REVIEW: White Castle Frozen Jalapeño Cheeseburgers

White Castle Frozen Jalapeno Cheeseburgers

I’ve never lived on the East Coast, which means I’ve never had the pleasure of eating at White Castle. I can’t decide if I just used the word “pleasure” sarcastically, because, while having never been there, I have heard much about the establishment. I’ve heard White Castle burgers are magical, like crack.

Wait, calling crack magical isn’t a good idea. I’ve heard White Castle burgers are magical, like unicorns. It’s said they’re the ultimate hangover cure. I’ve also been told they’re the ultimate hangover cure because you will eat them, and then immediately blast all of last night’s alcohol consumption into your toilet bowl.

They’ve also been called the ultimate drunk food, presumably because anything tastes good while you’re drunk, and you’re already going to be full of regrets in the morning, so why not add the fullness of White Castle sliders on top of that?

So basically, White Castle is just like Taco Bell, except with burgers instead of…whatever you want to call what Taco Bell serves.

I’ve seen White Castle burgers in the frozen food aisle before, but never picked any up. I felt as though they wouldn’t be truly representing the White Castle experience. But then I saw their new Jalapeño Cheeseburgers and I thought, well, hell. I’m not heading to the East Coast any time soon. What better time than now, and what better place than here, on the Internet?

There were both microwave and stovetop cooking instructions on the back of the box. My first instinct was to head straight for the microwave, but then I saw that the stovetop instructions were “for steaming of burgers”. That seemed to indicate that that would be the more authentic way to go, so I decided to give it a shot.

…Except one of the first directions involved using the “steamer insert”. I looked in the box. I looked at the box. I saw absolutely nothing that looked like a steamer insert.

Was I going mad? Had there been a mistake, where the insert was not included? Or had I been somehow bested by White Castle frozen cheeseburgers, which should seemingly be one of the easiest foods to prepare on the planet? Either way, I was lost. Without my steamer insert, I could not cook them on the stovetop.

White Castle Frozen Jalapeno Cheeseburgers 2

So, I moved on to the microwave, which had instructions that I could actually follow without questioning my sanity. The burgers (sliders, technically) come in packs of two – open the side of the package, break the connected sandwiches apart, and nuke. Mission accomplished.

White Castle Frozen Jalapeno Cheeseburgers 4

The first thing I noticed was that the buns are both soft and chewy. They don’t have much by way of flavor, but they’re generally inoffensive – fluffy, but not intrusive.

White Castle Frozen Jalapeno Cheeseburgers 3

Next came the onions. They actually gave a little bit of a crunch, which is impressive for a frozen, microwaved burger. It tasted almost like there was onion flavor in the meat itself. I was impressed by how much flavor they added to the party.

The burger patty had White Castle’s signature punched-out holes in it, which made it look like I just rolled a meaty five. Not bad if you’re playing a 2d6 game. Wow, that took a turn towards nerd super fast.

The meat itself was sub-par. The package claims that it’s 100 percent beef, to which I’ll give the benefit of the doubt, but it had about 5 percent flavor. I get the idea that White Castle is pretty much supposed to be shittyburgers, but it was almost like the meat was an afterthought. They didn’t taste bad, they just didn’t taste like much of anything, besides some grease.

The cheese, which was pepper jack, melted nicely in the microwave and added a creaminess that complimented the crunch and flavor of the onions.

The real selling point here was the jalapeños, and they didn’t disappoint. They didn’t set my mouth on fire, but there was a nice jalapeño flavor and heat that built as I made my way through my two sliders in eight bites.

White Castle Frozen Jalapeno Cheeseburgers 5

I was surprised that the flavor was so bold for such a seemingly cheap burger. I have to wonder, though: where were the peppers? I didn’t see any when I flipped the top bun off to take pictures. There wasn’t any pepper texture, unless it was mixed in with the onions. The only other source would be in the pepper jack cheese, which is not really that hot. Mysterious.

White Castle Frozen Jalapeño Cheeseburgers come in three packs per box, which means the serving size is two sliders. This is a very odd serving size. As I mentioned, I was able to eat two burgers in eight bites, which is equivalent to quite a small snack. You microwave them inside the bag, so having three would be awkward, and eating four at once leaves you with two stragglers. Perhaps this is some cunning plan by White Castle to get you to buy more than one box at a time.

