Because Other Drew loves his tiny square hamburgers and because Regular Drew and I love a good publicity stunt, the three of us headed up to Sunset to check out the latest stroke of marketing genius, a makeshift White Castle restaurant installed to promote the new movie Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle. I’ll admit, I’ve been burned by disappointing marketing gimmicks in this general vicinity before, but as George Bush would say, “Fool me once, shame… shame on… you… Fool me — can’t get fooled again.” So off I went.

I have to admit, the setup looked mighty impressive. Tell me a building’s only going to be standing for ten days, and I picture some type of Unibomber domicile-esque cardboard shack with a magic marker sign that reads “Whyte Castull” — which, don’t get me wrong, would have been a beautiful sight. Instead, the temporary building looked remarkably sturdy and permanent. And not only that, but it was surrounded by a mini-wonderland of marketing wizardry — an inflatable slide/bounce house-looking thing, a hula hooping area, and what I’ll describe, for lack of any precedent in my personal experience, as a beanbag chair garden.

Of course, on closer inspection, it became clear that the building was only a facade and the whole thing really did have kind of a slapdash shithole kind of ambience. Not only that, but the menu was pretty limited. They had one item: burgers, and if you showed up, you got exactly one. Granted, it was free, which definitely warms my heart, though it leaves my stomach sad and empty. According to Other Drew, “normally, you go there and you buy, like, six”. It definitely was a small burger. Also, they have no ketchup. And no drinks.

The woman who gave us our burger was very friendly, and she broke the news that the inflatable slide was not for sliding on. There were a couple of women in Hooters-tight half-shirts and short shorts teaching little kids to hula hoop, but the beanbags were deserted, so I plopped down for a photo op. I assume the movie will explain the point of thirty vacant beanbag chairs under an awning.

I’m all for movie characters visiting East Coast fast food chains, but since there was never a White Castle near me, this adventure failed to satisfy my nostalgic pinings. Therefore, can I suggest that in the sequel Harold & Kumar go to Carvel or Dunkin’ Donuts? I can forgive the imperfections of this “White Castle” experience and the lack of ketchup on the burgers, since I have nothing to compare it to, but let me just warn you up front, New Line Cinema, my Fudgie the Whale better have some damn fudge in it.

The slide you can’t slide on

I’m going to guess that the movie ends with the requisite stand-up-and-cheer moment in which our heroes finally reach their destination and all the wacky shenanigans they had to endure along the way are made worthwhile. But our adventure ended with a discussion about where we should go for dinner, since we were all still pretty hungry.

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