I must admit, even though it's been there forever... the long-standing Main Street guest favorite has been a place that I scoot around quickly on my way to somewhere else, without really looking at the menu. Hot Dogs? Okay… I know what those are… next.
It's not the look of the place, or even the sauerkraut aromas that seem to linger in the "gift shop" door side of Casey's that keep me from stopping by. I actually quite like sauerkraut, on the right foods. Instead, it's the crowds. Even though the seating has been increased over the years (by almost double), it's still a hard place to score a table, compared to other, larger counter service locations like Cosmic Ray's
or Pecos Bill's
I decided to stop into Casey's on a recent visit though, not because the crowd levels were low… but because Cosmic Ray's and Pecos Bill's seemed just as jam packed as Casey's!
I'm really glad I did though. Some amazing looking hot dogs were being served all around me… enough to warrant another visit in the near future. On this visit, I got the Edible Tsum Tsum Meal. For some reason, they're calling them Hot Dog Nuggets. I like my term better.
The Hot Dog Nugget were really great… dipped in a properly sweet, thick, state-fair style cornmeal batter, quick fried, and delivered straight away to the guests. This is actually the best reason to go to Casey's… precisely when it is busy… you'll know that no food is sitting around under a heat lamp for any period of time. Cornmeal Nuggets are no different than a really good tempura batter… the key is in eating it straight away. You've only got five to seven minutes before everything starts breaking down and the textures start to loose their uniqueness.
I'd even go so far as to say, you'll have a much better meal if one person is already in line getting the condiments that you need so that there's no waiting around once you're food comes out. There are two self-serve condiment bars on either side of the center registers and the lines can get backed up here as well. They have these cool auto-air pump ketchup and mustard dispensers… that take positively forever to fill a tiny cup up with mustard.
Back to the dogs though… yes, the batter is thick, but that doesn't mean the hot dog pieces were small. I think there's just as much "hot dog" in there as when you order a foot-long hot dog. All in all, I was pleasantly surprised by these little guys, and would totally recommend them… not just for kids… but for adults as well!
The other main component of the "meal deal" is the thin cut fries (or apple slices, but really… look at those fries… how could you pass those up?). Here again, the small size of the location is really helping the food out. Fresh, fried anything is going to be great, and these fries are no exception. Casey's fries did keep their heat for a good long time and they were just about perfect when placed on the tray. We generally have great luck with most french fries at Disney though, the fact that these were great, just adds to the "great fries" record.
All in all, I'm starting to understand why there's so many people in line at Casey's… in addition to whatever nostalgia surrounds the place… the food is really good. No, it's not unique, stunning new, foodie type food… but there is something crave-worthy about the Corn Dog Nuggets and those hot, fresh fries that makes me wish I could get them today, right now, for lunch! That's the hallmark of any great theme park food. Now, if I could just get them to change the name to Edible Tsum Tsum Nuggets.