When your lunch is slip slydin’ away
Walk though the stainless-steel-and-glass door, and the tang of onions smacks you right in the face.Actually, it’s more like a love tap.My eyes start to tear up just thinking about the 2 1/2-inch square burgers steamed with onions and topped with a crinkle-cut dill pickle.Pure meat heaven.This is the White Castle experience a journey only taken back east, where ground beef is a dietary staple.Meat, meat and more meat.The other day, out of the blue, I was reminded of the stamina of Slyders, as they’re affectionately called. They were the first fast-food hamburger. And they’re the first thing I want to eat when I visit home.My best friend would shudder if she read that. In her lifetime, she has still not eaten one single hamburger. Trust me, I’ve tried.Recently, I received a press release about White Castle inducting a Kokomo, Ind., resident into its Cravers Hall of Fame. I took particular interest in this because first, the guy was from Indiana, and second, there are no White Castle restaurants around these parts.I miss those little burgers.Sure, I can buy them from the freezer section of the grocery store. But that’s not the same.Slyders are best eaten at 3 in the morning, hot off the steamy, onion-sprinkled griddle. And, since White Castle is open 24 hours, they could be categorized as the breakfast of champions.Move over, Wheaties.A person can be considered for induction into the Cravers Hall of Fame by submitting their best “crave” stories. Cravings can happen after a night out on the town or working out at the gym.Slyders are packed with protein.Cravers Hall of Fame contest rules require that “the submitted story is accurate and truthful, and reflects your honest opinions, findings, beliefs and experiences.”Boy do I have a doozie.This is one of my favorite stories my dad tells about a former co-worker friend. It’s also kind of gross, so I’ll warn readers with a light stomach to tread lightly.Or lightly visit a treadmill after they hear this one.This certain former co-worker friend of my dad’s was what people used to call a “healthy eater,” before there was ever such a thing as health food.Eating was George’s thing.Just like losing my cell phone is mine.Once, at one of Indiana’s bottomless buffets, he grew tired of making all those annoying trips up to the salad bar. So he proceeded to take the big salad bowl from the salad bar to his table.Then he proceeded to eat the biggest salad known to man.”Excuse me, sir, you can’t eat from that bowl,” the server said.”It says all-you-can-eat,” he said.”Yeah, you’re going to need to leave,” she said.George was a good sport about his “healthy” eating habits. And he was a sucker for White Castles and wagers.So, one day at lunch when my dad and his co-workers were on their break, someone bet George he couldn’t eat 50 White Castles.Wimpy’s got nothing on this guy.Being the good sport he was, George accepted the challenge. And 50 steamy, onion-sprinkled White Castles soon arrived in the lunchroom.Luckily for George, White Castles are not full-size hamburgers. My best go at it is five or six. Many guys I know back home can eat a sack of 10 with no problem.But 50 White Castles is a whole ‘nother story.George wasn’t one to lose a bet, or pass up a free meal. He ate the 50 White Castles and proudly collected his winnings.Unfortunately, George’s cravings caught up with him.In the front seat of his car.All over the dashboard.Down into his heater vents.George had to sell his car because of the repercussions of eating 50 White Castles in one sitting.Somehow I don’t think George’s story would go over so well with the Cravers Hall of Fame judges. But who could forget that one?Cravers Hall-of-Famers, eat your hearts out.
April E. Clark wishes she could have a hot-off-the-griddle White Castle cheeseburger right now. Luckily for her, Christmas is just 47 days away. She can be reached at 945-8515, ext. 16601.
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Sticks in the mud. Overly cautious. Obstacles to progress.