Odd that we can think of Steak n' Shake as fast food but not, say, Applebee's. It must be the drive-through window and the emphasis on burgers, shakes and fries -- it can't be the quality of the food, because Steak n' Shake kicks every kind of ass. Takhomasak if you must, but dining in is advised. Gotta love those thick white china plates, the sturdy brown urns for chili, the lovely stocky coffee mugs. And go froufrou if you have a guilt trip about your figure; live a lie, order a salad (but at least make that a fried-chicken salad -- yeah, buddy). But we will peg their greatness on their standard dish: the Steakburger platter. When aliens at last descend to Earth to stay and start to learn the languages, in their tour of English, when they are working on idiomatic phrases, when they come to "a sum greater than its parts," they will be fed a Steakburger platter. Let's not insult the parts -- each is scrumptious in isolation -- but Steakburger to fries to chili (suitably flooded with peppery vinegar), assisted by coffee and over-the-topped with a vanilla shake, is a greater sum. Here's wagering those aliens will stick around Steak n' Shake country.