Top 8 Restaurants Casper Wishes It Had
We all have a pretty good idea of our favorite restaurants in town, and we've got a lot to choose from - from the mega-chains, to the mom & pop, Casper is home to some great food. However, one of the things you hear often here is "I wish we had..." or "When I drive to Cheyenne/Denver/Fort Collins/Billings - I always stop at...". We decided to take an informal survey on our Facebook page, and narrow down the most wanted restaurants, and officially begin to circulate your thoughts around the web - in hopes that perhaps someone with the ability to make some of these happen takes notice. Here's what people told us - let us know what YOU think, and cross your fingers!
Sonic got the most votes in our informal Facebook survey. The only thing that dawned on me that might be a reason we haven't seen this place in Casper yet, is that it's all outdoors for the most part - you eat on tables or in your car, and the food is served by car-hop. Great several months out of the year, but might make for slow winters for them - not sure. Regardless, their ice cream, limeades, hot dogs & breakfast burritos are pretty tasty - and it looks like Casper fast-food diners would support them if they chose to open an outpost here.
Some cities, even some smaller ones like ours, have multiple Buffalo Wild Wings locations. Our Facebook friends were upset that Casper hasn't managed a single one, so far. This place is pretty good if you're a fan of wings and the whole sports-bar vibe. To be fair, there's at least 3-4 places in town where you can get a decent order of wings, at least one of which is already in a sports bar setting - but the fans have spoken, and they'd also like to gnaw on some from BW3, who has a huge variety. Wings aren't the only thing on the menu, of course - they do respectable ribs, sandwiches, and several other things. Great place to watch the game as well.
We would assume D&B's influence comes from Casper folks who travel to Colorado from time to time - and made them #3 on our most-wanted list of restaurants that should open up shop in Casper. If you've never been, it's kind of a Chuck-E-Cheese for grownups - they have a sports-bar style menu, a full bar, and arcade - complete with pool, shuffleboard, and everything in-between. Fun place to hang out with friends, have a party, put a little "entertainment" into your meal and feel like a kid again, except for when the waitress comes around to top you off during happy hour.
The family steak restaurant Texas Roadhouse had some fans in our informal Facebook poll - there were rumors afoot that these guys were opening a location on the east side of town for quite awhile, but so far they haven't materialized. The decor and family-friendly vibe at a Texas Roadhouse is pretty cool, and the menu is pretty good and diverse - not to mention the servings are generally of gut-busting proportions. You definitely don't leave hungry. They have set up shop fairly successfully in Cheyenne, but for some reason have passed on Casper. The good news - there are plenty of other great places in Casper to get a steak while we wait.
Who doesn't love Chuck E. Cheese? Frankly, I was surprised this one didn't rank a little higher on the wish list for Casper-ites, since I've been hearing them complain about not having one for years. Chuck E. Cheese is typically what's known as a "company" store, as in they don't sell franchises to people like most chains - and for some reason, the company hasn't decided Casper is a place to set up shop. Personally, I think they're overlooking a huge market of people who are a little captive in winter and would love an indoor entertainment option. Chuck E. Cheese has always been a great easy place to have a birthday party, special event, or just somewhere to take the kids to blow off some steam. Is the mouse listening? We'll see.
You see them in Cheyenne, you see them in Laramie, but for some reason or another, Chili's is still on the wish list of Casper diners and hasn't made it to town yet. Personally, I'll do a Chili's in a pinch - but really didn't find it that remarkable on any of my visits in the past. Decent-enough bar & grill type food and atmosphere, and they have been making some improvements recently with a little image overhaul, and a broadening menu that even includes some healthy options from their Guiltless Grill for those of us trying to avoid another round of bottomless chili cheese fries. Wasn't people's first choice in our survey - but they certainly seemed to have their supporters.
I can only assume the reason this came in lower on the list was due to a high percentage of female respondents in our informal survey, who might not think the "Delightfully Tacky, Yet Refined" atmosphere at Hooters would be their first choice. However, it did get several votes. I certainly agree that it should be on the list (shocker, I know) - the food's a little limited but not bad, it's a good place to watch the game, and yeah, the waitresses don't hurt. They opened in Cheyenne awhile back and didn't seem to be able to make it work - although you'd have to think there's less competition from chain restaurants in Casper at this point. For now, you'll have to settle for hitting the one on the side of I-25 when you're passing through Loveland/Fort Collins.
This one came in last on our survey, but still had several votes. I'm going to assume that it's most likely because In-N-Out is a fairly limited chain that's not exactly a household name - unless you're in California, Nevada, Texas, Arizona, or Utah. The menu is simple and old-school, and it's all about the burgers & fries. Those who did vote were pretty passionate about their love of In-N-Out, and if you ever get a chance to visit - you might have to agree. (It's all about the double-double, animal style. Trust me.)