Don’t Ever Go to White Castle Stone Cold Sober—You’ll Regret It!

Filed in Living by on August 20, 2015 2 Comments


In the summer I usually take a little break from my diet, just to relax a bit and enjoy some foods I deny myself during the rest of the year. It dawned on me this summer that I hadn’t had White Castle in probably 15 years or so, so I decided to go there for old-times’ sake. If you’re not from the Midwest, you may not be familiar with the so-called “sliders” they serve. The slider is a small and rather unusual hamburger (more on this later).

The last time I had White Castle was not a good experience. I was headed to Midway airport to pick up Elaine and I arrived in the area early, so I stopped at a Whitey’s for a drive-thru snack. I got quite sick later that night, and swore off them. But as they say, time heals all wounds, and now I wanted to go back, for what is still considered the quintessential south side of Chicago dining experience.

So I went to a nearby White Castle, in the early afternoon. I was pleasantly surprised at the brightness of the décor and overall cleanliness—Whitey’s has gone upscale! Prior to ordering, I remembered from past experience that you never want to get more than four sliders, because you will pay a dear price afterward. A slider is a mini hamburger with a hard-to-interpret meat patty, grilled onions, and pickle. The onions especially can come back to haunt you, which is why eating more than four is a mistake. So I ordered four hamburgers no pickle, medium fries, medium Diet Coke, and a small chocolate shake. I had also remembered that after eating the burgers and fries, it was generally wise to dump a small shake on top of it all to tamp down the fire in your stomach caused by all of the grease and onions.

At least I was availing myself of the perfect White Castle order. That should help!

Of course, typical of a “fast food” restaurant, they screwed up my order and gave me cheeseburgers instead of hamburgers. At least the counter person was pleasant and promptly replaced them with the correct ones.

Now I’m getting to the part where I explain why you absolutely don’t want to go to Whitey’s sober.

Before I took my first bite of a slider, I examined it closely (big mistake!). The bun is ordinary enough, if a little buttery and greasy. The grilled onions are just onions, and those are offensive enough by their very nature. But the meat patty! (I use the term “meat” very loosely.) What the hell is that? First of all, it’s so thin you can hardly examine it for any useful information. It is literally the thickness of about 5 sheets of paper. The fact that it is so hard to inspect is probably a blessing, though, because it is of such low quality that there is no way that it contains any more than 5% beef, if any. The color (mottled, light gray), consistency (mushy), smell (dog food), and taste (I’m at a loss) are nothing short of alarming.

In spite how disgusting they are, I ate all four sliders, again, just for old times’ sake. I have to admit they did bring back some interesting memories. This, however, along with the awful quality of the food, brings me to another reason why you don’t want to go to White Castle during the day, sober.

When we used to go to Whitey’s back in the day, it was after a long, crazy night of hard drinking. I’m talking Sodom and Gomorrah, end of the earth-type partying! So we were blitzed, as were the other customers at that extremely late hour. So a big part of the fun of going there was the people watching. There were all types of colorful characters in the restaurant at that time of night: a young couple arguing over some loose words blurted out earlier that evening; another young couple making out; a slightly menacing group of youths out past their curfew; a woman who looked to be for sale; a muscle guy and his equally heavily-muscled girlfriend; two guys in Iron Maiden t-shirts; and, last but not least, me and my idiot friends.

Reminiscent of the bar scene in Star Wars—many interesting creatures!

So my advice is, don’t waste your time going to White Castle during the day, well before even your first alcoholic drink. You will be acutely aware of the ridiculously low quality of the food, and you will only be afforded ordinary, everyday customers to people watch. Instead, go there after a night of Charlie Sheen-style partying, and experience Whitey’s how it’s meant to be experienced!

About the Author ()

TIM MCINTYRE retired in 2004 from his position as president of Applied Systems after facilitating a successful sale of the company. At only forty-six years old, he made the unusual decision to fully retire to pursue other interests and simply enjoy free time. As a hard-driving Type A personality, this turned out to be a significant challenge for the Notre Dame and University of Chicago-educated MBA, CPA, and Certified Cash Manager.

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  1. Bernard Mcloughlin says:

    Excellent restaurant review, so I take it your not pushing to get a White Castle in Naples, FL!!

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