Rafael’s Ringgold

Formerly Portofino’s, this local Italian eatery has had its highs and lows over the years. Yet despite perpetual changes in management and name, the quality of Rafael’s has consistently ranged from passable to delicious. This is more than can be said of the local chain pizzas, although after my most recent trip to Rafael’s I am reconsidering – perhaps Little Caesar’s is truly the best deal around.

Noticing that the place was empty on a weekend was the first red flag, but I never give much thought to the opinions of the public at large. They eat shit. Willing to overlook the lack of patrons due to the near-painful stoned cravings that could only be satisfied by a hot, gooey pie, I charged to the counter.

Sixteen dollars even. Red flag number two was the pizza boxes looking like portions for a toddler. Hoping that these Book-It personal pans weren’t for me, yet knowing they must be since I was the only motherfucker in the building – it was a hard sixteen dollars to part with.

After speeding home with diminished hopes for my meal, the pizza was about what I expected. Lukewarm, tiny, and not fresh – what the fuck? Rafael’s can do better. What kind of legacy is this for Portofino’s? The gyro is practically vegan, the chicken parm is like a Kid Cuisine, and the lasagna is one step above Stouffer’s, and what stings the most is that these items used to be excellent. No nostalgia – only the truth from Restaurant Rodney. And I’m willing to overlook the steady decline of every goddamn thing on the menu, so long as the pizza stays great.

Will I be back? No shit. But Little Caesar’s looks like the better deal by the day. If I’m going to go mediocre, might as well save a dime.





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