April 12, 2013

The food critique goes to White Castle

So what does a trip to White Castle offer, besides the chance to use the most obvious headline in food critique history?

Sadly for the comedy buffs, I've never seen the film documenting Harold and Kumar's trip to the slider-serving fast-food joint. Therefore, my trip didn't open up the door to any movie references. Nor did I ever purchase White Castle-branded eat-at-home fair available in the frozen-food aisle. So comparisons are out, too.

Sounds like I have only one choice after traveling to White Castle: review the food.
You didn't want an actual photo of the food, did you? Once I reached into the White Castle bag, I was too busy eating to snap pictures.

For any of you not in the know, White Castle makes a big deal out of its sliders. And I'm pretty picky when it comes to sliders. Serve up some high-class mini burgers and I'll love them forever. But ship out a half-baked product -- or half cut, as Burger King did a few years ago -- and I'll take you to task.

There will be no task taking when it comes to White Castle, though. Its sliders are the best I've ever received through a drive-through window. They're thick with onion scent and perfectly sized. The bun-to-meat ratio is borderline high, but not so high as to be offensive. And if you order cheese, you'll receive melted yellow wonder that unites ground beef and gluten as only fast-food American can!

White Castle even serves its sliders in individual boxes. It's wasteful from a packing standpoint and brilliant from an assembly standpoint. Each burger stays together, nestled tightly in its cardboard carrying container. Bravo!

I have just a single harp when it comes to the sliders, and it was as much my own fault as White Castle's. When I ordered, I was not expecting pickles. Don't ask me why -- all of the chain's promotional materials clearly show green little gherkins peeking out from the mini burgers. No matter the cause, I was surprised to find them on top of each slider, glued down by yellow cheese.

With the pickles swimming in all of that American, it would have been quite the tall task to pull them out of my sliders. So I ate them and pretended they were large versions of the diced white onions sprinkled on the burgers. It wasn't too bad, even for a picklephobe like me.

To White Castle, I ask: Why not put the pickles below the meat, where they won't get mixed up in the cheese? To everyone else, I say: Be careful to ask for no pickles if that's your slider of choice.

It may seem like there's nothing left to say after all the pixels I've spilled on sliders. Yet I haven't even gotten to my favorite part of my White Castle experience. To my surprise, I was blown away by the french fries.

It's probably because White Castle serves crinkle-cut fries. I'm a sucker for crinkle cuts. Sure, you can claim they're a little dry or lack the consistent texture of more uniformly shaped fries. Still, something about the nooks and ridges teases my taste buds into joy like nothing else can.

This journey nets five sporks out of five. For once, I can't even dock points for a misplaced pickle. Slide yourself over to a White Castle next time you see one!

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