Review: Pepper Grinder Pub Burger from Culver’s

In today’s world of text-driven abbreviations, I had to LOL when I heard the name of the new Culver’s LTO: Pepper Grinder Pub Burger.  That’s a mouthful.  So if the title of the burger is a mouthful, does the burger match up?  Sure.  The burger is a mouthful, but that’s about where the correlation with its title ends.  Like most of the Wisconsin-influenced offerings at Culver’s, they won’t send you home hungry.  You especially won’t go home hungry if you take their promo poster suggestion to pair the two-cheese burger with, what else, cheese curds.

Pepper Grinder Pub BurgerSo my stomach was full, but my GrubGrade soul was still a bit empty.  I mean, read their description :

Melt into perfectly seared fresh, never frozen Midwest-raised beef, layers of real WI cheddar and Swiss, crispy bacon, zesty 4-pepper mayo, on an authentic pub bun.

Adding this to the lengthy title, I was ready for a fully rounded, robust, burger leaving me for want of nothing.  Unfortunately, I just got a plain old bacon cheeseburger.  I’m guessing that if I had gone to a restaurant and ordered a bacon cheeseburger and ended up with this, I would have walked away happy.  As always, Culver’s delivers with quality beef and cheese.  Add to it a decent cut of bacon and you’ve got yourself a tasty, albeit, gluttonous lunch.  So with all this, what am I complaining about?  I guess in the grand scheme of things, these are first world problems, but I was psyched up for a freshly ground pepper taste, and thought maybe a zesty sauce of some sort would be oozing out of the space between the bun and patty.  However, the only sign that this was a “Pub Burger” was the blue plastic knife that came with the burger, sticking up out of the middle of the sandwich.

Pepper Grinder BurgerAs a way to pretend that I was eating a “Pub Burger”, I used the knife to cut it in half.  I ate the first half in search of this fresh, cracked pepper taste, but found nothing.  I cleansed my palate several times, trying to start from scratch, but still nothing.  Before diving into the second half and relinquishing my search for the title-promised taste, and deciding just to enjoy a good bacon cheeseburger, I performed a bit of surgery and noticed the faint presence of a white, speckled sauce under the bottom of the second beef patty.

Culvers Pepper Grinder Pub BurgerThe other layers were stuck together by melted cheese, but the bottom bun came apart from the rest of the burger revealing what must have been their attempt at pepper flavor.  Scraping a little off with my blue knife, I gave it a taste; sure enough, there it was… a nice smokey, pepper flavored sauce.  I even saw some small bits of what looked to be freshly cracked pepper.  I put the burger back together, now with a mind for what the sauce was supposed to taste like and tried once again to find the flavor over the beef, cheese and bacon, but alas, it was nowhere to be found.

Pepper Grinder BurgerIn the end, maybe it was just that my burger maker got a little skimpy with the sauce bottle, but without a second try at this one, I’m going to have to call it a bit of a bust.  As a post script, the onion and poppy seed bedazzled bun was interesting and tasty, but still not enough to pull this burger off the ordinary rack.

Pros: High quality beef and cheese. Good plain bacon cheeseburger. Interesting bun.

Cons: Pepperless flavor for a Pepper Grinder Burger.

Taste: 6.00/10
Value: 4.00/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 6.00/10
Price: $4.99

Overall GrubGrade: 6.00/10

More Info: http://www.culvers.com
Nutrition Facts:
Calories 911 Total Fat 60g Cholesterol 197.5mg Sodium 1126.5mg Carbs 44.2g Protein 51g

12 comments on “Review: Pepper Grinder Pub Burger from Culver’s

  1. Mike N. says:

    The word “Grinder” in the name threw me off for a sec (as a ‘grinder’ is a sub in some parts of the US)

  2. Ross The Boss says:

    I don’t think this is a fair review at all. I had this at the Culver’s by me, and it had plenty of the sauce and was great! This is more like a review of your Culver’s, rather than a review of the product because it wasn’t prepared correctly.

    • MP says:

      Not sure how else Murray is supposed to do a review other than the item he was actually given.
      I don’t think it’s too harsh that any sandwich could be critiqued at any given moment. I would expect if a company offers a product or service, it should be done according to procedure every time. Even if the product was prepared perfectly, there’s still the matter of personal opinion.

  3. Dave says:

    No, it wasn’t just you… Mine also had barely any sauce on it, which left the whole experience waaaaay too much on the dry side for me. The bacon, to me at least, didn’t really help the flavor much, although I did find the sandwich to be a bit peppery. When I order a burger like this, and for this price, I EXPECT it to be oozing a decent amount of a tasty sauce. I could not say that for this one, and many a time, could not say that either for their previous attempt (and better tasting pub burger IMO), the “Colby Jack Pub Burger”, which I loved a whole lot more. I ALMOST ALWAYS had to ask for extra sauce for that one too, at least at the Madison, WI Northport Drive location, else I would typically get it with very little sauce. Will not be ordering the pepper grinder one again.

  4. CulinaryZerg says:

    I agree that franchises can be wildly inconsistent in quality (especially Wendy’s), but the reviewer ABSOLUTELY needs to grade the food he actually ate.

    It’s the responsibility of the company to ensure franchises/outlets all deliver on the standards and promises of the company. If they don’t, it’s not the fault of the reviewer, it’s the fault of the company for controlling quality.

  5. Dustin says:

    Ive been slammed myself for giving a negative review due to the item being incomplete or prepared incorrectly. That’s what you have to do though. You give your honest opinion on the food that you’re served. I think it unfair to only review perfect items because as we all know that isn’t a realistic take on food service. Great review!

  6. M86 says:

    Culver’s needs to bring back the Colby Jack Pub Burger, and make it a permanent menu item. That thing was delicious!

  7. s. says:

    Culver’s, like the rest of fast food, has gone way downhill–smaller burgers and French fry portions, cold food, at a higher cost. Too bad because it doesn’t have to be this way.

    • Sascha says:

      Culver’s burgers are NOT smaller, and probably never will be. Fries have also always been the same size, and employees are taught to over fill them, if it didn’t happen at the Culver’s you went to, that’s an isolated problem. Also, food doesn’t hit the grill until it’s ordered, so letting it get cold has to be on you.

      Costs are higher, but expecting fast food prices to stay the same when everything else (especially beef) is rising dramatically is silly.

  8. Dana says:

    I have yet to visit Culver’s, but it is on my list for an upcoming trip. The Pepper Grinder Pub Burger certainly looks good! Maybe asking for extra sauce would help?

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