Casey Moore's in Tempe: Happy Hour Report Card

The Spot: Casey Moore's Oyster House 850 South Ash Avenue, Tempe 480-968-9935 www.caseymoores.com

See Also: - A Century of Casey Moore's

The Hours: Happy Hour is offered Monday through Friday from 3 until 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.

The Interior: If you haven't been to Casey Moore's yet, you've either just moved to town, haven't studied at ASU, or just don't get out much. This Tempe mainstay has been slinging pints of Guinness and fried bar delights since the '80s and has no signs of slowing down. On a Friday or Saturday night, the expansive patio and indoor seating, along with the indoor and outdoor bars, are all packed. However, you're much more likely to find a place to sit and relax during happy hour.

The Food: The deal on eats during Casey's happy hour is $2 off all appetizers. You can go for the more adventurous options like fried calamari, oysters on the half shell, or even escargot. However, our favorites are some of the more simple dishes that are just straight-up bar food done right. The chicken finger basket ($6) comes with five crispy and crunchy breaded chicken tenders on a bed of fries with a generous side of ranch for dipping. The ever-popular fried zucchini and mushroom plate ($6) is a crowd favorite for a reason -- the veggies are still crisp, despite being fried.

Our number one Casey's app must-have goes to the mozzarella sticks, though. We don't know how they do it, but the outside is always perfectly fried and the inside is bursting with gooey, stringy cheese. We've never seen a basket of them last longer than five minutes on a table and at $4 during happy hour, you can easily justify ordering seconds.

The Drink: Although Guinness, Harp, and Smithwick's are Casey's go-to drinks, the bar also offers several local and national craft drafts for $1 off pints, as well as $1 off glasses of wine and well cocktails. Casey's is more a beer joint to us, though, so we always have to get one of our favorites. Whether you call it a snakebite or a black velvet, the Guinness and cider combo is kept in two separate portions in one pint through the magic of science and a bent spoon. You can also order a pint of the highly sought-after Four Peaks Pumpkin Porter until the kegs run dry, which they will sooner rather than later.

The Conclusion: There's nothing fancy or pretentious about Casey Moore's happy hour or Casey Moore's in general. Tasty fried bar favorites and pints of beer at good prices really need no justification. The service is fast and friendly and the atmosphere is very relaxed. Plus, it's nice to be there without the crowd, especially since their patio is dog-friendly.

Grade: A-

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