While neither drunk nor hungover while eating my sliders, I found myself enjoying the White Castle Frozen Jalapeño Cheeseburger experience. In this case, the whole was more than the sum of its parts. With an unremarkable bun and meat patty, it seems like these burgers would disappoint, but the large presence of the onions and invisible jalapeños added lots of flavor and texture, and the cheese melted nicely and smoothly. While it would make for an awkward meal, a pack of these sliders would be perfectly acceptable as a quick snack or desperate hangover fix.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 package (2 cheeseburgers) – 310 calories, 150 calories from fat, 17 grams of total fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 1 gram of trans fat, 40 milligrams of cholesterol, 560 milligrams of sodium, 26 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 3 grams of sugars, 14 grams of protein, 4% vitamin A, 10% calcium, 10% iron..)

Item: White Castle Frozen Jalapeño Cheeseburgers
Purchased Price: $4.49
Size: 6 cheeseburgers
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Unicorns. Definite jalapeño presence, despite lack of evidence. Nerd jokes about meat patties. Creamy cheese melts nicely. Onions added lots of flavor and crunch.
Cons: Crack. Bun was flavorless. Where’s my steamer insert? Meat patty offered little. Hangovers. Serving size too small, with odd quantity in box.

NEWS: White Castle’s New Bacon Sliders Make Me Want To Have My Own Harold and Kumar Adventure (I Would Be Harold)

Bacon (small)

You scream. I scream. We all scream for ice cream.

Oh wait, my bad.

You’re taken. I’m taken. We’re all taken with bacon, including White Castle.

Recently, the fast food chain that many people wish would expand westward introduced two new Bacon Sliders: the Bacon & Ranch Slider and the Bacon & Cheddar Slider.

The way they’re promoting these two new sliders make it sound like bacon is a new ingredient for them, but they already have a bacon cheeseburger on the menu. Although the bacon in that slider comes in strip form, while the new sliders have bacon crumbles which are sprinkled on top of the beef patties and onions, like bacon snow.

But that’s not all the bacon news from White Castle. They also released their new Loaded Fries with bacon crumbles, ranch dressing and cheese sauce.

The two new Bacon Sliders and Loaded Fries are available for a limited time. Also, you can get a coupon for a free Bacon & Cheddar Slider or Bacon & Ranch Slider with any Sack Meal purchase via White Castle’s Facebook page.

REVIEW: White Castle A.1. Specialty Slider

Even though I’m an urban dweller, I love driving. There’s just something about pushing your foot on the gas pedal and revving your engine when you get on the freeway, unless you’re rolling in some “green machine” that has an engine quieter than Helen Keller. I’m a big fan of the road trip; it is the quintessential way to discover yourself, or go on the run to escape the Feds.

Before writing for TIB, I never ate fast food. I didn’t even eat at McDonald’s when I traveled throughout Europe, but times have changed. Although I still refuse to eat meat products from the two scary fast food redheads, the plastic King and other first tier fast food restaurants, I now feel like it’s my duty to partially block my arteries on occasion and seek out what second tier fast food establishments have to offer. However, the problem with some second tier places is that they aren’t located around every corner like hookers in a shady neighborhood and Starbucks.

Yeah, I equated Starbucks with prostitutes. They’re just the hookers of the upper-middle class suburbs and chic urban centers.

I wanted to try White Castle for a while; probably since 2004 when that classic piece of cinema, Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle was released. Six years ago, the nearest White Castle was about 300 miles away from me, but since then I moved closer to one of those cute little buildings that look like they were built by children playing on the beach using colorful plastic buckets. However, I never had the time, nor did anyone share my desire to spend more on gas than a fast food meal to get a fast food meal, but finally I did it and hit the road with one of my friends. We were like Harold and Kumar, except not Asian, Indian, stoners, or two guys. Maybe we were like Thelma and Louise, except neither of us killed anyone and we didn’t drive off of a cliff.

After a long drive, which unfortunately didn’t involve a Neil Patrick Harris cameo, we finally saw the little white building that is one of the meccas of all things small (which also includes the Little People of America National Convention and the primetime lineup on TLC). Apparently, 8:30 p.m. on a Saturday night is a down time for the Castle, because we were the only people inside.

The A.1. Specialty Slider was sold as a combo deal. Three sliders, a “saver sized” drink and a “saver sized” order of crinkled cut fries. I thought the saver size was a small, but it’s about half the size of a small. These special sliders are only topped with White Castle’s famous chopped onions and a generous dollop of A.1. Steak Sauce. These simple ingredients continues White Castle’s tradition of using the K.I.S.S Philosophy — Keep it Simple Stupid. This should not be confused with the KISS Philosophy, which is to bang as many women as you can while wearing glam rock makeup and holding a guitar that shoots out flames.

