Culver’s Gluten Free Bun Is Not Worth It

By Leanne Overlander | GF Information

Feb 25

culver'sA few days ago, I had many after school activities going and I had just a short time in between my daughter's speech team practice and her dance, so I decided to stop in at Culver's ( a Midwestern burger franchise). We don't usually eat here often because I have had cross contamination, but sometimes it is our only option.  Usually we order a cheeseburger with no bun and have them flag our order as an allergy. That day, as we walked in the door, I noticed a sign saying they offered Udi's gluten free buns.  I was happy to see that the awareness of gluten free had finally reach a local fast food establishment. As I expected, there was an extra charge for the bun as there commonly is with gluten free foods.  I have used Udi's before, but I still prefer my homemade.  So my daughter ordered her usual cheeseburger, pickles, ketchup, and onions but with a gluten free bun this time.  She was eagerly anticipating having a cheese burger with a bun.

udi's buns in a bag

 When the order came we were shocked.  It looked nothing like the picture which advertised the buns.  Now, I know because I am in food writing, that they take extreme measures to make the pictures look appealing.  But THIS was extreme!  I did not get a picture of the cheese burger, but the bun had to be at least 3″ thick.  It swallowed up the hamburger patty which was tiny in comparison to the bun. Unfortunately, this is common with commercial gluten free hamburger buns. They must have cut half of each bun off to take the picture in the ad, because this was ALL bun.  My daughter said she couldn't taste any of the cheeseburger because it was all bun.

Udi's packaged

After the initial disappointment.  My daughter used the bottom bun as a plate and proceeded to finish the cheeseburger without a bun. Why do gluten free bread manufactures have to compensate  for lack of quality by making it bigger?  Just give me something that is similar to a normal bun. My homemade is more manageable in size.

I do have to give Culver's credit as they did serve it as you see in the picture on the right, packaged, and we had to assemble the cheese burger. They even had a message on the sign that it was sealed for our protection and to limit cross contamination the cheese burger would need to be assemble by the customer. That was great, I loved that they thought of that. So they got a plus for taking cross contamination into account.

However, as for us, we will probably return at some point, our lives are super busy; but we will still keep to ordering our cheeseburger without a bun.

About the Author

Classically trained in Biology and Genetics at the University of Minnesota St. Paul Biological Sciences campus. Gluten free for more than 5 years.