Monday, May 31, 2004

White Castle fries only come in one size

Okay, I had better bang out some posts about my stupid Chicago vacation that no one gives a fuck about before I forget everything that happened on the trip (dooode). In this installment: food.

We had three main objectives in Chicago: shopping, eating, and shopping. On the eating front, making sure to get some good pizza was a no-brainer. This we did. Twice. Friday night we hit Lou Malnatti's. This place was pretty good, but for me doesn't compare to my favorite (thus far): Gino's East. I think the key thing there is the crust. I'm not a big crust guy; it's usually just fucking bread that interferes with all the cheese and grease and crap that I actually want to eat. The crust at Gino's, however, is an event in and of itself. Couple that with great sauce and you're not the same after eating there... You're changed.

Probably the biggest disaster of the entire trip was White Castle. For any of you who have ever been to a White Castle, you know what the fuck's up. For those unfamiliar with White Castle, it's this fast food chain that's known for selling mini-hamburgers. For some reason, ETP and I had romanticized and hyped the WC for a long, long time. Okay, three reasons. One was that we had been eating those disgusting little "meat" things for years here at home since you can buy them frozen from the grocery store. For some reason, they make for a decent snack. Honestly, though, if you actually look at one of them, they're pretty disgusting. Drown them in enough ketchup, though, and they're good. I don't understand it myself, really.

The second reason we needed to go to White Castle was because I went there when my family visited Chicago around 15 years ago. I had to go back; it was almost like a homecoming. All these years of school and bullshit weren't so that I could graduate and get a good job. No, it was all so that I could get back to White Castle.

The third and most important reason is the Beastie Boys. There's that one song where they have a line about how, that's right, "White Castle fries only come in one size." Now, you'd think that taking some kind of culinary cue from the Beastie Boys would set off some kind of alarms, but oh no, ETP and I are stupid. So we were determined to hit White Castle. On our way out of town, we finally made our move.

We go in, and sure enough, just as the legends had told us, White Castle fries were indeed available in only one size. Oh man, were we stoked. There was the option of Chez fries, but fuck it, we're going traditional, $1.50 or not. We kinda fucked up and ended up ordering like 14 of those little hamburgers. They fucked up our order and gave us maybe 11, but still, that's (theoretically) a lot between three people. Accounting for how much BOETP eats (which attributes to her weighing about 13 pounds), that's around ten-and-a-half burgers between ETP and I. No big deal, though, since we're very capable when it comes to food.

Oh, except for the fact that when you take a good, hard look at this food, it's pretty fucking awful. The one-size fries look like they came from the frozen foods section of the grocery store, and the hamburgers, well, we know for a FACT that they are available at the grocery store. Couple in the fact that the buns absorb the, uh, meat, ah, juices, and it's really, really horrible. It was like our own little fast food Holocaust sitting right there in front of us.

After about two burgers each for ETP and I, we were just looking at each other, the shame so thick you could cut it with a knife. What the hell have we done? What should we do? Well, we actually spent several minutes contemplating just throwing everything out. This was a turning point in all our lives, I think. The height of decadence. We're sitting there with a meal in front of us that we paid for, with people starving all over the world, and we're about to toss it.

"I'm done." That's pretty much all it took for ETP to say and it was over. We tossed everything remaining, got the hell out of there, and went down the street to Portillos.

Portillos is pretty fucking good. It's a fast food-type joint that serves good hot dogs, some other stuff, and oh yes, Italian beef sandwiches. That was pretty good. A nice, big, hot helping of Italian beef. Bit by bit going into my mouth, sliding down my throat. Ummm, I think I'm kinda losing focus here. It was really good; don't let the homoeroticism fuck 'ya up.

Anyway, the decision to abort White Castle in the first frymester was a good call, and going to Portillos was a nice save. If by "save" you mean "waste," of course, but fuck it. We're assholes and we know it. I think it was worth it, though. That short span of time was quite possibly the fucking funniest half-hour ever. The kind of shit that they'll sing songs about some day.

Just like with pretty much everything else, I berated BOETP for not stopping us from going to White Castle in the first place. I mean, after all, she fucking grew up in Chicago. Shouldn't she have known better? As it turns out, she didn't know better because her parents would never go to White Castle, and now we know why.

No comments: