White Castle has always been there for me, except, it’s been like 30 years since the last time I was there for it. I’ve let a good deal of my life slip by without partaking in the original slider and his 20th century friends. The peach smoothie was something that bridges the gap between then and now—halfway through the second decade of the 21st century.
Of course I could have ordered online and had my order ready to pick up ahead of time, or even at a particular time. But, when it’s this amount of time between White Castle visits, the digital age takes a back seat to the drive up and thru.
I had a little bit of trepidation as I considered taking the White Castle plunge yet once more. I remembered late night visits in my youth after a night on the town. It was a rite of passage growing up in New York. My friends and I would get sacks of sliders and wash them down with a shake or cola of whatever variety they had…coke, I think? It helped prevent the morning pain next day, but mostly we pounded them down because they tasted good each and every time.
When I lived in places that didn’t have White Castle restaurants I occasionally tried a box of frozen ones from the store. They just weren’t as good. The magic wasn’t there. Microwaving the little guys just didn’t cut it. There’s nothing like getting them fresh like I did today. I remember being excited when I found out they were available in my frozen section. But, like I said, it just wasn’t the same. They lost something in translation with the frozen version.
I want to say in the old days it was like a drive-in theatre when you went to White Castle. There was a parking spot with a speaker you talked into. I think people would take your order that way. Then, they’d come out with your sliders in a bag and give them to you. If that’s not the way it was, then maybe one of us actually went inside, ordered and brought them to us. Like I said, it’s been a while and so it’s hard to remember exactly how the deals transpired.
20th Century White Castle visits were unlike modern day ones. I will remember today’s visit but with the passage of time struggle to recall the specifics of White Castle trips of yesteryear. Like the old saying goes, if you can remember it you weren’t there.
The odd thing about today was the ordering of the peach smoothie. The choice was peach or something else—I can’t recall what flavor the other variety was, maybe strawberry? After I ordered the items in the opening paragraph above, the nice lady talking through the speaker (Ariel) asked me if I wanted to try some dessert. I told her I was looking at the desserts (actually, I was having trouble locating them—the menu board looked very cluttered to me). Then, after finally seeing what looked to be a couple of different pies or cakes, I opted to hold fast with my order. I would have the peach smoothie for dessert.
It turned out to be a good call and not just the peach smoothie, either. The whole White Castle thing was a great move on my part. White Castle still holds up today. More aptly, they still slide right down just like they used to. I’ll wait and see if there’s anything I remember about it tomorrow.