You’ll find great food and great service at this Springfield mainstay
Every once in a while, there is a landmark or restaurant that stands the test of time, the test of the financial economy, the test of industrial growth or the test of population change. You’ll find such a testimony at Casey’s Restaurant and Banquet Facility, in Springfield. Casey’s has been around for over 24 years and Chef Jack Howe is proud of their stamina in this community.
This dinner-only restaurant has a lot to offer. First on the list is the great selection of Black Angus Beef. Cuts such as New York Strip, Filet Mignon and Prime Rib can be ordered in both a regular and large cut. The Prime Rib ($21.95) is one of the largest cuts I have ever seen. It had to be at least one and a half inches thick and filled the entire plate. There was the usual marbling of fat but it was cooked to order. The Au Jus was flavorful and there was plenty to take home. The New York Strip ($17.95) was tasty but after sending it back to be further cooked, it ended up a little dry.
A one pound Rib Eye Steak can also be found along with Beef Brochette, which is marinated beef skewered with peppers, onions and mushrooms. At another visit, I tried the Steak Au Poivre ($20.95) and really enjoyed it. They call it “Pepper Steak” on the menu but I think that is a little misleading. This dish takes the New York Strip and covers it with green and black peppercorns (not green and red sweet peppers). It is flambéed with brandy and then topped with a rich bordelaise sauce. This time the steak was cooked to a nice pink medium and the sauce was phenomenal! It was smooth, creamy and robustly flavorful. Adding the Twice Baked Stuffed Potato as one of the sides didn’t hurt the meal either.
Unique House Specialties are offered as well. One can find a Mesquite Breast of Chicken, BBQ Baby Back Ribs, London Broil, Roasted Long Island Duck and Blackened Pork Chops. The blackened seasoning is subtle and enjoyable to the palate but lacks that hotness that one might expect from such a title. The BBQ Green Mountain Chicken ($13.95) is this establishment’s twist on a fairly common dish. Casey’s covers the boneless chicken breast with their own BBQ sauce but adds maple syrup and Dijon mustard. The dish is tangy, sweet and has a little bite at the end. All entrees come with your choice of two sides including soup or vegetable of the day, house salad, Cole Slaw, Baked or Stuffed Potato, French Fries or Spaghetti Marinara.
The exciting thing about Casey’s menu is that it offers you choices of two or three entree combination dinners. There are choices from the steaks, seafood and House Specialty sections. What a great way to try several selections when there’s way too many to choose from! The portions are quite generous and the two sides tag along as well.
Other selections on the menu include a few appetizers including Escargot and French Onion Soup. Sandwich Platters are offered with fries and slaw. There are three offerings of pasta or a combination plate. Seafood choices include Maryland Crab Cakes, Seafood Platter, Shrimp Ooh-La-La (fried in house special flour), Blackened Swordfish or Broiled or Fried Whitefish. You can also find several daily specials that are marked at the entrance to the restaurant. There are a couple of dessert choices, and if you’re not in a hurry, order up a Banana Fosters cooked tableside.
I think the most important thing that makes people return to Casey’s is the wait staff. Each time I visited, they were courteous, very knowledgeable of the menu and had a great sense of humor. Our “Fine Dining Courier” (as a gentleman server called himself) was prompt and efficient. Even when they were busy, the staff stopped to answer questions and give their take on the good and greats of the menu selections. We wish we would have listened to our server another time when she pushed the Mahi Mahi Special instead of the swordfish. It was disappointing and not very fresh but she warned us.
The décor of this large restaurant is very old style. It’s rather dark, with blue paint on the walls and booths of deep red with glass blocks as dividers. Off in one corner is a pretty nice sized bar which offers a full selection of alcohol, wine and beers on tap. The bartender is friendly and there’s a TV to watch if you can’t miss a sporting event. Casey’s also has a banquet facility that holds up to 500 people.
Springfield is lucky to still have Casey’s around. There are only a few “test of time” declarations to be made in the foodservice industry these days.
Casey’s is located at 2205 Park Rd., Springfield. Hours of operation are Monday-Saturday 5 to 10 p.m. For more information, call (937) 322-0397.
Reach DCP dining critic Eleanor Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org