Steak n’ Shake specializes in burgers and milkshakes. The word “steak” applies to steakburgers and the milkshakes are hand-dipped.
As delicious as that sounds, Steak n’ Shake is not the best restaurant you’ll want to seek out if you’re trying to follow a strict keto diet.
In fact, eating out while trying to watch what you eat is not recommended in general because it’s often very hard to get the right ingredients for your dish, especially if you’re also tracking your macros. This is because you can do much better by making your own meals at home.
The good news is that Steak n’ Shake has several decent low-carb options if you know how to order them correctly. You’ll need to watch out for breaded foods and starchy side dishes, and opt for grilled meat and steamed broccoli instead.
In this guide, you’ll learn how to eat low carb at Steak n’ Shake.
Tips For Ordering at Steak n’ Shake
We don’t recommend eating out while you are on the ketogenic diet. This is because the keto diet is stricter than most diets and not all restaurants will work with you to meet these requirements.
Most American casual dine-in restaurants cater to a need for tasty food at an affordable price, which means that it’s hard to find high-quality food.
You can do much better for yourself by purchasing high-quality meats, cheeses, and low carb vegetables at the supermarket and preparing them at home using healthy oils and anti-inflammatory spices.
Most restaurants also use vegetable oils to cook with because they are cheaper than higher quality oils, such as olive oil, coconut oil, and even ghee.
Vegetable oils are highly inflammatory because they have been hydrogenated and heated to high temperatures. This means that many of their healthy nutrients have been killed off, turning them into empty calories. It also means that they contain trans fats and highly inflammatory omega 6 fatty acids.
Remember that many of the foods you’ll find at restaurants might be low carb, but they are not ketogenic.
That’s why we suggest to stick to your keto plan and prepare your meals at home if you can.
If you decide to enjoy a meal out and pick Steak n’ Shake as your restaurant of choice, then you’ll want to follow these tips to keep it low carb.
#1. Count your carbs
Not all restaurants offer up the nutritional information on their website, but Steak n’ Shake does. Use this to your advantage by checking the nutritional information and counting the carbs of your meal.
Keep in mind that the items on the nutritional menu are not customizable. For example, the information for the steakburgers contains the calorie breakdown of the bun and all toppings included. So if you order a steakburger without the bun, you won’t know for sure how many carbs you’re really eating.
According to the nutritional information, a steakburger by itself has no carbs. Bacon has no carbs, either. This is a good place to start. Try a steakburger with bacon and cheese and top it with lettuce, onion, and tomato. Hold the bun and sauce.
Here are some other low-carb items you can order at Steak N’ Shake, based on the nutrition information:
- One egg (over easy, medium or hard) (0 grams carbs)
- One egg (scrambled) (1 gram carbs)
- One slice of bacon (0 grams carbs)
- One sausage patty (0 grams carbs)
#2. Order a bunless burger and be careful with sauces
You can’t go wrong when you order a bunless burger, but you’ll have to be careful with sneaky toppings. Many of the burgers at Steak n’ Shake contain dressings and sauces that take on the carbs and empty calories. Always order your burger without sauces and dressings. The same goes for salads, too.
You’ll also want to be sure not to blow your low carb burger on a starchy side dish, such as fries or onion rings. Steak n’ Shake has a side salad that you can order in place of fries. Just be sure to ask for oil and vinegar in place of house dressing. Freshly squeezed lemon juice works, too.
#3. Order breakfast
Steak n’ Shake has an impressive breakfast menu that is easy to customize. Any dish that contains meat and eggs is a good starting point for a low-carb meal.
Stay away from the pancakes and hashbrowns and stick with omelets and freshly made eggs. Add cheese, low-carb veggies and a side of sausage or bacon and you have an ideal low-carb meal!
The catch is you’ll have to go to Steak n’ Shake early in the day as not all locations offer breakfast all day long. Some menus even vary by location. So it’s a good idea to call ahead and make sure the location you’re planning to visit offers breakfast at the time you’ll be there.
#4. Stay away from the value menu
Value menus are traps because they make you think you’re getting a good deal. Although you might save money, you’ll end up with a bunch of food that you can’t eat anyway.
Steak n’ Shake has a two for $3 menu that allows you to get two menu items for $3. These include steakburgers, hot dogs, grilled cheese and french fries. If you decide to give it a try, then go with two steakburgers or hot dogs and hold the buns and sauce. Stay away from the grilled cheese and fries.
They also have a section that offers four menu items for $4. Your options include three different steakburgers and chicken tenders. If you order a $4 steakburger meal, then hold the fries and cookie. Choose a side salad without dressing as your additional side. Avoid the chicken tender meal because it’s breaded.
#5. Add low-carb toppings
Steak n’ Shake offers several low carb toppings for your steakburgers, such as cheese, bacon, and guacamole. Add these toppings to your dish in place of sauces and dressings to enhance the flavor without checking on the carbs.
Here’s a word of caution about mayonnaise. Most store-bought or restaurant quality mayonnaise contains cheap vegetable oil and refined sugar.
