Baskin Robbins vs. Culver’s


The debate has been going on for ages, at least in my house. My dad leans towards one, my brother to the other. Ice cream or custard. Thankfully, in the Grand Rapids area we have an abundance of both. Two of the most noted chains for each are Culver’s with their custard and Baskin Robbins with their ice cream. To bring a neutral opinion to the table for my family’s battle and any other that may be brewing around the area, I visited both to sample each and have a closer look myself.

Walking into Baskin Robbins on a Wednesday night, the place was nearly empty. Besides my friend and I, the only others inside were an elderly couple and two employees. However, the interior was pleasant and very well taken care of, with no stray napkins or straws to be seen. The building also houses a Dunkin Donuts, but I headed for the ice cream counter of BR to select my dairy treat. They had a multitude of great flavors sitting on display in the clear case in front of me in addition to the smoothies, pies, and ice cream cakes also on their menu. I decided upon a single scoop of Gold Medal Ribbon, a twist of chocolate and vanilla ice creams with a stream of caramel running through it. The cost was little damage at $2.61 for such a hefty scoop as I was given. The service was friendly and quick, and although our cashier was new, he was very well accustomed to his surroundings and handled both my friend and I’s orders with ease. The atmosphere was peaceful and laid back, and eating a simple bit of ice cream with a friend felt like the perfect activity for the time and great place. For Baskin Robbins, I award 4.5 scoops out of 5 for great service, great prices, and delicious food that lives up to the high standards of the chain.

Culver’s, however, was a different story in terms of business. I went on the same Wednesday and got to experience their Classic Car night, which they host weekly. Lined outside of the building were beautiful old cars and viewers to admire them, making Culver’s a bustling place to be. The line was long but moved quickly, and I got to the front to order my meal. Fortunately for me, a scoop of custard comes free with a kid’s meal for $5.61. After eating my chicken tenders (which were delicious, by the way), I approached the counter to select my treat. Besides the multitude of custard options on the menu, including their famous Concrete Mixers, I began looking at the topping options. Deciding upon chocolate custard with hot caramel, it was not long before my custard appeared before me. Needless to say, the hot temperature of the caramel layered on the sweet, cold custard made for an awesome dessert. The restaurant was clean and well managed, and the atmosphere around me while I ate was just as great, with friends and couples and families of all ages enjoying their meals. For Culver’s, I also award 4.5 scoops out of 5 for a great chain with equally food and an awesome place to be with friends.
To conclude, my opinion on the matter is still neutral. A much happier and fuller neutral, but neutral. Both chains offer amazing service, atmospheres, and, most importantly, dairy treats. While I may not be able to choose between custard or ice cream, I can tell you that Baskin Robbins and Culver’s deliver wonderfully on each front if you want to go decide for yourself.