Last night I got what White Castle calls “The Crave.” For some reason, my wife’s mention of White Castle’s tiny burgers had triggered a mental Post-It Note that stayed stuck on the refrigerator of my mind the entire day. Even after having a big lunch, my mind kept racing back to Slyders.
The last time I remembered having the “The Crave” was about two years ago, when we first moved into the house we currently live in. We’d been moving all day, it was about 2 AM, and my wife and I were tired and hungry. We were going down our list of options and in a fit of weakness, settled on White Castle. I still had vague memories of the following day, as the pain of lifting box after box was supplemented with more gas than a tanker truck of Mylanta could tame and my skin and hair had the lingering odor of steamed onions and grease. Did I REALLY want those burgers?
Yes. Yes I did.
So I jumped in my wife’s CR-V and drove to White Castle. The familiar aroma of onions greeted me a half mile from the parking lot, and grew all the more fierce as I walked toward the door. On the door they were advertising their Valentine’s Day special, where they were going to treat the WC Lounge like a much fancier place for couples. Sounded quite amusing. After all, the couple that breaks wind together stays together.
The familiar blue and white greeted me as I walked to the shielded counter to order. There were dozens of variations on the multi-burger theme. Plus they had chicken and fish sandwiches, which seemed blasphemous, and burgers with jalapeno cheese and bacon, which just seemed like overkill. I ordered 9 burgers. 6 for me, and three for my wife.
I watched as huge tray of onions bubbled, and saw the meat and buns on top of them. I thought of how good they’d taste. I thought of how they’d wreck my health. I thought, “HURRY UP! I’M CRAVIN’!”
I got in the car and instantly was overcome with the odor. In such a closed environment, the aroma goes from pleasingly strong to Osama Bin Laden’s armpits in a hurry. Even though it was in the 30’s I cracked the sunroof. I then cracked the windows, creating a whoosh of air that froze me until I got home.
I couldn’t wait to taste my first one. I pulled it out of the ecologically unsound cardboard containers they come in. I looked at it. The somewhat tough bun with what looked like soggy meat and bread in the center, and just the right amount of artificially yellowed cheese. The aroma hit my nostrils. My mouth watered.
I put it in my mouth and bit down. The texture of a White Castle is hard to describe. Imagine a greasy cracker that is soggy in the center with a bit of crispy crunchiness on the edges, and a bit of chewiness in the center that crumbles into little meaty bits.
The taste is even more distinct. It’s a bit like wet toasted bread topped with a dry crust, and filled in the center with a garlic and onion soaked sliver of meat. But it’s not.
The size, taste, and texture all combine to make you want to swallow it almost whole. Indeed, it does feel like they almost slide down your stomach. And so they did, one, two, three, four, five, and six.
I actually felt pretty good after downing the 6 burgers. A couple of burps but I felt fine. Then this morning it hit. A tummy disturbance of epic performance. In a dark side that Harold and Kumar never really hint at, I felt like a 80 car pileup had happened in my gut and every car’s side, front, and curtain airbags had inflated inside of me. When I took a shower earlier today, I could swear I smelled the onion and garlic rinsing off my body. It is now exactly 24 hours and later I still have more gas than Exxon. My tummy is killing me.
Was it worth it? I’m not sure. But I’m willing to bet that in another two years, I’ll be primed and ready to attack a slyder again. In the meantime, does anyond have any Gas-X?