Hall of Fame

What do 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.

2013 Inductees

Jon Engen
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(16 Cravers Agree)

Jon Engen

Anoka, MN



I was introduced to White Castle by my father and Grandmother at an age that I simply do not remember. They have always been a part of my life.
Family gatherings where centered around the White Castle on Central in Mpls. A visit to grandma always included a sack of 10. She would carefully take two burgers…roll the sack to close it and make every day a Castle day until we delivered another sack.

Being a radio personality I have made it known far and wide that my first choice…every time… is White Castle. In fact, when the new store was being built on Highway 65 in Blaine MN I was invited to be the “First Guest of Honor”. That was me at the front of a line of more than 100 people ready to welcome the newest store in the Twin Cities.
In 2005 I had two weeks off of work and during that time visited EVERY White Castle in the state. I kept a slider box from each store, signed by the person who waited on me. That wonderful collection stayed intact until this past March when a flood in my basement destroyed it.
In 2011 I remarried and my new wife surprised me at the reception with roaster full of sliders! That was a wonderful surprise!!
It was a scramble by the guests so each person could have at least one.
When my wife and I were looking for a house to buy I made sure that we were less than 3 miles from the nearest Castle. Not a week goes by that I don’t have a number one in my hand and smile on my face.
Being the morning Drive time host on BOB 106 in the Cities I talk constantly about my last visit. One of my coworkers share our passion. On one occasion I needed him to cover an early morning shift for me and he only agreed when I told him that I would throw in a number one.
Finally… and I have been serious about this with my wife… I have told her that when I die that just before the cremation procedure begins she needs to put a Crave Case in my hands. I came into this world with White Castle… I want to leave the same way.


Alice & Samuel Marks
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(9 Cravers Agree)

Alice & Samuel Marks

Port Aransas, TX



My Favorite White Castle Story

A week before Thanksgiving, seven plus years ago, my husband and I retired from Minnesota to a small island town in South Texas. We knew we would be alone on the coming holiday, but we were determined to reproduce the feast that we’d always enjoyed with our big family. Of course, I’d have to downsize it a bit.

As I made out the detailed shopping list, I realized I hadn’t seen a single White Castle store in the state of Texas. How on earth could I make my husband’s absolute favorite “White Castle Stuffing”? I knew he would be disappointed, but without access to White Castle hamburgers, what could I do? I decided to return to our once standard stuffing recipe, which we had used up until our Internet introduction to “White Castle Stuffing”.
Trudging down the aisles of our little grocery store the day before Thanksgiving, I visualized Minnesotans lined up at White Castles all over the Twin Cities, buying the necessary ingredient for their own stuffing. I could practically smell those sensationally scented White Castle stores.
Suddenly, as I passed by the frozen foods doors, a familiar logo caught my eye. I had no idea that White Castle marketed frozen burgers, but, thrilled, I scooped up all the boxes the store had. Then realizing there might be other White Castle-deprived transplants on the island needing them for Thanksgiving, I put some back. I didn’t intend to downsize this!
My husband and I were both a little misty-eyed with homesickness when we sat down to our quiet feast. Then when my husband tasted his favorite stuffing, his eyes lit up. “How in the world did you manage this?" I explained my find at the IGA store, and we both agreed Thanksgiving alone was quite satisfactory, thanks to frozen White Castles!
In a few weeks we are moving back to Minnesota. The day before Thanksgiving these two seventy-year olds will be standing in line for fresh White Castles for our stuffing!


Lucretia Henard
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(2 Cravers Agree)

Lucretia Henard

High Point, NC



Hello fellow Cravers. I just want you to know how utterly delighted I am to find this forum to share my White Castle story. I just happened to be viewing a tv program about the most popular restaurants in America when I heard the announcer mention those famous words…“White Castle,” which immediately caught my attention. lol. While I did not know that I might be considered a “Craver,” just because of my utter love for White Castle, well…let me tell you…I have been a “Craver,” annnd craved White Castle foods, for over 40-years.

