STEAK and SHAKE  √√√1/2

THE IMPROVEMENT?  Shades of Gray

This franchise is living proof at times that it's the sizzle and not the beef that sells here. A couple friends grabbed me and we went out for a quick lunch. Being on a short schedule they picked Steak and Shake. Oh-oh new store, been there, done that.  

We stood around like idiots waiting to be seated. I thought it was strange since there were only seven people in the whole place. We were almost out-numbered by the waiters. Finally after the help decided whose turn it was, we ordered the Double Hamburger Platters, Ooops "STEAK BURGERS" and a side of Chili.  This was a new location so I gave them the benefit of a new crew. The Chili tasted like a cheap version of canned Hormel Chili mixed with catsup and was skimmed on the surface.


My ears detected the familiar steel banging on the grill and cremation of a 1/8 pound hockey puck weighing a massive  2.2 OZ. before cooking, about 1.8 OZ. after cremation and severe flattening to fit the bun and when held up to the light, you could see Russia.  Sarah Palin loves Steak and Shake.

It was their trademark "STEAK-BURGER". The concerto of meat smashed clanging is music to the managers ears.  Their stated purpose is to sear the flavor in, their reason only, and my mind saw it as a “Stunt to spread the meager amount of beef enough to cover the bun and fast cook the mini burger“.    


It was skillfully performed by a clone of Dr. Kevorkian, aka the steak sizzler and sound effects performer who live on stage (open kitchen) totally smashed every living ounce of taste out of the mini-hockey puck of "STEAK".   Now fully crushed to widen it out to look like a hamburger, it was flattened so hard when held up to the light you can almost see through it. Perfection! Brings a new meaning to the expression  “Wheres the Beef?”  After smoothing and stretching the single burger weighed about 1.78 oz.  About half a quarter pounder which is not 1/4 pound of meat after cooking either. It’s not even a 1/8 pound burger.  

But thats the plan, you "bump" yourself the next time up to a double Original Burger and add cheese so that you can taste meat.  In reality, you just added a dollar to your ticket for 15 cents worth of chopped "steak" aka minced meat.  

OK, hamburger is beef and beef by-products. By-products are some parts of the cow I won't mention. If you think because they call their meat "STEAK BURGERS" and you are getting prime sirloin, filet mignon, or  T-bones, rib-eye and other expensive cuts, then get off the pot you're smoking or sitting on.  Cows are large animals and there is lots of meat that is called "Steak" from a cow.  

16-Basic   8-Intermediate  4-High    Total   28 Violations



Content Claim:  A single Steak burger contains 280 calories, 100 of those calories from fat, 11 grams of fat, I don’t know if I would call it lean. Don’t confuse thin and skinny with lean, as they are underweight burgers weighing 2.2 oz uncooked or about 1.75 cooked. ( Less than an eighth of a pound)  Thays why they sell doubles to fill the bun.

WHAT IS A STEAK -  These definitions are by the American Heritage, Harper Collins, Word Net3.0 dictionaries

STEAK [steɪk] Noun  - Any of various cuts of beef of varying quality, used for braising, stewing, etc.  Beefsteak is a slice of beef, taken from the loin or the hindquarters, usually prepared broiled pan fried.  Steak also refers to any cut of meat or fish cooked whole by various methods, like Salmon Steaks.  But we are talking about Hamburgers, which did not derive their name from Ham but from their country of origin, which is Germany.  (Das Smashen, Grinding, uno Shaping) 

By the middle of the 19th century people in the port city of Hamburg, Germany, enjoyed a form of pounded beef called Hamburg steak. The large numbers of Germans who migrated to North America during this time probably brought the dish and its name along with them. 

The entrée may have appeared on an American menu as early as 1836, although the first recorded use of Hamburg steak is not found until 1884. The variant form hamburger steak, using the German adjective Hamburger meaning “ From Hamburg," first appears in a Walla - Walla, Washington, newspaper in 1889. 

