Between great food and friendly service, I have yet to visit Culver’s of Valparaiso and not leave happier than when I walked in. After a few hours of shopping, the need to sit down and enjoy a quick snack became a strategy to deter any hangry feeling that might set in.
Culver’s is known for hand-crafted freshness, hometown hospitality, ButterBurgers, and frozen custard. Mmmm, mmmm, good. Culver’s of Valparaiso, located on La Porte Avenue, does not disappoint with its famous blue awnings, easy-to-read menu, friendly service, and high-quality food. The “fast-casual” service trend makes it a perfect fit for a busy day when you want to sit and enjoy lunch or dinner, but don’t want to wait on table service.
As I walked into Culver’s, employees greeted me with a smile. The only problem I had was figuring out what I wanted to cure my hunger pangs. Typically, I would order a Concrete Mixer of delicious frozen custard and Andes, but I knew I wanted a fulfilling snack. What I wasn’t prepared for was all the goodness that I could devour. Did I want a classic, premium, or signature side? Culver’s menu has many choices such as crinkle fries, coleslaw, mashed potatoes and gravy, steamed broccoli, onion rings, a side salad, soup, Wisconsin cheese curds, George’s chili, chili cheddar fries, or pretzel bites. I could also add the delicious Wisconsin Cheddar Cheese Sauce to take my favorite pick to the next level.
I ordered what I knew would satisfy my snack attack – an order of onion rings, pretzel bites, and Wisconsin cheese curds. Once my order was paid for, I found a high-back booth that created a cheerful, semi-private area and waited patiently for my food.
I wasn’t disappointed when it was delivered to my table. The food was golden brown, and although it was deep-fried, it didn’t drip with oil. It smelled of delicious goodness and my hunger increased.
The golden onion rings were crispy to perfection. The rings had a crunchy texture that made it hard to resist eating only one. The secret for a good onion ring is in the batter that should complement the onion, and Culver’s nails it. The ranch I ordered to dip the delightful rings in wasn’t needed as it hid the sweetness of the onion. They were almost to pretty to eat.
I tried the cheese curds next and added the marinara dipping sauce for a little extra flavor. The curds melted in my mouth and needed very little marinara as the batter was perfectly spiced with herbs. I appreciated the bite-size nuggets that released the cheesy goodness in your mouth and not all over your face, like a mozzarella stick would.
To finish satisfying my cravings, I tried the pretzel bites. They were sprinkled with salt and looked a bit like a buckeye. These pretzels have a perfect amount of soft dough with dark brown outsides and sprinkled salt. I dipped the bites in Culver’s famous warm Wisconsin Cheddar Cheese Sauce to make the pretzels complete. The creamy sauce with a rich texture coated the pretzel bite, allowing for warm goodness on my tongue.
Combining all three sides was enough to satisfy the snack attack and left me wanting to try other sides in the future.
Before arriving at Culver’s, you can explore the menu at www.culvers.com/restaurants/valparaiso to see some of these delicious options for yourself. Culver’s of Valparaiso is located at 2102 Laporte Ave.