This month’s escapade led us to a late lunch at Culver’s in Southern Trace, just off of County Road 466. This Sauk City, Wisconsin chain is a favorite of our friends from the north and recommended we give it a try.
One of the things that impressed us with the company is their community support. Culver’s “Thank You Farmers Project” donated more than $400,000 to agricultural-education initiatives by schools and organizations such as National FFA and their project donations to date total more than $1.7 million. About 75 percent of donations have come from Culver’s guests. The organization develops leadership and career success through agricultural education.
From the outside, it looks very modern and does not resemble your typical fast-food establishment. It even has a nice, covered outside dining patio and of course, a drive-thru window.
Upon arrival at the restaurant, located at 3390 Wedgewood Lane, we were pleasantly greeted by an employee who held the door open for us and greeted us with a friendly smile and a warm welcome.
Admittedly, knowing nothing about the restaurant, we were expecting a sit-down dining experience with a menu and a server, so we were surprised that it was set up like most any fast-food counters. Not a problem at all! It was pleasantly decorated with plenty of seating and the restaurant itself was very clean.
While we were standing back mulling over our menu choices, we found a few more newcomers like us doing the same thing. One female customer, who noticed our indecision, even came over and made some recommendations to us. The staff, as well as the customers, were so pleasant.
There’s so much to choose from – burgers, chicken, pork, cod, soups, salads and more – I opted to try the Pork Tenderloin Sandwich with a side of onion rings, and my dining partner chose the Culver’s Bacon Deluxe Cheeseburger with French fries. You get an empty cup to choose your own beverage at their self-serve beverage station. Next to the beverage station, you can also get your own condiments (ketchup and mustard). After placing our order, we were presented with a number stand to place on our table for our food delivery.
Since the food is cooked to order, it took just a few minutes to be delivered to our table. My Pork Tenderloin Sandwich was a bit on the dry side, however, it was not greasy from being fried. It is made from premium center-cut pork loin, breaded with seasoned cracker crumbs and fried golden brown on a lightly buttered, toasted bun. I would say it was on par for fast-food. The onion rings were positively delicious, hot and crisp, and again, not at all greasy.
My dining partner’s Bacon Deluxe Cheeseburger was hot, juicy and very large. The French fries were the crinkle cut variety and were fried to perfection. They advertise it as fresh, never frozen, Midwest-raised beef topped with two strips of crisp bacon, Wisconsin cheese and toppings of your choice, served on a lightly buttered, toasted bun. It definitely met their description.
I would say that the food was above average for a fast-food restaurant and we would definitely choose it over the other popular chains in the area.
Then came dessert. We could not resist trying out their fresh frozen custard “Concrete Mixers.” We had a Blueberry Concrete Mixer and a Mango Concrete Mixer. Thank goodness we ordered the small size because it was actually huge!
This frozen custard is so thick that you can’t eat it with a straw – a spoon is a must. Each one had fresh chunks of fruit mixed in and had a rich, creamy, fruity flavor. By far, it was better than the meal we just ate.
And luckily, they have a freezer in the lobby filled with containers that you can take home with you (that’s a promise we made to each other on our next trip). The desserts are so popular that they create a Flavor of the Day for every day of the month. And, you can even ask Amazon “Alexa” what the Flavor of the Day is!
We are not regular customers of fast-food but we will definitely give this place another try when the opportunity arises. If not for the food, then most assuredly for the dessert!