I've been wanting to try Culver's for a while now. I'd heard good things. People love it. But I was a little confused about this restaurant.

First off, I thought Culver's was like Friendly's. I grew up in New York, where we had a Friendly's in the local mall. They served patty melts (burgers on bread instead of a bun) and every flavor of ice cream. But Friendly's was a sit-down restaurant with waiters.

Culver's is a fast food joint. You order at a counter, pay, and get a number to put on your table. (Our cashier was very nice and patient with me and my many questions. She even gave me scissors to cut out my coupons!) You fill your own drink cup, then your food is brought to you. We might have waited 5 minutes for our order. It was truly FAST food!

Other than this minor difference, Culver's is very much like Friendly's. You can order a variety of burgers--on buns or rye bread--as well as other types of sandwiches, sides, shakes, and sundaes. They have a zillion different flavors of ice cream, but we were too full to sample any desserts.

We went for the value baskets. My hubby got a butter burger with everything on it, onion rings, and a drink. I ordered the Wisconsin Swiss Melt (a burger with mushrooms, onions, and Swiss cheese on rye bread), fries, and a diet Pepsi. I drink one diet soda per year, maybe 2 at the most, and I thoroughly enjoyed this forbidden beverage! Our total (after $2 off with my coupons) came to $16. Not super cheap. But...

Our food came out piping hot. The onion rings were crispy and obviously fresh, not overly greasy. My fries were fat, crinkle cut, and tasted like actual potatoes. The butter burger was topped with very fresh lettuce, tomato, onions, and tasted even better than a Whopper. (According to my husband!) The Swiss melt was tasty, but didn't come with all those fresh toppings. Next time, I'm going for the butter burger!

And I have to mention the rest room. It was much nicer than expected: clean and upscale.

Would I recommend Culver's? Definitely! If you're looking for fast food that's a cut above McDonald's or Burger King, this is the place.