Dining Out Paleo: Casey's Steaks & Barbecue

Welcome to my Thursday series: Dining Out Paleo 
Thursdays I post a recent dining out experience and how I chose the best possible options to stay true to a whole foods diet, opting for the freshest and most nutrient dense foods while avoiding grains, sugars, dairy, and soy to the best of my ability.  Unless informed otherwise, I always assume that the restaurant uses vegetable/canola oils for cooking.

My favorite part of spring in the desert is all the gorgeous flowers!  After waking up to a beautiful display in our front yard, Matt and I ventured out to Ridgecrest, California to attend the annual Ridgecrest Desert Wildflower Festival.

We've had an extremely dry winter this year, so the festival was less flowery and more festivaly... craft vendors, artists, and park rangers handing out pamphlets on Death Valley and the supposedly spectacular drives.  I have heard Death Valley in the spring is one of the most striking things I will ever see.  I just keep forgetting to plan a trip far enough ahead as all the hotels and camp sites book up almost a year in advance.  Must be good.

After Matt and I were finished weaving our way through desert inspired pottery, paintings, and Avon sales ladies, it was time for lunch!  Along the main stretch of town, on North China Lake Boulevard, was a speckling of restaurants.  Matt eye-balled Casey's Steaks & Barbecue and that was where we stopped for mid-day chow.

I figured vegetables and fresh anythings might be difficult to come by, but at least I could get a solid helping of meat product.  As expected, the menu was full of burgers, sandwiches, rib options, tri-tip, pulled pork, and steaks.  There were even a few options for those folks that like chicken.  There were chef-cut vegetables and green salad available among the selections of side orders, but I decided I was in the mood for a big salad.  I ordered the Tri-Tip Salad - tender chunks of smoked Certified Angus Beef Tri-Tip served over fresh greens, carrots, tomatoes, red onions, cucumbers, and croutons.  I 86-ed the croutons and waited eagerly with fork in hand for my salad to arrive.

I'm surprised the waiter didn't require a fork lift to deliver the backyard garden in a bowl to the table.  Casey's officially wins the award for having a Big Salad.

I tried to show some scale by setting my sunglasses next to the bowl, but this picture really doesn't do the size any justice.  Imagine going to an Italian restaurant and ordering an antipasto for the table.  This is the kind of bowl it would come in.  And here I am with this bowl, full of greens and cow, all to myself!  

Try as I might, I couldn't make it all the way through.  I thought I was hungry.  But half way down the bowl, I started to slow and what was left resembled a whole new portion of food.  So I did what any normal eater would do and requested a to-go box for what was going to be my dinner.  The salads at Casey's are certainly the best value item on the menu!  But, if Matt and I make our way back out to Ridgecrest again, I think I'll give the Flat Iron Steak a try with the side of salad and veggies. 

When lunch was finished and tightly tucked away under the seat of the truck, we were off on a little adventure to the Living Ghost Town of Randsburg, California.  Residential population of under 100, but extremely packed with visitors, off-roaders, motorcyclists, and tourists.  The one-ish mile road through town is straddled by antique shops, restaurants, and bars.  And the bars were crammed full when we passed by on this particular Saturday in March.  

The weather was all too perfect and I think most folks were out to enjoy a bike ride.  After our short visit through Randsburg and nearby Johannesburg, we made our way back home to enjoy our own display of flowers and the rest of my gargantuan salad!


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