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White Castle

  • j
  • johnb Jan 13, 2005 04:36 PM

This is an academic inquiry only (what--you don't believe me?) Where is the White Castle nearest to DC (as the crow flies, driving distance, time, or in a spiritual sense)

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  1. Probably the ones in Newark, NJ.

    Thanks,

    K

    1. Hey, have you been watching the movie Harold and Kumar go to White Castle? I saw it when it first came out and went on my own quest for White Castle. Alas, around here, we only have the frozen kind at the grocery store.

      Link: http://whitecastle.com/_pages/Locate.asp

      1. "Spiritual sense"? The local favorite (now defunct, unless there's a single holdout somewhere) Little Tavern chain, fondly remembered here as "Club L.T."

        One website reported in 2003 that "However, three Little Taverns remain in operation, including ones on Eastern Avenue near Conkling and Holabird Avenue near Dundalk, while a Laurel store and a seasonal operation continues in Ocean City for this family run business."

        Want to recreate the LT burgers fairly closely? Big ones use regular HB rolls, small ones use something like white dinner rolls (as close to hamburger rolls as possible) - use 1½ to 3 oz fairly lean burger (better than 80-20), fry without smooshing them too flat, no seasoning. And here's the secret: when flipping, add a sprinkling of reconstituded dried onion under the patty and put on the bun top - finish cooking, set the whole arrangement on the bun bottom, wrap in tissue (you probably can't just-lighter-than-newsprint tissue like they used) and place in slightly moist heat a few minutes (they'd keep them in a drawer with minimal steam until served). Serve with squeeze bottles of plain catsup and mustard, canned dill slices on request, and if someone wants onions give 'em a little heap of those reconstitued dried onions on the tissue (make sure they're dripping with the soaking water). Beverage: coffee for most (Latté? What's that?), but for me, store-bought chocolate milk.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Wayne Keyser

          There is definitely a Lil' Tavern in Laurel on Route 1 in Laurel. I was there a few months ago. "Buy 'em by the bag!"

          You can still see the LT buildings scattered throughout the MD suburbs (Rte 355 in Bethesda, Wayne Ave in Silver Spring) but they're mostly Chinese carry-outs now and have been slightly changed in appearance. The Wheaton LT on Viers Mill was torn down 1-2 years ago however, but the facade might have been saved by the county historical society (for future display at the Trolley Museum on Layhill Road?)...

          Tastee Diner might be thought of as a larger version of LT, but it's not a national chain. The Bethesda & Silver Spring TD's have been altered, so the Laurel TD on Route 1 is the only DC-area one that is almost unchanged over the decades...

          1. re: Wayne Keyser

            The Little Tavern in Highlandtown is still open. The original on Conkling Street was torn down about a year ago for the new library that's being built, and LT opened a new store on Eastern Avenue.

            I still can't believe that there was once a Little Tavern in the Columbia Mall! I guess they didn't need approval from THE ASSOCIATION to open. :-)

            Image: http://www.extraheavymarcellus.com/mt...

            1. re: SuzyInChains

              TRUE dinosaur chowhounds will remember Little Tavern's credo that they were "The Aristocrat of Beef" : )

              K

          2. The closest is probably Howells or Tom's River NJ.

            That also avoids the traffic of NoNJ.

            Still too far.

            It's really bad being in the "slider gap" WC to the north and Krystal to the south and all so very far away.

            1. I've been trying for about a year to convince my boyfriend to roadtrip for White Castle, he thinks they just won't be worth the trip. Can you tell he doesn't have the Chow inclination that I do? Mmmm....White Castle....

              1. There's nothing like a White Castle, especially after a night of drinking. I still have memories of my misspent college years and the times I was at the White Castle on Queens Blvd. at the wee hours of the morning. Half the fun was the people watching. You never saw a more funny or scary collection of people wasted and with the munchies. And the window where you ordered your 20 burgers, with the metal grill on it, just added to the atmosphere.

                1. Ah, memories of my misspent youth. At a certain intersection in Montclair, NJ, the Clairmont (get it?) Diner was a landmark of 24-hour dining. But sometimes it was too pricey for a teenage budget. Hence the convenient White Castle next door. They served up some sort of chocolate shake (no organic materials used in the preparation of this beverage, I assure you) that would clean you out better than the stuff you get before a colonoscopy.

                  I loved it!!!!

                  According to the company's website (below), there are 23 Castles in the Garden State, and as previously noted most are in crowded northeast NJ. Closest to the DC area are New Brunswick, Eatontown, Howell and Toms River. Many supermarkets also carry the frozen burgers, but I can't imagine they would provide anything resembling the authentic WC experience.

                  Link: http://www.whitecastle.com/

                  1. I know that there is one just east of Indianapolis - which I have to stop at each time I drive west.