Rafael’s – Royal Treatment

Friday, January 17, 2014 - by Willie Mae

Lois and I were headed to an antique shop in Cleveland and decided to grab some lunch. Lois was hankering for Italian and, when I saw Rafael’s Pizza and Italian restaurant located at 2324 Treasury Dr., I thought it would make a good story since I had not tried it before.

When we walked in, it was nice and clean. It wasn’t a restaurant that seats you, like I had thought. You order at the counter like a fast food place. The young man at the counter was so polite and had very good customer skills. It made the place seem less like a fast food place and more like a small business owner’s restaurant. I still was not sure yet what type of place this was.

Lois and I sat down with take-out menus until we were ready to order. I wanted the cannelloni for $5.95 with a side salad for $1.75 and Lois wanted the lasagna for $6.25 with a side salad. After shopping we were quite hungry because we left early and did not have breakfast.

When I ordered at the counter, I had to pay first and there was a place for a tip (even though I had no idea how our meal would be). I gave a good tip because the boy was very professional and helpful when I ordered. He gave me a number, but it wasn’t his phone number – guess I was too old for him.

Lois and I helped ourselves getting our drinks and plastic ware and sat down at a booth. The booths were low and Lois barely reached the table. She wanted to ask for a booster seat.

Lois was so hungry she grabbed her Diet Coke and said, “I could make a meal just on this Diet Coke!”

When they called out numbers, customers went up to get their meals. The next thing I knew, that sweet boy brought our food to our table. We had number 30, but the last number they called out was number 28. I wasn’t sure if we were brought ours so efficiently because we were two old ladies or if it was because I was a good tipper, but I enjoyed the royal treatment!

The first thing Lois noticed was that her lasagna didn’t have cheese on top like my meal did. I handed her the cheese in a jar that was on the table. Surely, she wouldn’t find anything wrong with lasagna – how can you do lasagna wrong? It had cheese inside but was smothered with tomato sauce. Actually, our meals looked a lot alike except for my cheese on top.

I teased Lois that she wouldn’t like this meal either just because of the missing cheese and she said, “I don’t care. It could be rubber and it would taste good!” I guess I need to bring her on my jaunts when she is starving more often!

Our bread looked great. It was a hoagie-size roll that was toasty on the outside and soft on the inside. It was already buttered so we didn’t have to do it. With the styrofoam plates and plastic ware and ordering at the counter, I realized this was a fast food type place, sort of like Fazoli’s, but it looked like a full service restaurant and, with the staff so professional and courteous, it felt like a real restaurant.

My cannelloni was good, but it did have a taste of the fast food-put-together-quickly-food. Lois liked her lasagna fine too, but we agreed that it wasn’t what we expected.

The price was exceptional for the large portions we were served. I could only eat half of mine and I said, “Whew, I’m through.” Lois was still eating and said, “Don’t tell ME your troubles.” Poor thing’s sugar must have been about to bottom out. She reached to try a bite of the cannelloni that was left on my plate. I asked her if she liked it and she said it tasted just like hers and she couldn’t tell the difference.

It wasn’t the full service, chef-prepared restaurant we were hoping for, but for a quick and economical meal with impeccable service – this place definitely gets a thumb’s up.

Hours:

Sunday – Thursday  11:00-10:00

Friday and Saturday 11:00 – 11:00



Adelle's Creperie Celebrates 1 Year Anniversary

Adelle’s Creperie celebrates its one year anniversary at 400 East Main St. on Saturday, Aug. 12, from 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.  There will be music by hammered dulcimer player, Dan Landrum, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., plus some special additions to the regular menu.   The featured food and drink specials will be Chicken and Mushroom Crepe with béchamel sauce and Peach Melba ... (click for more)

John Shearer: Porker’s Barbecue Busy As End On Market Street Nears

Diners began trickling in a little after 10 a.m. Thursday at Porker’s barbecue restaurant at 1251 Market St., and by 11:30, about 15-20 people were standing near the front door waiting for a table.   It might have looked like the word was out that someone like the president or a famous actor was dining there, but this restaurant that has indeed served George W. Bush and ... (click for more)

Opposing Sides Expected To Show Up For Coolidge Park Rally Thursday Night; Some Urged To "Bring Your Guns"

Chattanooga Police said they will be closely monitoring an organized rally at Coolidge Park on Thursday that may draw some of the same opposing sides that clashed - with deadly result - in Charlottesville, Va. The rally is set for 7:30 p.m. and initially was  in memory of a woman who was killed in the angry Virginia confrontation that initially began over a decision to ... (click for more)

Owners Of Larger Structures In Walker County To Pay More For Fire, Ambulance Service; Full-Time Fire Stations Increase From 4-6

Walker County Sole Commissioner Shannon Whitfield announced plans on Wednesday to update the county's fire fee schedule to offer improvements in fire protection and public safety efforts. The fee will now be known as a "public safety" fee and will fund fire and emergency management operations, along with contracted ambulance services.   The county will replace the existing ... (click for more)

Shame On Anyone Planning A Protest At Coolidge Park Thursday Evening - And Response

Whether you're Alt-Left or Alt-Right, Coolidge Park isn't the place to showcase your hate and indifference with one another. Just because it's your right, that doesn't necessarily mean that you should do it. Many have this misconception that this park is named after a President, Nope. It's named after a great man, a true patriot, and Medal of Honor recipient from right ... (click for more)

A Tale Of 3 Properties

Here in Lookout Valley on the far southwest edge of Chattanooga and Hamilton County, trees and rocks are plentiful but sidewalks are as rare as unicorns. It’s a land the governments forget – until tax collection time.  The recent county reappraisal spoke about ‘comps,’ recent sale prices of comparable local properties. But the assessors defined ‘comparable’ to suit themselves, ... (click for more)