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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Nov. 21, 2000)
offered at Culver's
BY JJ. HARDER
It’s time for restaurant fusion: Take one part
McDonald’s and mix it with one part small-town
comer cafe. Then add in one part Dairy Queen and
mix in a little Milwaukee flavor (Not beer!).
If it sounds like an odd combination, I’d have to
agree. But at 15th and Old Cheney, Culver’s is this
weird synthesis in a real-life restaurant. And it’s
pulling off the mixture remarkably well.
Culver’s is definitely a chain, but it’s not like a
McDonald’s or a Burger King. Similar to Runza,
Culver’s is a regional chain that tries to sell food
using the hometown-grandma, apple pie-remem
ber times when things were better shtick.
The place is a cookie cutter of a restaurant, but
Culver’s seems to mask the vinyl booths and sani
tized white walls with a bit of genuine compassion.
Old diner lights above die table, slow-moving ceiling
tans ana carpet
warm the place
up. You're sup
posed to feel like a
number at Mickey
D’s and, although
orders have num
bers at Culver’s,
the friendly peo
ple and their
shows actual car
started more than
15 years ago in
Sauk City, Wisconsin. Culver's is kind of like a Village
Inn without the breakfast. It serves standard
American sandwiches such as grilled ham and
cheese, Philly cheese steak, roast beef and chicken
breast It also has dinners and baskets of fried chick
en and Norwegian Cod (must be a Wisconsin thing).
But like its logo reads, Culver’s specialties are
frozen custard and butterburgers. These aren’t the
homestyie dishes we're used to in Nebraska, but
every undergraduate in Madison, Wis., can tell you
the glories of frozen custard. It’s simply ice cream
made with some egg yolk, but after one try, you’ll
realize ice cream is incredibly inferior.
Culver’s offers chocolate and vanilla custard
everyday plus a rotation of specials, such as
Chocolate Covered Strawberry and Hershey
As for die butterburgers, no, you’re not going to
get a big patty of margarine on your burger. The bun
of the burger is slightly buttered and toasted. You
barely taste it, but i?s one of those quirks that gives a
place a quaint reputation. The downside of the burg
ers is that the patties are extremely thin - the toma
toes may be thicker. Order a double to be filled up.
The fries are also a disappointment - Runza’s
simply take the Culver’s version behind the wood
The single best thing about Oliver’s, however, is
the fact that they have cheese curds. This is another
one of those northerner things you can’t find around
here. Cafe Carrera in Eagle is the closest place I have
A cheese curd is basically a ball of cheese coated
in a batter and then fried. The Culver’s rendition isn’t
a masterpiece, but it’s better than trying to make
mozzarella sticks do. For the best ever, try
Minnesota Picnic in the TWin Cities.
Culver’s is Wisconsin’s attempt at Runza, and if
the two were matched, I'd take Runza most every
time, except for dessert where Culver’s is king. Try a
custard sundae and see what I mean.
But the food is a bit pricier at Culver’s, and it is
definitely not fast In fact, people pay in the drive
thru and then pull forward - someone actually has
to bring it out to them. But at least that’s a reminder
that the food isn’t cooked until after we order-which
is hard to serve up in minutes and seconds.
I recommend the Bacon ButterBurger Deluxe,
cheese curds and a turtle sundae. Let the custard get
the best of you, and make it a favorite with your
friends. But keep it real with Nebraska’s own, Runza,
or we may be eating Norwegian Cod at Husker
Digital technology gifts tops
among college-aged buyers
Sure, kids can pine for scooters
and video games weeks before the
Christmas kickoff, but what does the
kid at heart, the 20-something and
older adult want this year?
Local retail managers predicted
what gifts will be hot, and it looks like
basically any technological gifts will
be welcome underneath the
Christmas tree this year.
“Anything digital is hot this year,”
said Jeff Martz, a manager at Circuit
City in the Gateway Mall, 61st and O
Digital technology has raised the
standards in electronics, including
marvel gadgetry such as DVD play
ers, CDs, digital cameras and video
games, leaving VCRs and older mod
els of TVs on die shelves.
“This morning we had eight
PlayStation IIs, and they were gone
in 15 minutes,” he said. “Folks can’t
special order them, so it’s a first
come, first-serve basis.”
Paul DeVore, floor manager at
Target, 333 N. 48th St., said any new
technological merchandise, such as
palm pilots and laptop computers,
were wish-list favorites.
Electronic gifts, costing into the
hundreds, aren’t all fun and games,
so if the number of people on your
gift list outnumber the dollars in
your wallet, stores still offer a range
of affordable gift ideas.
Jim Bolin, a department manager
at the Gateway JC Penney’s, said
Christmas novelties such as fiber
optic lighted trees have
been popular buys.
Also, winter wear such as fleece and
sweaters kept consumers warm this
Barnes & Noble General Manager
Bob Condello said the store at 51st
and O streets provides a last-minute
stop for inexpensive gifts such as
books, coffee and novelties.
“We think Are we going to have
enough of this?,’ ” he said. “So we
stock up, and you think we would
have enough, but we really do run
out of stuff.”
Condello said hot books this sea
son include Joel Sartore's “Nebraska:
Under a Big Red Sky,” "The Beatles
Anthology” and the entire Harry
Potter children’s book series.
