Thursday, September 2, 2010

White Castle experimenting with noodles and barbecue

Posted By on Thu, Sep 2, 2010 at 11:30 AM

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During the Great Depression, White Castle hamburgers -- founded in Wichita, Kansas, in 1921 -- was one of the few culinary success stories of that troubled era. The founders, Walter A. Anderson and short-order cook Edgar Waldo "Billy Ingram," created the perfect 5-cent square hamburger. Hungry, broke customers could buy them by the bagful.

Today, White Castle -- based in Columbus, Ohio, since Ingram moved the company headquarters out of Kansas in 1933 -- is experimenting with some different culinary concepts, including pulled-pork carnitas and cornbread.

This experiment may be a reflection of survival in this "Great Recession" -- restaurants expanding their offerings well beyond their core business. In the case of White Castle, the new concepts are being test-marketed in a restaurant-within-a-restaurant style. The first Blaze Modern BBQ is located in an existing White Castle restaurant in Lafayette, Indiana -- a college town -- and sells brisket, pulled chicken, Chinese char siu pork, pulled-pork carnitas, smoked turkey, andouille sausage and sloppy joes.

White Castle is reportedly set to open an Asian noodle concept inside an existing White Castle in Springfield, Ohio, later this year.

There hasn't been a White Castle restaurant in the Kansas City market in over a decade, though one of the original 1920s White Castle buildings still stands, next to the Anthony's Italian Restaurant parking lot, at 709 Grand. Future noodle house castle?

 

 

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