Earlier this year, White Castle introduced a brand new burger made with fresh smashed beef called the 1921 Burger. (If you beautiful loyal readers recall, I was lukewarm on it.) It’s a commemorative throwback to its original burger, which was a smashed ball of fresh ground beef on a griddle. The fast food restaurant recently came out with two limited-time variations, a barbecue bacon version with Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce on it, along with a ghost pepper variation, and I hopped on over to our location to try them out.
I tried the barbecue version first, which comes topped with caramelized onions, smoked cheddar, bacon, onions, lettuce, and Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce. If you’re a super fan of Sweet Baby Ray’s ultra-sweet sauce, then this little guy is for you. None of White Castle’s other sliders come with any type of sauce (nor do they need any), but since the 1921 Burger is significantly thicker, it’s a welcome addition to keep the sandwich interesting and moist.
I used to adore Sweet Baby Ray’s sauce, but as time passed, it started to occur to me just how sugary the stuff is. It makes a good glaze for things in thin doses, but can quickly overpower the flavor of anything with sweetness after a few bites. I still know plenty of people who swear by it, so you can use your personal preferences as a measuring stick. The bacon’s a welcome textural contrast to White Castle’s otherwise soft burgers and adds a bit of crispy crunch to each bite along with a hit of salt.
Unfortunately, like the last time I had it, the patty wasn’t seasoned, or barely at all. But the barbecue sauce and bacon helped mitigate that boringness somewhat.
The 1921 Ghost slider, however, was my resounding favorite between the two. It features caramelized onions, ghost pepper cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes. I received two slices of cheese on mine (the photos seem to indicate there’s only supposed to be one), but if that was a mistake, it was a great one. I absolutely loved this thing.
I loved it was specifically because of the ghost pepper cheese, which has a pretty impressive kick to it. It’s not Hot Ones level spicy, like the new Shake Shack offering, but there’s definitely a pleasant after burn. The extra (perhaps accidental) cheese acted almost as a sauce as it melted, which added an element of seasoning that was otherwise not present on the burger patty. The veggies add a cooling element, so overall, this is quite a balanced baby-sized burger.
Just for fun, I ordered a regular slider with the ghost pepper cheese on it, which ended up being great too, because of the spicy cheese. Apparently you can’t go wrong with this ghost pepper stuff. But I liked the 1921 Ghost a little better because of its heft and additional ingredients on top.
Since the cheese’s appearance is in conjunction with the limited-time-only burgers, you’ll probably want to run over and try the new offerings before they inevitably leave the menu. Because despite the unseasoned beef, the rest of the toppings do the heavy lifting, and make an otherwise boring burger base absolutely delicious. It’s worth cheating on the trustworthy regular sliders... just this one time.