THE EATBEAT: Culver's is a place for all agesPeople like Carol and Gary Sondreal show up on Thursday evenings at Culver’s on 32nd Avenue South. Gary has a ’64 Thunderbird he leaves in the parking lot and walks around visiting with other car buffs. People with grandkids gravitate to Culver’s. It’s a place where you can go and get burgers and custard — a great place for the generations to meet and eat.
By: Marilyn Hagerty, Grand Forks Herald
People like Carol and Gary Sondreal show up on Thursday evenings at Culver’s on 32nd Avenue South. Gary has a ’64 Thunderbird he leaves in the parking lot and walks around visiting with other car buffs.
People with grandkids gravitate to Culver’s. It’s a place where you can go and get burgers and custard — a great place for the generations to meet and eat.
On a couple recent visits with twin granddaughters, Mariah and Anna Werner, we ordered burgers. And they had soft drinks large enough to drive the mayor of New York crazy. His campaign for smaller sodas does not register with girls who are 13. (Actually, a prudent customer could limit the ounces of the soft drinks because it is a self-serve situation.)
I find burgers at Culver’s much to my liking because they are of a normal size — none of this half-pound and bigger business. The buns are good. The meat tastes good. It is described as never been frozen. And I found a recent burger with my choice of lettuce, tomato slice and dill pickle just right.
With my burger, I had an order of wild rice and chicken soup. It was fairly good and of medium thickness. It was a little too salty.
You line up at a counter to place your order at Culver’s. But things tend to move quickly because there are three lines during busy periods. When you order, you are given a number to place on your table in the large blue-and-white dining room. Servers come to your table.
For me, Culver’s of Grand Forks is reminiscent of the Bridgeman Ice Cream store we used to visit every summer on trips to Bemidji.
The custard is there. So are the shakes, malts and mixers as well as sundaes and cones. But Culver’s goes well beyond with its extensive menu including full-blown dinners and fresh salads.
There is much to like and little to criticize at Culver’s. I noticed the ladies room had hand-drying papers on the floor but was generally good — spacious and clean overall. To me, the state of the restroom sends a message from management.
Culver’s is owned and operated by Chris Nielson who opened the restaurant in September 2004. The general manager throughout the seven years has been Sherri Larson.
There are 29 full- and part-time employees at Culver’s, and Larson says she could always use more. She misses the college students who have left for the summer.
Culver’s is one of a group of restaurants located mainly in the Midwest. They were started in 1984 by George Culver and his family in Wisconsin.
3451 32nd Ave. S., Grand Forks
Management: Chris Nielson, owner-operator; Sherri Larson, general manager.
Hours: 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
Telephone: (701) 772-9199.
Report card: Burgers and custard lead the way on menu including soups, salads, sandwiches as well as full dinners. Culver’s is a cross between a restaurant and a fast-food facility. About 35 percent of the orders are filled at the drive-through window. The food is good. The menu is extensive. Facility is attractive and spacious, done in inviting blue and white colors. A no-tipping policy at Culver’s helps keep the overall cost down.
Reach Hagerty at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (701) 772-1055.