Welcome back to our continuing tour of old favorites! It’s been a hot minute, Ray’s.
We had hoped to sit on the enclosed patio – since the calendar may say October but in true Ohio fashion it was just a touch shy of patio temperature outside – but it was closed for the season. Or for lack of staff, maybe, since we were greeted with a “seat yourself” sign at the hostess stand. But no worries, there was ample seating in the bar area at the high top tables. Done.
Draft lists on the table when we sat down = winning. Why don’t more places do this?
Ray’s still has an extensive list, with options across the board from light beers to ciders to stouts that could take the place of a meal. Which also equates to lots of descriptions to read through. Back to playing my favorite game of seeing if the taste of the beer actually matches the “notes of caramel and hot spiced cider” descriptions.
Let’s play another game; would you think ordered what in this photo?
If you guessed the darkest beer to be Ted’s … well, you would be wrong. That’s actually my nitro blueberry stout. Which didn’t elicit the best response from our server when I placed the order, so I was slightly nervous.
But Ted tried it and said he liked it better than the R Sheas pumpkin ale he ordered. That’s the middle one in the photo there. And the lightest beer was Shane’s blue moon.
So remember the server I mentioned? He was very fun – after I heckled him for not giving a good response to my beer selection he was sure to overreact to everything everyone ordered. You know we enjoy people who share our sarcastic sense of humor.
Maybe it was jealously over Ted’s pickles from a few weeks ago, but Shane and I decided on the pickle spears for an app.
They were very good. Lightly breaded and the sauce with them was a bit spicy and very good.
On the healthier side of the table, Ted ordered the hummus.
I got the 50/50 burger, which is half ground beef and half Italian sausage, and a side of fries.
The. Fries. Can we just talk about these for a minute? As soon as they arrived at the table I instantly remembered that these were one of the things I loved most about Ray’s. They’re fresh cut and served piping hot … and they’re just plain delicious.
So we have a giant beer list and amazing fries. Tell me again why we aren’t here more often?
Also there’s no such thing as ordering a side of fries with a burger. You get a basket. And trust me when I say that this basket should either considered your entire meal, or shared with someone else. Shane was regretting his decision not to get fries with his burger, but when the giant baskets arrived for both me and for Ted he was pretty sure he wasn’t going to be missing out on anything.
Although we should be surprised Shane had room in his stomach for anything else, since his burger – the Mo Fo burger – was freaking huge. Like tall huge, with double patties and bacon.
As he cut into it his comment was: how in the hell are you supposed to eat this?
Fortunately Ted was able to pull up his experience from that place in Canton where he had the most delicious burger ever … but then it closed for good like a week after we visited. So check that one off of our list for this return visit tour, I guess.
Oh yeah, that’s also his basket of onion rings there. I mean, because we clearly don’t have enough food.
Ted got the gyro and the jerk fries.
This was much easier to tackle than Shane’s burger. In case you weren’t aware of that already.
Back to beer, because the list is too extensive to stick to the same one for the entire night. Ted eventually found the winner for the entire group: The Albino Stout.
I know what you’re thinking – that’s an awfully light beer for Ted to be enjoying. And normally you would be right. But the point of an albino stout is that it’s lighter in color, but still packs the flavor punch of a darker stout.
Yeah, before the end of the night we each had a glass of this delicious beer in front of us. And I don’t think the server was being sarcastic when he over enthusiastically agreed with us about the choice.
I feel like a broken record at the end of these reviews lately, when I say that I’m sure we’ll be back and we aren’t sure why we don’t visit more often … but it’s true. This revisit tour has been a great way to remind ourselves some of our better picks over the years, and to reaffirm they should still be on our radar.
Just don’t change the fries, Ray’s.