Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Lactose intolerance

Like a lot of people, I'm lactose intolerant.  I don't think my condition is extreme - I can drink milk, but it definitely affects how I eat.  Take, for example, my love of ice cream and milk shakes.  One thing that I've noticed is that if I eat something with my milk - e.g. cereal - I will be ok.  If I drink it straight up on an empty stomach, I'm doomed.

The Royale at Steak n Shake
Same for ice cream and milk shakes.  If I have ice cream right after a meal, I'm fine.  Ice cream as an afternoon snack, and I'm in pain a few hours later.  Milk shakes are trickier; even if I have them with a meal - the classic burger and shake combo - I will usually pay the milk tax afterwards.  Maybe the way the milk is shaken in a milk shake?  The combination of all that goodness being simply too good, and thus it has to be bad for you to balance it out?  I don't know, but it has changed the way I enjoy my burgers.  Which is specially sad, since, after moving to Florida, I discovered the greatness that is Steak n Shake.  They seem to be this local chain of hamburgers a la Johnny Rockets from California, where they have this old-fashioned look to it (but looking at vintage photos, they are probably a lot more authentic that Johnny Rockets, which was founded in the mid-80s).

Their burgers are this thin little patties that actually taste pretty good for a chain burger.  They have some crazy combinations, like my favorite, the Royale, which has two beef patties, cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, and an egg.  Plus a little side of fries - all for $4.99.  A very decent deal.  What makes it truly great, though, is that every weekday, between 2pm and 4pm, and 2am and 4am, all their beverages are half-off.  Including their huge selection of shakes, which normally go for $3.50, and on sale a fantastic deal at $1.75.  A buck and 3 quarters of a big, fat, scrumptious shake.  Hard to pass, but unfortunately, hard on me afterwards as well.  And so, I go to Steak n Shake and have my Royale and usually end up drinking a vanilla Coke.  Of course, every once in while, I will sneak in a shake, loving it while I'm drinking it.

A final way that I've taken to fight the lactose monster is switching to almond milk.  It tastes ok, although, obviously, has a rather strong almond aftertaste, which I like.  Maybe Steak n Shake could start making almond milk shakes?  Nah, that would be just too much of a good thing piled together.

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