Hall of Fame
What does a paperboy, a pinup girl tattoo and a marathon runner have in common? Nothing. Besides our hall of fame.
We’ve had 7,645 people try for the hall since 2001. But only 170 have been inducted. Read the unbelievable stories that got them in.
(5 Cravers Agree)
A few years ago I was on a flight from the East Coast heading home to California when I knew I would have brief stopover in Chicago…and I was cravin’ like mad! I grabbed a cab outside O’Hare Airport, and told the driver to take me to the nearest White Castle. I already knew there wasn’t one particularly close to the airport…but I didn’t care. I was cravin’ badly, and I needed a Slider. We made our way to the nearest White Castle, and because I was a bit pressed for time (I did have a flight to catch), we headed for the drive-through. I’m told that I’m a giver (just ask my wife), so I bought myself and the very grateful cabbie lunch, which was a couple of bags of Sliders, some fries and shakes. The ride back to the airport was absolute heavenly, and I cherished every single morsel until I could eat no more. Total cost of lunch was under $10. Cost for the cab ride to and from the airport was $85…and worth every cravin’ bite. People have said I was nuts for spending almost $100 for burgers…but what do they know? Sliders rule the universe, don’t they?
(4 Cravers Agree)
My name is Steve Scott. I am a professional actor. Although I have traveled all over the world, Cincinnati, Ohio, will always be my hometown. I recently had the opportunity to work at a theatre in Denali, Alaska. Working in a resort town with a population of approximately 50, I became homesick for anyone or anything that would be a piece of home in the desolate, frozen North. One particular night, after a late rehearsal, I got that crave. I thought to myself, “If I were home, I would be headed to the nearest White Castle.” After that there was nothing else in the world that would have satisfied my hunger that night, but I had to eat. So I headed down to the employee dining area to find something in the 24-hour vending machines. There, nestled between the generic frozen burritos, burgers and hot dogs, I found a treasure that seemed as great as finding the lost city of Atlantis…a two-pack of frozen Sliders. This vending machine would become a nightly visit, and I made friends with the kitchen staff to make sure my treasure would be kept well stocked. Those frozen White Castle burgers kept me going through the long six months when I called Alaska my home.
(5 Cravers Agree)
Holly Hill, FL
After seeing “Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle” in the summer of 2004, my friends and I were determined to get our hands on some delicious White Castle Sliders. The only problem, we live in Daytona Beach, Florida, and the closest White Castle is over 700 miles away!
After going home and researching our route and the mouth-watering White Castle menu, we packed our bags and the next night we were on the road and on our way to our first White Castle meal ever. We left Daytona Beach at 10:00 p.m. and by 7:00 a.m. we were watching the sunrise over the amazing skyline of Nashville, Tennessee. After about 30 minutes of searching the town for a White Castle, we finally found one. Pulling into the parking lot and seeing the majestic glow of the White Castle sign in the morning fog, we knew we had finally arrived. Since we agreed not to eat anything until we were there, we were starving and White Castle really was “What We Craved!” As I stepped up to the counter and ordered my Crave Case and large beverage with the biggest smile on my face, I knew I was only minutes away from being in White Castle heaven. As I sat down at the table with my cardboards suitcase full of Sliders, I knew I was in for a taste sensation like no other. As I pulled the first one out of the box and held it in my hand, I examined the burger, the fresh steamed bun, the golden steamed onions, and the juicy beef patty all melting together to form the most amazing taste sensation ever. Once I took my first bite, I knew I was hooked. After munching down on what seemed like an endless supply of burgers, we packed up what Sliders we had left into our Crave Cases and set off for home. Driving away from White Castle with a belly full of Sliders and the most amazing sense of satisfaction, I had never been happier. The drive back was a long and grueling trip. Having only three hours of sleep from a park bench in downtown Nashville, we were all waiting to get back to our own beds. Once we returned to Daytona Beach we shared our story of our journey to White Castle and what was left of our Crave Cases with our friends and, needless to say, they too were instantly hooked. It has been two years since this trip and I’m writing this story today having just returned last night from yet another 700-plus-mile voyage to White Castle. I have now traveled more than 3,200 miles in my life for White Castle, I am currently 20 years old and in my two visits to White Castle I have sampled almost everything off the menu from the basic Slider to the chicken ring sandwich. I’m sure this will not be my last visit, and I look forward to many more. I can truly say that White Castle is “What I Crave.”
