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Culvers

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Phil May 14, 2004 01:09 PM

The newest Culvers recently opened in south suburban
Bridgeview. This place is excellent!!!

Phil

Link: http://www.culvers.com/

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  1. o
    Omnivore RE: Phil May 14, 2004 02:58 PM

    I don't think advertising fast food chains is proper or allowed here.

    13 Replies
    1. re: Omnivore
      j
      JeffB RE: Omnivore May 14, 2004 03:43 PM

      Unless it's In-N-Out Burger, in which case its embraced and encouraged.

      1. re: Omnivore
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        Cathy2 RE: Omnivore May 14, 2004 03:44 PM

        Hi,

        There is not wrong, immoral or against the rules for mentioning ANY food related tidbit. What is against the rules is shilling or not providing full disclosure of your relationship to an organization.

        Anyway, Culvers as well as many other custard stands can be found on a website I will link below. What I especially like is many shops upload their flavors of the day list. So you plan to attend when your favorite flavor is available. Anything with a Heath Bar mixed in does it for me!

        Regards,
        CAthy2

        Link: http://www.custardlist.com/

        1. re: Cathy2
          d
          Deflator_Mouse RE: Cathy2 May 14, 2004 03:51 PM

          Nice post Cathy2, and cool link.

          Does anyone know if Scooter's Frozen Custard is the only custard store/stand in Chicago proper? No complaints if so (I like their custard very much) -- just curious if there are other frozen custard spots in the city proper.

          Scooter's Frozen Custard
          1658 W. Belmont Ave

          1. re: Deflator_Mouse
            k
            Kenny from Rogers Park RE: Deflator_Mouse May 14, 2004 04:11 PM

            I don't know about other sources of frozen custard in Chicago proper, but I think Scooter's is a very good one. While its custard doesn't quite measure up to the Wisconsin custard giants (see linked thread for discussion of Milwaukee custard, with important mentions from MKEFOODIE), their product is nevertheless rich, creamy, smooth and flavorful. I especially like their concretes--an extra-thick milkshake type dessert--which are excellent. Even though I live only a couple blocks away from The Penguin, I go to Scooter's much more frequently because I find it much more consistent and satisfying.

            Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

            1. re: Kenny from Rogers Park
              d
              Deflator_Mouse RE: Kenny from Rogers Park May 14, 2004 04:33 PM

              We're not quite as close to The Penguin as you are, but we're closer than Scooter's and we too hit Scooter's on a much more regular basis. It's good stuff! We went a few nights ago. I had a Reese's cup concrete, my wife a . . . I forget. Both were tasty though.

              I was just curious if there were other custard spots nearby. 'Cause then I could justify doing a giant custard tasting -- in the name of chow science and all.

              Interesting custard (and Milwaukee bbq also) discussion you linked to. I remember reading (I think it might have been in a flier at Scooter's actually) that frozen custard "arrived" in the mid-West by way of the 1929 World's Fair in Chicago and basically spread from Chicago to other places in the mid-West (Wisconsin in particular). Slowly custard dropped out of the Chicago scene until at one point, I think, there was no frozen custard to actually be had in the city itself.

              1. re: Deflator_Mouse
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                bluskies57 RE: Deflator_Mouse May 18, 2004 01:03 PM

                Could someone please post further information on The Penguin? I tried to find it through the yellow pages with no success. Thank you!

                1. re: bluskies57
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                  Aaron D RE: bluskies57 May 19, 2004 01:13 AM

                  From the tip sheet (linked below):

                  For what it's worth, I like it, but it's never blown me away. Look forward to hearing your take.

                  THE PENGUIN (2723 W. Lawrence, Chicago, 773-271-4924) is an Argentinean gelato and pizza parlor located in a dingy northwest-side stripmall between a laundromat and a Korean restaurant specializing in bone marrow soup. If that description alone isn’t enough to bring out the Chowhound in you, the astonishingly fresh-flavored gelato should do the trick, though Chihounds agree that the quality and freshness of the homemade product can be variable and you need to ask to taste different flavors until you find one that blows you away.

                  http://www.chowhound.com/midwest/boar...

                  http://www.chowhound.com/midwest/boar...

