For decades now, whenever Krystal comes up in a conversation, it is only a matter of time before someone brings up White Castle. Often it is with an elitist attitude as they proclaim White Castle to be "better" than Krystal. please not the use of the vague term "better."
I will readily accept "different" but not "better" as that is roughly the same as the tired of argument "my dad can beat up your dad." Trust me, since my father was a career Marine, no one ever seriously tried that argument with me growing up.
Anyway, years ago (around 1997, after my Krystal tradition had started) I happened to be up in Nashville for a hockey game (the the Macon Whoopee ve the old Nashville Nighthawks of the CHL) while driving through Nashville with my girlfriend, Jennifer, I saw a White Castle on the side of the road. In amazement I said "Wow! There's a White Castle!" Since Jennifer merely tolerated, not participated in my Krystal fixation, there was never a moment's though given to actually GOING to White Castle.
That one moment has bothered me for years, as you have by now figured out. So after year's of people bothering me and pestering me about White castle, I swore my next trip where I got near a White Castle, I would go, once and for all.
Fast forward to December. I go to see the Detroit Red Wings play in Atlanta. For various reasons (age and injuries among them) I felt this would be the last season and last chance for me to see my favorite player, Steve Yzerman. "The Captain" was hit in the eye with a puck 2 years ago and most felt that ended his career. He's tougher than that. But the NHL players went on strike last year and even I felt that would end his career. But "Stevie Y" used the season off to rebuild himself and he came back in amazing shape this year. So I dropped almost $115 for 2nd row seats to see Stevie in what I THEN felt would be his last trip thru Atlanta.
As I watched the Wings on TV the night before it was announced that Steve had pulled his groin and would be out a few weeks. My plans had been ruined!! I went to the game, and enjoyed seeing my Wings, but felt I had missed out on something great. During that game I vowed to see him SOMEWHERE during the season.
In a bizarre, and horrible twist of fate, Jiri Fisher of the Red Wings, had a traumatic event happen and his heart actually stopped beating during a game against Nashville this year. The game was stopped and postponed. Once the schedule was reworked, A game was added between Detroit and Nashville on the last day of the season, in Nashville. I promised myself I would be there. I began the process of making my plans for my Nashville trip.
Once this whole Krystal lover's Hall of Fame stuff took off, and I got to looking closely into my travel plans, I realized I would once again be back near a White Castle. Suddenly my trip had a second purpose.
You can now join me in the results of my trip. Once and for all, lets do this. And as a tribute to one of my favorite bits from ESPN, lets do a Tale of the Tape by the numbers:
Cute little castle theme
Plain white with logo
|White Castle, you don't have to read|
to know what the place is: a white castle
Lots of words, not many pictures.
|I don't have a picture of Krystal's
menu but I will get one.
|Krystal, same reason as above.|
At Krystal you can "point and grunt" if you wish.
The burger on the LEFT is the White Castle
(I switched the cups around to trick you!)
|Obviously the Krystal is bigger,|
but we're not done yet...
WC: Onions, Pickle
Krystal: Onions, Pickle and MUSTARD!
|Krystal! A burger without mustard is just bland.|
Do you see the HOLES in the White Castle?
(see below for explaination of the holes)
|Krystal. Geometry should tell you that if two burgers|
are the same size but one is missing 5 holes,
the other one is bigger.
If you like to PAY for holes, I will
gladly send you a paper full of holes for $8.50
Krystal's is bigger.
WC: Crinkle Cut
Krystal: Staight/Plain cut
|White Castle (though I saw a Krystal|
this weekend that is test marketing Crinkle Cuts)
|French Fry Container||
WC: Square Box
Krystal: round "go cup"
|Krystal: WC's box is cute, it wont fit|
in my truck's cup holder,
making eating on the road tough.
White Castle's Boxes will NOT fit inside each other.
I tried fully open with both types (left picture)
and tried to collapse them (last 2 pictures).
|Krystal. WC's talks about building "houses"|
with their boxes,
but why waste all that space in your trash can?
I have tried for years to tell people Krystals are bigger (thus the reason WC people brag about being able to eat more of them).
Other things to consider: WC was started in Wichita, but the closest WC to Wichita is in St. Louis, hundreds of miles away. Did they abandon their home or were they run out? Krystals HQ is 3 blocks from where they started.
My WC combo was more expensive than my Krystal combo, but you can see from the pictures I got less food.Conclusion: Krystal is better.
I do realize this is "Coke vs Pepsi" and "PC vs Mac" all over again. People will believe whatever they want. If I am stuck a million miles from Krystal I'd eat a WC, but if given a CHOICE Krystal is better.
Lastly, I have been told many reasons for the holes in WC burgers. I've been told they did it to reduce meat usage during War Rationing. I was once told they poked out moldy parts so people expected to see the holes to show the burgers were "clean" and I have been told it was so they cook faster. I believe the last one. Kenny Hammontree from Krystal HQ also told me it allows them to cook the burger without flipping them. Personally the thought of a burger cooked on only one side sounds just wrong.