“Our business tends to bloom
late in the season because we have
the lower dollar stuff after people are
done buying all the expensive
things,” he said.
Paperbacks sell better as they
generally cost less than the hard
cover version, Condello said, and the
store sells pounds and pounds of its
brand of coffee and tea, especially
during the colder months.
However, if any of these ideas fail
to inspire a shopping trip, many
stores sell gift certificates, relieving
any anxiety over getting the perfect
“It doesn’t package as nice as a
boom box,” Martz said, “but at least
they get what they want.”
Shoppers look to buying gifts
using simple points and clicks
Oh, the weather outside is fright
ful, and online shopping is quite
delightful this season for those who
want to stay out of the cold.
Web sites for popular retail stores
offer holiday hunters a different
avenue for purchasing gifts for loved
Shoppers can visit their favorite
stores without fighting traffic and wait
ing in line at local malls like Gateway
Mall, 61st and O streets, and
SouthPointe Pavilions, 27th and Pine
Store Web sites, such as Gap.com,
BamesandNoble.com to name a few,
let curious customers peruse mer
chandise, select items and purchase
gifts, all with a just few clicks of a
Jim Bolin, department manager at
Gateway’s JC Penney, said online serv
ices offered the same advantages as
"You can avoid the hustle and bus
tle and shop at home,” he said. "If
something you purchased isn’t what
you expected, you can return it just as a
Web sites not only offer a sneak
peak at what’s in stores but serve as a
keen source of merchandise informa
Jeff Martz, a manager at Circuit
City near Gateway, said more cus
tomers tend to use the store’s Web site
for information before actually buying
Tow can avoid the hustle
and bustle and shop at
JC Penney department manager
an item in person.
“People could buy a book or go to
the store to learn about an item,” he
said, “but they just research it at home,
reserve it and have it delivered. Or they
find out about it online first Some cus
tomers want to physically see it versus
just seeing a picture.”
Paul DeVore, floor manager at
Target 333 N. 48th St, said despite the
benefits of online shopping, store Web
sites won’t replace the reality of retail
stores anytime soon.
“If we sell out of a particular item in
the store, people can buy it online,” he
said, "but a lot of people aren’t used to
But some store managers said the
online sites help boost sales in stores
by offering customers a chance to
browse without the holiday rush.
Bob Condello, general manager at
Barnes & Noble, 51st and O streets, said
the option of online shopping was the
“greatest thing for the store.”
“It's not competition at all,” he
said. “I mean, our store has an
ambiance that a Web site can’t beat.
Our book buyers don’t work that way.
The stores are where the people are,
and we pfit it in your hand
Miniature furniture offers a window into the past
Selections from the
BY SARAH SUMNER
have an obsession for
or prehistoric religious
reasons, representations of
possessions for lack of
cameras in medieval
> times or for “knick
people are fasci
nated with tiny
“But why do
people like little
things for non-reli
gious or practical reasons' i
on't know, but humans just
1U| ” said Renee Laegreid,
curator of the Kruger
Whatever the reason, the
to find miniatures is at the
Curator’s Choice: Selections from the
Kruger Collection,” which starts its exhibi
tion today at the Sheldon Memorial Art
Gallery and will be displayed until Jan. 21.
Eloise Kruger, who gave the collection
to the College of Architecture and Interior
Design Program in 1996, has collected
miniature furniture since the late 1930s.
The collection consists of more than
20,000 miniature furniture replicas. Though
the pieces are mostly from America, she has
collected miniatures from all over the world.
She would, on occasion, have certain pieces
made for her by specific artists.
“Eloise Kruger had a particular interest in
American furniture styles, so that although
there are many examples of neoclassical and
Victorian pieces, they represent American
interpretations of these styles,” Laegreid said.
The architectural time period of the
Kruger Collection spans from the medieval
era through the 1970s and strings together the
changes and evolution of furniture design.
The displays are in chronological order,
and each have a theme and explanation as to
how that theme influenced the style of that
Displaying the collection is to “explore
mole fully visual and material culture and
art’s role in that,” said Daniel Siedell, Sheldon
This collection illustrates the changes of
people’s ideas, architecture and lifestyles
from time period to time period, Siedell said.
The tiny art figures are 1/12 their actual
size and are amazingly accurate to the details
of life-size furniture. They include features of
articles such as a violin in its black leather
case that has a green inlay, a bow, tuning
tools at the head of the violin and small
gold clasps on the case.
A reproduction of a classical Greek
statue exhibits facial features and distinct
curves of the body and clothing.
“German Folk Bedroom” displays
painted vases, tiny blankets and articles
bundled into bedroom shelves.
Along with the miniature-furniture
displays, there is another exhibition
derived from the Kruger Collection
titled “Entryways, Portals, and
Transitions” that will be displayed at
the Kruger Gallery in Architecture
Hall through March 21.
On Dec. 6, from 12:15 until 1
p.m., Renee Laegreid will give a talk
on the “Curator's Choice” at the
Because the collection is exhibited
at the Sheldon, Kruger is no longer
afraid her collection will be divided or
stored; also, the pieces can be shared
with the public.
“I hope they like looking at the
pieces," Laegreid said. “I think they do,
judging by the amount of nose prints
on die display window glass.”
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