                  Link: http://www.chowhound.com/midwest/boar...

              2. re: Kenny from Rogers Park
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                G Wiv RE: Kenny from Rogers Park May 16, 2004 08:04 AM

                Kenny,

                Scooter's is good custard, not as rich as the benchmark Kopp's in Milwaukee, but I imagine in an area where there's two personal trainers and an hourly palaties class per quarter block less is more.

                In the vein of more is more Village Creamery's Halo Halo, with it's mix of banana, pineapple gel, coconut gel, red beans, white beans and rice krispies is a delicious study in texture. I also love the corn, which is whole sweet corn kernels in vanilla ice cream and, on a lighter note, sorbets are excellent.

                I posted about Scooter's last year, I'll link to the post.

                Enjoy,
                Gary
                -

                Village Creamery
                4558 Oakton
                Corner of Oakton & Kenton
                847-982-1720
                Skokie, IL 60076

                8000 Waukegan
                Niles, IL 60714
                Corner of Waukegan and Oakton
                847-965-9805
                11AM-10PM

                Scooter's
                1658 W Belmont Avenue
                Chicago, IL 60657
                773-244-6415

                Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                1. re: Kenny from Rogers Park
                  j
                  Julie RE: Kenny from Rogers Park May 18, 2004 04:28 PM

                  Scooter's Ccstard is AWESOME, and I should know - I'm from Milwaukee and grew up enjoying custard. My favorites in Milwaukee are Kopps & Oscars (the location on Hwy 100 & Lincoln). I have to say, Scooters gives Milwaukee custard some tough competition! Unfortunately, Scooters is within blocks from my place....so it's a constant temptation!

                  1. re: Kenny from Rogers Park
                    j
                    Julie RE: Kenny from Rogers Park May 18, 2004 04:29 PM

                    Scooter's custard is AWESOME, and I should know - I'm from Milwaukee and grew up enjoying custard. My favorites in Milwaukee are Kopps & Oscars (the location on Hwy 100 & Lincoln). I have to say, Scooters gives Milwaukee custard some tough competition! Unfortunately, Scooters is within blocks from my place....so it's a constant temptation!

                2. re: Cathy2
                  s
                  Steve Z RE: Cathy2 May 14, 2004 11:30 PM

                  I'm very excited. I just checked out the custard link and found the stand I submitted when I was in Vegas has now been listed.

                  1. re: Steve Z
                    c
                    Cathy2 RE: Steve Z May 15, 2004 12:50 AM

                    Hi Steve,

                    A few weeks ago, I was a bit dismayed not to see Greg's Custard Stand from Mundelein on the list. It was at Greg's I even learned about the list. Since then Greg's has returned to list, which somewhat makes sense as their business is seasonal.

                    So I surmise the Custard List shrinks seasonally. Again, to make it worthwhile we have to inform every custard stand of its' presence.

                    Regards,
                    Cathy2

                  2. re: Cathy2
                    o
                    Omnivore RE: Cathy2 May 20, 2004 04:22 PM

                    OK... I just remember when some other chains were mentioned and a moderator advised against discussing things like Chili's, Applebee's (shudder) and the like.

                3. d
                  David Hammond RE: Phil May 14, 2004 05:19 PM

                  I’m actually fairly untouched by ice cream and custard (I like it, but it doesn’t thrill me like, say, crustacean or cookies), but Culver’s in Milwaukee has proven to be a very enjoyable stop.

                  One strange thing, as I recall, is that they have a huge list of custards…but only a handful (chocolate, vanilla, and Flavor of the Day) are available on any given day (they can’t keep the stuff sitting around; it has to be fresh, perhaps because of the egg yolk). This is a guaranteed frustration generator, as in “hey, that raspberry custard sounds great…oh, it’s not available today.”

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: David Hammond
                    p
                    pdaane RE: David Hammond May 14, 2004 06:18 PM

                    Equally frustrating is reading the flavor of the day after you have just eaten your fill somewhere else and then have to wait a month for it to come around!!!

