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OTE Food of the Year 2021: The Curderburger

“Start drooling, fatties!”

We decided, as so many around the country did, to celebrate Friday’s National Cheese Curd Day with a Midwestern institution—Culver’s. But October 15 was no ordinary day at Culver’s:

Some of our writers—cough:WSR:cough—have had this day saved in their calendars for months. Others, like me, remembered or were reminded morning-of that they needed to make their way to Culver’s ASAP.

In honor of our reviews of the OTE 2019 Beer of the Year, we present our reviews for...

OTE’s 2021 Food of the Year: The Curderburger

Jesse: So when I heard that the CurderBurger was gonna be a thing, I got a bit sad and nostalgic for my home. Then I remembered that there are multiple Culver’s in Austin and hell yeah I made sure I made the drive to one. And look, I was here for the lols, but this thing was delicious.

If you’ve had a butterburger, this was basically the same setup, only they had a thin(ish), almost tastefully made cheese curd patty on top. I’m the guy who will order onion rings on a burger, so the breading was no big deal to me, and that cheese was just perfect. The uh, side of onion rings and a root beer were maybe a bridge to far and I might actually have measurable amounts of cholesterol buildup happening right now, but this thing was great and I’m so very happy I got to experience it.

MNW: I taught, online, from 11-11:50. My flight for Chicago left at 2pm. I had to drive to my secret spot, grab the light rail to MSP, and get through security.

Of course, I still had time to stop at Culver’s.

I was only whelmed on my first bite—and yes, I don’t get lettuce or pickles or mayo or any other shit on my burger. Not even ketchup. Eat the meat as God intended you to—with a giant fried cheese curd on there. (I go fries instead of onion rings mostly out of laziness, with a Culver’s diet root beer to wash it down. I’m watching my delicate girlish figure, you know.)

In the wake of my Very Correct chicken sandwich take, the breading on the cheese curd was...not my favorite thing. There’s already bread, and I’m already clogging my arteries...I could’ve just done with the steaming mound of cheese. That was Thought #1.

Thought #2 was “shut the fuck up, MNW, that cheese is amazing, just be happy.”

Thought #3 was “oh shit, it’s starting to leak out the back end of the burger.”

In the race to stuff all this into my mouth as fast as I could and avoid a mess in my car, you better believe I still savored every goddamn morsel of that tasty cheese mingling with the Culver’s patty.

Zuzu: The Midwest needs to be stopped at all costs. Who will take up arms with me?

LPW: this looks amazing... why have I never heard of this until now??? Looks like I need to cancel dinner plans and drive my family over to the Culver’s on the far north side of Chicago after my wife gets home from work.

MC ClapYoHandz: You have a wife?

Anyway, Wisconsin will never let you down and today was no different. A patty-sized cheese curd integrated into an already unhealthy food, what a fucking country. I went in predicting that this would basically go as if you smushed normal cheese curds into your burger, which isn’t a terrible alternative if you miss out on this but fortunately it works a little better here. I’ll spare details on the burger as you’ve already experienced those, you sassy bitch you, and just hone in on the curd.

Perhaps predictably, a saucer made up in excess of 80% soft melted cheese will fall apart easily, so keeping everything together may be a challenge especially if you put everything on it in which case the patty/lettuce/onions are almost certainly going to make your plate look that of a giant toddler’s before our very eyes. The breading for the curd wasn’t much to write home about but it is different from their regular cheese curds and it worked fine. And yes, it hurt as much as you’d figure.

10/10 would fall into marketing trap again.


Listen up Zu, because you need to know/

Why your absurd request is a straight no-go/

Our love for dairy makes us kind of fat/

But it's 2021, so you know nothing’s wrong wi’ that/

If it's health you crave, then drink some kale/

But compared to cheese curds, it's a big ol’ fail/

The world is terrible, corrupt, and sad/

But Midwesterner's know cheese'll not make you mad/

We're not svelte or stylish, here in the Midwest/

But when it comes to eating, we do it best.

I wrote that after eating a Curderburger (well, the MC hack, because my Culver’s was out when I got there— so, the MCurderBurger?) and I fully credit the grease chorusing through my body with those inspired lyrics. Artistic amplification qualities aside, it was a solid burger. I'm sad I missed out on the cheese patty, but am grateful I still got to celebrate this important holiday in spirit. The only downside to my experience was that I was still wearing Spanx from work when I ate this, and this culinary specialty really calls for one's finest sweatpants.

“I still have some dignity,” she murmured to herself as she smashed cheese curds onto a burger while sitting in her car.

WSR: First of all, I just want to set the record straight and say that I did not have this marked on my calendar, even though I do need to add National Cheese Curd Day as a holiday and start requesting a religious exemption for work for the day.

I was reminded about the day by some friends who are more obsessive over questionable food choices. You know the type: people who have alerts set up for terrifying corners of the dark web in case any hint of the return of the KFC Double Down appears. Anyway, thanks to these wonderful angels I was alerted to the fact that I may want to get to my Culver’s early for lunch. It’s a good thing I did because when I got there at 11:15 there was already a line 10 cars deep. While waiting and listening to the most recent Revolutions podcast (I don’t know about you guys, but I think Kerensky’s got everything under control) I realized that the most pressing question I would face all weekend needed to be addressed right then and there: which side should I get? Do I get the usually decent crinkle fries? My personal favorite in the onion rings? Are cheese curds along with a curd burger overkill or just a reminder to schedule an appointment with your cardiologist? Thankfully, I was able to make a decision just in time to get to the speaker, and once again I did not regret the onion rings.

My patience was rewarded. The root beer, as always, was perfect. And the Curderburger? Well, we need to be honest here: there is a flaw. The burger had mayo on it. Is that a dealbreaker? No, because there was only a little bit. But if I had the luck to be able to order it again in the future, there will not be any of satan’s condiment of choice. Outside of that, I had no complaints. The butterburger was butterburgery, the curd was outstanding, and it worked quite well together. I was simultaneously pleased with my food while also regretting having eaten it and planning my shame run.

Thank you again for your multitudes, Culver’s.


The Curderburger: Would you?

This poll is closed

  • 11%
    Yes, and I did.
    (19 votes)
  • 80%
    I would, but missed out on this incredible marketing event.
    (134 votes)
  • 7%
    No, let me know when Culver’s launches a Kaleburger
    (13 votes)
166 votes total Vote Now