by Joshua Maloni
Yes, my dinner was fantastic.
The milkshake was great.
And the service was outstanding.
But, you had me at hello.
You had me at hello.
Walking into Casey's Malt Shoppe in Ransomville recently, one of the first things I noticed was the autographed picture of Bernie Kopell hanging on the wall. While some may call that kitschy, I think it's awesome.
He was the doctor on "The Love Boat," people!
Also readily apparent was the restaurant's open space, and the large ice cream cooler situated next to a great big dining counter with wooden, swivel-looking chairs. Coupled with friendly, attentive servers, Casey's was a hit with me before I even looked at the menu.
Having built up an instant trust with my waitress, I relied upon her expertise in ordering my dessert drink - a chocolate-chocolate milkshake ($4.05) - and the Tuesday special: hog wings, fresh-cut steak fries and applesauce ($8.50).
Malt shops are known for many things. Pork is not typically one of those things.
Now, to properly picture a hog wing in your mind, imagine what would happen if barbecue ribs and chicken wings had a child. That's right, it would be delicious.
Within a few minutes, three tennis-ball-sized hog wings and a batch of hot, crispy fries greeted me. The main course was succulent, falling-off-the-bone pork. Hearty and lick-your-lips tangy, it was 10 napkins good.
The fries, for their part, held up to the wings. It was a battle to the finish for which would claim last bite bragging rights. The wings won in close decision.
My applesauce was Motts, which meant in came in a portable cup. That was an added bonus, as I was stuffed, and could look forward to an on-the-go snack for the ride home.
The milkshake was light and frothy - yes, double chocolaty - and sweet. Normally, I like a shake so thick you need a vacuum cleaner to suck it up. But this drink was refreshing and just plain tasty. With a spillover cup, I was able to have one dessert before the meal, and one after.
Love that two-shakes-in-one, silver cup bonus.
As more staffers came and made small talk with me, and in a subsequent conversation with owner Carl Fellows, I realized Casey's is chock full of genuinely nice people.
Bernie Kopell sure thinks so. And he would know. He's a doctor.
Other notable dishes on the menu include the Friday fish fry ($7.99); logs, fingers and sweet potato fries.
Desserts include a banana split ($4.75), floats (from $3.10), a Boston cooler (from $3.10) and a parfait ($4.75). Casey's features 12 ice cream flavors in its clear-glass freezer.
The restaurant is located at 3645 Ransomville Road. For more information, call 791-8090.