Review: 7×7 Steakburger from Steak ‘n Shake

It’s 4:45 on a dark, rainy Saturday morning.  Why is my alarm clock going off? I should be sleeping now. Did I set it by accident? Oh yeah, it’s waking me up so I can drive down to Steak ‘n Shake and try their 7×7 Steakburger. The new Up All Night menu has me up before the crack of dawn to grab what any red-blooded American would obviously want to start their day with; a full pound of beef and melted cheese. Sarcasm is just as effective as caffeine, you know.7x7 Steak n ShakeSteak ‘n Shake describes the 7×7 Steakburger like this:

It’s 7 Steakburgers™ and 7 slices of American cheese- a one pounder!

Two weeks ago, I tried to order the 7×7. Even though I offered to pay any price, Steak ‘n Shake told me no deal. The burger is only available between midnight and 6am. This is why I was awake at such an ungodly hour. After finally getting up, to my car, on the freeway, and arriving at Steak ‘n Shake, I was ready to meet this beast head on. Now the easy part was over. That last sentence was foreshadowing, if you couldn’t tell. After parking my car and walking inside I notice something, there is no one here. And I don’t just mean customers, but staff as well. After waiting to be seated for about ten minutes to no avail, I decide to wander around the restaurant. No one in the kitchen. No one in the dining room. Hell, there wasn’t even anyone in the mens room. So naturally I did what anyone would do, I started taking pictures of this ghost restaurant. For a minute I thought that was all I would be able to contribute to the review.Steak n ShakeFinally I saw a server. Though she just ran past me and out a side door, hopped into a running car and drove off. At this point I start to wonder if I had walked into the store post-robbery and the staff had all been murdered and tossed in the walk-in. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case, and another server drinking coffee came out from the back of the restaurant. He gave me a wave signaling that someone would help me soon. Oddly enough, that was the last time I would ever see him, or any server for that matter. Shortly after that, a cook came out from the bowels of Steak ‘n Shake, sat me and took my order. What planet have I landed on, I thought to myself. Was this all a weird dream? About this time it was quarter to 6am and more customers started to show up. Unbeknownst to me, Steak ‘n Shake is an early bird, senior citizen haven. Nothing wrong with that, but this empty restaurant had quickly changed into a bunch of old people with canes and walkers roaming the front of the store. The cook quickly sat everyone and gave them coffee. Where was the server? Surprisingly, the cook then quickly showed up with my order. I’d forgotten I was even here to review a novelty burger, and thought I had stumbled into some kind of odd, fast food Silent Hill.  So how was it? I’ll be damned but the burger was awesome. Stupid, but awesome. 7x7 SteakburgerThe seven Steakburger patties and seven slices of cheese formed this melty, beefy, self-basting tower of delicious. It was hot, drippy, messy and pretty much everything one could ask for in a burger. I was also really impressed with how fresh the lettuce, tomato and onion were. I had no room for them on my sandwich, but kudos for that. lto and picklesSteak ‘n Shake’s patties are pretty small, so don’t go thinking this is some mammoth burger that belongs in a food challenge. It isn’t. Imagine a McDouble with seven burger patties and you should get the idea of how big this is. At $7.77 it’s a tremendous value as well. Plus, it comes with fries. I failed to receive my fries, but even still, it’s worth the money.7x7 BurgerNormally this is where I would wrap up my review, but there is more. When the cook delivered my food, the server tray it was carried on was disgusting. Underneath my plate sat old fries, bits of lettuce, crumbs, various sauce spills and wet spots. Usually I would refuse my food and get the hell out of there, but I’ve never seen anything like that before. I’m kind of stumped as to what to even say about it. If the server tray was that foul, one can only imagine what lurks in the rest of the place. When I went to pay, there was a problem. No money in the cash drawer. The cook ( yes, I’m still being waited on by him) says to hold on for a second as he runs to the back. A FEW MINUTES LATER, the manager shows up to deal with the problem. After fumbling around she comes to the same conclusion, THERE IS NO MONEY IN THE TILL. She then runs to the back and comes back with a fresh ten dollar bill as change for my $20. There is still one more problem, I need smaller bills so I can tip. She finally runs to the back again, grabs smaller bills, hands them to me, I leave a tip and leave as fast as possible.

Steak 'n Shake 7x7 BurgerWhy was this review such a pain in the ass? My Five Guy’s theory pretty much covers this one. It states that the farther one is away from a restaurants place of origin, the more inconsistencies one finds. I love Five Guys and have for years, but my local shop was the fifth one built. I remember when they dared to travel 35 miles south and opened that store. The quality has always been on par with the original store just outside of DC. They have since expanded all over the country and people seem to have some quality issues outside of this area. People say they don’t understand the hype, and I’m guessing it’s because the founders from Northern Virginia can’t keep tabs on what their franchisees are doing on the other side of the country. In-N-Out refuses to expand east beyond west Texas for this exact reason. I loved In-N-Out as a kid and every time I travel back home to California, it’s just as great as I remember. If there was one in JFK International, who knows how the quality would suffer. When I did my first Steak ‘n Shake review last year, I caught a lot of flak for giving it a just par rating. I’m sure if you’re in the midwest, where Steak ‘n Shake is from, it’s great. But here in Virginia, where we only have two separated by 50 miles, and the next closest is hundreds of miles away, it’s pretty weak. Sure my 7×7 was great, and if you aren’t in VA I say check it out, but I cannot in good conscience tell anyone to go to the VA location. Phew, I feel better with that off my chest. While this gets my award for worst review to write ever, you might be surprised at the scores. I did love the burger.

Pros: Really great burger. Excellent value. Less of a novelty than a Doritos Locos Taco.

Cons: I just want to order tasty food, take pics, eat and then leave. Why couldn't I do that? Is that too much to ask for? It also sucks that this burger is only available from midnight to 6am.

Taste: 9.25/10
Value: 9.75/10
Grubbing on-the-go: Optional. Have at it if you want to cause a pileup.
Price: $7.77

Overall GrubGrade: 9.50/10

More Info: http://www.SteaknShake.com
Nutrition Facts:
Calories - 1330
Total Fat - 98 grams
Saturated Fat - 45 grams
Cholesterol - 290 milligrams
Sodium - 4490 milligrams
Carbs - 34 grams
Dietary Fiber - 1 gram
Sugars - 6 grams
Protein - 74 grams