I’ve been a fan of Steak ‘n Shake since the earliest days of the blog, and their seasonal Oktoberfest Steakburger is among my favorite fast food burgers on the market. They’re pretty reliable when it comes to providing me with new and interesting burgers to try, and they’ve outdone themselves again with the Pepperoni Pizza Steakburger, an attempt to combine both pizza and burgers into a single gesalt pleasure. Well, let’s get to it!

I know a ton of people who get pedantic about what is and isn't a sandwich, or a pizza, or BBQ or what have you. Just enjoy the crazy food times we live in.

I know a ton of people who get pedantic about what is and isn’t a sandwich, or a pizza, or BBQ or what have you. Just enjoy the crazy food times we live in.

The Pepperoni Pizza Steakburger is pretty obvious, in design. It’s two patties topped with mozzarella cheese, pizza sauce and pepperoni slices, and then served on a pretzel bun. It’s a nice idea, and executed decently well. The pepperoni is pretty good, and there’s plenty of cheese and sauce. It’s a little greasy, so the pretzel bun is a nice choice to help soak up excess grease. It’s also kind of heavy, with all the meat and cheese, so make sure you have a big appetite.

The Pepperoni Pizza Steakburger runs for about $5.50 with fries and a drink. I haven’t had a ton to say about it because it’s pretty average, overall. If you came up with this in your house, it would be the coolest thing you ever made, but as a restaurant offering, it’s inexplicably a little lackluster. Still, I’ve ordered it more than once, so I guess I enjoy it, so I’ll give it a recommendation.

Oktoberfest has come and gone, but a number of restaurants and sandwich shops still seem to be running burgers and other items based on the German beer festival. I’m not sure why. Maybe they’ve been surprise hits. Maybe the restaurants are looking for a better return on special-order ingredients. Whatever the reason, as long as they keep offering Oktoberfest burgers, I’ll keep eating them. This time, let’s talk about Steak n Shake’s version.

The fact that Steak n Shake isn’t offering a beer milkshake to pair with is a serious oversight, I’ll admit.

The Steak n Shake Oktoberfest Steakburger tops two patties with Swiss cheese, sliced ham, and onions sauteed in spicy mustard, all on a pretzel roll. I was very impressed. I’m always a fan of adding ham or other meats to a burger, and both times I’ve ordered it they’ve been pretty generous with the slices. The real standout, though, is the onion and mustard mix. I’m a fan of spicy foods, but primarily in the context of a spicy flavor, as opposed to heat for heat’s sake (the kind of thing you get with hot wings, a lot of the time). This was somewhat hot, but in a different way than a burger with jalapenos or other peppers. Spicy mustard is really underused on the fast food/chain scene, and it was a welcome addition. The pretzel bun was decent but unremarkable, I doubt it’s one they’ve used before. All in all, a great sandwich.

The Oktoberfest Steakburger runs for about $5.50 with fries, slightly more expensive than the average Steakburger. However, it’s well worth the price, and I would highly recommend having one before they disappear.

I’ve always had a soft spot of Steak ‘n Shake, as the archive will attest. One of my very first reviews was of a couple of their Steakburgers. I’ve been there a couple times lately and I wanted to cover some ground, so I’m grouping a couple of their entrees together for this one.

Honestly, more of a cheeseburger than a grilled cheese anyway.

Let’s start with the bad news: the 3D Grilled Cheese. I know, I know, it sounds amazing. But strictly speaking, all sandwiches they serve exist in three dimensions, so that’s not really an innovation. The 3D Grilled Cheese includes American, Swiss and Pepperjack cheeses melted on two patties with their signature Frisco sauce, between two buns which are served upside-down for some reason. Here’s a secret in sandwich prep: you usually only need one cheese. Sometimes you can combine a more flavorful option like cheddar or feta with a softer base like mozzarella or American, but that’s advanced stuff. Cheeses have different melting points, flavors and consistencies, and throwing too many together on a sandwich kind of makes a mess. I wouldn’t recommend this one. (NOTE: None of my issues come from the preparation of it. This steakburger was prepared by Sohrab Foroozesh, a prince among men and a masterful comedian. He’s definitely a man who understands the true beauty of sandwiches.)

The kind of burger you bring home to meet your parents.

Next on the slate is the Royale Steakburger. A holdover from their regionally-inspired burgers, the Royale takes a deluxe steakburger with all the fixins (bacon, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, mayo) and tops it with a fried egg. I’m a fan of clever use of eggs, and the quality of the fried egg was surprisingly good. A new sauce might’ve helped set it apart from other burgers a little bit, but it’s certainly a passable entry into the Steak ‘n Shake menu.

The darkhorse of my Steak ‘n Shake trips.

Last, but certainly not least, is the new Jalapeno Crunch Steakburger. This burger adds Pepperjack cheese, jalapenos slices, salsa, chipotle mayo, and fried onions. I’m generally not a fan of sandwiches which are hot for heat’s sake. This one isn’t. The onions and mayo cut the heat, leaving the flavor of the jalapenos and salsa intact. The burger has a full flavor on par with the Western BBQ and Bacon (Steak ‘n Shake’s masterpiece). I was actually a little bit sad when I finished it. Definitely one of my new favorites.

All of these burgers are about $5 with fries. You can try whichever ones you like, but I highly, HIGHLY recommend the Jalapeno Crunch. Hopefully it’ll evolve into a permanent menu item, but don’t risk it.

