Reality Check

Reviews of fast food burgers and a look at how the real life version compares to the advertised beauty shot.

Reality Check: White Castle's Bacon Sliders

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[Image: whitecastle.com]

White Castle has been serving up their mini square burgers since 1921. The distinguishing traits: square, thin patty cooked in onions on a small hamburger roll. Recently, they unveiled a limited-time addition to their menu: Bacon Sliders. I decided to drop by and see what the fuss was about.

I used to eat microwaveable White Castle burgers by the three pack when I was in college. Whoever thought to freeze them and market them to campus convenience stores was a genius. The onion scent from the Bacon Sliders brought back fond, albeit fuzzy, late-night memories.

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[Photograph: John Edwards]

Sadly, though, my original slider tasted more like ketchup and pickle; the onion and White Castle goodness barely came through. If you're there, consider getting 'em plain.

The Bacon & Cheddar Slider impressed me. The cheese had barely melted, but the little roll overflowed with chewy bacon bits. There was more bacon on it than beef, plus it had that juicy, saturated bottom bun. Yum. The bottom of its little cardboard container was also half-full of bacon.

The Bacon and Ranch Slider surprised the heck out of me. It has that classic White Castle patty, bun, and oniony flavor, but it's coated with a cheesy ranch sauce and huge bacon bits. By far, it was my favorite, even surpassing the original. Blasphemy, I know, but this popped into my "Top 5 of the Year" the moment I bit into it. I normally don't like ranch all that much, but this was like a ranch-meets-bleu-cheese-and-bacon delight.

Frankly, White Castle hit a home run with this one. If you've never had White Castle before, I admit it is a bit of an acquired taste, as Robyn Lee learned two years ago. For the regulars, though, if you haven't been recently, it merits a special trip to try these Bacon sliders. They take the original burger to another level.

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