In 1971, having been a young black mother, I wanted more for my infant son than just my “eking-out-a-living, barely-getting-by” kind of life, so I left the deep south for good ole Minneapolis, where I attended the Humboldt Airline Institute, and where I lived in the Evangeline Residence, which was right across the street from Loring Park, where The Mary Tyler Moore Show’s opening scene was filmed-and was right around the corner-and within short walking distance-from a White Castle Restaurant. (siggghh..life is good!! lol.)
…Annnnyhoo…when I went home to North Carolina for Christmas break, I bragged and talked-annnnd boasted, about the incredibly delicious flavor of the White Castle hamburger and fries, which were only 10-cents each, in 1971. I bragged about it to the point of frustration, as anyone I spoke to about “my discovery”-(lol)-seemed a little…out of sorts about my constant chatter about food. lol.
After graduation I moved back to North Carolina. As my son grew older I began taking him to movies and other social outings. One movie in particular, showed some of the actors entering a White Castle Restaurant in New York. Lo and behold, Cravers!!!…my son and I had jusssst visited that verrrry White Castle, in thaaat very New York location, just months prior to our viewing that movie.
Also, while visiting my sister in Brooklyn, we hsd also sat on the very bench those actors sat upon, near the Verrazano Bridge.
Annnyhoo, to wrap up this almost… “cinderella-ish” saga, well… my son, to my dismay, chose to drive semi’s rather than finish college.


Barry Cash
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(1 Cravers Agree)

Barry Cash

Somers, NY



I grew up in the Bronx, NY, so White Castle has been a tradition in my life for almost 50 years. But perhaps my favorite White Castle story goes back to about 1983. I was working the summer as the assistant director for a day camp that operated out of a Jewish Community Center in the Bronx. Each day, we would transport some 500 campers an hour north to a beautiful rural campground in Rockland County for a day of swimming, sports, games, friendship and fun. Then highlight of the summer for the kids was their annual overnight. They would prepare a campsight all summer – then on the magical day, they would wave goodbye to the other campers as their unit stayed overnight – including an extra night swim, a group activity under the stars, a cook out, and sleeping in sleeping bags beside the campfire in the woods at your campsite.

So one hot August night, a group of about 100 8-10 year old boys and girls had their overnight. At about 9:30 in the evening, my beeper went off (this is a story from the ‘80s, there were no cell phones) and the counselors called to tell me that there were tremendous thunderstorms. All of the kids and counselors were huddled in the shelter building – basically a building that had a roof and four posts – no sides. They were exposed to the elements. After checking the weather report, it became clear this was going to be an all night storm. So I contacted five camp workers, we went to the JCC and picked up mimi-buses, and we drove to the campground. We were met with rousing applause by the wet and tired kids and counselors when we arrived an hour later. We packed everyone into the vans, and drove back to the JCC in the Bronx. We opened the basement gym, had the kids lay out their sleeping bags, and had them try to go to sleep.
It was now about 2am. I took a van and headed to my favorite White Castle on Allerton Avenue. I ordered 400 white castles and 125 fries (and one milk shake for me for the ride back). The worker at the counter never looked up, never flinched, she just placed the order and handed me my number. A little while later, I was en route back to the JCC. At 3am, I threw on all the lights int he gym, got on the PA system and announced to the kids (and counselors) that while it was upsetting that part of their overnight experience was rained out, this was going to be a night to remember. Not because o the rain, not because of the experience of driving back and sleeping he gym – but because they were about to be introduced to the best late night (or in this case, early morning) snack in the world. With that, we provided White Castles and fries for everyone. There were smiles all around, as some kids had their first White Castle experience. Others were regulars, but were equally happy to be enjoying the great taste at 3am! I received many phone calls in the next few days thanking us for how we handled the difficult rain situation on the overnight – and many went on to laugh and thank us for the White Castle experience as well.
I’d like to think that now, some 30 years later, there are dozens of White Castle fans roaming around the country, or perhaps the globe, who go their very first taste of a White Castle thanks to me on that hot, rainy August night all those years ago.
Thanks for the great food, and for so many memories.

-Barry


Ned O'Malia
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(8 Cravers Agree)

Ned O'Malia

Albuquerque, NM



Always the Bridesmaid, Never The Bride.

Well after midnight, cold and misty, we pulled up to the Drive thru window of our favorite White Castle in Columbus Ohio. We had finished a lavish dinner a few hours before, but this was “drivin’ home food.” We ordered a Crave. On the bag were the details of a cooking contest, The Crave Contest. I read the guidelines and announced to the car that I was going to enter the contest.

