Posts Tagged ‘@steaknshake’
Seems like every restaurant brand is trying to extend their reach by putting labeled products in the grocery aisles; if my memory is correct, seems like Taco Bell was first. Now there is hardly a fast casual brand that you don’t see in the grocery, whether it’s Boston Market, Fridays, Marie Callenders, Fatburger, Burger King, Nathan’s.
I’ve reviewed a pretty good sampling of heat and eat burgers in the past, including Fred Meyer Frozen Mini Cheeseburgers, Private Selection Angus Beef Patties, and Trader Joes Kobe Style, White Castle, to the convenience store types like Big A Angus Charbroil, the 7-Eleven Cheeseburger, Fatburger, Walgreens, AM/PM Mini Marts, and Ball Park, to mention a few.
Now I see Steak N Shake has entered the fray. The Illinois founded company now has more than 400 outlets across the country, and I have generally been pretty pleased with their products. They have a rep for fresh, cooked to order food.
So I wish they wouldn’t have entered this market segment. I think it does more harm than good, as a frozen heat and eat burger can’t come close to the taste or texture of a burger prepared in the restaurant.
Steak N Shake chose Ohio-based AdvancedPierre as their contract manufacturer / distributor. The company makes a lot of heat and eat foods for the convenience and vending market, including the “Big A” referenced above.
While this type of product is available throughout the entire price range, from a buck each up to $10 + for a bag of six or eight patties, the Steak N Shake variety was offered at $5 for (2) 5.3 ounce sandwiches. The sandwich is comprised of two patties, one slice of cheese and bun. No condiments are included, of course.
(Need some Steak N Shake chili or their great seasoning? We can hook you up!)
Instructions call for puncturing the wrapper (picture 1 below), heating for 75 seconds in the microwave, and letting sit for thirty seconds after that. Of course it has the disclaimer that “microwaves and heating times may vary” and they were referring to mine, as at 75 seconds the middle of the patties was still frozen.
Removed from the microwave (picture 2 below), they look fairly appealing.
One “beef” I have with all of these products that include buns, is that frequently the bun and meat require different heating times, so you’re going to probably be disappointed with one or the other. My “cheat” is to disassemble them and heat them separately, works for me, but takes a little trial and error. That process especially works great with frozen White Castles.
What’s my verdict? They’re OK. As I feared, nothing resembling the restaurant product, but most of these heat and eat burgers are pretty similar in my experience, and opinion, no matter the brand or the price point.
I suppose the “hook” is convenience. Single people who don’t want to cook, a harried mom needing a quick snack for the kids. Burger snobs won’t give them a thought.
Moms might want to reconsider, now that I just read the nutrition info – 490 calories with over half of those from fat. Probably not good.
Update: I walked by a Steak N Shake restaurant inside a Mississippi casino recently, and noted the signage now says ” “Steak ‘n Shake by Biglari.” Sadar Biglari is head of the private equity fund that currently controls Steak N Shake. At first, I thought, “well that’s arrogant, it’s not like using Dior or something – Biglari hasn’t designed custom gourmet burgers or anything.” And then I read it’s a licensing deal. By putting his name on the restaurants, the “owner” has to pay him a licensing fee for use of his name. Even if the chain is sold. That’s pretty slimy, even for private equity.
Steak N Shake Frozen Burgers Review
Started in Normal, IL, in 1934 by ex marine Gus Belt, Steak N Shake is so named for its focus on ‘steakburgers’ and milk shakes. The marketing slogan “in sight it must be right” referred to the fact that originally, the beef was ground in plain sight of the customers, and originally was a grind of T-bone, sirloin, and round. Gus passed in 1954, and the chain went through a number of ownership changes. It’s currently held by the diversified holding company of Biglari Holdings, based in San Antonio.
Today, more than 400 restaurants dot the Midwest, Southern, and Southwestern United States, and the company seems in growth mode. Open 24/7, the Steak N Shake menu not only includes steakburgers, fries and shakes, but has been enlarged to include breakfast items, other sandwiches, salads, and different variations of chili on spaghetti noodles, the way one might find in Ohio chili chains.
I’ve long been a fan, and stop at one when I pass through a city that has some of the outposts. I’ve written about other menu items in the past.
The occasion for my recent stop was to check out some of their new menu items. As Steak N Shake’s competitors are on a tear with menu additions, newly remodeled stores, and spin-off concepts, the company seems to be putting its new focus on increased menu items as well as value-pricing with a substantial number of “$4 dollar meals.”
I tried out their “shooters”, the Steak N Shake version of sliders, mini hamburgers with different flavors available singly or in multiples.
The “Three shooters plus fries” plate came in at the $4 price point, and I opted for the flavor choices of garlic, “Frisco,” and buffalo.
Each came with a ‘slather’ of the designated sauce, buffalo ala Frank’s Red Hot Wing Sauce, Frisco, which was described to me by the waitperson as “exactly like thousand island dressing”, and a garlic butter. The buns receive a light brush of butter, and otherwise, the burgers are devoid of condiments and cheese, unless you request same (slight charge for cheese).
I liked them all, even though I usually passionately avoid anything with thousand island.
Steak N Shake’s fries are always properly fried shoestrings, with the right amount of salt. On each table is a bottle of their “Fry Seasoning” if you want to amp up the fries or burger. It’s kinda like Season Salt, but in my opinion, much tastier. And no MSG if you care about that kind of thing.
One “secret menu” item at S n S is the 7X7, seven burger patties, seven slices of cheese. I’ll get to that someday.
Anyway – the shooter platter is a great way to try out their new flavors, or feed the kids on a very economical basis. Find a Steak N Shake near you.
Steak N Shake Shooters Review
First the “Steakburger”, now the “Steak Dog”. I’m a fan of Steak N Shake, have been for years, even though they never seem to be located in my part of the country, I stop when I am able. My previous forays have been written about here.
This trip a mere dunk in / out as I was making my way across “Main Street USA” (I-80) in Northern Illinois, Joliet to be exact, in search of Jake and Elwood.
The Steak Franks are 100% beef, chunks of sirloin, and are offered in varying styles, including “Chicago” (mustard, diced onions, sweet pickle relish, tomato slices, pickle slice, and sport peppers); “Chili Cheese” (Genuine Chili, shredded Cheddar ’n jack cheese, and diced onions); “Carolina Slaw” (mustard, diced onions, and creamy coleslaw); “Cheesey Cheddar” (grilled onions and smothered with loads of melted Wisconsin Cheddar).
I had a dog and a burger. The dog’s beef flavor is great, one of the best for a skinless. The only downside here was both buns were a bit “dry”. They shouldn’t fall apart.
Steak ‘n Shake makes frequent references on their menu to “Genuine” chili, and I have no idea what that means, do you? BTW, I saw billboards on my trip for S n S offering $3.99 all the pancakes you can eat. Yummers.