You may think you know Serious Eats contributor Dennis Lee pretty well from reading his reviews of burgers, Chicago lunches, and chain pizza, but you can't truly know Dennis until you've watched him eat at White Castle by himself.
So thank god for this video, in which Dennis eats at White Castle (mostly) by himself. On Valentine's Day. It's the first video in his new YouTube series, "Table for One," documenting his journey of self-discovery as he eats at various food establishments by himself. It will be fantastic. There is no other possible outcome.
Watch the magic unfold in the video below!
The Love Castle - Table For One, Episode 1
My Hard-Hitting Q&A With Dennis
Did this video leave you asking questions about Dennis's well being? About humanity in general? I won't address the latter, but I did ask Dennis a few questions about the video.
I was surprised by how empty the restaurant was. Did everyone leave because they were repelled by your aggressive loneliness?
Yes. It's easy to ruin other people's romantic Valentine's Day when you wake up in a dumpster, get in the car, and stumble into White Castle smelling of despair. That, and when the only reservation you can make is at 9 p.m. in the suburbs, because you waited for the last minute to make lonely, lonely, plans.
How many sliders did you eat before you started crying?
I had one bite when I started crying. The onions were so good that they made tears explode out my face. My roommate ended up eating 16 of them, true story. He was aiming for 20, but fell slightly short. Funny how watching me cry while drinking contraband alcohol will ruin your appetite. We discovered that 16 sliders are 2,720 calories and he enjoyed a whole plate of guilt for dessert.
What do you think lies in the future for you and Brenda?
I'll win Brenda back. Just you wait. Just you see, Brenda. You'll be mine, even though we've been broken up for like six years now.
What's the story behind your pocket penguin?
I don't talk about him. In fact, I don't know what you're talking about. A 32-year-old man with a stuffed pocket penguin? That's the saddest thing I've ever heard of. Ha! Who does that?
How badly did your roommate beat you up when you got home?
Turns out my roommate and his girlfriend missed their Valentine's Day reservation at Alinea and now neither of them will talk to me. Also, it was their fifth anniversary together.
On a more serious note, props to your waiter for being a good sport.
That was Jesse. Jesse was amazing.
How did he react when you told him what you were doing?
He was a little nervous, considering we, uh, I mean I, barged into his workplace and asked if he would be on video documenting my sadness and hunger. But once his pity kicked in full force, he warmed up and helped me get food into my face. Thanks Jesse!