Steak ‘N Shake – Now in NYC!

1695 Broadway
New York, NY 10019

I’ve been to Steak ‘n Shake once before and I didn’t like it. Take a breath.

You back on board? OK. I’ve said this many, many times and 100% of the people I’ve admitted that too have looked at me like I just told them that Zombies are real. (MFZAR by the way.) It was about 10 years ago, I was on the way from the Milwaukee Metal Fest en route to the Chicago airport. I was incredibly hungover when we pulled over to eat there. The Fries were burnt and terrible. So was the Burger and it was also incredibly greasy as well. Since then, every time somebody told me how much they love the 75 year old Midwestern Burger chain, I looked at them like they told me that Van Halen WASN’T referring to Hamburgers in the song “Everybody Wants Some.”

I maintained this despite all the funny looks. When Jim from Steak ‘n Shake was introduced to me by my brothers in the Burgeratti, it was the first thing I told him. Having said that, I told him, like I tell you now, I am definitely willing to give it another shot. Then this arrived in my mail…

Gus Belt opened the first Steak n’ Shake in Normal, Illinois in 1934 with a desire to bring premium Burgers and Shakes to the hungry people. Gus, so determined to serve the freshest possible Burgers he could, actually ground the Beef in sight of the restaurant guests. Since then, the flat griddled sensation has grown into more than 500 stores. It’s a diner style restaurant, most of which have a drive-through for a sit-down & on-the-run service. Most of them are open 24 hours a day and maintain some of the cheapest Burger prices in all the land. Gus passed away in 1954 but his legacy lives on and now…it’s in NYC!

The NYC Steak N’ Shake opens to the public at 10 am on Thursday, January 12th, 2012. It’s located right in the heart of Midtown, directly next door to the Ed Sullivan Theater. The Manhattan location is more of a to-go concept, sans drive-thru, seating only 24 at a time and will close every day at midnight. Their regular menu has been reduced for the NYC to only a few Shakes, Fries, Steak Dogs, Shakes and the “Original” Double Steak Burger which is only $3.99 with Fries! However, there are 3 very important additions which can NOT be found at any other Steak ‘N Shake: Beer (in suds from Brooklyn Brewery), Wine & the all organic “Signature” Steakburger. It’s a fresh made 6 oz Beef Patty ground from cuts of 100% organic Rib Eye and NY Strip Steak. The Burger comes cooked medium well, as opposed to the well-done searing method given to the thinner patties form the “Original.”

So how did it live up? It was awesome. All the hype is completely deserved. While I thought the Original was good and loved every seared and salty bite, I definitely preferred the Signature. Everyone thought I was crazy but as Seth Unger, Josh Ozersky & James Kenji Lopez-Alt pointed out, I didn’t grow up eating the Original like they did. Nick Solares however agreed with me; the Signature, for being a fast food Burger was juicy, succulent, delicious and actually cooked medium well. Look at the picture, there’s a little pink in there! I absolutely loved the melted slice of savory and creamy American Cheese as well as the very sturdy yet soft Bun.

The Steak ‘n Shake Signature Burger is definitely one of the freshest & tastiest Fast Food Burgers I have ever had.

The Fries were much better than I had remembered. They had a real Potato flavor with a softer inside to a crispier outside. I had a Peanut Butter Cup Shake and it my friends, was no-freaking-joke! I’m not much for sweets but this place respects their namesake by offering one hell of a good Shake.

While there, I met Kenneth Faulkner, VP of Operations for Steak ‘n Shake. As part of Ken’s job, he oversees R&D for the company. He’s been with Steak ‘n Shake for more than 30 years and has seen it all. When I told him of my original visit to Steak ‘n Shake, he replied “Oh Yeah. The Racine, WI store. That one’s been shut down a long time ago.” Amazing, truly amazing. I couldn’t have been more impressed. Funny to think though, the one time I had this historic Burger was at the one location that had to be taken away. HA!

I was able to snag a back to take back to the office which is all the way in Soho. That’s 7 Subway stops for those of you counting. Way out of a standard delivery range and generally longer than you would travel with hot Food in a take away situation. I’m happy to report that they Burgers maintained their structure, flavor and were still warm, thus answering the question, can Steak ‘n Shake offer to go Burgers. HELL YEAH.

