Supercharged – that's one way of describing Quaker Steak and Lube, which opened mid-Mayin 2014 at a former TGI Fridays in West Manchester Township.
Outside, the decor resembles an oil change shop, complete with a full-sized race car atop the entrance.
Inside is an engine lovers' dream. A dirt bike appears crashed through a window, a new Camaro sits on a lift, an old Corvette hangs from its side – with three TVs mounted in the car's body.
The big items like dirtbikes and cars might draw you in, but the details are not to be missed. The back of the waiting area bench was once the tailgate of a Chevy pickup truck. The carpet at the restaurant's entrance was specially made with "Quaker Steak and Lube" printed amid motorcycles and cars. The Beatles' "Drive My Car" blasted on the speakers.
Every Wednesday is Bike Night. Every Sunday is Car Cruise-In.
You can tell the restaurant is attracting attention in York County by the wait on a recent Saturday night.
It took about 15 minutes to nab a seat, but during the wait, there were a few games to keep the kiddos entertained, including a motorcycle-themed one, of course, in the lobby area.
Families were abundant in the restaurant -- and I can see why with not only a kids menu (the food is served in a Lube Cruiser – a cardboard car they take home), but also a tween menu. Toddlers can munch on cheddar goldfish for free.
The twisty straws that come with all non-alcoholic beverages (aka Unleaded Fuel) are pretty fun to play with, too (pretend you didn't hear that from an adult).
But the real draw of the eatery is the spicy cuisine. Manager Phil Sterling said every sauce on the menu sells, and he prefers the hotter, the better.
Those who take the Triple Atomic Challenge -- eating the spiciest sauce – win a free T-shirt, a spot on the Atomic Wall of Flame and bragging rights. But first – such daredevils must sign a liability waiver.
The Lube chain marks its 40th anniversary this year – it was founded in Sharon, Pennsylvania, northwest of Pittsburgh, almost on the Ohio state line. Now there are nearly 70 locations, with several in Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York. You'll find one as far south as Florida, west as Colorado and north as Toronto.
In York, Sterling said, the most popular sauce is probably the barbecue -- one of the tamest on the menu. Wings and steakburgers (think hamburgers) are among the most popular dishes.
The steakburgers come in multiple forms, from the Mac & Cheezburger, to the Steak on Steak Burger, to the Arizona El Camino (a southwestern twist).
Other sandwiches, soups and salads are also on the menu, in addition to steak, chicken and seafood platters.
Since there were several signs for award-winning wings at Quaker Steak, it's what I chose for dinner. (Some nights you'll find wing specials at the eatery.) The Custom Built Combo ($9.99) lets patrons select their style of wings (grilled boneless, breaded boneless or bone-in), sauce (more than 25 to pick from), and a "munchie" (think side dish).
I went with the breaded boneless wings soaked in barbecue sauce, and fries and slaw for my munchie.
Even though the sauce was abundant, the wings were crunchy, not soggy. The fries were coated in coarse salt and pepper. With my meal, I slurped on Lube Old Tyme Root Beer, which came in a bottle for $2.75.
By the end of the meal, I was too full to try the caramel apple nachos, which are "enough to share," according to the menu.
But the Twizzler that came with the check was a nice reward for crossing the finish line at Quaker Steak and Lube.
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