By 1902 we find the first description of a Hamburg steak close to our conception of the hamburger, namely a recipe calling for ground beef mixed with onion and pepper. By then the hamburger was on its way, to be followed much later by the shortened form burger, used in forming cheeseburger and the names of other variations on the basic burger, as well as on its own. Basically a Steak Burger is nothing more than  minced meat prepared in the same way as any hamburger.





Are a trademarked name for a hamburger that owes its name to founder Gus Belt's practice of grinding round, sirloin and T-bone steaks (there is also a T-Bone pot roast cut)  into burgers in full view of customers.    Smart, he took the rib-side, the upper arse and the lower arse.   Basically cheaper cuts an operation this size with 400 locations and strict company policies can’t do that today. 

Even butcher shops, standalone, if you can find one, or chain stores like Sam’s cut behind glass for reasons of cleanliness and sanitorial  concerns.  And there is the question of  round and sirloin being the caboose of the cow train.  Hebrew National Hotdogs do not use these cuts, just so that you should know.   And at what percentage?

The company maintains that their burgers are still made from “ The finest of steaks".  I'm from Brooklyn, the food show-me state.  You are not going to take the 1/4 of a cow and dispose of the other products for nothing just to make Steakburgers. Yet their discloser states 100% beef.  This usually implies no fillers, it does nor guarantee you are getting minced filet mignon.  100% beef means it came from a cow, not a horse, pig, goat, elephant, gecko, or rabbit.

Steak 'n Shake also serves chili (including chili over spaghetti, much like Cincinnati-style chili), melts, Steak 'n Shake also sells cans of its chili in its restaurants, as well as grocery stores. In 2007, the manufacturer of their canned chili was investigated as a source of botulism that had sickened several people. In response, Steak 'n Shake recalled its canned chili product.


I noticed on the web that many had written expressing the same feelings and about the cost and what you got for the money you spent. here was a lot of complaints.   That quieted down a bit after the four dollar menu came out.  After reading over 150 complaints, there were many more about personnel, rather than the food.  Any food source will receive complaints about the food, the quality, the amount, the cost. Understood, this ain't Mommas kitchen and you ain't home. 

Interesting enough, many complaints arose of a different nature,  some coming from ex-employees.  OK , I understand "Disgritelus Americanus". But racial discrimination, not aiding the deaf on the car lines, bad service, insolent employees, "tipping required signs" and a host of other slams appeared.

I think management should have listened to these things, instead of listening to their lawyers. New low cost menus came out, that might cool the food issues.  Any one can type in Google the "franchise name followed by the word complaints"  and you will see what others think about any chain and at times it is not pretty. In reality the chains should have a designated employee reading those things daily and if a store location is not or noted it should be forwarded. 

They don't, I write a lot to them and almost never get an answer. The criminal part is that several of these franchise locations are mentioned more than once.

2016  NEW MENU


  • FOOD

 First the new menu, which offered reasonable (lowered) prices for what you order. And the items were popular basics, for the value it was an improvement since in the past since their the food was overpriced, their lesser cost menu and promotions are addressing that. 


This time we got immediate seating, courteous employees. The food was as ordered, served hot and much better,  I dropped in during a busy day time and later in the week at night.   From where I sat I could see the crew station.  Very clean, lots of hand washing, serving trays wiped after use, the soft drinks were in glass, clean, clear ice, fresh looking and effervescent. 


The food was medium-priced for the quality and quantity. But food that is cooked to order costs more then pre-prepped half-cooked food.  There is the difference in price alone. Plus you are seated and served so they can’t operate that way at counter service prices.  And when I compared apples to apples, these prices were in line for the better quality.  If they were to put a half ounce more meat in each patty and cut regular fries, they would own the business.  But the beanies don’t think that way and they are stupid.  I walked out still hungry, wanted a desert but I do not eat milk products like a shake with meat. Old Jewish Kosher tradition.

This franchise would then be on both tiers of the fast food market.  

copyright 2017