Time Magazine: Slider is No. 1 Most Influential Burger

Hungry? Maybe this will whet your appetite for a hunk of ground beef on a toasted bun. The White Castle “slider” has been ranked by Time magazine as the “most influential burger of all time,” beating out McDonald’s, In-N-Out, 21 and Burger King (Nos. 2-5, respectively).

My favorite part of this story, however, is how Time staffers came to this conclusion: They interviewed burger historians and experts. I didn’t realize that was an available job for people to have!

The White Castle corporate headquarters have been in Columbus, Ohio for 80 years and part of the reason the tiny sandwiches achieved the Time distinction, according to the Columbus Dispatch, is that the burgers paved the way for a fast food revolution (whether that’s good or bad for health is a discussion for another day).

So, while you think about what you’ll have to eat for lunch today, I’ll leave you with some fun facts about White Castle from the company’s web site:

  • White Castle burgers have been featured in four movies (probably most famously in “Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle” in 2004)
  • The chain was the first to sell a million, and then a billion, hamburgers
  • The first White Castle opened in March 1921 in Wichita, Kansas, thanks to a $700 loan
  • Originally, sliders were on sale for a nickel
  • During the Depression, White Castle offered a menu of bean soup, cheese and egg sandwiches, due to the rationing of meat at that time

As I was reminded driving past my local White Castle the other day, the restaurant is already taking reservations for Valentine’s Day, in which it transforms into a haven for lovebirds (or so I’m told) with decorations, table cloths, candles and the opportunity for a commemorative photo of your experience. Anyone ever celebrated this romantic holiday at White Castle? Share your experience with us in the comments.

And thanks, White Castle, for creating those delicious bite-sized burgers (and for the chicken rings, too)!