Loving Ralphie’s

. June 1, 2015.
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Ralphie’s

730 W. Trenton Ave., Findlay

419-423-1403

Hours: 11am to 12am Sunday –Thursday.
11am to 1am Friday and Saturday.

Visit ralphies.com or find them on Facebook under
 “Ralphie’s Restaurants.” Carryout is available.

Reflecting on our meal at the new Ralphie’s, the unmistakable theme screaming out at me is MORE. At its new location, the restaurant offers more general seating, more TVs, more specials, more bar seating with a larger “community”-style bar, a new cocktail menu and more taps.

Put it all together and it means, MORE fun. (I know…cheesy. But I couldn’t resist.)

In early March, Ralphie’s opened at its new location at 730 W. Trenton Ave. The eating area is now one large, open space with plenty of booth, table and bar seating. General Manager Toni Aller said about 30 new seats were added, and there are still three arcade games and a pool table for a little recreation.

New and improved  

Patrons can also look forward to new carpeting, 32 TVs (an increase from 20), a new sound system and upgraded restrooms. Construction on the main entrance and parking lot should be completed by summer, according to Aller.

As for us, we thought the new atmosphere was great. We found ourselves singing along as the laid-back version of today’s music played just loudly enough to enjoy. At times, my son gladly watched soccer on one of the many TVs, my husband took in a little golf, and my daughter and I played some fierce tic-tac-toe on the kids menu. It was busy, but we felt like we had plenty of space and our surroundings never felt hectic.

If you like a good special, Ralphie’s has them all week long. To name a few, kids eat free all day on Tuesdays with the purchase of a regular adult meal; enjoy half-off appetizers after 9pm every day; and on Mondays save $4 and get 10 wings for $4.99.

Several appetizers beckon from the menu, such as nachos, butter toasted green beans, potato skins, and various chips and dips. Ralphie’s wide selection of half-pound burgers are hand-crafted everyday, and chili, several salads, soups, wraps, chicken wings and chicken chunks are available with 16 sauces from which to choose.

More? Ralphie’s also serves a variety of sandwiches, subs, pitas, grinders, all-beef hot dogs, and full dinners. Some of the dinners include ribs, smothered chopped steak or chicken breast, spaghetti, ravioli bowl, stuffed baked potato, or batter-crispy shrimp. I found the number of sides to be impressive, a few of which are three types of fries, sweet potato, homemade potato chips, cottage cheese or home-style baked beans.

We all enjoyed our meals, but my husband may have been most smitten with his order of “Two Dawgs.” He chose to dress his “dawgs” with onion, chili and cheese and remarked that not only is it hard to find all-beef hot dogs at a restaurant, but the portion size of the toppings were just right. The cheese, he said, effectively contained the chili, thus creating delightful ease in avoiding an unfortunate mess. He also enjoyed his hand-cut fries.

I ordered the oriental chicken salad with poppy seed dressing and sweet potato fries. The salad was made of fresh lettuce, pineapple, mozzarella, oranges, pecans, chow mien noodles, water chestnuts, and teriyaki chicken. The chicken was tasty and lettuce crisp. The ingredients blended nicely.

Savory sweet potatoes

Not everyone knows this, but it is mandatory Sarah Operating Procedure (SOP) that any form of sweet potato nestled oh so sweetly on a menu must result in an order and subsequent nod. No exceptions. Ralphie’s sweet potato fries had a nice texture, soft on the inside with a slight crunch on the outside, along with the highly anticipated and pleasing sweet and salty flavor.

Though nearly swayed into a daring new choice by some of the options, the kids (ages 6 and 9) both fell back on their favorite meal of chicken tenders and fries, with my 9-year-old son adding a side salad. Much to their delight, their meals also came with Goldfish Crackers and both ranked their meals right up there with the best.

My husband and I also shared the provolone wedges appetizer – freshly breaded wedges of golden-fried cheese served with marinara. They were delicious, and melted in our mouths with each bite.

One thing is for sure, we all left Ralphie’s satisfied and maybe a little goofy. When the kids are giggling hysterically all the way home, saying that “Dad’s face is on his face,” in the rearview mirror, it’s a good night. We’ll be back.

The Short Course

Kid-friendly Very – Great kids menu, pool table, TVs, three arcade games.

To avoid wait Busiest from about 11:30am to 12:30pm for lunch and around 6 to 8pm for dinner. Between 2pm and 5pm is a great time to avoid a rush, also come at another “off” time, or order carryout.

Noise level High – lots of hustle and bustle with music, but never felt too loud.

Bathroom amenities Adequate, with changing table.

High chairs Yes, and booster seats.

Got Milk? White and chocolate.

Kid’s menu? Exceptional selection of main dishes and sides. Meals are served with one side, a beverage and Goldfish Crackers. Mini sundaes for $1.99.

Food allergy concerns? Ralphie’s has a gluten-free menu and can make many of their regular menu options gluten-free. They do not use peanut oil, and can work with customers to accommodate. Call ahead or let your server know.