Steak 'N Shake is one of those places that Eric and I have always tried to hit when we visit Florida, because we missed Friscos and shakes in our lives up here. And aside from just enjoying the food, Steak 'N Shake has been a big part of our past. My very first job was as a waitress at Steak 'N Shake in St. Petersburg, FL - in fact, I started working at the Gateway Mall location right after it opened, when they still even had busboys. It was a good job for a 16-year-old kid, because I generally only worked a four-hour shift after school, and would usually walk out with $40-50 in tips. I don't think there are many places where a teenager can make $10+ an hour (and way back when in 1998, no less!), so I was pretty happy. And it was so nice to have that income, especially because the whole reason I got the job in the first place was so that I could afford to take my new boyfriend Eric as my date to my school's homecoming dance my junior year. You know, this homecoming dance:
Ah, two kids in love!
Eric lived very close to the Steak 'N Shake, and as our relationship progressed, he would often go for a run in the evenings (he did run track and cross-country in high school, you know) and would stop by the S'NS to visit with me briefly during my breaks. Awww, young love.
Eventually, Eric himself also got suckered into donning a little red bow tie and working at Steak 'N Shake with me. We worked well together, except when he would slack off on his sidework. Tsk, tsk! But he was a great server and the "who was better" question is still hotly debated to this day.
And it wasn't just the two of us - in fact, all of our siblings also worked at Steak 'N Shake at one point or another. We didn't all work at the same location, but we all got that lovely work experience. Not to mention, the crew was largely made up of others my age, so I had many friends work there, too.
My sister Heather and me "hard at work" in 2003
Given all this steakburger history, I was pretty psyched when I heard that Steak 'N Shake was coming to the Big Apple. Naturally, it is located just blocks from our former NYC apartment (because it would come to our neighborhood after we leave), right next to the Letterman show. It is actually a "Steak 'N Shake Signature," meaning 1) no red bow ties, 2) limited menu, 3) limited seating, and 4) they serve beer and wine! When they first opened, they gave away free S'NS for a year to the first 150 people in line - and people camped out for days, even those who had never before tasted S'NS food. New Yorkers are crazy, man.
The New York City Steak 'N Shake
Yesterday, Eric and I had lunch together and finally checked out this fine establishment for ourselves. Although it opened weeks ago and is located only a few blocks from our offices, we have put off our visit thanks to long lines and wait times just to get in. We didn't have too long to wait for lunch, and we were excited to check it out.
These S'NS workers get to wear snazzy red and black polo shirts, not the red bow ties and black aprons of my day
Ah, there's that logo I know and love. "In sight it must be right!"
The food was all just as we hoped. We each got a Frisco Melt (my all-time favorite) with fries (and a side of cheese sauce for the fries, of course), and a milkshake (mint cookies and cream for me). Everything tasted authentic, and perhaps even better than the Florida S'NS we're used to. We were quite pleased!
Now it is so nice to have a new lunch option for the work week, that is also both a taste of home and a trip down memory lane!
Are you a Steak 'N Shake fan? What's your favorite S'NS order?