Today we stopped in at a newish spot off San Jose Blvd. in Mandarin called Steamin’. Steamin’ is a bit like an old school diner. They’ve got chubby checker on the speakers. They serve up burgers, fries, and shakes as well as a variety of other sandwiches off the grill. The folks there are friendly and genuinely seem happy to be there. Unlike other old school diners though, they’ve got a full liquor bar where they’ll make you whatever your little heart desires. The bar opens both to the inside and outside seating so either option is available to you.
Food: We started things off with a banana milk shake. It was rich enough without being too rich and thick enough without being too thick. A little whipped cream topped things off. My only complaint with this one is it’s made with blue bell banana pudding ice cream and I could taste the soft chunks of vanilla wafer that are typically part of banana pudding ice cream. When you order a banana shake you’re looking for a smooth shake with lots of banana flavor. They should change the name to banana pudding shake. We asked the waiter what he recommended to eat and he suggested we try the fat boy sandwich or the pulled pork. He seemed like he really enjoyed the food at Steamin’. As a customer that’s reassuring. The Fat Boy Sandwich($10.99)- chicken, steak, and cheese blended together topped with loads of fries. You select you own toppings for all the sandwiches at Steamin’. I choose just onions for this one. In hindsight adding green peppers and mushrooms also would have been good. This sandwich was really good. I was impressed by how much flavor the meat had. It was pretty close the level of meat flavor you’d find at many of the barbecue places in town. The cheese was blended really nicely with the meat. The sandwich seemed essentially a cross between a Philly cheesesteak and a Philly chicken made with pulled chicken. I loved it! This is one of the better sandwiches I’ve had in Jax. The fries on the sandwich were very good but a bit over salted. I’d ask them to go easy on the salt next time.
Service: I came in at 11am on a Monday to grab a quick lunch. The server was friendly. I felt welcome. My order was taken immediately and I got my food quickly. The waiter seemed to know the menu very well and made good food recommendations. I’d consider that good service.
We’d be remiss if we wrote about Steamin’ without mentioning the Fatboy challenge. Steamin’ has this big circular table walled off in the middle of the restaurant they call their VIP table. This table is reserved for those engaging in The Fatboy Challenge. To take the Fatboy challenge you pay $39.99 and you’re served 2 cheezy steamers, 2 fat dogs, 4 whole wings, 3 lbs of fries, a shake or malt, and a banana split. You get 1 hour to finish all of it. If you can do it not only is it on the house but they pay you $150. I wonder if they cover your triple bypass too? If you succeed they put your photo on the wall of fame and if you fail you go up on the wall of shame. Rest assured the wall of shame is much bigger than the wall of fame. I’d love to see someone attempt to take down this mountain of food. If you read this and want to give it a try let us know and we’ll show up and write about it when you do.