Steak and Shake
Review by Diana, SuSu, MaceVindaloo, RuntEkwesh, Wraith6
Steak and Shake is odd in that they don't actually serve steak, and they are an inexpensive family diner type of place with a ubiquitous "sockhop" type theme. The decor is more like a very brightly lit tiled bathroom, and the cacophany can be intense. But that's sometimes as good as completely silence.
Our waiter told us his name is Rufus; how great is that? He was big, polite, and reminded us that the restaurant was open 24 hours, "so take your time in choosing." (He also made us want to play Bill & Ted electric guitar riffs; or perhaps to go on a mission to stop two angels from entering a church in New Jersey ...)
The menu clarified that they make "steakburgers" not steaks. The meat is good and flavorful and the thin patties are cooked well-done, and you can order it in burgers, as the base of a Philly cheesesteak sandwich, ground in chili, and in many sandwich perturbations. You order the main part of the meal, then you choose two "sides" or others for a surcharge. So a "platter" of the "original double steakburger" comes with pickles, lettuce, onions, tomato and condiments, and you can choose from a cup of chili or soup of the day, fries, onion rings (extra 59 cents), baked beans, coleslaw, salad, cottage cheese, and you can put cheese on any of it. All up, even with extras, it might run you $8 for a full meal; there are some combos which include a shake as well.
The shakes are super-thick and made with premium ice cream. Use the long-handled sundae spoon to scoop it up in the beginning, because sucking through the straw will give you a hernia, otherwise! There is a "side-by-side" shake where two viscous mixtures of different flavors are poured into the same glass, for those who can't decide on just one, but whom realize they shouldn't be drinking two huge shakes!
Service was prompt and Rufus was busy but good-natured. It was much more satisfying to eat here; dinner for three ended up costing us under $10 per person, including tax and tip. We couldn't get a single piece of moo for that in the other places along this strip of road in downtown Indy. It's usually crowded here with kids and families, so try to eat hear just after the normal dinnertime, unless you're ready for a long wait and potentially surly waitstaff (this happened to us when we were here for C3 ... but we're glad we returned this time to try it out after all.)
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