                    Parlor style or freshly made frozen custard is mixed with little or no incorporation of air, unlike freezer-style ice creams. The taste and texture (very important in ice cream) are best when freshly made. I've never brought Culver's home, but would assume you have to let it warm up a bit to even get the spoon into it after a night in the freezer.

                    Not exactly sure, but I would assume no chain of that size (or custard vendor) would use anything but heat treated or cooked eggs in the mix.

                    One of my favorite jokes which I don't get to use very often is: In response to a SNL news story that an ice cream company on the East coast passed along samonella to customers, the company had yet to determine if it was in the Chocolate, Vanilla or Uncooked Pork Swirl!

                    pd

                  2. d
                    dashboard diner RE: Phil May 14, 2004 06:20 PM

                    ...can't be acuised of shilling for either.
                    Like both of them alot, get double hamburgers,
                    fries or rings, coke. They're real tasty, but
                    neither fills you up like a 1/2 lb. bar
                    burger. How about some discussion; both
                    Culvers and Steak & Shake seem to be very
                    sinilar products, but it seems like Steak &
                    Shake costs twice as much.

                    19 Replies
                    1. re: dashboard diner
                      j
                      JoelF RE: dashboard diner May 14, 2004 09:28 PM

                      Certainly neither is what I want when I want an awesome burger, but for a step above fast food, either is good.

                      Each has its merits:
                      Steak & Shake: Full table service (probably the source of the pricing difference), excellent shakes, and I truly enjoy that product they call Chili that bears no resemblance to what I get when I make Chili. Salads with blue cheese are pretty good, choice of side dishes with a 'plate.'

                      Culvers: Their custard beats the ice cream at S&S hands down, making one heck of a rootbeer float. Cheaper, a little bigger variety of sandwiches and platters.

                      I don't recall if Culvers does breakfast.

                      1. re: JoelF
                        c
                        Cathy2 RE: JoelF May 14, 2004 10:53 PM

                        Hi,

                        I like Culver's Butterburger, which is something they do well. What I have learned it is best to just stick with the burger. Everytime I have tried another menu item from tacos (which seemed like they were filled with canned chili) to fried fish (way too much crust), I have been disappointed.

                        If I stick to the burger and ice cream at Culver's, then I am never disappointed.

                        Regards,
                        CAthy2

                        1. re: Cathy2
                          b
                          bryan RE: Cathy2 May 15, 2004 12:27 AM

                          But have you tried their fried chicken? It's good. Much better than any other outlet I could name.

                          1. re: bryan
                            c
                            Cathy2 RE: bryan May 15, 2004 12:46 AM

                            Hi,

                            I'll get someone else in my party to order, then I'll taste it! I'm so gun shy now of any of their alternative menu items.

                            Regards,
                            CAthy2

                      2. re: dashboard diner
                        s
                        Steve Z RE: dashboard diner May 14, 2004 11:26 PM

                        Put me down for Steak & Shake for a burger (when nothing better is around) and Culvers for custard (anytime).

                        1. re: dashboard diner
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                          JimInLoganSquare RE: dashboard diner May 15, 2004 01:21 AM

                          I realize neither Culvers nor Steak & Shake has made inroads into the Chicago market until relatively recently, but I grew up in Indianapolis, where Steak & Shake has its strongest presence and pretty much always has. (I'm not kidding; S&S has 19 locations in Indianapolis and 10 in the suburbs). Mrs. JiLS, who grew up in New York but spent her high school years in Indianapolis, also has a soft spot for S&S. It was almost Armageddon when the chain was bought out in the early '80s and they changed the fries from the "angel hair" thickness to a cheap imitation of McDonald's. That lasted maybe 30 seconds before they realized they would go out of business. Anyway, I moved to Chicago in '91 and it was a good 10 years before I found the S&S in Gurnee and Kankakee, and I know a few others are showing up. I think Steak & Shake is the one taste I share with Roger Ebert absent any shame.

                          1. re: JimInLoganSquare
                            c
                            Cathy2 RE: JimInLoganSquare May 15, 2004 09:32 AM

                            Hi,

                            Steak 'n Shake withdrew from the Chicago market in the last 1970's. I recall this vividly because I had a (boy)friend of that era who was quite distressed about their departure.

