to reject the White Castle like a failed organ transplant. Unrestrainable burps will pass your lips and fill the surrounding area with stale air as if purged from an old inner tube. Here comes the shame.

As the marketing blitz for the Las Vegas White Castle continues this week - the compliant Vegas media having been plied with free corporate schwag - you're going to hear again and again how sliders are the "perfect" drunk food. Perhaps they are, in the same way that tequila shots are the perfect drunk food: They're both a terrible idea when you're already drunk, and they will both make your hangover immeasurably worse. Would I ever eat White Castle again? You buying? Set 'em up.

Tagged: misnomer   vegas eats   burgers   casino royale   white castle   


Comments & Discussion:

i missed you. welcome back!

Thanks, Chuck! Good to be back!

Nicely written Misnomer. Your blog served up some tasty tidbits that made me both hungry and gassy. -Roux

I'm trying to tell myself that I have no business going the next time I'm there, that In-N-Out is way, way better.

It ain't working.

Maybe I'll make it the finale of an evening spent with the Fountains of Bellagio and a Fat Tuesday slushie the size of my head.

I personally don't mind White Castle. Four jalapeno sliders and a grape fountain soda... nummy.

Regarding your "Prediction: Someone will get married at a Vegas wedding chapel wearing a chicken ring within the next three months. Book it."...

You are way off. Three days, max.

When I was in high school in New Jersey we called them Rat Burgers. Ordering "ten rats, tuck the tails" meant you wanted ten cheeseburgers and an order of fries. Looks like they are as awful as ever.

I've never tried White Castle, as we have our own copycat slider chain, Krystal, and the nearest White Castle to Atlanta is outside of Nashville and no burger is worth me driving that far (same is true with Jack In The Box, whose nearest location is a little more than 2 hours from me). Since I don't see myself headed to Nashvegas anytime soon, I'll have to visit the Vegas location in order to try them out.

Next time I go to Vegas, White Castle first, Shake Shack second, and then off to Press for their sliders.

Mmmm... Krystal's.

The freeze dried grilled onions on top of the meat patty are simply indigestable. If you must partake, DON'T evacuate in your hotel room as housekeeping will probably call security. A better idea is to make the 1.1 mile trek down to the Wynn, (if you can make it), and see if the nicest casino washrooms on the strip are up to the challenge. Also, don't believe anyone who tells you that they only go to Castle's for the coffee.

I'm not going to lie, I'm really looking forward to finally trying White Castle. I did try Shake Shake last week during my Vegas trip and wasn't that impressed.

Excellent work!

Yes more!!
'White Castle gives no clucks about poultry plausibility", lmao

"Shortly after consumption, your body will begin to reject the White Castle like a failed organ transplant."

It's funny because it's true.

Ah, good old White Castle, "the" after-hours food from the days back in Chicagoland. (Sadly, or maybe not, haven't been to one since moving down towards the St. Louis area, which they do have plenty of here.)

Being from the Midwest as well have always wondered why there are holes in the patty.

You're absolutely right about these gut bombs. We have them here and it's been years since I've eaten them. The smell gets into everything. Bring them home and the car will stink for days. I do think Casino Royale is the perfect location. You need to be hammered to enjoy that place already. Great article! Look forward to the next one.

Is..is that really...meat? It looks like it was scrapped off a shoe.

Since I can walk to the nearest White Castle in less than 10 minutes I doubt that I will make it a dining stop next time I am there. Some basic tips-if you skip the onions they stay down longer, eat them fast, get marinara sauce and dip your fries in them because they taste better and try the cheese sticks. The way it works here in Chicago is you eat them and sleep with the window open but since you can't do that in Vegas wrap yourself in the covers and just deal with it.

Which Vegas castle brings more shame - White Castle or the Excalibur? At least this White Castle is still sparkly new (and white ... for now).

As a native of the Northeast, adopted Southerner, and current fatass I feel like I can comment on the Castle-vs-Krystal debate. It's Krystal all day, not for the burgers, which are almost as bad, but for Krystal's tiny chicken sandwiches. They're delicious, even sober.

Since there's no Krystal on the Strip (except in the strip clubs), I'll walk the extra few feet to McDonalds when I get the drunchies. But I love the #foodporn-worthy photos in this post, and I'm intrigued enough that I might try a tiny Betta fish sandwich.

As a fellow mid-westerner, this is spot on. Here in our area, they recently closed all the White Castles, as they suck.

Anawas makes a good point too, not sure if White Castle still has them, but if you are going to eat White Castle, the chicken sliders are the only way to do it.

i dunno man...showing up to a new years eve party at about 1230am with a full crave case will elevate one to hero status in my experience.

i unabashedly love white castle though. and there's never a line in the drive-thru.

Those paying $$$$ for a colon cleanse should consider eating a 6-pack of White Castle instead…would be a lot less money with the same results…

When I was in college (NW Ohio), our “White Castle” equivalent was Top Hat… I have not built up enough bravery to eat Krystal slides during all the years of living in Alabama…

just a reminder - if you do consume these, remember to shit in the hotel room's tub before you leave. The byproduct of this "meal" needs to be shared with as many people as possible.

The holes in the patty are there so they can be cooked faster (and not resemble the copycat sliders of other chains). I wonder if Misnomer has ever taken Mrs. Misnomer to White Castle for Valentines's Day.

I just saw a picture of the line for opening day and am shocked that so many people lined up for something everyone in Chicago wanders to on a whim. And they do do a Valentine's Day promotion.

I ate my share of sliders way back when in Joisey. All I can add is that they smelled the same way "going out" the next morning as they did "going in" the night before. I never knew what to make of that, and I didn't want to think about it too much.

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