Love at White Castle

General Manager(4th from left): Kumarie Sahadeo Assistant GM: Kim Manager: Mirsie Team Members: Sally, Chitra, Bashir, Sohaley and Curtice Battle(2nd from right)

General Manager (4th from left): Kumarie Sahadeo
Assistant GM: Kim
Manager: Mirsie
Team Members: Sally, Chitra, Bashir, Sohaley and Curtice Battle (2nd from right)

Every year around this time and for the past decade or so, this Bronx resident chooses to spend this Hallmark holiday in the place where everybody knows her name – White Castle.

Some might laugh at the notion of going to a fast food joint for Valentine’s Day, after all, commercials, dating advice columns, or any media on love and relationships will tell you that the day is reserved for luxurious things. Dressing up, big bouquets, fancy chocolates, and expensive restaurants are becoming the norm for a day that is meant to be about the expression of all kinds of love. February 14th is a holiday where your social media feed will show couples in a fierce struggle to one up each other in terms of who spent the most money in the name of love.

Sadly, Valentine’s Day has become moreĀ about materialistic things and less about love. Of course, this is not to say that is true for everyone.

My views on Valentine’s Day has always been ones of disdain. Why should loved ones only express their love on one single day throughout the whole year? Why can’t love be expressed through simpler things? Why is this day becoming less and less ‘available’ to people with smaller incomes?

I first went to the White CastleĀ near Westchester Square with an ex-boyfriend who shared my dislike of Valentine’s Day. Going to a fast food place seemed like the perfect opposing thing to do on a day where people are clamoring for reservations at fancy restaurants. With the addition of red heart balloons, white table cloths, waiter service, and a hanging background of hearts for picture taking are all meant to give the illusion of romance. We did not go for romance, we went for the seeming ‘mockery’ of conventional Valentine’s Day romance. There were no high expectations from me other than a sense of irony.

But boy, was that a fun Valentine’s Day.

My disdain turned into feelings of affection for this holiday. While the relationship with my ex-boyfriend dissolved, the tradition of spending Valentine’s Day at White Castle grew with my new boyfriend of 8 years, Dean Verni.

The workers at White Castle, while normally invisible to patrons who order behind a counter or glass at the drive-thru, became familiar and like friends. It’s funny how the quest for an anti-Valentine’s activity opened up the door to a yearly tradition.

I still hate Valentine’s Day and so does my partner and family. The thing about hating something is that you can always find someone to hate those things with you and isn’t that part of what love is about?

So, to all my friends at the White Castle near Westchester Square, thank you for smiles, hugs, laughs, cheeseburgers, well-done fries and most importantly, Kumarie, thank you for always remembering my name and making me feel like Norm from Cheers!

Annie Boller, Dean Verni and Judy Boller


We were not alone at White Castle! Here are other families and fun ones who decided to spend their Valentine’s Day getting their crave on:


And here are some Bronxites who traveled a little farther for some W.C. Steakhouse love! Francie-Sue Rothstein and David Harrison Hochhauser traveled out to South Plainfield, New Jersey to join friends for some square burger love!


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