SECOND POST – March 25, 2012 – MNS POLL NAMES FIFTH BEST RESTAURANT IN MICHIGAN:  Ludmilla Effervescent-Mangelwurzel, food critic and nutritionist, special to MNS Cultural Page.

The name is not on everyone’s list and it does not roll off the tongue, but, the STEAK AND SHAKE, has been voted Fifth Best Restaurant in a poll conducted by the Ecclesiastical Epicurean Society in Ecorse, Michigan.  Five Hundred adults and thirty adolescents participated in a blind study of, well, blind people, standing on Jefferson Avenue during the “Brooklyn Sign Language Convention for Esperanto Speakers”.   When asked in Esperanto to choose between Tribute, Carl’s Chop House, Ritz Carlton, Salvatore Scallopini, Joe Muer’s, the Cracked Crab or Steak and Shake, the latter garnered almost 99% of the vote.

The gleaming white stucco exterior reminds of the sunny avenues of Miami with a dash of panache. The Albert Kahn Institute designed the daring architecture.

Like so many modest eateries,  Steak and Shake offers a convenient trash bin at the front door and occasional local newspaper machines.  The shrubbery is neat, manicured and inviting.  Its white exterior was intended to seem family-friendly – no purple horrors here, no!, only the promise of a dining experience like nowhere else. 

What do they serve?  Simple elegance. That’s what.  You can try their beef vegetable soup which is unique in that it bursts with the scent of carrots, leeks and delicious cubes of beef drifting inside a broth which can only be described as totally adequate. The soup is properly spiced with a hint of parsley, sage,  rosemary and thyme.

But the burgers are intense here.  Grilled to perfection and sitting inside a bun properly halved for the task of presentation, sitting under a slice of onion and tomato and a leaf of lettuce and lovingly smothered in catsup and mustard, this majestic invention can compete with anything at the Telway Restaurant on Michigan Avenue. (The Telway is the Second Best Restaurant in Michigan according to our poll).  But the french fries are just perfect.  It has been said by H.L. Mencken that “deep in every American’s heart is a love for shoestring fries.”  Cato has said the same thing.  The Steak and Shake ff’s are just heavenly.  Fried to a sublime golden crispness, they linger on the plate without wilting or transmogrifying into disgusting, pasty, barbarous Spackle pudding.

At night, the Steak and Shake takes on a surreal appearance thanks to the sly designing skills of Mr. Kahn and Associates. Even the acoustics are phenomenal.

This all-American classic needs no poetry or introduction; as former President Bill Clinton once said: “It is what it is”.   

The shakes are ample and of high quality.  No slouching here.  They are frothy with great dairy flavor.  The blending machines are cleaned every week and inspected for salmonella!  Employees who test positive for marijuana use are discharged from work in a public display of degradation officiated by the store manager during which the offending miscreant crawls from table to table and stool to stool begging the (usually unsympathetic) throng of customers for forgiveness.  After that he is defrocked and sent scurrying to the nearest bus stop.  This ceremony has become very popular in most of the Steak and Shake outlets.

Steak and Shake is located wherever it is found, usually in largely white areas across from malls.  It has recently been acquired by a cartel made up of members of the Syrian National Council and the Free Syrian Army.  In an interview recently with the Mercury News Service, former Colonel Riad Al-As’ad declared that it was his right to “plan for his future and the future of the revolution”.  It was revealed later that the colonel’s application for asylum in the U.S. was being treated “sympathetically and warmly” and that his diversion of public contributions for the Cheaper Syrian Army to the purchase of the Steak and Shake operation in the U.S. was “clever and far-sighted”, according to Ivana Snorkling of the State Department. 

Would you buy a hamburger from this man?  Sure you would.  He’s now everybody’s favorite American: “Mr. Steak and Shake”. 
And you should be informed that every Tuesday night is “Ladies Night” and the local Steak and Shake.  Females who can prove their gender get two hamburgers for the price of one.  Men who come in drag are subject to arrest and physical abuse, whether they like it or not.

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