Sunday, August 15, 2021

Krystal versus White Castle taste test comparison

I do love Sliders. I grew up eating Krystal hamburgers since my Mamaw worked there for 35 years! Krystal burgers are regional though, and I don't often have them available. 

Instead, what I do see more often are White Castle hamburgers, since they're available in Michigan. 

White Castle and Krystal don't usually overlap, but while we're on the road, we found a city that has both! And it's my birthday today! You know what that means? We're going to do a taste test comparison!  

Which burger chain will win out? Let's find out!


Not everyone enjoys these types of hamburgers. Actually some people think there's pretty terrible. 

Alli - Can I just have one bite and then eat my real dinner?

Good thing we're not just tasting the hamburgers. We're looking at 3 categories. Burgers, Fries, and Desserts. 

White Castle is our first stop. 
Did you know that White Castle is considered to be the world's first fast food hamburger chain? Founded in 1921 by Walt Anderson and Billy Ingram, they chose a white building and lots of stainless steel to project a feeling of cleanliness. 

Since they were founded in 1921 White Castle is celebrating their 100th birthday this year! Walt Anderson is credited with inventing the Hamburger Bun, and the Assembly Line Kitchen. In 2014, Time Magazine said that the White Castle Slider, not the McDonald's hamburger, was the most influential burger of all time. 

Way back in 1921 burgers were only 5 cents. Today they're a bit more expensive at 77 cents each. They've also got a lot of different things on the menu, like onion rings, chicken rings, fish nibblers, and cheese sticks.  

The burgers are made the same way they always have been. On a griddle on a bed of onions. The buns are placed on top to steam while the burgers cook. Once they're done, two pickles are added and the burgers are boxed up. 

Our second stop is of course Krystal. 
Founded in 1932 by Rody Davenport Jr and Glenn Sherrill, Krystal is 89 years old. The name supposedly comes from Mrs. Davenport seeing a lawn ornament in the shape of a crystal ball. They also wanted to focus on cleanliness, as in "Clean as a Crystal" but substituted a K for Krystal instead of a C. Is that a crystal ball in their logo? 

Krystal Burgers are made in a similar manner to White Castle's burgers. The one difference is that Krystal adds mustard standard, while White Castle Burgers are plain. 

We took our bounty to a nearby parking lot, parked in the shade of a tree, lowered the tailgate of the truck and started our taste test. 
I tried to get like-for-like from each store.
The burgers are pretty obvious, as were the french fries. I picked the best dessert that was offered. 
From Krystal we have 6 sliders, 1 medium french fry, a fried apple turnover, and a Strawberry Fanta. 
From White Castle there's 6 sliders, 1 medium french fry, a 5 count of mozzarella cheese sticks, a Cake on a Stick, and to drink a sweet iced tea. 

There's no better place to start than with the burgers. They look nearly identical. Both have square patties, square buns, and come in a paper box. 

Both have a layer of onions and 2 pickles. 

Krystal on the left has mustard, while White Castle does not. Otherwise they look to be the same dimensions, thickness, etc. 

Taste-wise though, I definitely have a favorite. 
The Krystal burger bun has a much better texture and flavor than the White Castle bun. I also like the mustard that comes with the Krystal burger. 
Theresa said that White Castle burgers have a specific scent. The Krystal burgers don't have that scent which is a good thing. The pickles (which I take off and generously donate to Theresa) have a stronger flavor on the White Castle sliders. That's enough to make the White Castle burgers barely squeak by Krystal burgers for her. 
Alli devoured her first Krystal burger. She likes mustard too. By the time she started on her White Castle burger she was surprised. To quote her "I thought I didn't like the White Castle burger, but it was the most delicious part of all." 
Likewise Ian also picked the White Castle burger as his favorite today. "Wow, that was amazing! I was surprised I liked White Castle better."
That's 3 votes for White Castle burgers and 1 vote for Krystal. 

For the French Fries, we have a split decision. Theresa and I thought the White Castle fries were plain old crinkle cut fries that we could easily make at home. They weren't salted all that well and were a bit soggy. The Krystal fries were the straight cut fries, they were crispy, and we liked them better. 
The kids had other opinions. They liked the crinkle cut fries just fine. 

One special mention for White Castle. They have a bigger selection for sides. Onion rings, onion petals, and my favorite Mozzarella Sticks. 

For the dessert, there was no question for Theresa and I. A hot, fried, apple turnover. It's crispy and hot and tastes like warm apples and cinnamon. Definitely a pleaser. 

The desserts from White Castle were a little different. It's a Birthday Cake... On A Stick!

My mind just goes to the movie WALL-E and the septuacentennial cupcake in a cup. 

Here's your $1.09 cake on a stick! It's dipped in super sweet frosting and covered in sprinkles. 
I thought it was just okay. Theresa bit into it and then spat it out. She was not a fan at all. 
So of course that means that the kids love it. Both picked the cake as their favorite dessert. 

So which restaurant is the ultimate winner? 
By the numbers, it's White Castle, with 3 votes for burgers, 2 votes for fries, and 2 votes for dessert. 
If you throw out the kids' votes though because this is my blog and I can do whatever I want, then it's Krystal that wins. We have a split decision on the burgers, but Krystal wins the French Fry category as well as the Dessert category. 

It was fun to pull this together and see which restaurant we really liked best. And now it's giving me ideas for more things to compare in the future! We'll have to see what kinds of things we can try next!

1 comment:

  1. Happy Belated Birthday, Joe!! What an appropriate comparison taste test to do. Krystal is a new place for me (btw, wonderful article on your Mamaw!) Even from the picture, the Krystal burger bun looks more moist, too. Thin, crispy fries for me, too :-) Cake-on-the-stick is an interesting dessert idea but I think Theresa and you can make a much better tasting one! Were the beverages both good? Fun way to help celebrate your birthday, Joe! EOM

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