                            From reading the franchise opportunities, Steak 'n Shake is headquartered in Indianapolis.

                            Regards,
                            Cathy2

                            Link: http://www.steaknshake.com

                            1. re: Cathy2
                              j
                              JimInLoganSquare RE: Cathy2 May 15, 2004 11:16 PM

                              Wow, never knew that S&S "came, saw, and retreated" from the Chicago market. Wonder why? Anyway, at least in the suburbs they are making inroads again. Maybe I'll wake up one morning and find a Steak & Shake opening next to Morales Donuts (O.K., that's a personal fantasy of mine).

                              1. re: JimInLoganSquare
                                g
                                G Wiv RE: JimInLoganSquare May 16, 2004 12:38 AM

                                JILS,

                                Frankly, I can live without Steak and Shake, not wild about Morales and I don't like Cluvers. I know, unusual for me, but truthful.

                                I want donuts, or better yet apple fritters, Old Fashioned or Abundance fit the bill, I'm in Milwaukee and want custard, Kopp's is king, butter burger, Solly's.

                                In Chicago my opinion is Kevin's does a better SS type burger than SS itself, but I'm in the minority.

                                Back to Morales for a second, I should point out that I was only there once, but it was a Sunday morning, prime donut time, and the donuts tasted, to me, about 4-hours past their prime and the coffee was criminally weak. YMMV.

                                Enjoy,
                                Gary

                                1. re: G Wiv
                                  j
                                  JimInLoganSquare RE: G Wiv May 16, 2004 06:34 PM

                                  My fantasy about S&S showing up next to Morales wasn't because I wanted a 1-2 hit of donut and steakburger, but because that's a great intersection (Pulaski and Fullerton) for a Steak & Shake that I could walk to. In fact, if S&S decided to buy out Morales and build right over them, I'd be fine with that. I think Morales' donuts are notable mainly for their size and weight, and I don't eat 'em. Anyway, like every chain that's grown over the years, it's hard to keep the quality control. I have no doubt the S&S I went to in Indy as a child (usually at 54th & Keystone) ain't what it used to be, either. But it's still pretty close.

                                  1. re: JimInLoganSquare
                                    a
                                    ab RE: JimInLoganSquare May 17, 2004 12:17 PM

                                    I was a child of the 71st and Graham Steak and Shake myself!

                                    Definitely could use an oreo shake, double steakburger and a pound of those fries nearby!

                                2. re: JimInLoganSquare
                                  p
                                  peg RE: JimInLoganSquare May 16, 2004 02:54 AM

                                  Jack in the Box, yes, but I don't recall ever seeing a Steak & Shake anywhere in the Chicago area in the 70's, and I lived in Kane, Cook, and DuPage counties durint that time period. Perhaps a case of mistaken identity? I don't think ALL of us had a case of collective amnesia about so familiar a franchise.

                                  1. re: peg
                                    l
                                    LikestoEatout RE: peg May 16, 2004 08:54 AM

                                    There was a Steak & Shake on North Ave. (Rte 64)in ? , not sure what suburb that was, Roselle, Glendale Heights, Lombard?? Near where there was a Carson's Ribs, I just remember it was North Ave.. I remember this because I had friends who went to ISU in the '60's and would drive to Bloomington to have S&S and were estatic when this S&S opened on North Ave. I think it was only there a few years.

                                    1. re: LikestoEatout
                                      c
                                      CAthy2 RE: LikestoEatout May 16, 2004 10:25 AM

                                      HI,

                                      There were none in my area around Highland Park. The guy who was in full mourning was from Naperville, then only 15000 residents and in DuPage county, there was one somewhere around there.

                                      They were in the area in the 70's, how prominently I don't know. I was driving around the area as much as I do today. It did make the news when they withdrew from the area or at least the newspaper.

                                      In the last 5-10 years, S&S has begun returning to the area. The first I saw was at Gurnee Mills, prior to that I knew of one in Kankakee.

