Fine dining it isn’t – but as “fine” fast food it might qualify. At least for my family. (Actually for them, it might even pass for fine dining…) Culver’s (a bit like Costco used to be) is a regional phenomenon – growing, but still limited to the upper Midwest, and as I can see from their placemat map – also Texas and Arizona.
My family has to visit Culver’s at least once on every trip – the kids probably even more often. No it is not healthier than McDonalds. In fact, let’s analyze: The most popular product is what they call a “butterburger” (already the name is a clue). A butterburger is “real midwestern beef” (I am not sure how often I have eaten “fake Midwestern beef”) on a buttered bun – plus all the extras like cheese, lettuce, tomato, etc. Naturally you can get a double butterburger, probably even a triple butterburger. For obvious reasons, I usually don’t order one. With your butterburger, you can get fried cheese curds (definitely a Wisconsin thing – and another thing I don’t usually eat) or fried onion rings (a weakness of mine I battle to avoid) or of course, the ubiquitous french fries. Add a soda (or a “pop” as we call it out here in the heartland) and you have one, highly caloric meal to rival the multi-national fast food chains.
Despite my tone, Culver’s is really good. It is a “must try” if you never have. Beyond that, you’re on your own. Be careful. It’s addictive.
Culver’s is also “famous” for its frozen custard. I don’t know why it isn’t called soft ice cream, because basically I don’t know what the distinction between custard and ice cream is (I am willing to be enlightened!). All I know is that the custard looks REALLY GOOD. I have promised myself that if I successfully get to my target weight by the end of my summer travels to WI, I am going to treat myself to Culver’s frozen custard.
It is as good a reason as I can think of to pass up on the butterburgers and the onion rings for another two months!
I am a current employee at culvers in Arizona. Let me just say our food is AMAZING! Our most favorite item on the menu is the Culver Deluxe (Bacon or no bacon) its also one of my favorite. We have a variety of burgers, sandwiches, dinners, kids meals (scoopie meals), and fresh frozen custard. If you’ve never had Culvers, your missing out ! (:
Sounds like In and Out in CA- been around well before the Mctakeover and all ingredients are fresh – made in the store and pretty darn good if I do say so.
I will put that on my list to try next trip to Ca. Sounds pretty good.
Most Culver’s locations have a Veggy Burger available as well. I don’t know how the nutrition information stacks up, though. It is a secret menu item, like the ultimate grilled cheese, so you have to ask for it by name.
Jim, my usual order is thetuna sandwich – but I think they butter that bread too. Next time, I’ll ask for the veggie burger and try it. Generally that is an item I like anyway, though a recent article in “Prevention” states that veggie burgers are not all that healthy as a class. You have to know how much fat is them to be able to judge.