Legend has it you can feast with a resident ghost at this long-time Tempe haunt.EXPAND
Legend has it you can feast with a resident ghost at this long-time Tempe haunt.
Tom Carlson

The House Specialty at Tempe's Favorite ASU Haunt

Welcome to The Essentials, our catalog of indispensable and quintessential Phoenix food and drink. From now until May, we'll be sharing 50 dishes, drinks, and food experiences that make up the culinary backbone (and personality) of metro Phoenix. This list is highly eclectic, mixing classics with newer and lesser-known favorites. But all The Essentials have one thing in common: We think they're required eating (and drinking) in metro Phoenix.

Up next, Casey Moore’s Oyster House’s signature dish.

27: Oysters at Casey Moore’s Oyster House.

Sometimes you’re so used to calling it simply “Casey’s” you forget the whole Moore’s Oyster House, but probably not the oysters themselves. Though a popular drinking spot for locals, the 1983-established, estate-like spot at Ninth Street and Ash Avenue has more to offer than cocktails and conversation.

It’s no secret Casey Moore’s has a popular menu, from the meaty hot wings to the steaming cup of French onion soup to the salads, sandwiches, pasta dishes, and hearty entrees. Though located in Old Town Tempe in the middle of Arizona, Casey’s has a seafood section of the menu titled “Casey’s Favorites.” Here’s where you’ll find your oysters.

Oyster shooters are $7, and the fried oysters come golden brown in a light cornmeal coating as a half-dozen for $10, and full dozen for $16. The Oysters Rockefeller require diners to allow 30 to 35 minutes for a half-dozen at $11, and dozen for $18. They’re baked in Casey Moore’s own Mornay sauce, and come topped with spinach and bacon bits. And this being a college bar, don’t be surprised to see an oyster get slurped out of some gal’s bellybutton. It happens.

A neighborhood hangout and Valley destination, Casey Moore's Oyster House has the food and the atmosphere.EXPAND
A neighborhood hangout and Valley destination, Casey Moore's Oyster House has the food and the atmosphere.
Tom Carlson

Casey’s is often the place to see and be seen among college students and 30- and 40-somethings. With so many new people coming in each year through ASU, and so many stalwarts at the back bar who seemingly don’t leave, it’s a wonder the wooden fence surrounding the spacious patio area hasn’t burst at the seams. But there’s a reason for the crowd. The neighborhood feel is coupled with well-made food, ghost stories about spirits that supposedly haunt Casey’s upper level, good music, and drinking outside. Hard to beat.

Visit the Casey Moore’s Oyster House website for more information.

The Essentials so far:
50: Tequila Sunrise at the Arizona Biltmore.
49: "Dragon" Dumpling Burger at Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour.
48: Dizzy Fig Empanada at Republica Empanada.
47: Linguine Carbonara at Avanti.
46: The Food Court at Mercado de los Cielos.
45: Chicken Feta Salad at George’s Kitchen.
44: Spinach & Cheese Chimi Burro at Mi Patio Mexican Restaurant.
43: Dinner at Rustler's Rooste.
42: Gyro Omelet at Mel's Diner.
41: Zipps Wings at Zipps Sports Grill.
40: Organ Stop Pizza in Mesa.
39: Asian Nachos at Moto.
38: Olive Oil Tasting at Queen Creek Olive Oil Mill.
37: Baby Back Ribs at Don & Charlie's.
36: Limoncello at Cibo.
35: Chili Salt Chicken Wings at Asian Café Express.
34: Smoked Prime Rib at Texaz.
33: Steak Salad at Feeney's.
32: Tasting Menu at Kai Restaurant.
31: Toffee Banofi Sundae at Sweet Republic.
30: Big Jim at Welcome Diner.
29: Sonoran Hot Dog at El Caprichoso.
28: Sashimi at Nobuo at Teeter House.

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