Ralph's Pretty Good Cafe: "A Burger The Way You Remember"

Featuring hot dogs for a dollar and a $2 "Hamburger Deluxe," the menu at Grayson's new Ralph's Pretty Good Café is packed with good deals.

Veterans Bingo founder Earl Shaffer describes it as "A burger the way you remember," as he recalls the inspiration for the Ralph's Pretty Good Cafe burger.

"I wanted us to have a burger like Hootie McKinney's dad, Fred McKinney, used to make. That was one of the best burgers around," Shaffer said, grinning as he remembered the burgers once served at McKinney's restaurant (sometimes remembered as The Black Cat or otherwise known as Hootie's) on Rt. 1947 at the edge of Grayson.

Café employees Dana Hall, Sharon Porter and Brenda Brooks agreed Shaffer is particular about the way their burgers are prepared.

"Earl likes you to start out with fresh burger, rolled in a ball. Once you put it on the grill you flatten it out, He likes it pressed as thin as you can get it," Hall said.

"It is thin and the burger sticks out over the bun," Shaffer confirmed.
At Ralph's Pretty Good Café the cheeseburger version of the old-fashioned sandwich costs $2.50, a hot dog with sauce is $1 (50-cents more for Cole slaw), chicken salad and popcorn chicken are $2.50 per order, a barbecue sandwich will cost you $3 and you can add slaw for another 50 cents.

A side of fries is priced at $1.50 and you can add bacon and cheese for another buck or top it with queso for $3. Onion rings or breaded mushrooms will set you back $2, or you can choose cheese sticks for $2 or $2.50 and jalapeno poppers are priced at $3.

The most expensive menu item is a sampler with your choice of three side items (French fries, onion rings, cheese sticks, mushrooms and fried pickles) for $5.

Located inside Veterans Bingo, near James Family Outfitters at the former Ralph's grocery store on Carol Malone Boulevard, the new café is now open on Saturday and Sunday before and during games. With most of the hall's seats and tables occupied by Bingo players, those who want a snack or a meal typically get carry-out orders, Shaffer explained, noting café customers do not have to play Bingo.

Orders must be placed in person, and can't be taken by phone.

"We are open Saturday and Sunday and serve from 4:30 until about 7:30 or 8 at night," Hall said.