My sister Mary asked for the bag which by this time was empty. She murmured and announced that she too would enter the contest. I spoke up and stated that we must enter independently without discussing our recipes or procedures. She agreed. We started the next day and arranged to have private time in the kitchen for our “personal” recipes. The only acknowledgement of our individual entry into the contest was to tell each other that indeed we had entered a recipe. We further declared that no word of the Crave Contest would be spoken until the results were determined.
Weeks passed. Months passed.
Sometime in September I found a voice message on my telephone machine, “Ned, please call me as soon as possible, Mary.” We played phone tag for a day until this message appeared, “Ned, you call me when you get in tonight, I don’t care if it is 2.00 AM, and DO IT! Mary.” Being a dutiful and responsible brother I called her late that night. No greeting, no hello, immediately “Ned, you won second place in the White Castle Crave contest. Wow, Oh Wow.” I was very excited and thinking about my recipe and wondering what I had won, while my sister and I were talking in raised voice, I paused, reflected and I asked, “How do you know I won second prize, I didn’t get a phone call or an email?. Mary responded like a cooing pigeon, ‘because they only call the first prize winner.” I could not believe it. I was to find out later that out of 458 entries, sister and brother had come in first and second. I immediately thought this must surely be worth an interview on Good Morning America.
The next day in more calm a mood I was to find that when the White Castle representative called Mary to announce her first prize status; she mentioned that the second place winner had the same last name but was from a Southwestern state. Mary revealed that the second place winner was indeed her brother, Ned.
I was traveling at the time and could not make it to Columbus where Mary lives, she in the mean time appeared on local television and prepared her winning entry, White Castle Queso Enchilada, and prepared it again at a Home and Garden Show in front of hundreds of riveted White Castle fans. When I did arrive in Columbus we were hosted at the White Castle Administrative center complete with tour of the office complex, machine shop and lunch of many White Castle products at the employee cafeteria.
Mary hosted a Friday night dinner party of White Castle burgers and other dinner treats. I prepared my recipe, (Second Prize) White Castle Eggplant Parmesan; Mary fixed several trays of her award winner. We had banners and a desert cake in the shape of a White Castle outlet complete with parking space lines. Many of the White Castle staff attended.
Mary still coos at me, “Ned, I feel it is not right for me to enter the Crave contest again as I did win first place once, but you could enter again as your DID NOT win first place.
I am reminded of the expression, “Always the Bridesmaid, never the Bride.”


Paul Johnson
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(5 Cravers Agree)

Paul Johnson

Taft, TN



This is a follow-up with my adventures of taking White Castles to Singapore, Panama, and Russia I submitted recently. Thirteen years later my wife’s parents are visiting us as I write this. Once they arrived we took them to White Castles in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Yes, that is our little boy next to me. He can put away as many WCs as I can! This is the closest White Castle to our home, 70 miles away. Of course, I’m in heaven just being there.


Jeff Maurer
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(9 Cravers Agree)

Jeff Maurer

Wilmington, IL



My story begins June 15, 1991, my wedding day. My best man and I wake up late & hung over from my bachelor party. He puts my tuxedo on thinking it is his and we discover that his was incomplete – missing shoes, cumber bun and tie. We have a 25 mile drive to wedding chapel, but now have to drive an addition 10 miles out of our way to pick up the missing items from the rental store. I know I am going to be at least 10 minutes late for my wedding, but being an original slider pilot I decide that it is definitely a White Castle moment and pull through the drive through pleading with the worker to hurry “I am late for my wedding!”

My best man and I pull into the church parking still shoving sliders into our mouths. I still have to get my tux on and climb out of the car, place the white castle bag on the roof of the car and start rushing to get dressed in the parking lot not knowing that our videographer was filming my arrival, which was not edited out of our final wedding video. The wedding went fine but the story doesn’t end there. After the reception, exhausted and knowing we had to go home and be ready for a 5am limo to the airport for our honeymoon, we decided more food was in order. Now actually at 2am, in my tuxedo, with my bride stuffed into the front seat of our small car I walked into White Castle. Two customers noticed my outfit and asked where I was coming from – they didn’t believe me and said if your bride is in the car in her dress we will pay for your order. The three of us went out to the car and they started congratulating us and laughing as a small crowd began to gather. I decided to hand my new wife the tray of drinks through the driver’s side window and it tumbled spilling orange pop into the seat she was sitting in and on her wedding dress. Thank God she had a sense of humor or I would have been divorced within the first 12 hours of my marriage. It’s been 22 years and still married and still an official slider pilot. – Oh and did I mention I also stopped at on the way to the hospital while my wife was in full fledged labor with my 1st child in the front seat of my jacked up bronco for a small sac less than an hour before my daughter was born?


