To those of you who have been holding out hope that 2021 would be a year of good things happening, it falls to me to tell you that White Castle, the Ohio-based fast fooder, will open the world’s largest White Castle restaurant in Orlando next year. No, there’s nothing you can do. They plan to break perfectly good ground for the project next week at the Village at O-Town West in southwest Orlando.
If you’re not familiar with White Castle it’s probably because you didn’t grow up in the Northeast or Midwest. Even so, we did not have a White Castle restaurant anywhere near my hometown in Illinois. The chain is famous for its tiny 2-inch square burgers that were the origin of the term sliders. It was not meant as a compliment. People gave them that nickname because the burgers were so greasy they could slide down one’s gullet easily. Some also referred to them as White Castle gut bombs. So it’s interesting that the term sliders now exists on menus of even tony restaurants. And indeed, White Castle embraced the term itself. Makes you wonder if maybe Chipotle will add an E. Coli Burrito to its menu.
The renderings for the new restaurant show the iconic white exterior with a crenelated turret in one corner. (Legend has it that Chicago’s Water Place Tower was the inspiration for that adornment.) What I find most fascinating about getting the world’s largest White Castle is that there are people whose apparent job is to go around measuring them.
The announcement of the Orlando White Castle isn’t new news – it was first announced in November of 2019.
- As long was we’re on the subject of fast-food burgeries, McDonald’s has announced that it will introduce a meatless burger, which is a surprise to those of us who thought they’d been meatless all along. In a stroke of marketing genius, it’s to be called McPlant. No idea what they’ll look like, but my rendering is above.
- F&D Woodfired Italian Kitchen is on a roll. Shortly after opening its second location, in Longwood in the former Bay Ridge Sushi building, the Hourglass/Curry Ford West District pizzamaker plans a third location. This one will be in the former Rice & Beans Cocina Latina near the corner of Aloma and Lakemont Avenues. Perhaps before the end of the year.
- Everglazed Donuts & Cold Brew is slated to open at Disney Springs on an unspecified date. It’s from the Millennium Restaurant Group, which also has Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ Florida Kitchen and Southern Shine Bar and Splitsville, next to which it will be located. The cold brew, by the way, refers to coffee, not beer.
- When Outpost Kitchen, formerly Outpost Neighborhood Kitchen, completes its move from College Park to Maitland, it will have Nick Sierputowski leading said kitchen. Sierputowski’s last 15 years has included stints at Norman’s at the Ritz-Carlton, Luma On Park, Cask & Larder and, most recently, Ravenous Pig as chef de cuisine. Looking forward to the restaurant opening, not only because Sierputowski, pictured at left, is a terrific cook – and will hopefully provide some of the focus that was missing at Outpost’s College Park restaurant – but it will give me more chances to say Nick Sierputowski, which is just one of the coolest names to pronounce.