Steak’n Shake – a Great Value
For a truly unique eating experience, one usually doesn’t have to journey too far to find a Steak’n Shake restaurant. From a humble beginning in 1934 in Normal, Illinois, Steak’n Shake has grown to include over 500 restaurants all over the Eastern and middle part of the United States.
Steak’n Shake was the brainchild of Gus Belt, who envisioned something different than the gas station/chicken restaurant that he owned. During the restaurant rush hour, he ceremoniously ground quality sirloin and round steaks in plain view of his hungry customers. Cooked on a hot grill, it didn’t take long for the Steakburger to become popular along with the slogan, “In Sight It Must Be Right.” The hand-dipped, creamy milkshakes that were served became equally famous.
When Gus passed away in 1954, his wife, Edith took over the business. It later was sold 3 or 4 times over the years until E.W. Kelley took over in 1981. Mr. Kelley realized that the customers’ wants and needs had not changed with the passage of time. Thus, quality food is still served on real plates with flatware instead of Styrofoam and plastic. Also, the menu has been updated, as well as the hours of the restaurant. Many Steak’n Shakes are open 24 hours, 7 days a week.
The most popular menu item continues to be the Steakburger, served single, double, or triple, with cheese or without, with all the usual toppings available. (Guacamole is a new one!). A Wisconsin Buttery Burger has recently been added, and, of course, there are the melts: Frisco, Patty, Pepperjack and A1 Peppercorn. There are small burgers known as “Shooters” that come in all varieties to include Buffalo, Barbeque and Chipotle, and if you like bacon on your burgers, this is the place!
Steak’n Shake has many other meats on the menu to include chicken, fish and turkey sandwiches fixed in a variety of ways. A new addition, the steak frank, is a beef frankfurter made with cuts of sirloin. The list of sides is too numerous to mention, but includes crispy, thin fries, cottage cheese, chili, onion rings, fruit, side salad and soup. If you don’t feel like a sandwich or burger, choose from one of three tempting chicken dinner salads to fill you up.
Then there are the desserts. Steak’n Shake is renowned for their creamy milkshakes. The classic shakes of 1934 are still available, as well as some yummy flavors like turtle caramel nut, peanut butter cup and chocolate chip cookie dough. Smoothies made with real fruit are also a big seller. And if you still have some room, there are sundaes, cookies and pie a la mode. It is virtually impossible to still be hungry when you leave a Steak’n Shake restaurant!
Considering the high quality and excellent taste of Steak’n Shake meals, it’s hard to believe that the prices are some of the most reasonable in the business. Coupons abound, both in newspapers and flyers mailed to homes. Their everyday value menu includes 4 meals for under $4. Many of the coupons offer buy one get one free, such as a White Chocolate or Butterfinger milk shake. They constantly offer new promotions, such as the ½ Price Happy Hour Menu (all shakes and drinks are ½ price on weekdays from 2-4 p.m. and 2-4 a.m.) Another popular promotion is “Kids eat free every weekend.” If you spend $8, you will get a child’s plate for free, which does not include a drink.
It’s easy and rewarding to sign up for the Steak’n Shake E-Club online, to receive the latest discounts and new menu offerings. Some coupons are also available on eBay, but it’s cheaper and easier to watch for the coupon flyers in your local paper. Happy eating!