Kevin Downey
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(19 Cravers Agree)

Kevin Downey

Brooklyn, NY



One summer, back when I was growing up in Brooklyn in the 1970’s my father used to say that there are simply some subjects that just can’t be taught well in schools. One of these subjects was the ability to read and navigate using a map.

My father wanted to make sure that I would always be competent when it came to reading maps, and he devised an ingenious way for me to become proficient at doing so.
He purchased a detailed map of Brooklyn and placed little stars on the map to denote the location of all the White Castles in Brooklyn. He called it the ‘map game’. He then gave me the map and told me I was going to be the navigator as he drove the car. If I could ‘find my way’ to a White Castle within 30-40 minutes, I would be rewarded with a delicious lunch at White Castle. All I had to do was tell him to either continue going straight, make a right turn, or make a left turn. If I ran out of time I would be ‘out of luck’.
Needless to say, I quickly moved up the learning curve and successfully navigated our way to a White Castle every time. We ended up visiting every White Castle in Brooklyn that summer!
I’d always order the same thing 4 burgers, fries, and a chocolate shake.
One day recently I was sitting in the family van with my three children and I told them about this story. They immediately wanted to play the ‘map game’! I am now being navigated around Brooklyn to all the White Castles! I guess you could say it’s now a family tradition!


Steve Klein
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(9 Cravers Agree)

Steve Klein

Ledgewood, NJ



My name is Max and I am a Yorkiepoo or Yorkshire Terrier/Poodle puppy. I am 5 years old and I wish to nominate my best buddy Steve. I feel he has the qualities that would make him a great candidate for the White Castle Hall of Fame. He visits the White Castle in our hometown of Ledgewood every day. Just ask Priscilla the store manager.

He does not take me because I only eat dog food but sliders must be good if he goes there so much. His loyalty to the Castle is without question as he never and I mean never eats at any other fast food establishment. He has traveled on his motorcycle to every White Castle in the state and even attended the grand opening of the Phillippsburg store last year. Our house is decorated with two giant cowboys with a pull porked slider head and two snowmen that celebrate a White Castle winter. I have sent you a picture of me and the snowman. His friend Priscilla[ledgewood manager] and John [area director] were kind enough to get these for him. He takes his wife donna, my mom, to the Valentines Day White Castle celebration attending every date since they began. It is an annual event that is marked on his calendar a year in advance. I know he has submitted his story the past couple of years and he proudly wears the pins that you have sent. I hope that my nomination receives your very best attention as Steve is the best buddy a puppy like me could have and he would be a great member to your Hall of Fame.


Darrin & Darrin Vindiola
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(2 Cravers Agree)

Darrin & Darrin Vindiola

Evans, CO



It had been seven years since I had last sunk my teeth into a White Castle Hamburger, and I found myself having insatiable cravings for White Castle sliders. I knew that the frozen White Castle hamburgers located in the supermarket freezer section would not satisfy my carnivorous fixation. No.. I craved a made to order White Castle slider, steam grilled to perfection and tenderly tucked inside of a soft, fresh, delicate roll.

Joking around one day with my wife, I suggested that I should go on a road trip back East for the sole purpose of obtaining some White Castle Burgers. As the chuckles subsided, I asked myself.. “Why not?” I had recently kicked around the idea of taking a road trip with my teenage son to help us reconnect, but all we lacked was a destination. I went to work the very next day, cashed in some vacation time, and commenced planning our 1800 mile round trip burger run…

The big day..
The alarm clock woke me up right on time at 1:45 a.m. after a blissful 4 hours of sleep. I took a quick shower to help me wake up, ran downstairs, poured myself and my co-pilot a cup of coffee, kissed my bride goodbye, and was out the door and on the road by 2:15. Nine hours later, after viewing an infinite number of rolling hills and wheat fields, the landscape seemed to almost instantaneously change as we approached Kansas City Kansas. As we crossed into Missouri, my son and I both felt a renewed vigor! We were like giddy school girls right before a Sadie Hopkins dance. Now.. only three hundred and fifty miles stood between us and the nearest White Castle!

After eight hundred plus miles, and thirteen and a half hours of driving across three states, we had finally arrived! The White Castle restaurant in Wentzville Missouri is the absolute closest White Castle to the Northern part of Colorado where we live. It was a newer store, and only faintly resembled the classic stores I had visited in the past. The architectural similarities were prevalent however, and I spotted it from what seemed to be miles away.