(44 Cravers Agree)
Ryan Connors and Brian Kurella
Saved by Sliders (and a friend).
My friend Brian and I have been White Castle fanatics our entire lives. When we were younger we used to ask our parents for some money to go get pizza down the street, but then hop on the Staten Island train (though we weren’t allowed) and go to White Castle. We would pool our money and buy Sliders by the sack.
When I was finally able to drive on my 17th birthday, there was no question where we were driving to first. But what finally made me understand the “one of ours” mentality was an event that happened on December 7, 2006. Brian and I went to college right down the road from each other. One semester during finals, we sat down to eat at White Castle. It just so happened that Brian had a final the next day that we was worried about. The following week, we met up at White Castle again. This time, it was I who was worried about a final the next day. When we received our grades, however, we both did better than expected. A new tradition had been born. During finals every semester, we would meet at White Castle the night prior to our hardest final. This tradition continued throughout college. Unfortunately, it seemed that the tradition would end upon graduation. After school, Brian would be entering the working world and I would be off to law school up in Albany (which, much to my chagrin, is void of White Castle). I tried to continue the tradition by myself, but it wasn’t quite the same. I brought Crave Cases up to school with me and froze them (of course I was to follow the reheating methods posted on your web site). I ate the Sliders before my most feared finals my first year, but something was lacking. Last semester, I was particularly worried about my Constitutional Law II final taking place on December 8. To make things worse, I wasn’t able to fight my crave in a responsible manner, and I finished the Sliders that I had frozen before the start of finals. With no time to head back down to White Castle and finals fast approaching, my fears began to grow. It would be the first time in years that I was taking my hardest final without putting down my Sliders (with cheese, minus onions). As December 8 grew closer, I expressed my concern to Brian. December 7 saw a hard day of studying, and I returned home to make dinner and call it an early night. Shortly after returning to my apartment, a strange thing happened. I heard my doorbell ring for the first time since moving in. As a Staten Island transplant in Albany, I didn’t know anyone outside of school. When I went to the door, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. There stood Brian, and in his hands were a Crave Case, a sack of Tabasco Chicken Rings and a Sack of fries. That night we feasted on White Castle and continued a tradition. I just got my Con Law grade the other day, and I did better than I expected. Brian, well … he had a rather long commute the next morning. I truly believed that I was saved by Sliders (and a friend). Now, when I hear “One of ours,” I just smile.
(7 Cravers Agree)
I am a high school senior in Belleville, Illinois. Our school traditionally puts on a musical each spring. On the nights of the five dress rehearsals, the pit orchestra (of which I am a member) celebrates food nights, culminating in White Castle Night. While the actors slide across stage, we enjoy our own Sliders down below. Three years ago, however, our high school moved to a new campus. The faculty member who directed the play forbade us to bring food or non-water drinks, especially White Castles. We were aghast, but not put off. When White Castle Night came around, we all walked quietly into the orchestra pit with two big tuba cases. This would not seem noteworthy, except the play did not feature the tuba at all. Once in our seats, we discreetly opened the cases to reveal nine Crave Cases. With sweet satisfaction, we all bit into our hard-won reward. We even built a monument to honor our love of White Castle Sliders – a model castle built out of our leftover boxes. Today, no calendar spot is so loved by high school musicians in Belleville as White Castle Night. Thank you, White Castle!
(3 Cravers Agree)
As I look back over my 47 years, while there have been many challenging times, I have, for the most part, lead a pretty charmed life. The funny thing about that is I often do not realize how charming my life has been until I have become older, wiser and taken a few harder hits on the chin.
