Steakin’ It Easy


Steak ‘n’ Shake Signature | 1695 Broadway (Bet. 53st & 54th Sts.) | 212.247.6584 | steaknshake.com | |

YOU KNOW WHAT NEW YORK City seems to be sorely lacking in? Burger joints! Who knew? Must be why there seems to be a new one opening up—with middling to great fanfare—every week. What does it say, ultimately, about our culture that we can not seem to ever be happy with our present selection and variety of ground beef sandwiches? The very same sandwiches that even drunk college kids and drunk dads pull off without a hitch almost every summer weekend!

No, there can never be enough burger places, obviously, and even other cities in other states think so. So, to help out, they’ve come to open open their local burger shops here in the five boroughs, the most recent of note being Steak ‘n’ Shake, originally a drive-in food stop from Normal, Illinois and founded by a guy named Gus Belt in 1934. Becoming their own McDonald’s-like chain over the next several decades, someone in charge decided that the one place that was sorely in need of diner-style burgers and milkshakes was Midtown Manhattan. And so, just a few weeks ago, right next the Ed Sullivan Theater—home to the late Show with David Letterman—was opened a Steak ‘n’ Shake Signature shop, including all the clinically retro décor and trappings you’d expect in a place near Times Square.


Steak 'n' Shake Signature

Steak 'n' Shake Signature

Steak 'n' Shake Signature

Steak 'n' Shake Signature


The space is small and cramper indeed, even during the “down time” of about 4:30 p.m. that I was there. The menu showcased their Signature Single Steakburger, which comes with the parenthetical side of fries, and I ordered a banana milkshake to properly complete my “diner”-dining experience.

My little “buzzy” thing—the same kind of thingy they employ at Shake Shack—vibrated after about 5 minutes, and I retrieved my bag of goodies, learning that you’ll receive your order in a bag whether or not your eating in at a table or taking it “to go”.


Steak 'n' Shake Signature Burger with Fries and Banana Shake

Steak 'n' Shake Signature Burger with Fries and Banana Shake

Steak 'n' Shake Signature Burger with Fries and Banana Shake

Steak 'n' Shake Signature Burger with Fries and Banana Shake

Steak 'n' Shake Signature Burger with Fries and Banana Shake


I’ve admitted to having a preference for smashed and messy burgers, and this Signature Steakburger certainly fit the bill; they, for me, are at least always the ones that are the most fun—read, most carefree—to eat. I added my usual ketchup, mustard, and mayo to the tart pickle, firm tomato, bright onion, and mellow American cheese which pleased my palate as intended. It did as well, unfortunately, overwhelm any “signature” taste of the meat—this one-of-a-kind steakburger.

The burger did indeed have the proper amount of clear juices and salt (the easier half of the battle when it comes to the taste of a burger, but the half that so, so many still get wrong), and had a decent “crumble” when bitten into and chewed. Maybe a bit more caramelization on the edges would have added some smokey char to its flavor and aroma. And with most of the Steakburger options likewise topped with any number of toppings and sauces, it is safe to assume that the meat’s natural flavor, if any, could possibly be discerned. The fries—like most burger joint fries—are not perfect and indeed best eaten while still very hot. And the banana milkshake, though nicely milder than expected in taste, had to be discarded halfway through for fear of a joint brain freeze/clogged artery calamity. Who wants to have a stroke and a heart attack at the same time?! Especially right outside of Letterman? (Although, my whole meal only cost nine dollars and change, which would help save money for my eventually necessary co-pay!)

My three favorite burger places are nowhere near where I live, so they comprise only the smallest minority of all the burgers I consume throughout the year (not include my own self-made burgers, which make up about half of my yearly burger intake). But burgers are—and are supposed to be—easy. Easy to make, easy to find, easy to eat. And in a city where you can find a place that sells an quality of burger every four blocks, why not open up your own in the two blocks in between. Yes, we love our great burgers, but we only need, and for the most part are happy enough with, a good good (as I unintentionally give a shout-out to the Goodburger chain here in the city). Or the near burger if just off the subway heading home. Or even the fastest delivery burger once you get there.

Steak ‘n’ Shake covers most of those bases if you live/work in Midtown, if you don’t mind going elbow-to-elbow with the mostly tourist and food blogger crowd that at least seem to inhabit the place my first visit. All my visit did was remind me that I really should make even more burgers at home. The cost would be as minimal and it would me a lot easier time and convenience-wise. And I make a damn excellent burger, I must say!

Hey, maybe I should open up my own burger place in the city…!

Bun Apple Tea!

KACnyc


Steak 'n Shake Signature on Urbanspoon


Steak ‘n’ Shake Signature | 1695 Broadway (Bet. 53st & 54th Sts.) | 212.247.6584 | steaknshake.com | |

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