The Sourdough Bread Swap That's A Must-Try At Culver's

While we often obsess over the style of beef patty in a burger along with its toppings, there is another, oftentimes overlooked, aspect of a great burger — its bun. And when it comes to fast food, we're often stuck with the same squishy white ones. Don't get me wrong — they're perfectly great vehicles for cradling beef and all, but for better or for worse, we're generally left at the mercy of their quality. 

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There are very few fast food chains that allow you to swap out the bun itself, but one of them just so happens to be a Midwestern favorite, Culver's. Its standard ButterBurgers are served on a puffy buttered and toasted bun, but one little-known fact about them is that you can make a key swap in their build: You can replace that bun with two pieces of sourdough instead. 

This swap gives every bite a little exterior crispness along with sourdough's signature tang, and if your burger-eating experience has started to grow stale (so to speak), this substitution will definitely make your lunch a little more interesting.

The true key to Culver's menu is in its customizability

Unlike some burger chains with dedicated secret menus (most famously In-N-Out Burger), all you have to do is ask for the sourdough substitution when ordering. Culver's has sourdough in its kitchen inventory already because there are two sourdough burgers on its menu: the Sourdough Melt (pictured), which is topped with cheddar cheese and grilled red onions, and the Wisconsin Swiss Melt, which is topped with Swiss cheese and grilled red onions. That means you can easily use the bread on Culver's other burgers, such as its classic ButterBurgers (and their deluxe variations), and even the chain's chicken, pot roast, and pork tenderloin sandwiches.

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A Reddit thread from 2020, which includes conversation with self-identified Culver's employees, confirms the ability to make the substitution, but with the added plea to customers to try to avoid asking for it or other substitutions during busy hours, because it slows down the kitchen assembly process during a rush. And I can attest to Culver's menu flexibility as well; I learned from our local Culver's franchise owner once that the staff will customize nearly anything and even go so far as to cobble together a cheater poutine for you. 

So if your burger-eating experience could use a varied texture and a different layer of bready flavor, now you know you've got another option at Culver's. Just don't forget to ask nicely, and maybe do it when the line isn't too long.

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