Summer is too damn hot. I never get tired of complaining about this, but it's true. It's been over 90 degrees for so many days in a row that I just want to move to Iceland or somewhere that sounds cool. I'm also not feeling very disciplined about writing lately, which is why I haven't posted in like ten days. I've been meaning to write about Steak 'n Shake for a while though. We finally got one of these into NYC in 2012. What's cool about it is that Steak 'n Shake instituted a price freeze for one year on their burgers so everything is ultra affordable. And I know not everyone love Steak 'n Shake, but I don't know what is not to love. There's plenty of room for more than one good fast food burger place in New York City.
I think one of the main contention people have with Steak 'n Shake is that it's not Shake Shack. This is true. While both burger place does a tremendous job of getting a nice brown crust on the hamburger patties, there's a few slight differences. the baseline option at Steak 'n Shake is two thin patties, while at Shake Shack it's a thicker beef patty. This lets the Shack have some pink in the middle of the beef. The other difference is that the Steak 'n Shake burger is less juicy.
It might seem like there's a lot going against Steak 'n Shake, but you know where it wins? It wins on the value proposition. The classic combo is the double patty burger with french fries and it's $3.99 before tax. The french fries are a small size portion, but even if you quantify the value of fries at $1, you're still looking at just a $3 dollar cheeseburger. Find me something cheaper than that and taste as good.
I know people like to shit on Steak 'n Shake like it's not the best overall burger in New York... but it doesn't have to be. It's plenty good and the price is just right.
When you look at Steak 'n Shake's website, you realize their menu is way bigger than what's included at the location in NYC. The one here in NYC is next to the Dave Letterman show, and it's really a small hole-in-the-wall with seating for about 20 if you count standing counters. They can't really be judged against other fast food places with a full menu, but I think Steak 'n Shake is exactly that. They're like a slightly better version of what you get at McDonald's or Wendy's. If you have the right perspective for it, you can really enjoy it. Your wallet would thank you too.
Steak 'n Shake
New York, NY 10019
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