You may recall my pleasant surprise at Steak ‘n’ Shake’s Carolina Slaw hot dog.  I was impressed by the quality of the frank itself, as well as by the clever use of ingredients.  I’ve been back a couple times to sample some more of the line, and it’s been up and down.  I haven’t tried all of them, but I did sample the Chicago Style and the Cheesy Cheddar.  Here’s what I thought.

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A while back, Steak ‘n Shake introduced a line of hot dogs topped with various cheeses, sauces and other stuff.  They’re not unlike their regionally themed burgers in terms of ingredients, and come with fries and a drink.  I’ve been dragging my feet on trying one.  Hot dogs aren’t a super high quality meal, and while they’re a staple of ball parks and food courts, the idea of going out to eat and ordering one over a burger doesn’t seem too appealing to me.  I finally bit the bullet and decided to try the Carolina Slaw.

Third from the top.

And I’m really glad I did.  If you’re going to order a hot dog from a restaurant, Steak ‘n Shake is the place to do it.  While “signature steak franks” sounds a bit grandiose, but this is actually a genuinely high quality, tasty frank.  The Carolina Slaw’s hook is the addition of cole slaw and mustard.  It’s good cole slaw, and there’s plenty of it.  It adds a nice texture to the dog, and is light enough that it doesn’t overpower the meat.  All in all it’s a clever idea executed well with top shelf ingredients.

The Carolina Slaw, like other steak franks, runs for about $4-5 as a combo.  I’d definitely recommend the one I tried, and would be willing to try another one.  Like I said before, it’s rare that I recommend a hot dog from a restaurant that serves other things, but this is one to try.

Steak n Shake has long been a favorite of mine, and one of my earliest posts was a review of a couple of their Steakburgers.  I like to check in every couple of months to see what new sandwiches they’re offering.  One of the newest additions is the Portobello and Swiss Steakburger.  Ostensibly it’s part of the “burgers from different regions” theme they’ve been working with, like the new California Double, although I don’t know what region the mushroom and Swiss combination originated in.

The burger is actually pretty good.  Mushrooms and Swiss cheese is not a novel concept by any means, but it’s still executed well here. The Portobello mushrooms are a bit fresher than I’m used to, which was a pleasant suprise.  The steak patties are tasty, and the addition of carmelized onions and garlic mayo really round out the burger.  While it’s not quite on the level of the Western BBQ, the Portobello and Swiss is a flavorful, enjoyable burger.

Like most Steakburgers, the Portobello and Swiss runs for around $5 as a combo.  I hope to stop by Steak n Shake soon for their take on the Royale (a burger with a fried egg on it), but if you’re in the mood for the old mushroom and Swiss combination, it’s worth checking out.

The first review I ever posted on this site was one regarding two new Steak and Shake steakburgers, which were sort of regional specialties.  Well, it seems that in the interim Steak and Shake has released a number of these new burgers, and I have failed to keep up.  I apologize.  In an effort to rectify this mistake, I have a new Steak and Shake review, the Guacamole Steakburger.

Authentic-ish!!!

Authentic-ish!!!

 The Guacamole Steakburger doesn’t exactly seem to be in keeping with the whole “regional” theme, although it is somewhat mexican-themed.  It includes two patties, lettuce, tomato, red onion, pepper jack cheese, a spicy sauce (I think Chipotle, given its prominent buzzword status lately), and of course the guacamole.  The burger is pretty good.  The guacamole does taste fresh and flavorful, and there’s plenty of it on the sandwich.  The spicy sauce, which is so prominent in restaurant menus these days it’s become a cliché, is satisfyingly understated.  The pepper jack cheese didn’t add too much to the sandwich, but overall it was an interesting blend of flavors.

The Guacamole Steakburger is a nice addition to Steak and Shake’s sandwich repertoire.  It’s satisfying, and not as pricey as you might expect a sandwich with guacamole to be.  Steak and Shake also introduced a Chipotle Steakburger and a Cheddar Steakburger, I hope to review those in the near future.

Time for a review!!  Steak n Shake is generally a safe bet for sandwiches, with a menu of upscale burgers, club sandwiches and the like.  Their claims to fame are their Steakburgers, high grade hamburgers claimed to be made from “the finest of steaks”, and their milkshakes, which are available in myriad flavors and styles.  They’re currently offering two new Steakburgers, the Western BBQ and Bacon Steakburger and the Wisconsin Buttery Steakburger.  Let’s see how they stack up.

The Western BBQ and Bacon Steakburger follows a couple current trends.  It’s has bacon and barbeque sauce, of course, but it also has the obligatory crispy fried onion bits all new burgers seem to have.  It has chopped onions as well, but they actually complement the sandwich pretty nicely.  The barbeque sauce is slightly sweet, and the sandwich overall has a distinctive flavor.  If I’m not mistaken, the barbeque sauce is also available on a smaller BBQ Shooter Steakburger, but I would recommend springing for the featured sandwich.

The other new burger, the Wisconsin Buttery Steakburger, is less exciting.  The gimmick of this sandwich is the copious amounts of butter it’s cooked in, which is none-too-subtly explained in the description (it uses the words “layered” and “slathered”).  The idea of cooking a burger in butter is not new; the Culver’s franchise is centered around their “butter burgers”.  Aside from the patties, which are slightly sweet from the butter, there isn’t much else here, just cheese and some chopped onions.  A sauce or an additional vegetable would’ve been nice to help fill out the burger.

So there you have it.  Two new burgers, both available with fries for under $5 apiece.  The Western BBQ and Bacon is certainly worth trying, while the Wisconsin Buttery is less impressive.  If you’re really into butter, head to Culver’s instead.

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