Lunch…
After thirteen hours of driving we were hungry, but our appetites weren’t exactly what you could call ravenous. Therefore, we took it easy on our stomachs and ordered up only fifteen White Castle sliders and a couple orders of fries. Over the next four days, french fries, pickles, and onions would prove to be the only vegetables I would consume during the entire course of our road trip (unless you count the coleslaw I ate with some BBQ in Kansas City)

We finished lunch and headed twenty some odd miles East to our sleep accommodations in a suburb of St Louis. It was strategically picked for our accommodations, as it was only 1.9 miles away from yet another White Castle. My son took a nap while I stretched out on my bed to check my e-mail. Four or five hours passed, and my craving for White Castle sliders once again started to resurface. I woke my son up, and he agreed that we needed to make another White Castle run.

Dinner…
We were getting hungrier by the minute but were absolutely beat from the drive, so we decided to get some White Castle to go from the store a couple of miles down the road. For lunch we kept it old school and dined on basic White Castle hamburgers with fries, but for dinner we decided to change it up a bit. White Castle’s menu is pretty simple and straight forward, but they do have a couple unique menu items that we just had to try like chicken rings and Buffalo Bites.

We also ordered five or six cheeseburgers, and of course.. a few classic sliders for good measure.

As we relaxed in the confines of our hotel room, my son and I talked about how great it would be to have White Castle’s out West where we lived. We also pondered on what made the food we were eating so great. In the end we concluded that it was the simplicity and uniqueness of the food, that makes people lifelong customers and fans of the chain.

I’m not sure why there aren’t any White Castle restaurants father West, but I firmly believe that they would surely prosper. At this point, I’d be happy to see some stores built in the state of Kansas (their original birthplace). It sounds crazy, but I would definitely do a 6 to 8 hour road trip a few times a year to dine on White Castle sliders! I’ve heard that all stores are company owned which could explain why new stores aren’t popping up all over the U.S.

Breakfast..
The next morning, we gathered our thoughts and belongings, and wandered downstairs to the hotel lobby to checkout. Nothing on the continental breakfast buffet looked very appetizing, so we decided to go elsewhere. Hmmm.. where to go.. where to go.. Ah what the heck, why not White Castle?!?

An Old School White Castle..

We went to the same restaurant we visited for dinner. It’s an older store located in Maryland Heights with a beautiful porcelain coated exterior. I enjoyed a coffee, a donut, and a couple of White Castle Cheeseburgers. Talk about your breakfast of champions!

The last supper…
After spending the day at the Gateway Arch and Mississippi river front, it was time to start heading back West. Our time in Missouri was heading towards a close. We had one more chance to dine at White Castle before heading to Kansas City to visit my Aunt and Uncle on the way back to Colorado, and we weren’t going to pass up the opportunity.

We went back to the White Castle restaurant that we had first visited in Wentzville the day before. The cheeseburgers I ate for breakfast really hit the spot, so I decided to order some Double Bacon Cheeseburgers. After eating one, I felt like slapping myself silly for not ordering these before. The Double’s in my opinion have a better meat to bread ratio than a classic slider, and the bacon and cheese really push this sandwich over the top! The Double Bacon Cheeseburger, is now my favorite menu item at The Castle!

With full stomach’s and a bit of pensiveness, we exited the restaurant and headed towards our car. Before driving away, we rolled down the windows to catch one last whiff of the steam grilled aroma that permeated the air across the parking lot. This leg of our trip and consequentially, the inspiration for our entire journey.. was now over.

It’s funny, I went for nearly seven years without eating a single solitary White Castle slider. Then, after the road trip, I found myself craving them more than ever! Many people don’t understand the infatuation folks like myself have with these tiny little morsels of steam grilled goodness. Maybe it’s a regional thing. It wasn’t until I lived back East, that I became such a big White Castle enthusiast. In fact, I’m not the only White Castle fanatic in my family. My bride who hasn’t eaten a hamburger for over ten years, says that she would gladly dine at White Castle if the opportunity arose.

In the end we drove nearly 1900 miles, covered ground in six states, reconnected as “buddies” rather than just father and son, and ate our weight in White Castle hamburgers, all in the course of a few short days. We created for ourselves, memories and stories that we’ll talk about for years to come, and really.. we have White Castle to thank for that.

Our passion for White Castle sliders drove us to venture through six states to the nearest restaurant. The good times and experiences we had along the way were the icing on the cake!


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