8 out of 10 Ounces
– Rev

472 Burgers

Jan, 10 2012 – 3:03 pm

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11 Responses to Steak ‘N Shake – Now in NYC!

  1. Ryan West says:

    Awesome review. Planning on hitting it up tonight

  2. Condimented says:

    Who knew Rocco Landesman was a HUGE fan?!

  3. Whitney says:

    Diced non-fried raw onions and crispy fried items? There is a simple way in the western BBQ style. I prefer the skinny and tiny items on top.

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  5. Anthony Santos says:

    U have got to be kidding. Went there for lunch today and left without any food. Cause after 20 minutes they were still working on it! I mean it takes more than 20 minutes to cook a burger?
    And trust me their burgers are not that great. Good Burger is much better and U get UR food in less than 20 minutes!

  6. jim says:

    I have know about Steak and Shake for years.An absolutly great burger.I live in maryland and the closest S & S is in Pittsburgh and one in fredericksburg Va.And don’t forget those wonderful real milkshakes.I may plan a trip to Manhattan with a stop over at S&S !! You can get your burger topped with grilled onions !

  7. steve says:

    Years ago Steak ‘N Shake made a great burger (more like what Five Guys is now, but without the exorbitant price), but it had sadly devolved into what is just barely a step up from McDonald’s. It’s too bad–they could easily do it right.

  8. janet says:

    But what about the chili??? Forget the burgers. Burgers are everywhere. Its the chili. There’s no limelight on the chili anymore. So sad.

  9. Sue Starcevic says:

    I can remember eating at Steak N Shake from about 1950 on. They have always had the best Shakes, though, I enjoyed them more when they were served in large glass tumblers, which would arrive at our car on a tray that hooked onto our partially rolled down window. In high school, Steak N Shake was still the place to go. They had the cutest boy car hops in the evenings. (The girl car hops worked in the day time.) Much later, after my Dad, a widow, married a lady from Normal IL, I was privileged to eat my Steak N Shake at the original restaurant when visiting. For many years, here in MI, the only time I got to eat at Steak N Shake was when I traveled from the Detroit area to Lansing. Then just a few years ago, Steak N Shake came to my side of the state. We had two near us, but unfortunately, one was closed. At my time of life, cannot eat fast food very often but a Steak N Shake burger, fries and shake is a treat we can still enjoy occasionally. Hope New York and the rest of the state get may more Steak N Shakes, Signature or regular, so you do not have to carry your burgers a long ways on the Subway.

  10. Mike Vogel says:

    For 10 years my wife and I have been wintering in the Tampa area. We often stop at your Lakeland, FL or one of your two stores in Brandon, FL. We have found that the quality and taste of your food is definitely not up to the quality back in Bloomington, IL.

    I read in these blogs that you closed a store over complaints. Please don’t close these stores, just make them better.

    (I am going to post a second message of my history as a customer that is far more positive.)

  11. Mike Vogel says:

    My Father was a good friend of Gus Belt. In fact Mr. Belt was a good customer in Dad’s jewelry store in Bloomington, IL. I had my first Steakburger close to 70 years ago. I have been eating them so long that I would make you a good quality taste tester. We lived in California for almost 30 years and those were hard times for me and my family as we missed SnS so much. The period of time was so hard that I found an employee at the local commissary that would sell me a case of uncooked “pucks” that I would pack in a cooler and fly back to San Jose. Unfortunately this ended after a number of years, as management would no longer allow the sale of uncooked food. Sounds like government regulations to me!

    Oh well, we survived for a number of years and finally retired and moved back to the Bloomington area.

    Back in the 40’s and 50’s SnS had a store in the 100 block of E. Monroe in Bloomington. The store was only a block from my Dad’s store and I ate there quite often. It was the only SnS I ever saw that did not have a parking lot.

    Glad to see that you have moved into NYC. I think you would do much better to spread all over CA, NV, and AZ. You would double your sales in no time.

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