Tag Archives: Shakes

In Search of Lost Steakburgers

This summer, I took a class on “Reading and Writing Food” at Columbia. Over the next few weeks, I will post a sampling of essays composed for that class.

note 7/12/11: Steak ‘n Shake is coming to New York! Read about it here.

In Search of Lost Steakburgers

“I was twelve going on thirteen when I first saw a dead human being. It happened in 1960, a long time ago. . .although sometimes it doesn’t seem that long to me.” —Stephen King, “The Body”

When Dan the Manager got busted on a coke binge, the Steak ‘n Shake gang wasn’t surprised. We had all left St. Louis after high school; I was living in New York, Josh in Virginia, Jack in North Carolina. Over vacations we visited our adolescent haunt, sipping watery milkshakes and polishing off bowls of bright red chili. Yet, even a steakburger—topped with guacamole and chopped onions and pepperjack cheese—couldn’t bring back the Indian summer of our teenage years. First, our favorite waitress, Shannon, quit and went to college at Northeast Missouri State. Tani’qua got fired and works at Walmart. Sean disappeared, too—he once banged a Mexican gangster’s girlfriend and narrowly escaped drugland execution. Or so he said. But Dan was always around with a grin twitching under his pederastic mustache and a joke to lighten the burden of time unregained. Continue reading


Filed under Chains, Essays, St. Louis

Summer in the City: Marshmallow Peanut Butter Chocolate Shake at Deluxe

While eating breakfast this morning at Deluxe, I watched a man step behind the bar and start fiddling with the shake machine. I always sit at the counter, so I saw him grab a jar of Skippy Peanut Butter and a tub of Marshmallow fluff. Finishing off my three eggs, potatoes, and toast, I heard him chatting with another diner. “This is a special shake,” he explained, adding milk and a dash of chocolate syrup to the silver shake canister. “And no, I don’t work here.” “Anymore,” he added, grinning like a lazy cat as he processed his magic mix. He poured off two shot glasses worth of the Marshmallow Peanut Butter Chocolate Shake and handed one to me. Continue reading

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Filed under Columbia University, New York City, Restaurants

Island Burgers and Shakes Opening Uptown Outpost

From the “Hippo” to the “Hermosa Beach,” Island Burgers & Shakes serves massive, bloody patties to Hell’s Kitchen cruisers with insatiable appetites. Now, Island Burgers is bringing their eclectic menu uptown. Citybiz reports that they just signed a lease for a spot at 422 Amsterdam Avenue between 80 and 81st streets. This second location will offer 64 different burgers and chicken churascos.  Go for the Route 66—avocado, Swiss cheese, bacon, and dark rye bread—or Slick Willie’s—ham, relish, American cheese, bacon, sour cream, barbecue sauce, and onion. Continue reading

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Filed under Columbia University, New York City, News, Restaurants

Cheeburger Opens With a Rocky Start

Erica C., University of Delaware

When Cheeburger Cheeburger first opened a few weeks ago after a nearly 9 month delay, anxious students were clamoring to get their first sips of milkshakes and bites of burger. But in my own first experience, this crowd wasn’t the only thing causing chaos at Cheeburger, which seemed discombobulated, disorganized and disinterested in serving customers in a quick and efficient manner. Continue reading

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Filed under Chains, Erica C., Restaurants, Reviews, University of Delaware

Mel’s Doesn’t Raise the Bar for Morningside Burgers

Just over a week old, Mel’s Burger Bar (2850 Broadway), is already a neighborhood institution, or so the energetic waitstaff enthusiastically professes. “We’re known for The Original,” one waitresses says, describing the first “Burgerlicious” burger on the menu. Served on white toast with lettuce, tomato, and pickles, The Original pays homage to Louis’ Lunch in Connecticut, the self-proclaimed “birthplace of the hamburger sandwich.” Unfortunately, there is nothing particularly original about Mel’s, a restaurant that serves up engineered atmosphere and unnecessarily cute diner food to starry-eyed Columbians. Continue reading

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Filed under Columbia University, New York City, Restaurants, Reviews