Ralph’s restaurant in Philadelphia is the oldest family-owned Italian restaurant in the country. It is in a small room with half-tiled walls and a lot of great old wallpaper and the most tables per square foot of any restaurant I know. This makes it a strange echo chamber gossip room.
I learned all about a ski vacation, I saw cowboys or would-be cowboys, I heard about wedding preparations and also the Eagles game. It was a box of voices.
I ate lasagna. It was as big as my face and served in a bowl.
Ralph’s only takes cash, just like when they started over 100 years ago. The recipes, apparently, also date from 1900.
What you should do is take out some money and a tape recorder and make a record there. I would like a record of quiet humming at Ralph’s while waiting for food. I would like to listen to that record.
‘Ralph’ is also a slang term meaning to vomit. For example: I ate so much Ralph’s I nearly ralphed.