Now if I was drunk, or stoned, these things would have been awesome, and I probably would have ordered two combos, but since I was only under the influence of the lure of White Castle, these burgers were pretty average. Also, cheese would’ve been nice, but maybe I’m asking too much. They tasted better than the ones you can get in the freezer section at Costco, but I’m sure you can recreate the A.1. Slider easily by just putting a glob of A.1. on it. I didn’t think I could get full off of just three sliders and a Barbie-sized order of fries, but it did satisfy me and shockingly I didn’t need to use the W.C. after I ate at WC.

(Nutrition Facts – a regular slider without A.1. Sauce (nutrition facts for A.1. slider not available on website) – 140 calories, 7 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 210 milligrams of sodium, 14 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of sugar, 6 grams of protein and 4% iron.)

Item: White Castle A.1. Specialty Slider
Price: $2.99
Size: 3 sliders, a saver sized drink and a saver sized fries.
Purchased at: White Castle
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Road trips. Just enough A.1. Sauce. Enjoying White Castle while sober so I can remember it. Harold and Kumar. Crinkle cut fries were nice and hot. Not needing to use the bathroom after eating White Castle.
Cons: Would have tasted better if I was under the influence. Barbie-sized fries weren’t enough. Limp bun. Limp Gene Simmons. Would have improved with cheese.

REVIEW: White Castle Microwaveable Cheeseburgers

White Castle Microwaveable Cheeseburgers

It seems like there’s been a trend to make things bigger. SUVs are getting larger, 15-pound cheeseburgers are being sold, the breasts of 18-year-old girls are artificially increasing, and Joan Rivers’ mouth seems to get louder and wider with every awards show.

But it’s good to know there are items that buck this trend and keep things small, like cell phones, digital cameras, wages at Walmart, the portions at five-star restaurants, and testicles in cold water.

A company that has also kept it small is White Castle, which is famous for their small, squarish hamburgers and their ability to attract people with a case of the munchies.

Unfortunately, being several thousand miles away from the nearest White Castle restaurant, I haven’t experienced the wonder of White Castle hamburgers. However, the national grocery store chain I shop at just so happens to have in stock frozen White Castle Microwaveable Cheeseburgers.

Of course, I’m sure the frozen burgers can’t compare with fresh White Castle burgers, because if I’ve learned anything about freezing environments, it’s that it makes everything in it miserable and it can shrink testicles.

The frozen White Castle cheeseburgers are almost identical to their fresh counterparts, they both have the patented burger patties with five holes, a whole lot of onions, and a small slice of American cheese, in between a small bun. However, the hard frozen White Castle cheeseburger would probably do more harm in a food fight.

One of the problems I had with these frozen burgers was the microwave heating instructions. Despite following them with great accuracy, I ended up with burgers with slightly cold edges. Sticking them in the microwave for a few more seconds resulted in soggy buns.

Fortunately, Impulsive Buy reader Kimdog let me in on her highly scientific heating instructions, which she spent minutes months honing.

Take the two burgers and nuke them on high for about 20 seconds. Open the microwave and take the tops of the buns off and remove them from the cooking interior. At the same time rotate the burgers by 180 degrees.

Restart the microwave and cook until you see the cheese bubble (usually about another 40 or so seconds). Open the microwave and put the tops of the buns back on the burgers and close the door.

Let them sit in the dark lifeless microwave for about another minute. This will warm and moisten the bun tops with out drying them out.

Kimdog’s heating instructions helped a little bit, but the burgers still weren’t completely heated.

As for the taste of the burgers, how can I put it? Um…it’s like I was eating grease. But something in that greasy taste kind of made them addicting. I don’t know if it’s the onions, the burger patty, or the holes in the burger patty, but something about it made it taste pretty good.

However, at $5.49 per six-count box, it made them slightly less tasty. (How much do fresh White Castle burgers cost?)

If you divide the price by six, each burger comes out to be about 91 cents. Personally, I’d rather grab six McDonald’s one dollar Double Cheeseburgers, which are bigger and just as tasty.

If I really wanted to, I could’ve eaten the entire box because the burgers are so small. However, eating just two of them left a weird feeling in the pit of my stomach. I don’t know if this is common with White Castle burgers, but after my recent experiences with Olestra, I didn’t want to take the chance of eating the entire box.

(Editor’s Note: Thanks to Impulsive Buy reader Chuck, who let me know about the 15-pound cheeseburger.)

Item: White Castle Microwaveable Cheeseburgers
Purchase Price: $5.49
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Tasty. Lots of dietary fiber. Kind of addicting. Makes for a great snack.
Cons: Greasy. Pricey. Soggy buns in the microwave. Inconsistent results with heating instructions on the box.