the garden state

“What are my chances of going to White Castle this weekend?”

“Not good. Not unless we’re wasted.”

“Please?” I begged.


Enter puppy dog face.

And so the next day, after convincing Jim to take away my White Castle virginity (which wasn’t all that hard to do…hey, I’m easy when it comes to food), we set out like Harold and Kumar, to satiate my Slyder craving.  After all, we were in New Jersey.

As we pulled up to the WC parking lot in Union City, I couldn’t help but be the giddy little girl who’s about to get a pony for her birthday. Since first hearing the Beastie Boys rap about the fries, the quest to White Castle had me feeling a bit like King Arthur grasping for the Holy Grail. But this chalice was in the form of a small bitty burger that has been likened to a small soggy sponge with a square piece of cardboard stuck in the middle and that will inevitably make you ill. I’ve had the frozen WC burgers and they weren’t terrible – I found the similar to a midget Mickey D’s Happy Meal burger.

“They are pretty small,” Jim warned, “so we’d better get at least a few.” So we split the 10 burger meal deal – 10 burgers, two fries and two drinks for $9.99.

As we sat down at a booth, I looked up at a White Castle propaganda poster, possibly from the 40’s. Or not. “A balanced meal for growing bodies,” it read, with a drawing of a boy and girl walking down a street.


When our number was called, we grabbed the tray, sat down and I hungrily stared at 10 small boxes of burgers – 5 with cheese, 5 without.


I grabbed one, took it out of the box, unfolded it, dispersed of the pickles, then took a bite. Yes, the bun was soggy. Yes, the meat was an indescribable cardboard gray (and just as thin). But yes, it was pretty damn good. We ate a few more of those puppies but had to stop at 7 (I did eat one more than Jim) and bagged up the last three. “It’ll make a good midnight snack,” I told Jim. He agreed.


So after a few requisite photos of the big sign in front, we hopped back in the car and drove to our next destination – a matinée of, “I Love You, Man,” which surprisingly has gotten great reviews.

Two hours later, while basking in the glow of a wonderfully funny movie, we got back into the car when I horrifically exclaimed, “What the hell is that smell?!” It had smelled like an alien mutant had vomited a dead skunk…two days ago. Then I remembered we left the three leftover burgers wrapped in a plastic bag in the back seat to stew in the sun while we were at the movies. I immediately grabbed the bag and chucked it in the nearest garbage bin. I don’t ever remember smelling something as vile as those three little burgers.  EVER.  Luckily, as soon as I threw them out, the odor went with them.

I think that little incident has definitely cured my White Castle craving.


One Comment on “the garden state”

  1. denshewman April 6, 2009 at 10:56 #

    You learned the first rule of eating Castles: eat what you can, leave the rest. Like MacDonalds fries, they don’t resurrect well.

    Now go watch HAROLD AND KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE to feel the love they feel. And the cheetah ride is pretty cool, too, as well as the celebrated NPH.

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