Interestingly, the big news in Florida is not about the state’s new “anti-riot” law or rejection of the “vaccine passports,” but rather something bigger, namely White Castle has finally opened a restaurant in Florida, in Orlando specifically. It is said to be the world’s largest White Castle restaurant strategically placed near the theme parks and opened just yesterday (Mon, 5/3/2021).
News of the first Florida “Aluminum Room,” as aficionados call it, has set the state abuzz, particularly by northerners who now live in the Sunshine State, including yours truly. We have had access to frozen White Castles for several years, which is nice, but it doesn’t quite match those hot off the grill.
Of course, White Castle was the very first hamburger chain, founded in 1921, but it is family run and not franchised as others have done. They are small, square shaped burgers, steamed on a bed of onions, and possess a unique taste which northerners love. Originally, the small burger sold for just five cents, but I remember them at ten cents back in the 1960’s. Today, they are still a bargain which is why people “buy them by the sack.”
Hamburger connoisseurs have poo-poohed White Castle for years, but they do not appreciate its unique taste and loyal following. Frankly, they just don’t get it. These same people probably do not understand Cincinnati chili which is also unique and migrated to Florida some time ago.
True southerners seem to prefer Crystal Burgers which also features a small patty, but the taste is significantly different and the bun is larger, thereby you get the feeling you are buying more bread and less meat. I am confident the Orlando White Castles will convert a lot of southern skeptics.
White Castle has taken so much abuse about its size over the years, northerners affectionately refer to them as “sliders,” the first to do so. Nonetheless, northerners are devoted to them, which is why the opening of the first Florida “W.C. Steak House,” is greeted with considerable enthusiasm. Inevitably, this will cause both Floridians and visitors to make pilgrimages to Orlando just to satisfy their cravings. Hopefully the demand will flourish and we’ll see new restaurants open in other parts of the state, e.g., Tampa Bay (hint, hint).
One nuance worth mentioning is how the burgers are used in their famous turkey stuffing. I have friends in the north who swear by it, claiming it is simply delicious. You can find the recipe on their WEBSITE. There is also a new “Brunch Craver’s Benedict” which I want to try for breakfast.
As for me, I didn’t attend the grand opening as I loathe crowds, but I will be making the pilgrimage shortly to satisfy my “craving.” I plan on ordering a couple of sacks of cheeseburgers with jalapenos (one to eat there, one to bring home to Tampa Bay), or maybe it will be a “crave clutch” of 20, some onion chips, their legendary fries, and a Red Pop. And if you haven’t guessed by now, nobody orders just one burger; you order by the “sack” instead.
Yes, to the millions of misplaced Yankees living in Florida, this is very big news!
By the way, the new Florida White Castle restaurant is located in southwest Orlando at the new The Village of O-Town West development, 11595 Daryl Carter Pkwy, Orlando, FL 32836; Tel: 407/813-2516. Click for MAP.
Keep the Faith!
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