by Alyssa on December 22, 2011

in Food, Restaurant Reviews

After our late lunch at the Bisbee Grille, we opted for something quick for dinner. I had never heard of Culver’s before coming to Tucson and it turned out to be a fast-casual restaurant specializing in frozen custard and butter burgers.

Culver’s started in Wisconsin and so they use Wisconsin cheese to top their burgers, sell deep-fried cheese curds, and use Wisconsin dairy for their custards. Their specialty butterburger is a 100% beef patty served on a toasted and buttered bun. They have a specialty frozen custard of the day that changes daily and it’s made in small batches throughout the day to keep it fresh. It was very exciting to see heaps of frozen custard flowing from their custard machines whenever it was ordered.

After placing our order at the counter and receiving a tabletop number, we filled our own drinks, and sat down to wait for our food to be delivered to us. I didn’t try their famous butterburger, but I did have a North Atlantic Cod Filet Sandwich, which came on a toasted and buttered hoagie roll. The cod filet was freshly fried with a crisp exterior and moist interior. On the roll was shredded lettuce, shredded Wisconsin cheese, tartar sauce, and a pickle slice on top. It was on the small side, which was fine because we’d had a late lunch that I hadn’t fully recovered from.

Behind the cod filet sandwich, is a bag of fried Wisconsin cheese curds. This was my first experience with cheese curds, so I expected them to be melted and stringy like mozzarella sticks, but they remained solid and full of cheddar flavor. I love cheese in any form, so these little crunchy bites were great without tasting heavy or oily.

As for the custard, well I was still in awe of the freely flowing rivers of chocolate brown and white vanilla that I saw behind the counter. I was very tempted to order that day’s Flavor of the Day, which was an Oreo Explosion or something similar, but instead I went simply with a double scoop of their frozen custard, one of each flavor. The custard was very thick and definitely creamy. I really enjoyed the genuine chocolate and vanilla flavors.

There is variety of candies, cookies, and fruits that can be mixed into the frozen custard. The frozen custard is also sold in pints to be enjoyed at home. The lighting and carpeting made the interior of the restaurant very welcoming. I would return for the frozen custard and the fried cheese curds, but the cod filet wasn’t outstanding.

Culver’s (no locations in CA)

40 S. Broadway Place

Tucson, AZ 85710



Gentle Ben’s

by Alyssa on August 29, 2008

in Food, Restaurant Reviews

Located just down the block from the University of Arizona is a charming little area of shops and restaurants where one can comfortably take a stroll as the sun goes down.

Gentle Ben’s is a brewery with lower level and second story dining areas. The dimly lit brewery had tealights at every table, creating a very intimate environment perfect for catching up with old friends and family (but makes for poor photo quality).

I tried the Tuscon Blonde which was a light beer of pale golden color with little head. It was a very tame beer with a light fruitiness, but otherwise did not have much else to it.

Whoa, this spinach and artichoke dip was awesome. Now, I haven’t had that many encounters with spinach and artichoke dip, probably because the few times I have had it have only been mediocre, but I’m going to start ordering it more often based on my experience at Gentle Ben’s. The appetizer was colossal, the large portion of spinach and artichoke dip was served in a warm, soft sourdough bread bowl and the crust was able to retain its tender crispiness. This is the first spinach and artichoke dip I have seen that included black olives, which were sprinkled on top. This incredibly creamy spinach and artichoke dip topped with tomatoes, black olives, and chives was made with parmesan cheese, cream cheese, Tuscon Blonde Ale, and onions and had chunks of spinach, artichoke. It was fantastic with the warm tortilla chips and the chunks of soft sourdough bread. Not only is the presentation bursting of dip, tortillas, and bread, but it was full of flavor.

I had the Grilled Veggie Quesadilla made with jack and cheddar cheeses. The vegetables in this quesadilla included mushrooms, red bell peppers, green bell peppers, zucchini, and onions and the quesadilla was topped with black olives, tomatoes, and green onions. The flour tortilla was grilled to a nice crisp and the chipotle salsa provided nice heat and flavor, but the quesadilla wasn’t particularly spectacular. I longed for a thin, chewy flour tortilla handmade with lard, but there certainly was not one to be found on my plate. I was expecting a lot more from this dish, both in size and especially in flavor, than was actually presented to me, so I was disappointed with my entree.

Stepping outside of the restaurant after dinner, we were surprised to be greeted by the elusive Old Pueblo Trolley that runs down University and Fourth streets.

Gentle Ben’s

865 E. University Blvd.
Tucson, AZ 85719

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Millie’s Pancake Haus

August 27, 2008

While on vacation, I don’t feel compelled to wake up early, especially when I know that brunch is a fine excuse for sleeping in late. Millie’s Pancake Haus appropriately shares retail space among quilt shops and antique stores and even the restaurant’s exterior lets you know that stepping inside will help you forget that you’re […]

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Jeff’s Pub

August 25, 2008

I apologize for my two-week hiatus from updating this blog, but in moving from Tustin to Fullerton, I haven’t had internet access! I will try to make up for being absent these past two weeks by heavily posting to Afishionado. Growing up my entire life on the West Coast, I have been fortunate to have […]

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