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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Camelot Where You Are #25, Speedway

"I finally got to my Camelot," says Speedway, "a White Castle fast food hamburger stand at the corner of 16th and Illinois in downtown Indy. It's one of those regional chains that's been around for many years. Many people who've moved away from Indy get a hankerin' for the little sliders and have relatives send them a box. It was such a phenomenon that White Castle has made cartons of the frozen burgers available for purchase in many groceries.

"I can't stand them myself and don't ever buy them. The little beef patties are square, with holes punctured in them. They're grilled then steamed (the reason for the holes) with chopped onions on a small steamed roll.

"White Castle is, I found out, the oldest hamburger chain in the country, having been founded in 1921 in Wichita, Kansas. As you no doubt will notice, my 'castle' comes complete with crenelations." Speedway mentions the dumpsters have crenelations, too.

We had White Castle in my Illinois hometown. You?

Thanks for entering, Speedway!


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29 comments:

dive said...

Somehow, Speedway's made downtown Indy look as sunny as Pasadena.
So this is the burger chain that started it all, eh? Nice to know who to blame.

Shell Sherree said...

Dumpsters and crenelations - those are two words I wouldn't have thought I'd see in the same sentence.

Speedway said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Petrea Burchard said...

I'm sorry that previous commenter deleted. It was funny. But oh well.

I had thought McDonald's was first, but that's probably because they came before the White Castle in my home town. I'm not sure this really matters in the annals of history...

Speedway said...

Thanks, Petrea. I don't want anyone to get the idea that the food is somehow tainted. It's just that the building with the little turret tends to serve food for those who want a meal consisting of "a six-pack and a sack of sliders." The one time I ate them, my tummy gave me a temporary case of Tourette's. :-b

Petrea Burchard said...

Ha! I'd like to know what you shouted out, Speedway.
I was never partial to sliders, but I know people who used to love them.

Speedway said...

The language is for an un-rated movie. I used many. many of my favorite words, words that for some reason, don't seem to come out when I'm actually very angry. When I'm just upset or cramped, I tend to use one syllable words because four syllable words don't express the pain.

TheChieftess said...

I may be from California, but I've been to a White Castle!!! (And I agree with Speedway...not my cup of tea!!! No comparison to a Big Boy...my burger of childhood choice!!!)

Petrea Burchard said...

Spoken like a Californian, Chieftess.

Trish said...

my folks used to hit White Castle on their way out to Havasu. I, on the other hand, haven't been and have managed to avoid purchasing the frozen variety of their burgers for all these years. ;-) I'll stick with my hometown favorites: In n Out and HiLife!

Great pic though!

LOLfromPasa said...

Oh, why did you mention Bob's Big Boy, Chieftess. I love their burgers and french fries with a side of blue cheese. Oh....!!!! Sorry folks, back to business (just joking Chieftess). Super photo for today's entry and the blue sky is divine. Haven't seen it here for 3 days.

TheChieftess said...

The only thing better than french fries and blue cheese is onion rings and blue cheese!!! There's still an active Bob's Big Boy in Studio City/Burbank...near Buena Vista and Pass sooo... next time you're in town LOL!!!

Speedway said...

Hmmm, in the Midwest we have Frisch's Big Boy which is very similar to Bob's Big Boy where you folks are. Bob's began in 1936, I think, while Frish's started in Cincy in 1939. There are even similar, if not twin, little boys out front. Here, I prefer to go to the Union Jack Pub just down the street when I want a burger. And "union Jack" has about as much to do with England as "English Leather" has to do with, well, English leather. It does have auto racing memorabilia, including big photos of Graham Hill on its walls, though. And Guinness.

TheChieftess said...

I must clarify...Big Boys were my go to childhood fav... at this point in time...nowadays I tend to go for the independent spots with a good burger!!!

Katie said...

Cool! I haven't seen a White Castle since my Minnesota days. I lived near a really old one that had been turned into a jewelry store and I always wanted to live there. I went to a few parties where WC sliders were brought as appetizers. With enough beer they taste great!

Ms M said...

Haha! Good one, Speedway. When I was a kid, WC were in the cities. We had Dog N Suds (specializing in Coney dogs and root beer), Smitty's Drive-In (juicy burgers, thick hand-cut French fries, milkshakes and malts made from real ice cream), and Dairy Queen.
But no Camelot....

Speedway said...

I remember the Dog'n'Suds, it was across the street from the DQ which closed for the season. But the best coney dogs EVER came from a long, narrow greasy spoon next door to the bus station. It was called - wait for this - The Coney Island! My mom would send my brother, sister, or me to the place for a sack of the dogs which were grilled in the window of the place, put on buns warmed on same grill, then topped with coney sauce and chopped onions. A long counter ran to the back of the building, filled at lunch time with kinda seedy looking men. Makes my mouth water to this day.
There was also a local tavern called Conroy's that served hamburgers that were crispy brown around the edges that hung out of a big bun and topped with a slice of Burmuda onion. They also have big fried fish filets. Everything was wrapped in waxed paper, put in a brown paper sack that'd have grease spots on it before we got home. One of those sandwiches, with a bunch of fresh, french fries and an icy-cold bottle of Coke. Oh, yummy-damn!

Margaret said...

I have never been to one of these. But it is a clever submission.

Petrea Burchard said...

I think we had a Dog 'n Suds in DeKalb, but my memory is vague. It sure sounds familiar. Maybe it was at the drive-through before it became the A&W. It's fun to remember this stuff.

Bellis said...

I want to see the crenellated dumpsters.

Susan Campisi said...

Fast Food Camelot! Great photo. I remember White Castle on Long Island growing up, distinguished as the place that served square hamburgers. I'm sure it's still there. It certainly has longevity.

Ms M said...

The Coney Island sounds like a classic eatery.
Looks like Dog 'n Suds originated in IL:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog_n_Suds

Petrea Burchard said...

Bellis, Speedway did send me a picture, but as the rules say "one photo per person" or "per entry" (Can't remember which, but you get the drift), she chose to post this one. Maybe she'll allow me to send it to you.

I wonder what other shapes hamburgers could be?

Ms. M, that brings it back to me! Dog 'n Suds was definitely in DeKalb, on 4th Street, before A&W. I just took a look at Google maps street view and there's something truly nondescript there now.

TheChieftess said...

Dayam!!! Now I want a Coney Island hot dog!!!

Speedway said...

Well, Petrea, if Bellis wants to see the crenelated dumpster (with armored doors and gates, no less!), I guess you should probably send her the picture.

And yeah, I want a Coney, too.

TheChieftess said...

How about adding the crenelated dumpster pic at the end of your post with a disclaimer that it's not an entry??? We ALL want to see the crenelated dumpster!!!
(Actually...I just like writing and thinking out loud the word crenelated!!!)

Petrea Burchard said...

Maybe I'll add it after the voting, Chieftess. A lot of people have sent more than one picture, and I haven't allowed anyone to post more than one, so I don't think it would be fair to make an exception. Remind me! I'll forget.

Adele said...

At the end of the school year, a few years ago, I wanted to give the kids an "indoor barbecue party," so I bought microwaveable White Castle burgers, to give them a little burger fun, without having to eat a full meal. I thought they were disgusted by them because of the onions, and the fact that they were frozen. Based on what you all have said above, maybe they are a regional and/or acquired taste!

Love the submission - White Castle is as Camelot as it gets!!

Petrea Burchard said...

I'm going to guess "regional," Adele. If you grew up in a town with a White Castle, you probably loved them well into adulthood, until you realized they weren't good for you. And you might still sneak back and have one from time to time.