A Serious Eats Look at Midtown’s White Castle

Considering its track record, I don’t know if you would want your first White Castle experience to be at the Midtown location on 8th Ave. btw. 36+37th… but that’s exactly where Robyn Lee from A Hamburger Today enjoyed her very first White Castle slider (and order of chicken rings!) last week. In true Serious Eats fashion the post includes cross sections of everything they tried, and the photos are pretty amazing looking (a testament to her photography, considering how gross White Castle looks in person.)  In other words, if you’ve never been to White Castle and are considering the Midtown location as your first forray- don’t be fooled by the photos.  You might want to read what she wrote instead. [A Hamburger Today]

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    A fair review. Some White Castles in the Midwest have a thing called “onion chips”, which are the best item on the menu. I have not seen them on the East Coast. By the way, if you visit Whitecastle.com, you can print a coupon for a free hamburger. Not sure if they are being honored at the Mahnattan branch.

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    Thanks for the tip, Wade, about the free burger.

    That White Castle is very ghetto, but that’s part of the fun of eating in a White Castle. It adds to the ambiance. Last time I was there, I saw some dude trying to steal a girl’s camera. She stupidly left it sitting on the table next to her. Guess she was from out-of-town!

    But seriously, I really like the hamburgers (technically called “White Castles” on the menu) and the fish sandwich is the best one in any fast food restaurant, including McDonald’s.

  • (Really) Poor man’s Krystal burger. If I were in a self-destructive mood, or just really hungover, I’d catch TB express a few doors down instead.

  • the review did not do justice to White Castle at all. Are the touted as being the best burgers? No. Are they considered low price for what you get? No.

    They have a cult following. You either like them or you do not.

    My prefference is the double cheeseburger…no pickles of course. This is the only consumption of kethcup I partake in as the sweet tang cuts through the grease and might just help in the digestion of the belly bombers.

    Do you have the crave?

    if you happen to venture out to Long Island, I suggest visiting the White Castle in Massapequa. I am not joking, but it is so clean you can probably eat from the floor.

  • I agree with NoPickles. WC has no place in the midst of a hamburger review. That’s like including Taco Bell in a review of mexican restaurants or the Olive Garden in a review of italian restaurants. They just don’t belong.

    However, that doesn’t detract from what those restaurants offer; tasty, well engineered food, where you get what you pay for :)

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    Oh, White Castle that used to be near the Empire State Building, why have you forsaken us?

    The 8th Avenue location is beyond sketchy — two out of the last three times I’ve tried going there, I was accosted by foul-smelling beggars, and on the other visit some pervert fondled a girl’s buttocks and then ran away after the police were called.

    Never thought I’d have fond memories of the WC on Newark Ave in Jersey City, the one Harold and Kumar should have been able to find but didn’t, where everything is behind bulletproof plexiglass and one of the regular cashiers has a freaky bulbous edema-hand.

  • @rootbeer: Almost all NYC White Castle locations are beyond sketchy.

  • @Rootbeer: I have to check out the JC one.

  • LOL Rootbeer, can’t say I have ever been to the Newark Ave WC in Jersey City. Your description of the cashier reminds me of Benny the cab driver from Total Recall though.

    Benny: I got four kids to feed.
    Douglas Quaid: So what happened to number five?
    Benny: Aw, sh*t, man! You got me. I ain’t even married. Now put your f___in’ hands in the air!

  • I can eat an entire crave case of burgers with/without cheese whatever. my mouth waters at the mention of white castle. good thing there is a white castle near me in Queens!

  • If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: No review of White Castle is complete without a sampling of the Surf N’ Turf. It is truly an amazing feat of fast food art and alchemy.

    Also, when it comes to White Castle, you’re much better served in the outer boroughs. I highly recommend the Fort Hamilton Parkway Brooklyn, Hylan Boulevard Staten Island, and Union City, NJ locations.

  • I also miss the White Castle that was by the Empire State Building— Clean and relatively upscale. The one on 8th Avenue is one of the rings of Dante’s Inferno. I have never seen so many exposed sores in one place. Rootbeer, best comment I have seen in awhile, Thanks! (BTW, I think I make a similar comment every time this Particular White Castle gets mentioned….)

  • I went back and apparently, I am not the only one who seems to make the same comments everytime.. (rootbeer, Chip Beef looking at you….)

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    @adamprato: If I may disagree…

    Burgers are one kind of food whose history in the US is deeply steeped in fast food chains. White Castle is the oldest burger chain in the US. I think it certainly has a place on a burger site that tries to include all styles of burger, from the cheapo slyder to an expensive fancy-pants burger.

  • Oh sure, when you put it like that. :)

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