For example, here is a list of the ingredients of the garlic mayonnaise at Steak and Shake based on the nutritional information found on their website:
“Water, soybean oil, vegetable puree (carrot, celery, onion, salt and citric acid), garlic puree (garlic and vinegar), distilled vinegar, sugar, egg yolk, whole eggs (dried), lemon juice concentrate, modified food starch, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate (preservatives), citric acid, calcium disodium edta (to protect freshness), natural flavors, and caramel color.”
We also noticed that some of the menu items contain liquid margarine. This won’t affect your carb count too much, but it’s a good reminder that eating at home using ghee or butter instead is always best.
What To Order at Steak n’ Shake
The menu at your local Steak n’ Shake may vary depending on your location. Because of this, it’s a good idea to go online and check your local menu before heading in. This will help keep you in the know so that you can make an educated choice when you get there.
As we mentioned above, your best bet is to order a bunless burger without the sauce and hold the starchy sides. You can also go with a salad minus the house dressing and order oil and vinegar instead.
Breakfast dishes make a great low carb meal because you can use eggs and meat as your base and build from there.
We’ve looked at every dish on the menu at Steak n’ Shake and put together a list of meals that are safe to eat on a low-carb diet.
Make sure you use our tips for how to order to keep them low carb. If you have questions about a certain meal, always ask your server or check out the nutritional information to get an exact carb count. You can also use the nutritional menu for a list of ingredients in your food.
- Homestyle breakfast: Order this without the hash browns, buttermilk biscuit, toast, pancakes or bagel
- Classic egg breakfast: one or two egg breakfast with bacon or sausage; hold the buttermilk biscuits, toast and bagel
- Cheddar scrambler: hold the hash browns, buttermilk biscuit, toast or bagel
- Sausage, egg n’ cheese breakfast bowl: hold the hash browns
- Double sausage, egg and cheese: no hash browns
- Sausage or bacon, egg ‘n cheese biscuit: hold the biscuit and hash browns
- Sausage or bacon and egg biscuit: hold the biscuit and hash browns
- Egg and cheese biscuit: hold the biscuit and hash browns
- Sausage, egg and cheese tacos: hold the tortilla shell or just eat the insides
- Sausage or bacon bagel: hold the bagel and hash browns
- Royal steakburger Bagel: hold the bagel and hash browns
For all steakburgers, hold the bun and sauce; order a side salad in place of French fries:
- The original double cheese steakburger
- Single steakburger
- Single bacon cheese steakburger
- Triple steakburger
- Bacon and cheese double steakburger
Hold the bun and sauce; order a side salad in place of French fries:
- Prime steakburger
- Prime truffle steakburger
- Prime Frisco steakburger
Hold the bun and sauce; order a side salad in place of French fries:
- Cajun double steakburger
- Garlic double steakburger
- Jalapeno crunch steakburger (hold the fried onions on top of the burger)
- Portobello and Swiss steakburger
- Royale steakburger
- Western BBQ N Bacon steakburger (hold the barbecue sauce)
- Wisconsin buttery steakburger
Hold the bread and sauce; order a side salad in place of French fries:
- Frisco melt
- Patty melt
Signature steak Franks
Hold the bun and sauce; order a side salad instead of fries:
- Classic footlong hotdog
For all sandwiches, hold the bread and sauce; order a side salad in place of fries:
- Bacon, lettuce and tomato (BLT)
- Grilled chicken sandwich
For all salads, order oil and vinegar as your dressing:
- Taco salad (hold the tortilla strips in ranch dressing)
- Grilled chicken salad
What Not To Order At Steak n’ Shake
Some items on the menu are not worth trying to custom order. These include many fried dishes, starchy sides, and sweetened drinks. We recommend sticking with the above-mentioned food from the safe list. Avoid the following dishes at Steak n’ Shake.
- Sausage gravy and biscuits
- All biscuits, hash browns, buttermilk biscuit, toast and bagels
- Biscuits n’ gravy bowl
- Country skillet: you could order this without the hash browns, biscuit, and gravy
- Potato and egg breakfast taco
Lunch and dinner:
- All chili dishes
- All spaghetti dishes
- Chili cheese footlong hotdog
- Grilled cheese sandwich
- Chicken fingers
- Spicy chicken sandwich (this would be okay If you can get the chicken grilled)
- Fried chicken salad (order the grilled chicken salad instead)
- All soups
- Baked beans
- French fries and onion rings
- All milkshakes and desserts
- All sweetened beverages, including soda, juice, milk and sweet tea
Although we don’t recommend eating out on a low-carb diet, Steak and Shake offers quite a few low-carb options if you know how to order them. They specialize in steakburgers, which you can get without the bun or sauce.
Order a side salad in place of french fries or onion rings. You can also go with a grilled chicken salad, but be sure to order oil and vinegar dressing in place of house dressing.
Steak n’ Shake also offers a breakfast menu. This is a good way to use eggs and meat as your base and add other low carb toppings, such as bacon, guacamole, and cheese. Check with your local Steak n’ Shake to make sure the items you want to order are offered. Menu items may vary depending on location.
If you’re new to keto and would like to learn more about it, you can get started here!
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