There are some meccas in life that every Foodie must take. For me, the list of meccas seems to keep growing and slowly but surely, I cross them off the list. White Castle has been on the list for what seems like ages. I have dreamed about my first visit to a White Castle on multiple locations. I knew I would order 6 sliders with ketchup & mustard and a large order of crinkle cut fries. I knew I would love every single bite of it and dream of it until my next visit. Well, when I was finally close to a White Castle (we have none in FL), my visit was nothing spectacular. My mecca to this all mighty was simply a Dead End.
During our trip in and around Chicago, we had passed a few White Castles. unfortunately, it was never at an eating time. On our drive from Chicago to Blairsville, we stopped in Tennessee around 3pm and, as luck would have it, there was a White Castle. Since I had just had an AMAZING Penn Station Subs sandwich for lunch, I was not overly hungry. Well, it didn’t matter – Mommy told me I would be getting White Castle because she was sick of hearing me complain. Well, I just wasn’t feeling it. This is not the way the Mecca was meant to be. Before I even ordered, I knew this Mecca was going the Wrong Way.
This White Castle location was connected to a gas station and as I made my way over to it, I realized how not hungry I really was. Now, I am someone who can eat…and eat big. But, at this moment, I just wasn’t feeling it. I decided to just order 1 slider…so I could at least try it. Well, after I finally got the attention of the workers, I placed my order and waited. A few moments later, my slider arrived. This was so nothing like this mecca was meant to be. I brought the slider over to the table and removed it from the bag. I found that it was so small, you could not see it within the box. Rather than waiting for it to cool, I regrettably bit in too soon…
…And pain was to follow. After I managed to get down the first really hot bite, I let the slider cool. While doing so, I took a look in and saw there was no ketchup or mustard however, there was a TON of onions. Like I’m talking more onions than slider. As I continued eating, all I could taste was the onions. And, it was not a good taste. The taste from the onions was so strong, and so foul, that the rest of the slider & bun, seemed to not even be there. All I could taste was onions. I forced my way through the slider and was so glad when it was done. The slider itself tasted of nothing and the bun was extra soggy. The last remaining bit of White Castle happiness was simply disappearing before my very eyes.
I finished my slider and felt a piece of innocence being taken from me in the cruelest of ways. My first time at White Castle was to be a Mecca of Mecca – an amazing journey with peaks of sliders and valleys of crinkle-cut fries. But rather, this White Castle in the back roads of Tennessee, took that innocence away from me. Forcing itself down foul, rough & undesirable. While the experience left me distraught, I vowed to myself this would not be my last time. No, I would take White Castle again. And this time, it would be the Mecca it was truly meant to be. Until then, I am left with the taste of onions, soggy buns & lack of joy as my memory. This may currently be a Dead End but, one day, this will become my Mecca.
It is definitely an acquired taste. Most of us consider White Castle the Mecca of “3:00 AM, fall-down-drunk and have to get some food in your stomach before you die” restaurants. When face with those circumstances, nothing is better than he smell of those onions. And for the record, White Castle never adds any condiments beyond the pickle and the onions. That’s just the way it is.
A true Mecca is In ‘N Out burger in the western U.S. If you are ever near one be sure to order a double-double burger “animal style”.
Well, I will certainly be trying it again…althought, it probably won’t be at a 3:00am drunk time, lol. And yes, I realize its usually no ketchup & mustard – I happened to request that to be added. I do that at my once a year Krystal Burger visit and it makes the burgers quite enjoyable.
And ohh Todd, let me tell you, In ‘N Out is so high up on my Mecca list, its bursting through. 🙂