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.
(32 Cravers Agree)
For two years now, people have stared at me with very puzzled looks on their faces. Most can’t comprehend why I would choose to take on such an interesting task. I’ve heard the same questions and surprising comments more often than I can remember. What are you doing Stu? Why are you doing something so off the wall? Why aren’t you a hundred pounds heavier? Are you trying to become the next Jared? How much money have you spent? Is the company sponsoring you? They just can’t figure out why I would want to eat at every White Castle location in America! White Castle’s corporate office never approached me with this idea either. I live in Omaha, Nebraska which is 5 hours away from the nearest Castle so I definitely raise some eyebrows when I’m on the road as well.
I always struggle to answer any questions from people who want to know what I’m doing and why I voluntarily spend such a great deal of my own time and money trying to make my mark in the oddest page of fast food history. I hesitate to respond not because I’m at a loss for words or short on any WC stories, but because I have so much to say and I don’t always know how to say it in an eloquent fashion. A million thoughts race through my mind when I tell people I’m on a mission to eat at every White Castle location in America before the end of 2012. My peers informed me that normal people just call the corporate office when they want a White Castle built in their town. I decided to bring White Castle back to Omaha, Nebraska by showing the world that the biggest Craver is in Nebraska. I’ve taken pictures of every store along the way, rated the customer service, and documented all the outrageous events. I started my mission in August, 2010 and plan to finish before Christmas of 2012. As soon as I have that last slider in my hand and cross the finish line of the last castle, I’m going to tattoo the White Castle logo on my right arm as a Christmas present to myself.
After I tell people what I’m doing, they want to know how this mission got started and why I’m putting so much energy into it. I could never fully explain my motivations in this short submission, so I’ll try to make it brief. (I’m a Capricorn and those of you with Capricorn friends and loved ones know we can go on and on about every little detail). In July of 2010, I left Omaha in a rental car and drove to Maine and back during a month long vacation. On the way home, I stumbled on my first Castle in East Cleveland in the middle of the night and had quite the frightening experience. Then I was pleasantly surprised when I received the best customer service at my second Castle in Gary, Indiana the next day. While I was on this amazing vacation, I stumbled in a comic book store at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and found a Harold & Kumar lunchbox. I knew it was a sign I was meant to accomplish great things with White Castle. After I got home, I reflected on my trip and realized I could have the time of my life traveling and eating at White Castle locations around the country. I was approaching 30 fast and felt I never really enjoyed my life. I don’t want to look back at my life with any regrets. It was definitely time for a change so I decided to do something that no one would ever think of doing. Most men purchase expensive cars and date younger women when they have their midlife crises. My parents will tell anyone that I was never like the other kids though. I want to reveal myself to the world in the most interesting way possible. I don’t want the words boring, cowardly, or apologetic to appear on my tombstone.
Several amazing people inspired me to change my life and take on such a daunting task. I can thank everyone from my spiritual mother Sylvia Browne to Oprah Winfrey , Michael Jackson, and Justin Bieber. Even Warren Buffett had a hand in my motivation to break any White Castle records. All the Stuey J. haters can address their hate mail to all the people who have the courage to be the leaders that God wants them to be. (I also told the corporate office I would be willing to submit to a complete mental evaluation and let them meet my family so they know I’m not completely nuts. I’m just crazy enough to pursue my goals and live my dreams out loud.) There’s not enough room on this page to tell my life story or how I plan to go from business student to worldwide humanitarian. Everyone will just have to wait for my book to come out one day to understand my motivation and how important it is for me to grab my life by the buns and run with it. wink
I originally set the deadline for my mission at the end of December 2011, but I fell one Castle short of Craver Fame. Just when I think I’m done, the corporate office opens a new location I have to visit! At the time of this entry, I’ve eaten at 420 locations around the country and I’ve managed to lose over 35 pounds in the process. White Castle motivated me to focus on my physical health and I feel better than ever. That’s another story I’ll have to share, but everyone will have to read about that on my website. I have at least 4 more locations left to visit this year so you know I’ll have more to share. Visit my site at www.thenumberonecraver.com to support my mission, learn more about me and get the latest scoop on all my White Castle shenanigans. I am The Number One Craver!
