Has gone completely DOWNHILL in precisely these ways: Not Clean, Bad Meats, Inconsistent, Untrained Chefs, Slow Service, Bad Attitudes:
Lack of Cleanliness is the first problem at this place where you can (unfortunately) see the kitchen -- check it out for yourself. You'll walk out. Unfortunately, I didn't until I finally took a look. (Sadly, this was after eating there with my family a few times... now I shudder to think of it.)
Second problem is the Low Quality of Meats - everything is low-grade "Choice" or "Utility" grade beef, and the steaks are not a very well-marbled "Choice." Nothing is Prime, not even the "Prime" Rib, which is woefully unseasoned prior to baking, and, after sliced and serving-prepared ranges between unseasoned and barely-seasoned.
Inconsistency and Untrained Chefs go together: Casey's is clueless as to how to cook a steak properly. A rare steak is red and cold in the center, often with a thin dark-char on the outside if so ordered (most rare steak eaters do order that way: see "black and bleu" on any culinary site).
It's what I often call the rural scale -- restaurants with less urban clientele find that their patrons don't really know how to order a steak, and they compensate to all the send-backs by cooking one-half to one-full range over what's ordered. But Casey's takes this stupid practice to a new scald-rate:
At Casey's A rare order always comes book-Medium or darker. Pink and warm center. Tough and chewy. A medium-rare order arrives book medium-well, with a super-heated pink center, and the brown edges creeping a full quarter-inch into the meat. It's as tough as shoe leather, and in this case, the cliche' fits. Don't even THINK of ordering something like a Char because they'll just add that to however much they've overcooked the meat, and you'll get a blackened mess.
Vegetables are viewed as something to be drowned in boiling water. Any kind of mixed veggie or broccoli arrives as limp as if it came from a can. It was probably fresh when they started boiling the living daylights out of it, but it arrives with no crispness remaining. Do the patrons here really prefer mush for veggies? I don't.
Slow service is the cornerstone of this place, because, unless you arrive at 4:30 p.m., you're going to wait for the orders of this under-size kitchen to trickle through. Maybe you'll be served 20 minutes before others at your table, or maybe they'll hold several orders letting them get cold, and 3 of your 4 table mates will have even soggier veggies and tougher meats.
Seafood here is practically non-existent, and what they do carry is never fresh, always frozen, and comes out stinking of fish odor. It too, is often overcooked, and lacks seasoning.
Rudeness is a problem here. I recently received my New York Strip (not a cheap steak) in an extremely tough condition -- it was book-well-done, and so burned that it was 3/4 of an inch of pure carbon along the edges. This was in response to an order for "blood rare with a Pittsburgh Char". It should have been a well-marbled piece of meat, properly seasoned, then done on a super-hot flat grill for 30-75 seconds per side to char it, sometimes done with a butter -- then rest a minute or two, then served. This can also be done in an oven with slightly longer times if the temp is close to 800F. Either way, the meat gets barely cooked. That's not what I received.
Here's the problem. It was a take-out order done late, and when I brought it back the next day to demonstrate the problem, along with some printed guides for the chefs, so that next time I ordered this way, they would know HOW to actually do it, I was given a bunch of excuses by an obnoxious bartender who seemed to be in a managerial role, or at least was determined to tell me that what happened wasn't something they did: "Oh, those things heat up after they leave here". I pointed out that this isn't so much the case if the item is properly done, then rests briefly first before going into Styrofoam. (Yes, the center does darken a bit after cooking, but not very much if something is book-rare with a thin char.)
I nicely pointed out that this is not what had occurred, and offered the steak for examination. I pointed out that, unless the Styrofoam carry-out tray had a BLOW TORCH inside it, there is no way that a third of the steak could have "self-cooked" so that it was CARBON THROUGHOUT.
When I pointed this out, nicely, the Casey's guy said "Well, this tells me nothing -- you could have done this to it yourself."
SERIOUSLY? I'm going to be accused of taking a piece of meat and burning the crap out of it, then returning it? For what reason? I didn't even care about a discount -- just for them to see the issue.
This is RUDE and INSULTING, and if that's the way you want to be treated, you can always go to Casey's of Winter Springs.
Stuff that's OK: Baked and Mashed Potatoes, and their Fries are properly prepared and usually good.