Green Brook, NJ

I haven’t read Dante Alghieri’s “Inferno” since college, so I don’t remember if he imagined a circle of hell reserved for folks who introduce their grandchildren to White Castle.  If so, I hope he was wrong, but it’s too late now. We’ve already done it.

 
I’m not sure if this factor mitigates our guilt or makes it worse, but the fact is that we took the boys to the White Castle in Green Brook at the suggestion of our daughter, their mother, who – of course – also learned about the mystique of the slider from us.
So did her three siblings, and an interesting point about that is that our three oldest children, all of whom are particular about what they eat, still love White Castle, while the youngest one — who is more casual about diet when she eats at all — describes White Castle hamburgers as “rat meat.”
I can’t put into words the attraction that White Castle has for us, and I guess the fact that its appeal is elusive makes it  all the more appealing. It certainly isn’t an attraction to fast food in general. I never eat in McDonald’s (except for an Egg McMuffin), Burger King, Arby’s, or Wendy’s. My only other inclination of that kind — if it can be called fast food — is for chili dogs.
Well, the grandsons and their parents were coming to our house for a sleepover recently, and our daughter suggested that we take the boys to White Castle — which was a thinly veiled way of saying that we should take her to White Castle — something I suspect her husband doesn’t approve of. I don’t think the boys were hooked, based on that one visit, but they’re only little guys, so there’s plenty of time. It isn’t that Pat and I spend a lot of time at White Castle, but we get the hankering now and again, and we go with no apologies. Two or three times, we have made reservations — yes, reservations are required — for the Valentine’s Day dinner at the White Castle in South Plainfield. There are red table clothes and flowers, a waiter at your table, and a menu to order from — the same food, of course, or why would we be there?
I mentioned that Pat and I don’t spend a lot of time at White Castle. No, we have salad and a green vegetable with every dinner, we eat a lot of garlic and olive oil, we don’t overdo the red meat , and we would eat fish if either one of us could swallow it. But life is full of hazards and temptations. I started a new job in January, and my drive home takes me right past the White Castle in Green Brook. “You know,” Pat said to me, ” you could stop on your way home.”
 
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