Appropriately reminiscent of the motor oil brand, Quaker Steak & Lube is a motor-themed restaurant that boasts some of the best food and drinks around, drinks and fun for the whole family! The ColumbiaFoodieNews.com crew headed to their Columbia location off I-77 at Bluff Road to give it a good checking-over!
We took our seats and were warmly greeted, then given a rundown of our options, of which The Lube has SO many! The regular menu has a great selection of items, from Jump Starters to tacos and pizza, to Steak Dinners and their famous wings, prepared Grilled Boneless, Breaded Boneless, or Jumbo Bone-In. We opted for the $7.99 Lunch Special (available Monday – Friday, from 11am – 2pm), where you can choose from lunch favorites like The Classic Lubed-Up Steak Sandwich, Top Gear Tenders Basket, Chipotle Chicken Quesadilla, Kentucky Bourbon Burger, Classic Fish & Chips, or One Pound of Jumbo Bone-In Wings, each with endless fries or chips included.
Kathy was adventurous and tried the Kentucky Bourbon Burger. The Lube’s hefty steakburger was cooked perfectly to order, topped with Kentucky Bourbon-glazed onions, crisp bacon, fresh jalapeño, and pepper-jack cheese, and served on a brioche garlic toasted bun. She enjoyed the subtle bourbon flavor she tasted in the burger, made even better with the kicking heat of the jalapenos.
Carmen opted for the Chipotle Chicken Quesadilla, made with smoky chicken, cheddar-jack cheese and fresh Pico de Gallo. She also tried Quaker Steak’s Unleaded Lube-N-Ade in Wildberry flavor to drink – that’s hand-squeezed and shaken fresh lemonade made with real sugar, and a total thirst-quencher! They also offer Original Lube-N-Ade, Wildberry or Mango flavors. There are plenty of additional “Unleaded” drinks for non-drinkers and kids in addition to the fruit drinks – Quaker Steak makes hand-crafted shakes and sodas as well, including a Salted Caramel Pretzel Shake that we all wanted to try!
Tina went with The Classic Steak Sandwich lunch special. The tender shaved sirloin, grilled peppers, mushrooms and onions, and melted cheese was reminiscent of a really great Philly sandwich. She said the juicy sirloin (sliced in-house, to order) was very flavorful and, like the rest of us, had to take some home. Tina and Carmen were thrilled to learn that at The Lube, you can order your chips, or raw fries, to temperature! You heard me right, all of you semi-floppy fans!
Sarah selected the Top Gear Tenders, expecting just your average, run-of-the-mill chicken strips. She was surprised by how much better these fresh, hand-breaded tenders were than ANY she’d had before! What made them even better? The Lube’s sauces. With over 25 unique sauces and seasonings to choose from, she opted for the special – April’s Limited Edition Sauce, Tandoori Mustard. The mustard dipping sauce was creamy with a hint of heat and exotic flavors including ginger, jalapeno, pineapple and lime (May’s Limited Edition Sauce is Asian Lemongrass…get it before it’s gone!). The tenders, Lube Coleslaw and Lube Fries were all made perfectly and all surpassed Sarah’s expectations. If you’re not a fan of breaded chicken tenders, do try Quaker Steak’s famous chicken wings and if you’re a real daredevil, take The Lube’s Triple Atomic Wing Challenge (release form required)!
Quaker Steak & Lube, or “The Lube”, as it’s known, is located at the TravelCenters of America and Petro Columbia location, alongside Beltline Bowling Lanes and Gaming outpost. The Lube considers itself a “FEST-AURANT” – both a great restaurant and an entertainment venue. We could immediately see how this place would appeal to kids and car and sports enthusiasts alike, with its motorsports-themed décor, vintage gas station memorabilia, giant, ubiquitous TVs and various vehicles suspended from the ceilings! Add to that Beltline’s bowling alley, game room, virtual simulators and arcade and you’ve got a place where everyone can have a good time.
We can’t wait to go back for dinner. The lunch crowd we saw was mostly watching TV, as some bowled. In the evenings, however, The Lube is a playground for both kids and adults, with something fun always happening, like Bike Night, kid’s events, Happy Hour and more. The great thing about Quaker Steak is the large venue, which is divided into multiple dining and bar atmospheres, with areas for larger parties, patios to enjoy the outdoor events, and of course the bowling and game areas (don’t miss the new Wizard of Oz arcade pusher game!). The bowling alley has comfortable seating and tables to enjoy your food, away from the action. During Happy Hour at The Lube (Mon-Fri, 4 – 6:30pm), you can get select appetizers, select craft and import draft beer (over 25 beers on tap), or specialty cocktails of the day: Margarita Mondays, Tiki Tuesdays, Whiskey Wednesdays, Thirsty Thursdays, and Friday Fundays! There’s also a ton of fun for your group to be had, with special events like College Night Cosmic Bowling , with unlimited bowling and discount shoe rental.
We now consider ourselves to be official Lubies! Come try Quaker Steak for yourself and you’ll be one too! More information here.
2154 South Beltline Blvd. | 803-908-4905
Sunday: 10am – 10pm
Monday – Thursday: 10am – 11pm
Friday & Saturday: 10am – 12am