Mr. Steak Continental Burger: A Food Flashback!


Because my hemoglobin tested low last week, I’ve been trying to eat as much red meat as possible, but I’ve been wracking my brain for a hamburger dish that isn’t mostly bread or pasta. I was thinking about hamburgers with mushroom sauce, and this prompted a food flashback.

Back in the early 80’s, when we were dating and then newlyweds, my husband and I used to go to the local Mr. Steak once in a while. The menu favorite for both of us was the Continental Burger. I’m not claiming it would be health food, but it is, at least, a fairly low-carb way to eat a burger. For those who have never tried this delicacy, it was a hamburger patty with some juicy/creamy/mushroomy sauce in the middle, served open face on rye toast, with caramelized onions on top. My husband always ordered a side of deep-fried clams and ketchup for dipping, and a baked potato with butter and honey (yes, honey) on top. How’s that for carb overload?! Back then, we could eat that way, though.

Now? Notsza much!

I remember that back then we tried to duplicate the Continental, but never succeeded. Thanks to that modern marvel we call Google, today I was able to track down what sounds like some plausible copycat recipes…

“I was a Senior Grill Chef at Mr. Steak in the early 70’s…. The Continentals came pre-made. They were two thin oval patties of what we now call 80-85% lean ground (need that much fat to stay together) — I think each patty was about a fifth of a pound. The filling was two things only – pasteurized process swiss cheese ONLY and fresh mushrooms. The ‘shrooms and process swiss were diced to about 1/2″ dice. Put about 1 to 2 tablespoons on one patty, cover with second patty and crimp edges gently but completely so there are no holes. Grill till medium, turning as little as possible, and use some kind of cover on top last 2 minutes or so to help cheese melt. That restaurant served them on buttered, then grilled on one side, light rye bread. The burger was served open face…. Everyone ate them with a knife and fork! They were hugely popular!! I love them, make them once a year or so.”

“I worked at Mr. Steak for over 5 years. I have tried and tried to duplicate the Continental and … have come up with a reasonable knock-off recipe. Take your ground beef and press it into two very thin and large patties…. Don’t go crazy with a lot of filling, or it will leak when cooking. Then lay on a piece of ‘processed Swiss cheese’ — not the real stuff! You want the fake processed Swiss cheese slices; they melt easily and are gooey; real Swiss won’t work as well. Next, place about a Tbsp. of Condensed Cream of Mushroom soup on top of the cheese. Place the other patty on top and SEAL WELL. Grill — and make sure while grilling you only turn this once or twice at the most. Flipping too much is taking a risk it will break open or ooze out the good yummy stuff inside…. It’s been so long now, but I still crave them. Try the above and I guarantee you it will be close in taste and looks; not exact but close enough.”

I think the ole’ Continental Burger will be making an appearance in our kitchen some time this week! No fried clams, though.

All recipe info found here


Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /home/customer/www/ on line 405


  1. my mom and me used to visit the ponderosa a few times a year back in the eighties but we didn’t care for mushrooms,so we never ordered the continental burger just a regular steak once in a while,but mostly a hamburger and french fries with o bowl of vegetable or chicken noodle soup. we miss the one on mcknight road,i mean i do because mom passed away in 2007 but we thought it was a good restaurant and i miss it tremendously.

  2. I too worked at Mr. Steak from dishwasher to GM and over 14 years. I will be attempting to recreate this continental. We made the Mr. Steak chicken salad with toasted almond slivers scooped in a half cantaloupe. Remember the fruit boats in a half pineapple? Fingerlength? Teriyaki steak or Chicken. How about the clam bake?

  3. I worked as a hostess at Mr. Steak on 28th street in Grand Rapids MI. It was always busy and they had good value for the prices. I thought their was one left up north?

    I always ordered the Continental.

  4. MY first full time job at FDR in Omaha, NE. was right next to a Mr. Steak. I had a weird work schedule as a Credit Card Authorization/charge slip Data Entry Clerk; 11:20 am – 8:00 pm. We used to go to dinner there 2, 3 times a week. The best thing on the menu….what we called “The Zit Burger!”. The Continental was great and thanks for the recipe. Also LOVED their Strawberry Daiquiris.

  5. A friend’s comment on social media just now about his dinner recipe ingredients for this evening, immediately reminded me of the Continental Burger that I relished as a child on our occasional family night out for dinner. The Mr. Steak in Colorado Springs in the latter 60s brings not only fond memories, but . . . I STILL can picture myself in one particular moment just savoring that goodness!

  6. Oh my gosh! I loved the continental at the Mr Steak in St Charles, MO. I would always order an extra rye bread to make it into a sandwich. My goal was to get the extra goodness eaten without the stuff oozing out. I tried making it awhile ago. Not the same. Will try again using the Senior Chef’s suggestions. ❤️

  7. I always went to Mr. Steak in Wichita Kansas in the 70’s usually when working at Beech Aircraft for Lunch on Friday’s. It was a Big Deal!! I ordered the Continental most of the time. I remember asking the Mgr. and the Cook’s about the recipe. I remember a great sauce that oozed when You cut into it and onto the rye toast. I asked about what is inside. They told me about cheese and mushrooms, (from what I hear it was processed swiss). What I do remember though, There was some type of seasoning on the meat when they grilled it, and a sauce on outside too. (Like dark mushroom sauce? Golden mushroom soup?) Any of You past Mr. Steak Chefs or Owner’s Please let Me know okay? I have been working in Restaurant Biz for many yr’s and still trying to figure this out!! Thanks!!

  8. I was an assistant manager and cook at the Mr. Steak in DeKalb, Illinois from 1970-1979. Loved eating the continentals, but even more fun was cooking them! If you did it just right they came out swollen and almost pressurized, so they would explode if cut into quickly, shooting melted Swiss and mushrooms everywhere. Okay a bit childish on my part…..but still fun. Those recipes look good!

  9. worked at Mr.Steak on Alpine in Grand Rapids.Mi on Alpine AVE-they had the best food I too loved the continentals becareful not to pop them…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *