On our way to get some ramen for lunch in North Hollywood, we passed by a place called Twin Castle. The sign looked like it had been there since 1940 and the logo was similar enough to White Castle’s that we thought they might serve up some real sliders like back east. Since the sign said “Hamburgers” we knew at the very least the place had burgers. Our minds quickly jumped from ramen to burgers and we turned around and parked.
When we got to looking at the menu, we realized this was neither a slider place nor an ordinary burger shack. Although Twin Castle was likely founded on a strong foundation of burgers, the place now dished up seemingly anything that could be cooked on a griddle. The menu jumped from burgers to teriyaki chicken to burritos and the amateur food photos made my mouth water.
Despite the obvious draw of the other options, I decided to stick to the burger plan. Although I could get pastrami or teriyaki on my burger, I opted for the tried and true favorite known as the bacon cheeseburger. It would have come with lettuce and tomato, but I ordered it without. The woman looked at me funny as she asked me to ensure I only wanted the patty, cheese and bacon, but seemed content with my positive response. I turned my burger into a meal with fries and root beer, paid up my 5 or 6 bucks and took a seat.
The burger came out fully wrapped and as I unwrapped it the first thing I noticed was the greasy bun. This meant the bun had spent some time on the griddle, which made me think of sliders and made me happy. Inside of that greasy bun, I found an unmelted slice of American cheese and perfectly crisp bacon. There was even a burger somewhere in there, but unlike the the other ingredients, it did not poke out of the buns. The unmelted cheese reminded me of the burgers I used to eat at camp. The burgers would be cooked en masse, so after the cooking everyone had the chance to choose cheese or a plain burger. Since the burgers were already cooked, there was little melting to be done, but they were still delicious. Now, that sort of burger combined with crunchy bacon tasted like bacon-covered nostalgia.
The fries were a tasty complement to the burger and tasted about par with the big three fast food chains. This is a good thing, but it also means I don’t need to go all the way to Twin Castle to eat similar fries again.
Were it not for the nostalgia, I’m not sure how I would have felt about the burger. Los Angeles is such a great burger city that it is hard to go out of my way for a burger like this. Twin Castle is a place that makes perfect sense for anyone who happens to be nearby and for the prices and the sheer randomness of the place, you won’t be disappointed. However, it isn’t exactly a place I would go out of my way to get to. Well…at least until I need another bite of nostalgia.