Lunches to Love
Branding Iron – C85 Group: 129 W. 2nd St., Casper
The Branding Iron
is known for their burgers. Oh boy was the Kona Burger delicious, I would go so far as to say if you want a great burger, it is THE place to eat in Casper.
The Kona was sweet and savory with a perfectly cooked and juicy beef patty. The patty was sauced with teriyaki, topped with cream cheese (a surprise I loved), grilled pineapple, and a jalapeno coleslaw, all served up on a jalapeno bun.
I like a little heat but was worried it might be too much with a jalapeno coleslaw and a jalapeno bun, but don’t let the jalapeno defer you. It wasn’t too spicy, rather I’d describe it as flavorful. Lastly, I recommend pairing it with the sweet potato fries. They are waffle fries that are sprinkled in cinnamon and sugar. Delicious!
Pizza Carrello: 601 S Douglas Hwy, Gillette, WY 82716
Wood fired pizza ovens are the heart of Pizza Carrello
and they sure know what they’re doing. From pizzas to spinach dips and even wings, they use the wood fired oven to its finest.
The clean, hip restaurant offers delightful food that incorporates fresh ingredients. The large menu provides a variety of unique flavor combinations, so you are sure to find something for everyone.
Every bite at Pizza Carrello was fantastic and so was the staff. When I snuck over to take a peek at the process and check out the firestone pizza oven, the line cook was more than happy to show me around. He went above and beyond, sharing some of the restaurant’s history, then taking me out back to see the original pizza oven that was homemade by the owner, which is still being used for catering.
This is a must eat stop for foodies!
Frackelton’s: 55 N. Main St., Sheridan
Distinctive charm and fine food is what you get at Frackelton’s
. Whether you want to have a fun lunch with friends or to have a business meeting, the comfortable atmosphere and delicious food make this a great place to dine.
The food is fresh and beautifully plated making it a feast for the eyes as well as the tongue. The service was great – everyone was helpful, friendly and happy to share tidbits about the history of the restaurant and surrounding area, as well as their menu recommendations.
The pasta was delicious, but if you feel like trying something new, my suggestion is to ask what the market special is for the day and to give it a try. Make sure to indulge on some truffle fries for the table, they are beautifully seasoned and just the right amount of crispy and soft.
Dinner To “Dine” For
The Virginian Restaurant: Located inside The Occidental Hotel, 10 N. Main St., Buffalo
The Virginian Restaurant
is a fine dining steakhouse, with white tablecloths and mood lighting, offering history, charm and cozy little nooks to tuck away in for a romantic meal.
While the atmosphere is delightful, so is the food. Fresh, well-seasoned and beautifully cooked, there wasn’t a thing on my plate that I didn’t love. The vegetables were cooked to crisp and tender perfection, my steak was perfectly done to my request, and the mashed potatoes were creamy and fluffy, just like I like them.
When you get done eating a fantastic meal at The Virginian, you can slip next door for some live music, great drinks and a fun atmosphere in the saloon at The Occidental Hotel.
Racca’s Pizzeria Napoletana: 430 S. Ash St., Casper
Racca’s Pizzeria Napoletana
is a gem in Casper that offers Naples style pizza cooked in a wood fired oven. They use hickory wood for a lovely flavor in their pizza ovens, which can get up to 800-900 degrees.
One thing that’s important to know before you go: how to eat this type of pizza for maximum flavor intake. The thin crust is airy and flavorful, best eaten folded over and enjoyed Napli style. So go ahead, fold that crust over so that you get your toppings sandwiched between thin layers of crust. Yum!
One ordering suggestion: Add a house salad, it is perfectly dressed and has lovely greens.
The Prime Rib Restaurant & Wine Cellar: 1205 S. Douglas Hwy., Gillette
A fantastic steak house with an extensive wine selection, The Prime Rib Restaurant & Wine Cellar
in Gillette is an excellent stop for dinner.
Of course, with a name like “The Prime Rib” it only makes sense to order Prime Rib from the menu and I could not have been happier with it. The cut was thick, juicy, flavorful and perfectly cooked, plus the sides were awesome too.
One ordering suggestion is to get the guacamole made at your table. Not only is it a fun experience, but it is very tasty. Since it’s made at your table, they ask you to taste it so they can adjust the seasonings to your preference. It is served with hot chips and is good enough to be featured in a Mexican restaurant!
But the biggest surprise on the menu to me was the Shrimp Tortellini. It. Was. So. Good! So whether you love steaks or not, you are sure to find something delicious on the menu at The Prime Rib.
Cocktails & Confections
Donells Candies, Inc.: 201 E. 2nd St. #2, Casper
If you are looking for a fun way to indulge a sweet tooth, be sure to stop by the family-run Donells Candies, Inc
Donells Candies, Inc. in Casper, owned and operated since 1956. This lovely candy shop has lots of amazing goodies to tempt your sweet tooth, from gourmet popcorn to handmade chocolates. For an extra special treat, they have ice cream, too! Depending on the time of day you get there, you might even be able to see them making some of their fine confections.
FireRock Steakhouse: 6100 E. 2nd St., Casper
Now you might be wondering why a steakhouse has made the list for sweets on this foodie’s favorites but let me tell you… FireRock Steakhouse
has an incredible dessert menu! With apple cobbler, mango key lime pie and a chocolate cake that is so big it is meant to be shared (but so good you won’t want to), I couldn’t leave this restaurant off my list of recommendations.
The food is great and absolutely worth a visit, but don’t you dare leave without dessert!
Backwards Distillery: 214 S Wolcott St, Casper, WY 82601
is a family run company with really fun cocktails and a hip, fun atmosphere, inspired by the owners’ love for the circus. It is a place you want to go and just hang out with friends. The interior is perfectly decorated and so inviting, just like the owners and staff. The mixologists are friendly and really know their stuff.
The menu is designed to get more creative, with bolder combinations as you progress through the pages. The cocktails feature their locally distilled spirits and are beautifully garnished with fun ingredients such as roasted marshmallows and cinnamon sticks.
Cocktail Suggestion: Try the Big Top—their signature cocktail combines Vodka, grapefruit juice, lime juice, tarragon and bitters!
The Historic Occidental Saloon: 10 N. Main St., Buffalo
With live music and tons of history, the Historic Occidental Saloon
is a fun place to kick back, relax and have a drink. The imposing back bar with stained glass accents has been restored and preserved, keeping a bit of history alive from when this saloon housed rowdy crowds, high stake poker games, and the occasional shoot up! Just look up, you can still see some of the original bullet holes.