Ah, Valentine’s Day. A “holiday” best celebrated at home.
Unless, that is, you can get a reservation at White Castle.
Which we did.
See, Neil had read that White Castle, home of the slider, takes reservations for that most romantic of holidays. After a bit of research, we learned that not only do they take reservations, they provide table service, decorate with flowers and candles (and tablecloths!), and fill up quickly. So in mid January, I called to nab a table at our neighborhood Castle for February 14. Optimistically, I asked for a 7 o’clock reservation–prime dinner hour. I was told it was fully booked.
“How about 6:45?” asked the nice man on the line. “I’ll take it!”
When the day arrived, we considered what wine would pair with belly bombers and settled on a bottle of Cab Franc. We pulled into the parking lot a few minutes early, smiling at the warm scene within. There were red and pink decorations everywhere. Hearts a plenty. Smiling couples and families, savoring fries by the sack and burgers that come four to a combo. Chicken rings? Those were in full force, too.
Inside, the servers were all dressed in red, and some were dolled up in fancy dresses. A bubbly hostess greeted us and welcomed us with a zeal I have never seen at a fast food restaurant, and then escorted us to our table. Then our server came over and introduced himself, asking if we’d like him to take our photo. Of course we do!
We told him we’d brought a bottle of wine, and asked if that was ok. His eyes lit up with respect. “I don’t see why not!” he said. “Would you like some cups with ice?” We let him know ice wasn’t necessary, and then opened the screw cap and filled our paper cups, toasting before we drank.
The menu, printed with a clever XOXO made of chicken rings and fries, was filled with the traditional fare. We chose carefully (confession: we’d studied the calorie counts earlier in the day, and it surely curbed our appetites). I opted for two sliders and a veggie slider (new! decent, but I’d stick with the original in the future). N got three double sliders and a grilled chicken sandwich. We shared a sack of fries. (And one of us may have cratered and requested a cheese cup on the side).
It was, hands down, the cheapest Valentine’s dinner ever, coming to a total of $12.
And certainly the most memorable.
Well, the most memorable since the Monster Jam 2010.