(13 Cravers Agree)
Jessica & Josh Isham
Some time in 2010, due to his work, my husband was transferred from Rockford, IL (about an hour from our favorite White Castle) to Bozeman, Montana (about 26 hours from our favorite White Castle).
When Valentine’s Day starting getting close we realized we wouldn’t be able to go to White Castle like we usually do on this special day, so we were more than a little bummed out and figured we would just have to find something else to do that V-day. Well we both ended up having the 14th and 15th off of work so when my husband came home that day he said, “let’s just go! c’mon we never do anything crazy…let’s just go.” So we drove the 26 hours from Montana to Chicago, and had our Valentine’s Day dinner at our favorite White Castle, got back in the car and drove 26 hours back home.
We got back just in time to go to bed and be ready to go back to work in the morning. I’ll never forget it. We have since moved back to Illinois so this V-day won’t be so hectic.
(45 Cravers Agree)
Huntington Beach, CA
I remember eating White Castle for the first time, I was 6 years old and since that time I never looked back. I crave them and do my best to satisfy that craving just about each and every week.
One day while living in Phoenix, Arizona I went to the grocery store to satisfy my craving the best way I could being thousands of miles away from that hot, steamy and fresh Slider I had grown to love. I picked up a box of frozen White Castle cheeseburgers. When I got home I opened up and what did I find to my surprise? I found a coupon for money off more frozen Sliders but what struck me was the ad itself. It combined two of my favorite things in the world: Pin-up girls and White Castle cheeseburgers. I folded the coupon and put it in my wallet. Having many tattoos I figured one day I would get this tattooed on me. Many people knew of this and that I kept it in my wallet.
One day in 2010, two days before moving to Huntington Beach, California my friend and tattoo artist asked me if I still had the White Castle ad in my wallet. I said “yes” and he said I couldn’t move to where there was no White Castle without getting that tattoo done. I agreed, after all I needed to represent something I loved and was passionate about since I was a young child. The next day he went to work, modifying the image a bit to reflect my love of dark haired women rather than blondes and adjusting the size of the pin-up to get the best detail. Now on my arm forever is the pin-up and White Castle cheeseburger I found on a box of frozen Sliders many years after falling in love with not only them, but the onion chips and fries.
Now living in California I get asked all the time if that is a cheeseburger on my arm and I respond “Not just any cheeseburger but a White Castle cheeseburger!” Silly west coast people didn’t even know it is a real place. Now the only thing left to do is to finish the piece by getting the White Castle logo just below the cheeseburger right on my elbow.
(11 Cravers Agree)
This story took place around 1960 to 1962 when I had a paper route, delivering the local newspaper to the neighborhood. Around this time, a new White Castle was built at Harlem and Belmont in Chicago. To promote the grand opening of the store there was a coupon in the paper I delivered. It was some ridiculous offer for Sliders at two or three cents each, limit of ten. With my father’s permission, my family of ten proceeded to cut out the coupon from each and every newspaper, about 75 in all. I delivered the coupon-less papers and received only a single complaint about the paper “being damaged.” Over the course of the next two weeks, my family and I consumed well over 500 White Castle Sliders.
The love affair continues fifty years later. I still live close to the same Castle on Harlem and Belmont. I have eaten at this location once a month for 50 years…600 visits or more. I also serve White Castles at an annual New Years Eve Party to the tune of 300 hamburgers or more. Every time there is a need to bring a dish, I arrive with a Crave Case or two. My four children are now big fans, including one who is a vegetarian but makes an exception for your Sliders.
Cheese, extra pickles and the unique ketchup and mustard mixture says it all.
(10 Cravers Agree)
Scrumptious White Castle Sliders have been an integral part of my life from the earliest days of my childhood. Every story and lesson from my grandmother was accompanied by Sliders from the White Castle near Allerton Avenue and Boston Road in the Bronx, New York. Countless heart-wrenching tales of Holocaust survival in Poland, Siberia, Austria, and France were made stronger and more indelible with the taste of Sliders and crinkly fries. My grandmother has since moved to Riverdale and now to Highland Park, New Jersey, but the White Castle on Somerset Street in New Brunswick is always a mandatory stop when visiting her.
