The ring of a phone and a few passing phrases. That is all it takes, and I’m off like a shot. Across Casper I go, like an antelope at full throttle. I was sent to direct some folks into their next job site. Conveniently, this all transpired near lunchtime. A few minutes later, I find myself headed toward my next review, posse in tow.

We decide on gorging at Primetime Restaurant, located inside the Sunrise shopping center’s bowling alley. A quick check of their website on my smart phone indicates “Our burgers were just voted #1 in the state by our customers!” My fate was sealed and the vote was in. I was going to test the claim and lay waste to some beef.

We arrived and were seated quickly. Pleasantries were exchanged with the wait staff and menus obtained. The dining area was warm and pleasant. Lighting was soft and mild. Try as I might though, I just could not focus on the menu. What was it? I have both the visual acuity and the vernacular to understand the writing. No, it wasn’t a sight issue. It was my brain being constantly snapped off task by a horrid sound. Looking over my shoulder, expecting to see a small furry mammal being maimed, I realized I was being force fed audio from a TV. On all sides of me, the same sportscaster screeched about missed kicks and amazing leaps. Overhead sat a speaker system driving home the finer points of random sporting events, intermixed with overbearing commercials. Moving about the restaurant proved futile. To eat here, you need to like sports. I mean REALLY LIKE SPORTS, in your face, in your ears, everywhere. As if an incessant infomercial, my lunch was one cacophony of screaming sportscasters after another.

Forcing my mind to focus as if I were studying for an exam, I was determined to order and consume a burger. I was finally snapped out of my Excedrin needing stupor by sticker shock. Most burgers booked at over $9. Pizzas were available as well, starting at $20. Now, being the heavy eater I am, I eat a lot. While I understand that the volume of food I consume requires a certain monetary commitment, this was pushing the envelope. Staying true to my critic’s oath and my desire to taste a supposed award winning burger, I pressed on. Possible debt be damned!

Now, if only we could order. It looked like our waitress was over talking to friends. A mere distraction I thought, she will be back soon. As time passed and beverages emptied, I cancelled my remaining appointments for the day. I looked around and noticed a common facial expression on all of the patrons. It was the look of aggravation, coupled with an overwhelming desire to throttle certain TV personalities. Wasting more time, I realized that everybody in the establishment was not talking. I even noticed our small party of close friends was not communicating. Further investigation led me to believe it was due to the fact that we could not hear anybody else, even at our own table.

After what was literally an eternity, our order was taken and delivered to the kitchen staff by what I assume was a pony express rider, on a lame horse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by way of Chicago. Another 45 minute eternity later, our food finally arrived. This period was during the lunch rush, but the establishment appeared less than half full.

Outward appearance of the food was promising. A decent sized burger, topped with an assortment of accouterments. A small basket of fries or homemade potato chips accompanied the star of the show. The first bite was a bit anti-climactic. After such a wait and the lead up on their website, I felt like a child on Christmas morning who had to go to school before opening presents. The beef was excellently cooked, but the praise ends there. All members of my entourage agreed that the meat was flavorless and bland. If it weren’t for the accompaniments, one friend questioned whether he would have finished his burger or not.

One bright spot on this otherwise dim meal was the homemade potato chips. Perfectly salted and cooked, they were a hit with the diners.
After finishing the lackluster burgers, we watched as patron after patron complained. Dishes were served incorrectly and wait times were excessive. Customers asking to speak with the manager had the wait staff walk away mid sentence and never return. I had originally taken the wait staffs malaise as an attitude problem. Closer examination made me believe it was inexperience coupled with a lack of leadership.

Another small eternity later, our tabs were paid and we were free. Walking out, we listened as yet again a customer had reached a grumpy precipice and was ready to jump. A final view of the dining area confirmed my feelings, this eater won’t be returning.

Because of the fizzle service, lackluster food, and overwhelmingly obnoxious acoustics, I rate Primetime Restaurant a dismal 4/10 sad frowny faces.
Comfortable seating and gentle lighting were the only redeeming qualities of this eatery.

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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