Wisconsin frozen custard and butter burgers have been introduced around the nation by the Culver’s chain. But local custard stands still rule in the Badger State. LeDuc’s is a wonderful example of small-town Wisconsin fast food at its dairy best, with sinful sundaes made from housemade custard and thick, cheesy burgers (albeit without torrents of butter).
Like many other custard shops, the scoops here come in three flavors: vanilla, chocolate, and one special flavor from a rotating selection. Based on our experience with the strawberry shortcake special that was featured when we we visited, we can tell you that this custard shop can paint with more than just black and white. The shortcake custard brims with soft chunks of sponge and fresh berries. It captures summer’s favorite dessert in a single luxurious scoop.
Both chocolate and vanilla custards are delicious as well, vanilla subtle enough to be the right base for a LeDuc’s sundae. Feeling nutty, we order the turtle and tin roof variations. Immediately we are impressed by the freshness, crunchiness and large pieces of the peanuts (tin roof) and pecans (turtle) on top. The near-mint condition of the nuts may seem like a small aesthetic matter, but this tells us that they care about the quality of every topping. You can taste this perfectionism in the caramel sauce, hot fudge, and tin-roof chocolate sauce underneath the salty peanuts. Of course, each sundae is topped with a bright red maraschino cherry.
LeDuc’s is primarily an excellent sundae stop, but its burgers are not to be ignored. They are thick, charbroiled patties in soft buns without too much in the way of condiments, and no butter. The Topper Burger comes with the Wisconsin state snack, deep-fried cheese curds, stacked on top of the beef. There are also a couple of thick onion rings and a slather of light brown barbecue sauce to finish. It is basically a Western cheeseburger with fried cheese curds instead of bacon and American cheese. We think of it as a Northern cheeseburger. It’s so good that we scarf it down halfway through our sundaes before the custard even has a moment to melt.