Food Trucks

White Castle's Crave Mobile Coming to Magic City Casino in November

It all began so innocently: a two-bite, 100 percent all-beef patty topped with chopped onions and a pickle. Sold for just 5 cents, the tiny burger was so easy to eat that its inventors dubbed it the "slider." And if you've ever had the pleasure of eating a sack of White Castle burgers hot from the steamer, you know what we're talking about.

Although White Castle may not be at the top of the fast-food food chain today, fellow hamburger makers owe it supreme gratitude. After all, the fast-food burger began with the Wichita, Kansas-based company, which is often credited as the first chapter of a multibillion-dollar industry — and what now feeds huge swaths of America.

Much of the chain's early success came thanks to promotional marketing initiatives. Through the 1940s, restaurants would periodically print coupons offering five burgers for 10 cents. Now, after 90 years and more than a few billion burgers sold, White Castle operates 100-plus restaurants in a number of cities throughout the Midwest and Northeast, including New York, Chicago, Cincinnati, Detroit, Indianapolis, Louisville, Minneapolis, and St. Louis.

But Florida? None.

Alas, most locals probably don't remember White Castle once had two Miami locations in the late 1960s, but the company closed its Florida operations in 1967 due to inefficient supply distribution. So only a handful of nostalgic old-timers — or transplants — are familiar with these steamed, meaty gems of beefy goodness.

"Most people thought they'd never be back, but those folks are about to eat their words," Burger Beast's Sef Gonzalez said in a recent post. "But here we are, 50 years later, and White Castle's Crave Mobile will be gracing us with its presence at the Welcome Back to Miami White Castle Party."

In November, White Castle's food truck, the Crave Mobile, will arrive in Miami for the special-edition food truck roundup Tuesday, November 17, from 5 to 10 p.m. at Magic City Casino. Gonzalez says the people at White Castle contacted him about participating in any of the famed Burger Beast events, and the blogger and burger maven jumped at the chance, organizing a food-truck roundup around the famed sliders. Though plans are still in the works, expect live music and a full roster of trucks, including  Ms. Cheezious, Jersey Dawgs, HipPops, and El Rey de las Fritas. 

The Crave Mobile will also make appearances at Homestead-Miami Speedway for Ford Championship Weekend November 20 to 22.

The truck made its debut in 2014 with an inaugural tour, logging more than 20,000 miles on a national road trip that made a number of stops in Florida, including fairgrounds and theme parks in Orlando, Tampa, and Kissimmee.

"Since its launch two years ago, the Crave Mobile has been wildly popular among cravers in areas without a White Castle restaurant," White Castle vice president Jamie Richardson said in a news release.

Throughout the year, "cravers" (fans of White Castle) can track the Crave Mobile by following White Castle on Twitter. The truck is also available for private rentals, including corporate functions, weddings, and birthday parties.

In the meantime, South Floridians can sate their White Castle cravings by the sackful during the Welcome Back to Miami White Castle Party and Ford Championship Weekend.

Nicole Danna is a food blogger covering South Florida. To get the latest in food and drink news, follow her @SoFloNicole, and find her latest food pics on Instagram.
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Nicole Danna is a Palm Beach County-based reporter who began covering the South Florida food scene for New Times in 2011. She also loves drinking beer and writing about the area's growing craft beer community.
Contact: Nicole Danna
Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times. She has been featured on Cooking Channel's Eat Street and Food Network's Great Food Truck Race. She won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature about what it's like to wait tables.
Contact: Laine Doss