Pros: Wonderful shakes half price between 2 and 4. Good pancakes. Tasty steakburgers.
Cons: Poor breakfast service. Either wrong coffee or food not to temperature.
Monday morning we couldn't decide on having breakfast at home, or go out to eat. I looked in the local paper, and leaflets I had in the house. We decided to try Steak 'n Shake.
We have passed it for the past 20 or more years, and never eaten there. The pullout I had showed 'All you can eat pancakes' for $3.99, breakfast hours, dine-in only. Len loves my pancakes so we drove to Port Richey. This location is opposite Gulf View Square Mall.
The parking lot was almost empty, and we could see inside the restaurant. There were only a couple of tables in use. We entered the restaurant, and a head from behind the counter said, that she would be with us shortly.
She seated us, gave us menus, and asked what we were drinking. I asked for decaffeinated coffee, and Len had water. She brought out food to another table, and then came back with our drinks. She asked if I took cream, and had 2 with her.
I had the leaflet in my hand, and said that it was a shame, that the coupons were out of date. She told me that they still accepted them. Nice. We were ready to order. Len chose the all you can eat pancakes, and I had the Homestyle Breakfast. I had 2 eggs, either bacon or sausage, and I went for sausage, hash browns or silver dollar potatoes, I went for the later, and either a homemade biscuit, toast, or bagel. I chose the biscuit. The regular price was $4.99, and I had a coupon for $3.99.
This is where our long wait came in. There wasn't a host, or a Manager on when we arrived, just the cook and the server. 2 tables came in after us, and the server spent her time taking care of them. I drank my coffee almost immediately, as it was the first of the day. I waited for 5 minutes for coffee, and she didn't come near us. After 10 minutes I had my cup at the edge of the table, and tried to get her attention. This didn't work.
She brought our food out, and that is when she noticed my empty cup, and brought the coffee pot over. She did ask if we had everything we needed. I had jelly and honey for my biscuit. Len had asked for sugar free syrup, and she had brought 2 small pots of regular. As I said that he needed sugar free, she realized, and brought it back to our table. She told us that she would put an order in, for 2 more pancakes, as they take about 10 minutes.
My eggs didn't look the best. The white was hard on the edges, but the yokes were nice, and runny. The sausage patty was tasty, but only luke warm. I thought about returning it, and then decided with only one server, I might get it back after I had finished breakfast. The silver dollar potatoes were good. A little greasy, so I squeezed them between a napkin, but loved the taste. The biscuit was huge, and came with a dish of butter, that had pretty much melted next to the biscuit, or it may have been under a heater to keep the breakfast warm. I went to drink my coffee, and noticed that she hadn't brought cream the second time. I ate, and kept looking for her. Finally she went behind the counter, and I got up, and asked her for more cream. She nodded, and then went off to take an order from another table. I had a long wait before I caught her eye, and she remembered the cream.
Len loved his pancakes, and the first 3 disappeared so quickly. I gave him some of my runny butter as it didn't appeal to me at all.
Our server came back with 2 pancakes for Len, and I asked for more decaf coffee. I had saved enough cream for this cup.
Len was halfway through the pancakes when she came up to talk to us, and Len asked what the record was, for pancakes. She told us 15. So I said to Len, 'Do you want another 2', and he said 'Sure'.
I checked around the restaurant while he was eating. I loved the brightness of the restaurant. The red on the top part of the walls, with the gray on the lower part. The colorful white/red/black booths, and the red tables, with black chairs that had red seats. The windows were huge, and made the place look bigger, and brighter. The kitchen area is open. Then in front of it, is a breakfast bar, with high stools.
While Len was waiting for the last of his pancakes I went to the restrooms. There were 2 stalls, which were clean. I loved that the waste basket was right next to the door, so that I could use my paper towel to open the door, and then throw it away.
As I came back she brought Len his pancakes, and there were 3 instead of 2. I was amazed that he ate 8 pancakes.
The Manager came in, and Len and I chatted to her. We told her it was our first time, and that we wanted to try the shakes, and steakburgers.
We paid the bill, which was $10.11. I thought this to be good value for the amount of food we had. I brought my biscuit home, as I have a really small appetite.
So yesterday we went back for 1/2 price Happy Hour, where shakes and drinks are half price from 2 to 4 p.m. It was just after 2, and I ordered the Turtle Caramel Nut Hand-Dipped Milk Shake. Len went for one of the 4 specials. He ordered a Double Steakburger with cheese 'n fries for $3.99. He had water with his meal.
There were at least 3 servers on, and we saw the Manager from Monday, so guessed that the service would be quick. The water came back immediately, and within 5 minutes we had the milk shake, and Len's meal.
The steakburger had onion, lettuce, tomato, pickle, and mayo on it. I got to try a little of the steakburger, and it had a good flavor. My milk shake was really good. It was vanilla, with the chocolate, caramel, nuts, whipped cream, and a cherry on the top. It came with a long handled spoon, and a straw. I used both, because it was thick enough for a spoon, but runny enough to get through the straw. It really did taste smooth, and creamy.
So there you have it. We did 2 trips, had breakfast, lunch/dinner, and a shake. That pretty much sums up their menu. They do have salads, chili, steak franks, and sandwiches too.
It is difficult to rate our 2 experiences. The breakfast one lacked staff, which put the server under pressure. Yesterday's experience was excellent service. We were in and out in 35 minutes. The food was good, and for that reason we will go back.
One footnote I wanted to make. 4 hours after eating, and drinking coffee at Steak 'n Shake, I had shaking in my stomach. This happens when I am given regular coffee instead of decaffeinated. It either had to be that, or it could have been the sausage patty that wasn't the correct temperature. I don't know how long it had been sitting, and where.
Service first day 3*. Yesterday 5*. Food first day 4*. Yesterday 5*. The mix up with the coffee or the temperature of the sausage 1*. This gives a 3.6* average.
We have found a new place for shakes, pancakes, and burgers, but I will not be having their coffee, or certain breakfast meals again.