Culver’s in West Baraboo

The new Culver’s restaurant on Highway 33 East in West Baraboo features solar electric panels that will provide shade for the outdoor patio.

Culver's, the restaurant chain that calls Sauk City and Wisconsin home, ranked among the best in Consumer Reports magazine's annual  "America's best (and worst) fast food" survey of its readers.

Although I don't think that Culver's is a place most of its customers think of as a "fast food" restaurant, the monthly publication of Consumers Union — you know, the organization that seldom finds an American brand car it likes — calls our home-state business a "burger chain" and lumps it with the likes of McDonald's, Hardee's, Burger King and the rest.

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Culver's easily beat the big chains for the taste of its hamburgers, the famed  "butter burger" we've come to know so well. Culver's also came in at the top for the quality of its service and the cleanliness of its restaurants. The western U.S. regional "In-N-Out Burger" chain was ranked number one with a score of 88 in the magazine's survey. Culver's was third with a score of 84. McDonald's and Burger King each received a 71 in the ranking.

While I've long been a fan of Culver's, there are a lot of other things besides burgers on the menu to like. The best, of course, is Culver's frozen custard. It's always been number one.