The things that one thinks will absolutely be the end of the world: a bad grade, failing a test, loss of a boyfriend/girlfriend, denting the car, not getting a job offer, getting fired, getting a divorce…the list goes on… and on and on… All those things really lose their importance as life is lived through them. Then when a really big hit comes, like the death of a loved one, it is so easy to see that maybe all those worries did not really deserve the full attention they got at the time. It’s all right. The best anyone can do is to work with what you have and know at the time. It is in moving forward that I learned the true meaning of, as Carly Simon put it, “These are the good old days.” White Castle has been a cornerstone in my good old days since childhood. I have grown up and lived in Columbus, Ohio, home of the little burgers for the vast majority of my life. Part of my charmed existence has been in coming from an incredible family with incredible parents. Fifty percent of the parental blessing was my mother, Bubba. Yes, her nickname was Bubba. She was rather small in stature, but she had faith and charisma that could move mountains. Bubba absolutely loved coffee and it was her staunch belief that White Castle’s coffee was the best. She tried buying the brand when it was offered in the grocery stores. While it was good, there was nothing like having a cup of brew directly from the establishment. I found the same thing to be true when I lived in Texas for about five years. Needless to say, I had some serious Whities withdrawal, but one day God heard my prayer as I wandered the aisles, homesick, and saw White Castle burgers available in the freezer section of the Dallas grocery. They really hit the spot, but the ambiance was missing and that is part of the fascination. The importance of the White Castle ambiance rang home with my most recent Valentine celebration. I have had wonderful and romantic gifts including, but not limited to: flowers, jewelry (and I do mean the truly good stuff), candy, countless cards that bring a tear to the eye with their loving messages. But nothing and I do mean NOTHING, has outdone the 2007 well-planned Whities celebration. I had been told days in advance to prepare for a celebration, as “reservations” had been made and we would need to be timely. Our destination was not revealed to me, I inquired about the attire and was told casual would not eject us from the establishment. At precisely 4:45 p.m. on Wednesday, February 14, 2007, I was ordered to close my eyes “and keep them closed” as I was “whisked away” (those were the words used by our local newspaper’s reporter who later covered the story) to our destination. My heart was pounding as I was nervous if I was dressed right and a little uneasy as to what type of atmosphere and cuisine was literally around the next corner, which I could not see – and no I did not peek. I had lost all sense of direction but was sure I was still relatively close to home. I had no idea how “close to home” I was in the metaphoric sense as I was led, with eyes still closed, up to the door in the cold and snow. I was steadied by my husband, the master planner of this outing, and his loving assistant and daughter. Both were giggling as they each had my arms and led me. The command was given that I could now open my eyes and as I did I finely smelled that wonderful, rich aroma that is like no other. I stood proudly before the door of our local favorite in my family, for now generations. My eyes welled with tears as I thought of how proud my mother would be of my husband’s fine choice. I remembered her love of the fine little burgers and how I use to bring them to her. Even more important, I could see in my mind’s eye how she use to hold the white and blue coffee cup, warmly wrapping both of her hands around it and holding it up to her mouth and nose as she breathed in the wonderful rich smell that was her favorite brew. There is a bit more to the timing of these rich memories and deserves explanation. The sixth anniversary of my beloved mother’s passing from this life was exactly to the day one week earlier. Wednesday, February 7, 2007. On that day, as he always is, my husband was extra gentle with me. He brought me the most beautiful flowers and told me he was getting a jump on Valentine’s Day. I knew he was softening my memories and trying to heal a loss that I have not really ever gotten over but am learning how to get on with it and the challenge is always hardest in the cold winter days that remind me of her struggle with cancer in those final hours. At one point during her illness, I smuggled the little burgers into the hospital with a cup of the wonderful coffee for her to enjoy (like no one in the whole place could not tell by the smell what I was up to!). She was too sick to partake but told me to go right ahead and she would enjoy the smell. I choked down the burgers and coffee over the lump in my throat and somehow they did work their wonderful Whities magic on me because I got through that day and all the days that followed. Many do not buy into the metaphysics of the universe and this is a matter of “To each his own.” These are the same folks who still believe in coincidences. I not only believe, but KNOW that there is a reason behind everything and nothing happens by accident. I give my husband full credit for his ability to come up with the most perfect and outrageous ideas that are always unlike any other! I also know there is a divine angel watching over and guiding us when we let her. I know my mother had some type of hand in our wonderful Whities Valentine evening. It was a grand celebration that included being greeted by our well-dressed waiter and maitre d’. We were escorted to our reserved table, complete with red place settings, menus and decorations galore! The celebrity of the evening grew as we saw a camera crew on hand filming the event for the establishment’s marketing material. The local press was on hand and politely interacting with the diners to capture the story behind each party’s gathering on the most romantic day of the year. We enjoyed the finest meal I have ever had the pleasure of consuming and savored each wonderful morsel and moment. Our waiter took a picture of us and let us take home the picture as our keepsake of our evening, along with small heart-shaped metal tins filled with red hot candies – as if there were ever a chance that I would forget what had touched my heart on so many levels! It was wonderful to have people tell me the next day that they enjoyed reading my quotes in the Business Section of the local paper! The magic of the moment just never stops! In a time when big business and current affairs so often seem heartless and discouraging – there was our Valentine story of our night at White Castle that spread the final pureness and simplicity of all that is timeless and priceless. Flowers die, jewelry can be lost or stolen and too much chocolate can be toxic. My Whities outdo them all and, in the future, I will settle for nothing less but the best – White Castle.
