Steak 'n Shake. Famous for Steakburgers
Very cool restaurant that is quite common in the Midwest, and fairly common in parts of the Southeast, except for South Carolina. There are no Steak 'n Shake restaurants in South Carolina. All Steak 'n Shakes are open all night. As such, they attract various and sundry freaks and weirdoes. My kind of people!
While Steak 'n Shake does serve traditional breakfast food, it is only served during "breakfast hours". Their other offerings are available at all hours. They serve steakburgers, patty melts, chicken, and really good chili. You can get the chili in six different variations involving spaghetti, onions, cheese, crackers, and other diverse elements. Most items can be ordered as a platter which means that you get two side dishes with your entree. Their side dishes include such common items as french fries, (which are quite thin, and not very good unless they are smothered with chili and cheese. Then they are quite good, but extremely messy) cole slaw, and cottage cheese. You can also get a side order of chili, or the famous bean crock. This is a small brown earthenware crock filled to the brim with yummy baked beans.
One of the nice things about Steak 'n Shake, at least to me, is that they have a jar of pepper sauce on every table (peppers soaked in vinegar, not Tabasco) that you can put on your chili, or your steakburger, or maybe your milkshake. I don't recommend that last one, although their milkshakes are also really good. Made with real ice cream. They also have many other wondrous ice cream creations.
Finally, I must mention Steak 'n Shake's distinctive commercials. They tend to be quite amusing, and sometimes a little surreal. A common theme is someone saying "bean crock", very fast, at the end of a commercial. Another well-known phrase: "Why do we slice our pickles the long way? (dramatic pause, turns to coworker) Hey! Why do we slice our pickles the long way?"
All in all, an excellent place to gather after a hard night's dancing, or any other non mainstream pursuit. The food is good, and a person can eat there for about $7, including tip. The staff tend to be friendly and interesting. They also don't blink when a gaggle of spiky-haired Goths walk in in their finest chains and leather. This is a big plus.