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Reality Check: New Holiday Shakes at Steak 'n Shake

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[Photographs: top, Steak 'n Shake; all others, Erin Jackson]

Diner-style burger joint Steak 'n Shake recently released three new holiday milkshakes: egg nog, white chocolate, and peppermint chocolate chip. All flavors come topped with a swirl of whipped cream and a maraschino cherry and are limited-time specials that will likely disappear shortly after the holiday season.

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In the small size glass (which is the same vessel they use for ice water), these shakes don't make quite the same impression as in the beauty shot, but taste-wise, they are some pretty excellent milkshakes.

The shakes have a rich texture that is also slightly frosty. They're creamy, but not so thick that you have to stare longingly at them until they melt to a drinkable consistency. Instead, as soon as they arrive at the table, you can immediately start sipping (or dive in with the extra-long spoon).

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All of the flavors start with a vanilla ice cream base and have flavor shots added in, but they don't end up being double-sweet. They're well-balanced, and taste true to their advertised flavor. The eggnog shake had an undeniably noggy flavor, but not much spice. If you're like me and drink exactly one glass of nog (cut with milk) during the holiday season, I'd make it this shake.

The white chocolate shake was the richest-tasting, and really did taste like white chocolate. It was also the sweetest of all the holiday flavors, and while initially I thought it was the tastiest of the bunch, after a few sips, it just started to taste like a sweet cream malt.

The winner of the three was the peppermint chocolate chip shake, which had a sweet minty flavor (more candy cane than peppermint) and crunchy bits of chocolate blended into it. This extra element made it taste more complex (and worth the indulgence).

All three flavors cost $2.79 for the small size pictured, but if you're there during Steak 'n Shake's twice-daily happy hour (2 to 4 p.m. and 2 to 4 a.m.), you can get a shake (or three) for half price.

About the author: Erin Jackson is a food writer and photographer who is obsessed with discovering the best eats in San Diego. You can find all of her discoveries on her food blog EJeats.com. On Twitter, she's @ErinJax

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