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VegasEats: Steak & Shake at South Point

By Chuckmonster on Monday, 2nd April 2012 3:58pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 12


Steak & Shake at South Point arrived in Las Vegas on a tidal wave of hype, claiming to be a champion, not just a challenger to the Vegas burger crown. Being a burgermeister beyond compare, my tastebuds trumped my tin ear to PR hype machines.

Steak & Shake occupies a small corner in the far end of the South Point casino floor, which my nose tells me is near a movie theatre popcorn machine. As expected, the place was packed but we were seated after only a few minutes of standing around.

Decor is typically the 1980's version of what a 1950's diner looked like - black & white checkerboard flooring, vintage soda jerk uniforms and the usual accoutrements. The menu is a bit more expansive than what similarly themed restaurants offer (Johnnie Rockets, Cafe 50's, In N Out etc.)

Steak N Shake Menu Shakes

The shake menu offers the ability to combine any of their "classic flavors" or try a specialty milk shake. I can't even decipher how to pronounce "Vanocolate." "Orcha", "Choragne", "Hershilla". Combining the "specialty" shakes could give you such great names as "Butt Cream" or "Chocolate Covered Fudge Finger."

Steak N Shake Menu Steakbur

Wisconsin Buttery? Does it come with a side of lipitor?

I'm sure Carl's Jr. and Johnnie Rockets blush seeing the "Western BBQ N' Bacon Steakburger" a direct copy of their "Double Western Bacon" and the "Smokehouse Burger" on the menu.

Steak N Shake Menu Franks

For the non-burgeristas, S&S offers "Genuine Chili" - including the trashy classic "Chili Mac Supreme" - a mouthwatering array of "Classic Melts" - including the don't-call-San-Francisco-Frisco-or-a-local-will-punch-you "Frisco Melt" patty melt on Sourdough - some "Signature Steak Franks" - halved hot dogs with various toppings - and White Castle style "Steakburger Shooters."

Steak N Shake Slawdog

Miss Monkay ordered the Carolina Slaw Steak Frank, a hot dog sliced down the middle covered in cole slaw. If there is one pet peeve I have, it is when hot dogs or sausages are cut lengthwise and grilled openly. Doing this defeats the entire purpose of a sausage... the casings are meant to hold the meat together and let the meat boil in its own juice. Yes, it takes a little longer to cook this way, but the explosion of juicy flavor is what makes a sausage a sausage. Doing it the other way cooks all of the fat and flavor out of the meat turning it into a dried up quasi patty of meat with casings stuck to one side.

That being said, the Carolina Slaw Dog was passable. The watery slaw lacked the punch of vinegar or the sweetness to smooth it out.

Steak N Shake Mintshake

The mint shake was certainly delicious. If there was a complaint it was that the viscosity of the shake was stronger than the strength of the straw... the straw collapsed before the shake could be sucked out of the glass. When it did finally melt enough to be slurped, it was fabulous.

Steak N Shake Burgerfries

Dutifully, I ordered the "Western BBQ N' Bacon Steakburger" with the full intention of comparing it to the aforementioned versions I've enjoyed regularly at Steak & Shake's competitors. Perhaps the most shocking part of the first bite was how tender and juicy it was.

Steak N Shake Burger

The bun was incredibly soft and fluffy, burger was slightly pink in the middle, the diced crispy fried onions melted into the burger without having to do the usual onion ring battle, the hickory smoked bacon was crispy yet moist and the whole thing was bathed in the perfect amount of BBQ sauce. Yum.

Steak & Shake was certainly quite good, but not a revelatory experience in burgerdom as the hype machine would lead you to believe. For my money, you're still better served at BLT Burger at Mirage, Holstein's at Cosmopolitan or one of the Five Guys Burgers and Fries locations outside of the tourist corridor.

Tagged: vegas eats   burgers   south point   


Comments & Discussion:

It should be noted that the Johnny Rockets version mentioned here, "The Smokehouse", is a rip-off of the forever loved Apple Pan's Hickory burger. In fact, all of Johnny Rockets is a rip-off of Apple Pan.

Steak & Shake does have good burgers, as I've driven a few exits south of my exit off of the interstate to grab a triple steakburger after a night out and wasn't in the mood for Waffle House, McDonald's or Krystal (back when we still had a Krystal up the street from my place). I've never been a big fan of their fries, as more often than not, I got cold fries, which are not good.

I'm not sure Steak 'n Shake is ripping off anyone. It's been around since the '30s and has locations all over the Midwest. I was pretty pumped when they put one in my semi-southern town a couple years ago. It's light-years better than other fast food joints.

But yeah, not in the same ballpark as BLT or Burger Bar.

Stripburger is still number one for me. Haven't tried Steak n Shake but if the hype is like In n Out I'm sure I'll be disappointed

There are multiple steak and shakes that I drive by on a daily basis. I wouldn't call it a must try burger, but if it's new go for it. I went to inn n out last trip to vegas because we dont have one in ohio.

I had the burger at Public House on my last trip. It takes the top of my list behind Holsteins, BLT and Burger Bar. Burgers. Vegas. Yum.

I live in Wisconsin and I have two comments.

(1) Wisconsin is BIG into butter on cheeseburgers. The Culver's chain started in Wisconsin, and places like Solly's in the Milwaukee suburb of Glendale are proud that a big ol' dollop of butter melts into every burger. And yes, I do have a standing Rx for Lipitor.

(2) Steak n Shake has entered and left Wisconsin on two different occasions. My opinion is that it is a little too expensive when compared to Culver's or Hardee's (two of the more premium burger chains).

(3) OK, I can't count. Though I would certainly consider Steak n Shake of at the South Point, in my opinion an excellent burger is at Rum Runners on Tropicana. In addition to it being fabulous, you can get in and out much more quickly than trying to navigate a Strip casino to get there.

Since I have a Steak n shake here hitting one in Vegas isnt something I would be interested in but their food is good. In Vegas I make it a point to hit In n Out since they haven't expanded past the west coast, Holstein's and Cheeseburger in Paradise inside Planet Hollywood. Since we no longer have a Fatburger in chicago i would hit there also.

^In-N-Out has expanded into Texas, and they're doing quite well. I love me some Steak-N-Shake, I'm glad they're in finally in Vegas.

Diced crispy fried onions,now we're talkin'.

I like when a place has as good of a hot dog as their hamburger.If it does I will get a burger and a side hot dog instead of the fries and shakes.I wonder what their reason is for slicing the hot dog.

IMHO, 5 guys is probably the best chain mentioned above (comments or story). But if we are limiting this comparison to chains, Wayback Burgers is in my opinion the best, and I have tried all of the contenders mentioned above.

Butter on a burger....hmmmmmm...I've heard of mixing a little into the meat mixture, but just melted on top?

I actually prefer my hotdogs split and griddled. Gives the middle a nice bite and it gets a bit of the excess grease out. Hotdogs being a precooked, homogeneous mixture without a natural casing I don't think there's much that can be lost.

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