Steak And Shake Steakburgers

>>  Two Have Closed Their doors Permanently In Pinellas County <<

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.

The Fake False Bullsh*T Steakburger - Under Primed And Under Fed


My ears detected the familiar steel banging on the grill and cremation of a sub 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 “ TEAK".   

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.  

Longest Ongoing Misrepresentation Award

Steak and Shake wins hands and rumps down!   The company maintains that their burgers are still made from 
“ The finest of steaks” and I’m from Brooklyn.  The food show-me state.   Most of the rear of the cow is in their burger.  Rump roast is not Filet mignon, The rear legs and underbelly are not Porterhouse.

You are not going to take the rest of the cow and dispose of the other products for nothing just to make Steakburger’s.   Yet their discloser states 100% beef.   Thats like saying poop contains 100% poop. It’s in the CORPORATE GUANO, those words from the bean counting lying scumbags in the corporate office.

This usually implies no fillers, thank goodness, it does nor guarantee however you are getting minced filet mignon.  100% beef simply means it came from a cow,  bovine not a horse, pig, goat, elephant, gecko, or rabbit.

TRASHED - Steak and Shake also serves chili (including chili over spaghetti, much like Cincinnati-style chili), melts, Steak ’  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 off the market.  Doesn’t sell it anymore.

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.  There 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 is not Mommas kitchen and you are not  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.

Health Department Findings

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

Nutritional Data 
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)  Thats why they sell doubles to fill the bun.

These definitions are by the American Heritage, Harper Collins, Word Net3.0 dictionaries

STEAK [steɪk] IS A 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   ( THE REAR) But “ 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.  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 and since it’s from the ass end or cheaper end of the sow, it’s just corporate bullsh*t.

Is It Really Steak Or Advertising?


There Are Several Points Of Information Here   (Corporate Lies)
Steak burgers 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 was a showman, took the rib-side, the upper ass or the rump and the lower ass, or the round.   That may not be what they got

The T-Bone with waste from the bone gets thrown in. Most folks don’t know one cut of meat from another so it looked like they were getting top notch burger meat.  You were and still are getting (Pun) Bullshitted meat.  

Today it takes a lot more parts to feed those machines that Steak and Shake uses to make the  “hockey pucks” they form for shipping.   Basically cheaper cuts to feed an operation this size with 400 locations and strict company policies can’t do that today so maybe the mix has expanded

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.  But you never see the whole operation.   And there is the question of  round and sirloin being the caboose of the cow train. Thats what get put into Steak and Shake “Steak burgers”. 

Steak burgers implying that steak only is used in their burger.  True it is steak if it came from slabs of beef and then ground.  But there are parts far more expensive in a cow that we associate with quality cuts.  (SEE BURGER WARS)

Great marketing, they have been doing it for years and the public doesn’t know the difference.  Just like the voting booth, most vote by name recognition, not the quality of the public servant running for office.

2016 - 2019  New Menu and Improvements  ( Debated)

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.  But the quality has not changed.  Basically, It’s a spoofed up theme burger joint.  More on theme than quality.

SERVICE - 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.  Nice to work in a place where you get to meet new waiters and waitresses,  but its turnover and thats a clue….

VALUE - 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. 

IMPROVEMENT NEEDEDAnd 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.


Last time I wrote about them at this location, I mentioned - titled it " Wheres the beef". I have said on many occasions the biggest problem with this corporate store is the food.   Too many bean counters and dress sergeants and the food is in third place.

Finally some beef...  NEW SPECIALS  LARGER Regular Burger - Texas Bar-be-Q and Truffles.   OK I’m game, I went for the Truffles.  I know what they are and these are not truffles.   

Strike One - The first burger one I got was overcooked, burnt and dried out.  Literally burnt on one side.  It went back.  I told the waitress the Kevorkian trained grill master-chef-cook meat basher certainly killed that piece of meat.