(4 Cravers Agree)
Turkeys 4 America
Thanksgiving is a very special time of year. Families, friends and neighbors gather to give thanks for their fulfilling lives while celebrating our history as settlers in this great country in which we live. Tables are filled in abundance with foods we have all grown to know and love. From creamy mashed potatoes and that mysterious cranberry sauce to the most important menu item of all, turkey, carved with such delight while other gather round to watch, with their plates held tightly waiting to be served their very own slice.
Back in 1996, while many of us were participating in this worldly tradition, Dan and Betsy Nally watched television from their Westwood, Massachusetts, home as fellow residents struggled to feed the hunger of their own families due to a shortage of nearly 5,000 turkeys. Betsy thought, “We have to do something: that’s not fair.”
Dan and Betsy, with help from their father, John, decided to take action. The two children at the time aged 9 and 6 respectively, went door to door in search of helping hands, and they got just that. The pair returned home with dozens of turkeys.
Immediately, the family reached Catherine D’Amato, president of the Greater Boston Food Bank. She recalls, “It was 4 o’clock in the morning on Thanksgiving eve, and these parents called and said their kids had collected some turkeys asking if they could bring them down; they literally showed up with the turkeys in the back of the family car.”
While Catherine was grateful for their efforts, she didn’t expect to see the family again. Fortunately for everyone, the Nallys were back with hundreds of birds, this time loaded inside of a U-Haul.
The organization, Turkeys 4 America, now in its 11th year, has joined forces with individual donors, teen volunteers in Illinois, Ohio and Massachusetts, and businesses including poultry producer Perdue to deliver hundreds of thousands of pounds of turkey to those in need. The organization is also spreading this great act of kindness across states to include California and Florida.
White Castle, inspired by the initiative put forth two years ago by Dan and Betsy, selected their non-profit to receive all proceeds from the sale of our newly produced recipe book, “By the Sackful; A scrapbook with recipes from 85 years of White Castle craving” (2005). The book includes winning recipes from the past 15 years of entries into the Crave Time Cook Off, our recipe contest using 10 White Castle hamburgers. The recipe books were sold at Barnes & Noble, Borders, on the Web at HouseofCrave.com, Amazon.com, eBay.com, in grocery stores through White Castle’s frozen food products, and at all 400 White Castle restaurants.
Today, for this selfless act and a continuous dedication to feed the appetite of America, White Castle would also like to induct both Dan and Betsy Nally into the Craver’s Hall of Fame.
We are truly proud to recognize two individuals who represent generations to come in such a positive way. Thank you, Dan and Betsy. We wish you and Turkey 4 America a bright and successful future. And don’t forget to Crave on!
(5 Cravers Agree)
Allen Park, MI
There are Cravers, and then there’s Gary Webb. Gary was a talented, generous, creative cartoonist and fan of White Castle. Gary went to art school during his college years and even spent a little time in Los Angeles where he had a small part in a movie. But he soon returned to his suburban Detroit home where his family and favorite restaurant – White Castle – presided.
Although he worked at a local hospital for a good portion of his life, Gary never lost his love for drawing and creating cartoons. He would amaze friends with his drawings and caricatures. One look at them and you would wonder why he wasn’t working as a professional cartoonist. He was that good.
Some of Gary’s best work reflected his love for White Castle. Gary created a few (that we know of) cartoon booklets that were themed around the holidays. One was titled “White Castle’s Recipe for a Successful Halloween” and another soon-to-be-famous one was titled “The Official W.C. Mock-Turkey Recipe of 2006.” Gary was gracious enough to lend his acting talents to us when we brought the Mock Turkey cartoon to life in a fun video that we are launching online this fall. Watch it, and you will see that Gary was as comfortable in front of the camera as he was behind the drawing board or at the table with a couple of Sliders, his favorite food.
Beyond his love for drawing and White Castle, Gary was a devoted husband to Chris, also a Craver. If it were a holiday, there would be a gift from Gary and Chris. From handcrafted Easter bunnies carrying baskets of Sliders to Santa Crave to his soon-to-be-famous White Castle Mock Turkey for Thanksgiving, Gary was a friend of White Castle.
Unfortunately, Gary passed away earlier this year. But his memory will live on in the Cravers Hall of Fame.