After a brief Facebook survey, my palate and I made it to Frosty’s Bar and Lounge. Located on Center Street across from the Flex Complex, Frosty’s is in a prime location for any weary downtown diners. Despite having passed by the business for several decades, I had relegated it to the back of my mind. It’s nothing more than another bar trying to make a quick buck off of the working man, or so I thought until today.

The approach to the building is dreary at best. A heavily tinted and armored facade, almost telling folks to stay away or never be allowed to leave. Parking is ample and easy, a rare surprise to find in downtown Casper. With all the fortitude my readers deserve, I opened the foreboding door and went inside.

A typical informal affair, diners grab the table of their liking. While the building is small, there are enough tables to accommodate a substantial lunch rush. If you are one who eats in a group, no worries, there is a plethora of large tables that can easily be pushed together. The true benefit of an informal eatery shines in its ability to handle rapid change.

A quick glance of the menu revealed my dish. A large 1 pound burger they call “The Bambino”. Topped with a special sauce and a bottomless tub of fries, it tempted this heavy eater. All of this arrives for around $5.00. A quick exchange with the polite waitress, and my order was in. I watched as the hand written ticket was presented to the kitchen of one, and the cook revved up to ply his trade. Since my meal was in the hands of experts, I took the time to survey my surroundings.

The first but perhaps least noticeable trait was the cigarette smoke. For any readers interested, I am not a smoker. I despise smoking on the level of perhaps Iago from Shakespeare’s Othello. It kills the taste buds and darkens lung tissue. However, I do understand that it is a personal choice that every adult must make. And Frosty’s is, after all, a bar. Yet despite the apparent smoke smell, it wasn’t overwhelming. It was present, but not so much so that I ran from the building. I was actually able to return to work without a shower and nary a coworker was wiser.

The remainder of my inspection was a wee bit of a shocker. Clean carpet abounds. Tables and chairs weren’t sticky from tar buildup. A clever illusion I thought. No bar takes this care to keep clean. I excused myself to the restroom to snoop. Opening the door with the fear of a cat in a room full of rocking chairs, I held my breath. I stuck my left nostril in and took a drag. . . . . . . . Not offensive. I ventured in, disinfectant at the ready. While obviously a restroom, it was clean. There were no visible bodily fluid stains. Plenty of soap and paper towels were available. Clearly somebody was taking the time to keep the powder room presentable.

As I returned to my table, I slowed down and looked in the kitchen. Despite being small, it appeared very clean. No chunks of food stuck to the wall. The grill looked as if it had been recently scraped. Clean serving baskets sat stacked in the corner, ready for service.

Shortly thereafter, my burger arrived with a smile. Oh, and what a burger it was - large, thick, and juicy. It was served in a hearty Kaiser bun and on a platter with plenty of veggies for customizing. The flavor of the ungulate was very good. It did not taste frozen or heavily processed. A light dusting of perhaps garlic salt or onion powder graced my taste buds. It was simple but effective. Disappointingly, the bun was a store bought version, although it did a passable justice to the beef.
A paper vat full of fries accompanied my burger. The menu indicates a bottomless quantity, but I never needed to test that promise. The fries were perfectly done and just needed a sprinkling of salt as per my calibrated tongue.

As I enjoyed my burger, I witnessed a large burrito exit the kitchen. Smothered in green chili and cheese, I nearly fainted at the thought of somebody getting a special dish. I quickly grabbed the nearest menu and poured over it again. Sure enough, on the very back, was the burrito selection. Let this be a warning, peruse the entire map before choosing a road to travel.

A full belly and a happy soul, I was ready to go. I paid the small bill and prepared to leave. What a shocking experience I thought. This was a bar in the truest sense of the word. But instead of being a bar that simply serves food, it is a bar with a small restaurant inside. Not a pleasure destination for first dates or executive business meetings, Frosty’s is built for the working stiff. As I looked around, I witnessed hard working men and women enjoying a lunch break with friends. It dawned on me that perhaps instead of taking a hard earned dollar, Frosty’s is multiplying it.

I give Frosty’s a rating of 6.5/10 burgers. I dinged it because it is a little walled off from the outside and it does allow smoking. It is difficult to group a bar/restaurant with other eateries. Had it been a traditional dining facility (not a bar) I would have chastised it far more for allowing smoking.

I praise it for its cheap and plentiful food that honors the working American with a quick, filling meal.

This eater and American blue collar worker will be back.

The Casper Food Critic is an independent author and is not employed by K2 Radio or Townsquare Media, LLC. The views expressed by the Casper Food Critic do not reflect those of K2 Radio or Townsquare Media, LLC.

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