Ralphie’s Sports Eatery

. July 30, 2013.
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Want a pub atmosphere that offers a kids’ menu? Feel like some friendly wagering while you wait? Don’t want to miss the big game but don’t want to do dishes, either?

There’s a restaurant for that. There’s a little bit of everything – and something for everyone – at Ralphie’s Family Sports Eatery. On a recent weekday we decided to try Ralphie’s, 1523 Broad Ave. Our children were toddlers the last time we walked in, so it was high time to take the now teenager and tweenager back to try it again.

When we stepped into the restaurant it was indeed a fun step back in time – for us, anyway. Among the five arcade games in the back was an old-school Centipede. In the Age of Xbox, it was still mesmerizing to watch our kids outrun insects. In the dining area, many of the booths had laminated tops that covered sports cards, both vintage and new, and the walls were decorated with various sports items. The sound system played music from our youth that never seems to get old – Joan Jett, ZZ Top, The Who and Joe Walsh. Adults can enjoy Keno and pool.

Menu specials
 Specials abound all week at Ralphie’s, from Wicked Wing Monday to Handy Dandy Sunday. If you need to catch-up, or can’t decide, try Wednesday’s Week in Review where any of the specials are available. A gluten-free menu section features chicken breast and steak burger entrees, as well as a jumbo stuffed, baked potato. A kids’ menu offers mini hamburgers and cheeseburgers, fish and chips, chicken fingers and other favorites.

One rather unique tabletop amenity had us smiling: A full roll of paper towels for our use. How did they know we can be complete slobs while we eat? It was nice to know if something spilled or dripped we could take care of it right away without waiting for extra napkins. It might seem like a small thing, but if you have younger children it’s nice to have instant access.

A slight dilemma
One issue stumped us right away, though: What to order? Sandwiches are big in our house, and the selection had the teenager stumped. “I know I want the club wrap this time, but I want to try the chicken tender wrap next time,” she said, already anticipating another visit. She did indeed order the club wrap with French fries ($7.99). The tween ordered a philly steak and cheese with waffle fries ($9.99), while the husband had the pub-style fish sandwich and a side salad. I ordered the veggie wrap and onion rings ($7.99) which the staff happily grilled for me.
 
We all enjoyed our selections, and at least a few bites made it into to-go boxes. That didn’t mean we were done, however, since we often take part of a meal home in order to have dessert. It was probably the first time we were warned about dessert, however.

Ralphie’s offers ice cream sundaes, but the star of the show was Captain Dave’s Buried Treasure, a homemade ice cream cake with caramel sauce, hot fudge, crumbled Heath bars, vanilla ice cream and whipped cream. Our waitress said the dessert was more than enough to share. One huge dessert and four spoons later, we knew she was right. It wasn’t just a dessert; it was a challenge.

In fact, you could certainly go to Ralphie’s for the dessert alone. But you’d be missing out on a vast menu of sandwiches, wraps and burgers. Instead, take our advice and take part of your meal home so you can enjoy what has to be one of the best and biggest desserts in town.

THE SHORT COURSE

Kid-friendly Yes
To avoid wait Consider off-peak times
Bathroom amenities  Changing table in women’s restroom
High Chairs  Yes
Got Milk  Yes, both white and chocolate, along with lemonade
Kid’s menu?  Yes
Anything healthy for the kids? Side choices include green beans, salad and cottage cheese
Food allergy concerns?  There is a gluten-free section of the menu