Second Strike -  The second one was drowned in this strange sauce and had cooked mushrooms and Caramelized Onions and I suppose the yellow stuff was the truffle, or was it the rooms… or the other sauce dripping all over and falling apart. I picked it up and the whole sandwich fell apart. A couple of toothpicks would have helped.

Here Was Their Ad —   The AD read: Introducing our deliciously indulgent new White Truffle Steakburger! 

•   It’s a 6 oz. hand-crafted Prime Steakburger (PRE-cooked weight and cooked probably dried about 4.5 oz)
•   Topped with two slices of Tillamook® all-natural Swiss cheese ( Big deal and Tillamook is a city in Oregon, not Switzerland on the Pacific coast,  with about 6000 people.
•   Pre-grilled button mushrooms, caramelized onions and 
a decadent Truffle AIOLI sauce on a toasted brioche bun.
•   Served with fries. (yes those are string bean fries with more oil than taste, more height than real potato fries and small servings)

Truffle Bluff-Ell  ( Corpo-Guano Extremo )

👺 Now it’s a little misleading, the only Truffle possibly is the name on the bottle.  No shaved truffles on the burger. Truffles are a strong-smelling underground fungus that resembles an irregular, rough-skinned potato, growing chiefly in broadleaved woodland on calcareous soils. It is considered a culinary delicacy and found, especially in France, with the aid of trained dogs or pigs. There are no truffles, real shaved truffles on your burger.  There are 50 or so various truffle sauces available on the web and from Amazon ( More corpo-guano bullsh*t, all synthetic, created in the science lab)

👺 The so-called decadent AIOLI sauce is common, very common.  Maybe decadent means its laid on the shelf for two years and we have to use it up.  ( More corpo-guano bullshit) The corporate guys really do it up with words. This was some Aioli concoction, commercially available from either SYSCO, US FOODS, or Gordon Food Service, but it’s guaranteed 99% commercial sauce which is well know in the business and come in one and two gallon jugs.   

Almost every restaurant I know who are on a higher plane and make their own sauces, wants it fresh most days for fish or meat dishes in a little yellow dipping dish.  Nothing spectacular, but it contains a raw egg and can spoil bad. The commercial stuff uses substitutes instead of egg.

👺 There is another version of Aioli sauce called DONKEY sauce.  Donkey Sauce was named Donkey Sauce because, long story short, Guy Fieri once said, “ You have to put sauce on the burgers or you're a jackass," and another chef with a "thick accent" asked what a jackass was.   A jackass is a donkey, and the sauce was branded as such, according to Eater magazine. Now, with this new rebranding, Donkey Sauce is the new and improved “sexier” aioli. I make my own version.

Al’s I Jackass Sauce…I add a touch of Sriracha and a few herbs… ( Secret)

There are seven very common ingredients (7) plus Sriracha

  • 2 medium garlic cloves.
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard.
  • 1 large egg.
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil.
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed or vegetable oil.
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice.
  • Kosher salt.
  • Pinch or drip of Sriracha for bite.
  • Since it contains raw egg, use, dispose, refrigerate, your options...

The Bottom Line

So after a few minutes of digesting this burger, more like starring at it, I came to the following conclusions.   It sucked.  At 7.00 plus dollars it was not worth it. You would be doing better getting the mushroom burger and fries for 4.00 and only loosing the .8 of an ounce of meat and that decadent sauce, ketchup would have been better.  It was not impressive even with the knife sticking out of the top.

The truffle sauce was a sham just like the use of the word steak burger, no such thing.  The rump was never considered a prime cut, just good advertising.  Just think of those cowboys at the back of the herd starring at steakburgers all day.

I did not eat there since last year in February, I don't believe I will go back. This is the bottom of the food chain and the fault lies with the corporation not listening to the customers. They make money, the food is skimpy, and a good chef management team and people values not corporate values could take the clean store and good personnel to a higher level.

Death Of Half the stores in Pinellas County