                                      Regards,
                                      Cathy2

                                      1. re: CAthy2
                                        o
                                        opa403 RE: CAthy2 May 17, 2004 05:33 AM

                                        Around the late 60s, early 70's there was a S&S in Palatine, on the west side of Rt. 12 (Rand Road) about a block south of Dundee Road. When they closed, the word was that they didn't believe they could compete with the heavy advertising budgets at McD, BK etc. It was a sad day at this house.

                                      2. re: LikestoEatout
                                        l
                                        LikestoEatout RE: LikestoEatout May 16, 2004 10:55 AM

                                        This was in the early 1970's.

                                        1. re: LikestoEatout
                                          p
                                          peg RE: LikestoEatout May 20, 2004 03:18 AM

                                          ..I actually lived on North Ave at York Rd. in Elmhurst in 1974! But I had the venerable and estimable Hamburger Heaven right there on my corner, so that's prolly why I never found it....

                                          Now, I have a S&S less than a mile from my place in Rogers Park, right in front of my second home, the Evanston Home Depot. Life is good! :o)

                                        2. re: peg
                                          s
                                          Steve Z RE: peg May 16, 2004 11:41 PM

                                          IIRC, there never was a S&S in the immediate Chicago area. The closest were downstate. I know for sure there was one in Champaign and one in Springfield. Both closed as mentioned in earlier posts. I assume they, and others, have since reopened.

                                        3. re: JimInLoganSquare
                                          s
                                          Steve Z RE: JimInLoganSquare May 16, 2004 11:39 PM

                                          The S&S in Rosemont IS located next to a Krispy Kreme.

                                  2. p
                                    Paul Mollica RE: Phil May 17, 2004 10:14 AM

                                    Culvers is the sort of place where I find myself dining while on the road (such as, when I was in Rock Falls, IL, two weeks ago on old Lincoln Hwy.). Faced with the usual alternatives (deathly "family" resturants, fast food), Culver's dishes up a reliable and tasty product, is still small enough to imbue its managers with (a corporate brand of) pride in their businesses, and (no matter how busy they get) serves customers table-side.

                                    But while we have a Culver's 30 min. from my house (in Lansing, IL, on Torrence), I can't imagine actually going there on a jaunt. There are way too many interesting places in Chicago to explore.

                                    Steak and Shake started in central Illinois (Springfield). I must have missed their heyday, because everything Culver's does right, S&S seems to do in reverse. Unkept stores, managers out of sight, mediocre service and completely forgettable food.

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: Paul Mollica
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                                      Cathy2 RE: Paul Mollica May 17, 2004 10:21 AM

                                      Hi,

                                      I was fairly certain SnS had started in Springfield,IL, but when I went to their website they referred people to Indianapolis, IN who wanted a franchise. So like everything else, things change.

                                      Regards,
                                      Cathy2

                                      1. re: Cathy2
                                        p
                                        Paul Mollica RE: Cathy2 May 17, 2004 11:57 AM

                                        Good catch. The website actually reports Normal, IL as the first S'n'S location (so much for my crummy "Road Trip" guidebook, that reported Springfield, IL). The HQ move to Indianapolis came later.

                                        Link: http://www.steaknshake.com/history.asp

                                      2. re: Paul Mollica
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                                        Fraggle RE: Paul Mollica May 17, 2004 11:04 AM

                                        I tried my first S&S a bit after they opened next to the Home Depot in Evanston and my first Culver's earlier this year, most recently this past Saturday in Peoria. I've similarly found Culver's staff remarkably (eerily?) bubbly and S&S workers consistently indifferent if not rude. Still, I love the crispy burgers of each enough to drive the 15-20 minutes to S&S when I'm in the mood for fast food. Would I drive 30 minutes to get friendly service and a custard with my burger? I just might so I'm glad it's not an option.

                                        1. re: Paul Mollica
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                                          LO RE: Paul Mollica May 18, 2004 08:49 AM

                                          I find Culvers a welcome addition on road trips we take from Chicago to MN. I just cannot stand the usualy fast food chains, and they make a fine burger and custard ( i know nothing about custard, but enjoyed theirs). Its nice to have this option vs. the usual fast food crap.
                                          LO

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