Now that I live in California, the closest White Castle Sliders are only in my supermarket’s frozen section, which while not quite as tasty as those from the restaurant, certainly pass the time nicely between trips to the East Coast or Midwest. One of my life’s goals is to see a baseball game in all 30 Major League stadiums, but none of these trips are planned without knowing exactly where the closest White Castle is to the stadium or hotel. The White Castles farthest west are in Minneapolis and St. Louis, and the fact that the one in St. Louis is within walking distance of Busch Stadium was a monumental boost for my last trip in 2009.
Even my professional career has been augmented by a love for White Castle. I regaled my colleagues with numerous stories of White Castle, and I finally got the chance to share with them the deliciousness firsthand in 2008. I went with a few co-workers to lead training in one of our sister offices in Nashville, Tennessee, and the looks of joy and satisfaction on their faces when we made the late-night run to the White Castle on Broadway are unforgettable. Some of them even shipped fresh sliders back to California overnight via FedEx to share the crave with others who weren’t on the trip.
White Castle has also led me to the love of my life. On our very first date, my future wife and I watched Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle, and the shared laughs were a sure sign of a wonderful relationship. My wife’s first visit to New York included her first visit to a White Castle, and the Sliders enjoyed at 8th Avenue in Manhattan remain one of the best parts of our trip. While we both love California, we often lament that we don’t live close to a real White Castle, and consider moving to other states and cities where White Castles are located.
The moral of the story? Every significant event in my life has been accompanied by White Castle, but please bring one to Northern California!
(16 Cravers Agree)
Back in the 80’s White Castle had a “What people would do for a White Castle” promotion, this inspired me for the story I am about to tell. A co-worker of mine resigned and moved from Michigan to Mesa, Arizona. He was a White Castle fanatic and to his dismay, there were no White Castles in Mesa. He came back to Michigan a couple years later on a visit and an outdoor picnic was planned with all his old friends. I was part owner of a helicopter business in Livonia Michigan so a scheme was hatched to deliver White Castles by helicopter to our friend at the outing.
We went to out local White Castle, borrowed a uniform and bought a slew of Sliders for the surprise. Livonia City has an ordinance against landing a helicopter without permission and permission was denied. I requested the help of another co-worker, 82 Airborne Vietnam veteran Jimmy Dale Howton, to be the delivery person as he was experienced in disembarking from a moving helicopter. We would come to about a one foot hover and he would jump out and deliver the feast. The city can legally control the ground but they have no control over the airspace, that’s a function of the FAA only!
Needless to say, we delivered the White Castles as planned but the police ticketed me anyway. I beat it in court when the photo was produced showing I never actually touched down. True story, honest.
(8 Cravers Agree)
In the summer of my sophomore year of high school, my two best friends and I formed a pact: we would not partake of our first White Castle without the other two. Living in western Pennsylvania at the time, the closest White Castle was over seventy miles away—southwest of Cleveland, OH—much farther than any of us would have been permitted to drive during our high school days. So began a nearly decade long crave, and I didn’t even know what I was missing.
While my friends remained in Pennsylvania, my move to college took me to Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Illinois where the nearest White Castle is only two miles from campus. Temptation to breach that hallowed agreement of my youth loomed. All-nighters, study breaks, date nights, and my friends’ crave occasions of all kinds taunted me throughout my undergraduate career.
Then I met the woman who would become my wife. As a Chicagoland native, White Castle was elemental to her upbringing. She tried to integrate White Castle into our relationship on numerous occasions, but as much as I love her, I couldn’t compromise the crave covenant I had with my compadres.
Today, however, I happily commemorated my one-year anniversary of my first White Castle experience—for my bachelor party. My wife, Stephanie, insisted on it. We were wed 363 days ago, but not before tending to some unfinished business. My groomsmen, my father (the minister), my brothers-in-law, and several professors joined me in celebrating this crowning moment a year ago. Today, I satisfied “the crave” with my wife.
Not only did I have White Castle on the wake of our wedding, but the day after, too. It was my wife’s uncle’s 50th birthday, and the family had arranged another party at his favorite White Castle location while everyone was still in town.
