RE: Royal Castle
I resurrected this thread because my Dad and I were trying to remember the burger assembly process. It differed from White Castle and Krystal's slightly. Here's what we could remember:
There was a little pit in the back of the grill that held the onions. First, little piles of onions were put out on the grill. Little, frozen patties seperated by waxpaper were laid out on the grill over each pile of onions. Round with no holes. Had to be more then a dozen made at once.
Meantime, the heel of rolls were laid out on the cutting board in front of the grill and graced with
mustard,catsup,and pickle chip.
The burgers were fliped once and covered with crowns. There was a hood over the grill that was lowered. If cheese was added, it was put on at this point under the crown.
With a spatula, each burger/crown was then placed on the heel/condiments to finish the burgers.
They had a holding cabinet that burgers were put into that maintained temp and probably humidity. Burgers were individually removed with a piece of serving wax paper.
Are we missing anything that anyone remembers? I'm not 100% positive that this correct.
Roossy, do you remember the evening manager at that location by '826? in the early 70's? Big guy named Bob. That must have been about '70-'73. He told me that the onions were dried onion flakes reconstituted with a broth that gave that distinctive smell and taste. Many of the places that I first remembered didn't have AC and were open air and didn't have the orange/white scheme. People used to stand and wait for the counter seats. They later put tiny juke boxes between each seat mounted on the counter. Most of those places were the original white tile stores that were everywhere inset in city blocks. In downtown Miami there were several to a block in some cases. They closed in some of them for AC before they changed into the newer free-standing restaurants like the pictures above. There were always cops in the back. Singer fed them free for cheap insurance. I remember the fresh,squeezed orange juice they made from the orange halves too. They had a simple menu and operating concept then. Burgers,burgers w/cheese,soup of the day,egg breakfasts w/toast,cereal, 2 types of dougnuts and a honey bun. Coffee,OJ,milk,and Birch Beer (frozen mug with the little ice disk that fell out from under the cup). RC started to go into the pits when they started the bigger,independent restaurants with the sloping roofs that had an extended menu with their version of the Whopper,fries and all kinds of other fast food offerings that departed from their simple model. Big brough-ha-ha localy when they took on Orange Julius and featured a television commercial had a women whisper that she thought she tasted white wine in the drink. There was a devil characture used to promote the drink and it's slogan "a devilsh good drink" (I think). Between the insinuation of alcohol and the devil, the local clergy had a field day and the company took a lot of heat. Hey this was the '60's still in the Old South. Singer even gave the burgers away for 5 cents on Nixon's inaugaration. There was a story to the few remining stores that stayed open. I don't recall the details but there were court battles over operating the restaurants as "Royal Castle" in concept and name. Maybe MiamiDon knows about this. Several places reopened as independent restaurants with their own menu. Some still made the little burgers, but none ever tasted the same.