If you guessed National Fast Food Day, then you’d be right. Today is the day we celebrate all the flavors and convenience of Fast Food Dining. You can use the drive-thru to get your fix or get out of your PJs and dine-in.
While Fast Food has been around since 1921 (wow – let that sink in for a minute), it wasn’t popularized in the United States until the 1950s. So popular in fact that in 1951 Merriam-Webster’s dictionary recognized the term as part of the English language. Fast Food is defined as any meal made with low preparation time that can be served to consumers in a packaged form. Hum, not a very appetizing description.
Following World War I, automobiles became more affordable. With the popularity of owning a car came the idea of restaurants with drive-in service. America’s very first Motor-In restaurant opened in September 1921 in Dallas Texas. The Pig Stand was the brainchild of Jessie Kirby. He died only a few years after opening what would become a whole new branch of the Hospitality Industry. People loved the idea of dining without ever leaving their prized automobiles.
However; the concept of Fast Food had been around since Automat opened its doors on July 7, 1912. While the very first Automat opened in Philadelphia in 1902, it was the New York City location that popularized the idea of Fast Food convenience. Automats were elaborate vending machines disguised as restaurant with prepared foods behind small glass windows and coin-operated slots.
When it comes to Fast Food as we know it today, there is no question that White Castle is the father of all fast foods. Opened in Wichita, Kansas in 1916 as a food stand, White Castle began selling hamburgers for five cents apiece in 1921. What truly set White Castle apart and gave rise to fast food franchises of today is that White Castle created the first fast food supply chain. White Castle not only created a chain of restaurants, but those restaurants bought all their supplies from White Castle – everything from the meat to the buns, paper goods and other supplies. By doing so, White Castle pioneered the first multi-state standardized restaurant chain that became the model of McDonalds and all those to follow.
Now you could celebrate Fast Food Day by partaking in your favorite Fast Food meal or you could make these awesome oven baked burger bites reminiscent of the original King of Fast Food Industry – White Castle. Be it served up as bite-size burgers for supper or the perfect movie-night snack, these burgers really hit the spot.
Oven Baked Burger Bites
1/2 cup dry Onion Flakes
2 tablespoons Beef Stock
1-1/2 lbs Ground Chuck
1/3 cup plain Breadcrumbs
Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste
24 small Square Dinner Rolls
Dill Pickle Chips, if desired
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
In a microwave safe bowl, mix together the onion flakes with beef stock. Warm in the microwave for about 15 seconds. Spread onion mixture in a 10-inch by 15-inch jelly roll pan. Stir and set aside.
Combine ground chuck, breadcrumbs, and egg. Press meat mixture out over the onions. Season with salt and pepper. With a wooden spoon, prick holes through the chuck mixture for ventilation while cooking.
Bake in the heated oven until browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Carefully tilt pan to drain excess grease. Blot any pooled grease from top of meat with paper towels.
With a pizza cutter, cut meat mixture into squares the size of the rolls. Split rolls open to create a top and bottom bun. Place 1 square patty on each bottom roll. Top with pickles if desired and serve.