Since then, we have moved into our first apartment in Chicago. One half block east of the White Castle at 5940 N. Ridge Ave., it topped the short list of selling points. It is where Stephanie and I have gone to celebrate some of the most meaningful occasions of our first year of marriage together—including our first night in our new apartment, getting new jobs, and New Year’s.
From one promise to another, White Castle represents more than a crave—it’s bliss.
(8 Cravers Agree)
Cape Coral, FL
There’s nothing like “Sliders” for a family get together. When I was four years old (way back in 1963) and lived in Chicago, every time the family used to gather the only thing that would sate everyone’s hunger was White Castle. My cousin would take me down to the nearest “Belly Bomber” joint and we would order between 150 and 300 tasty little burgers to take back to the family. That was usually every other weekend. During the week we would stop at “The Castle” before or after the Cubs or Sox games. And we would always stop there after a movie for burgers and shakes.
In 1966 we moved to Minneapolis, and thank God there were still “Sliders” there. In 1976, tragically we were to move to California. “NO MORE WHITE CASTLE.” We were lost for about ten years until my brother read a story in our local newspaper about “Hamburgers To Fly.” My father was always the hardest one to buy a Christmas gift for so we decided to order him 100 Sliders. The Sliders showed up at our house the morning of Christmas eve. We wrapped them before leaving home and we knew for sure this would be the best Christmas ever. Dad could also always guess what he was getting for Christmas and we thought for sure that we had him this year, but he took one look at the wrapped box and said, “White Castle.” No one could’ve told him as only my brother and I knew what was in the package, he really must have had a great sense of smell. But the smile on his face said it all when he unwrapped it. That Christmas eve we feasted like there was no tomorrow. Definitely a Christmas to remember.
Since then, our favorite delicacy has shown up in our local grocers and the frenzy didn’t stop there. Our softball team asked White Castle to sponsor our team for a season and sure enough, one morning as I was home with back problems, the doorbell rings. It’s UPS with a box from who else, White Castle! There were twenty Belly Bomber shirts and a check to cover our team’s entry fee into the league. I was giddy and couldn’t believe it wasn’t a dream.
I have since moved back east to Florida as of 2000 and I regularly stock up on White Castle hamburgers to store my freezer, as does my mother who also moved here. She always has them on-hand to tempt me for a reason to visit more often. My dad passed away three years ago but we have the fondest memory of the look on his face that Christmas when he opened the Sliders. White Castle will be with our family until we all go to the grave!
(30 Cravers Agree)
Ron Joy & Ralph Perricelli
New City, NY
In 2010, I ran the NYC Marathon with my pal Ralph “Ralphie Goodtimes” Perricelli. We ran to raise money for a 9/11 Memorial Scholarship Fund in the name of firefighter Nicholas Rossomando. I raised over $13,000 – mostly because my friends couldn’t believe I was going to run a marathon. You see, I like to eat and love my White Castles.
In addition to the Nicholas, I was also running in memory of my friend Capt. Vinny Giammona who died on his 40th birthday on 9/11. Vinny turned me on to White Castle and we spent many an evening satisfying the crave. I used to live on 100th street and 1st avenue so I was well aware of the White Castle shop nearby. and I figured that was around mile 18 within the marathon, and I would be getting mighty hungry about that time and in desperate need of a little pick me up. As soon as I signed up for the marathon I told everyone I knew to come watch me just north of White Castle. And that I was going to stop for a sack or two and would bring them up to the viewing area where we would have a Slider picnic. So in the name of Capt. Vinny Giammona, Ralph and I first went up to the drive thru during the marathon only to find it closed. We then went inside and ordered a bunch of Sliders and fries – no drink though (we didn’t want the soda to slow us down). We filmed the whole thing on our camera. We proceeded up to 116th and 1st and had a major chow down with our friends.
To this day, people don’t talk about us running the marathon, they talk about us stopping in the middle of the marathon to feed the crave! I even have people emailing me from Australia telling me if I am ever foolish enough to run another marathon and ready to stop at a White Castle, they will do it with me to satisfy the crave. It’s not the 26.2 miles they are impressed with, its the craver in us they admire. Who else would run 18 miles to get a slider? For Ralph and I, it wasn’t about finishing in a good time, it was about getting our sliders and having a good time!