Posts Tagged With: White Castle

320/365: National Fast Food Day

Hurry up and enjoy today’s food holiday! November 16 is National Fast Food Day.

Dietitians may cringe, but fast food is wildly popular worldwide, especially in the U.S. It is estimated that 41% of Americans eats fast food at least once a week, according to Pew Research. Fast-food and drive-through restaurants are a direct result of he popularity of the American automobile in the years following World War I. Walter Anderson built the first fast-food restaurant, called White Castle, in Wichita, Kansas in 1916. A second location in 1921 made White Castle the first fast food chain of restaurants; they were known for their 5-cent slider hamburgers. White Castle was a success from the very beginning, and spawned many imitators. The earliest included A&W Root Beer, who revolutionized the concept of franchising in 1921; 7-Eleven in 1927; Kentucky Fried Chicken in 1930; McDonald’s in 1940; and In-N-Out in 1948. The term “fast food” first appeared in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary in 1951, and the concept became especially popular during that decade. Fast food is often vilified for being a highly processed nutritional nightmare, but it is this emphasis on speed, uniformity, and low cost that has made fast food popular with consumers. No big surprise: who doesn’t appreciate a tasty, cheap, quick meal?

As you might imagine, different variations of fast food are popular in other parts of the world. Japan’s got their sushi, the Middle East has kebab houses, Asia has noodle shops, and the U.K. is known for their fish ‘n chips. The Dutch serve French fries with mayonnaise (and other sauces) and meat, and in Portugal, local dishes such as piri-piri (marinated grilled chicken), espetada (turkey or pork on sticks), and bifanas (pork cutlets) are served with – once again – French fries. The common denominator.

I would personally love it if White Castle expanded to the West Coast. I’ve only ever been there once in my life, on a road trip to the midwest in 2011, and it was like the Holy Grail of my vacation. Alas, no such luck, but we do have Jack In The Box out here, which is hard to find back east. Kind of makes up for the White Castle slight. We were in Salem, the state capitol of Oregon, tonight to get our culture on and catch some dance. Afterwards, we swung by the aforementioned Jack In The Box. This photo was taken in the car at 10 PM, and isn’t nearly as impressive as it tasted. Trust me…my Sourdough Jack and french fries were delicious!


Categories: Too Weird to Categorize | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

261/365: National Cheeseburger Day

Quick playing patty-cake and march your buns down to the nearest fast-food joint for today’s quintessentially American food holiday. September 18 is National Cheeseburger Day!

Or, grill ’em yourself. Either way, it’s hard to go wrong with a food that is so closely associated with the U.S. of A., though in reality hamburgers have been around for hundreds and hundreds of years. Way back in the 11th century, Mongols carried flat patties of meat with them on long horseback trips. The Mongols brought their meat to Moscow (how’s that for alliteration?), and Russian sailors carried them over to Hamburg, Germany. From there they spread to New York, but the first person to actually place a meat pattie between two slices of bread is open for dispute. There are several claims for its invention; while the Library of Congress officially recognizes Louis Lassen as the inventor of the hamburger – he began selling one at his lunch wagon in New Haven, Connecticut in 1900 – Wisconsinite Charlie Nagreen allegedly tried selling fried pork meatballs at a county fair in Seymour in 1885, but when customers had difficulty carrying them around, he flattened the meat and named it after the Hamburg steaks that German immigrants were familiar with. Others who claim to have invented the hamburger include Oscar Weber Bilby, Frank and Charles Menches, Fletcher Davis, and German Otto Kuase. About the only thing agreed on is that White Castle invented hamburger buns. Things are just as murky with the cheeseburger; once again, multiple parties claim to have been the first to add cheese to the sandwich. Credit is generally given to Lionel Sternberger, a fry cook at his father’s restaurant in Pasadena, California in 1926. He is said to have added a slice of American cheese to a sizzling hamburger patty just to see what would happen. I’ll tell you what happened: delicousness happened! The cheeseburger has been a mainstay of American casual dining ever since.

To celebrate, Tara and I stopped by our favorite local fast-food burger emporium, Burgerville, to take advantage of their special. Burgerville is recognizing the food holiday by offering a free Pepper Bacon Cheeseburger with the purchase of another one. Throughout this year’s challenges, very few businesses have capitalized on the associated food holiday, which has surprised me. I suppose they’re simply unaware of them? I’d think advertising that it’s a certain food holiday when that item is on your menu would be a great marketing ploy and could be worth a little extra business, at least.

Which is why blogs like ours exist, folks…

Can't see the cheese because of the bacon, but it's in there, folks!

Can’t see the cheese because of the bacon, but it’s in there, folks!

Categories: Beef, Sandwich | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments

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