Strolling into the North Minneapolis White Castle was like walking into an inside joke that everybody understood. From 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. the hostess, Chiquita Thomas, stood perched behind her trash bin-turned-work station, yelling "welcome!" to incoming customers. A wait staff hustled to tables, carefully balancing trays packed with Diet Coke and Double Jalapeno Cheeseburgers. A waitress walked around lighting and re-lighting candles. The place was full.
Tables included a plate of candy hearts, a menu and a cheap
Valentine's themed tablecloth. Though the place was full, there were no
couples eating there as a cheap alternative for a Valentine's Day
dinner. It was more along the lines of upper-middle class white people
taking delight in a sanitized cultural experience.
The restaurant oozed with grease, irony and of course fleeting moments of romanticism, thanks to the effort of the White Castle staff, who split up all of the tip money at the end of the night. Usually, everyone will split up about $200, a server told us."It's actually better," the server said. "It's more stress relieving than being behind the counter and having to deal with a bunch of bad customers."
Selected items from the White Castle Valentine's Day Menu:
White Castle Hamburger - $.64
Double Hamburger - $1.28
Double Cheeseburger - $1.56
Double Jalapeno Cheeseburger - $1.60
Fish sandwich w/cheese - $1.29
"Sweetheart Special" 10 hamburgers, 2 fries and 2 small drinks - $10.79
20 Hamburgers & 4 Fries - $16.99
Sack of chicken rings - $6.19
Sack of french fries w/ cheese - $3.19
44 oz. soft drink - $1.79
Chocolate milk - $1.09