Review by Obese Carl
No it’s not pronounced RA-FART-EE’S. That would mean this place sucks. This place does NOT suck, and is actually the best chain-style family restaurant experience in Clarksville…mostly.
OK, the most important part are the things you put in your mouth (that’s what she said). Rafferty’s has an average-size menu of American dishes you’d expect. They aren’t Applebee’s (praise zombie Jesus!), so you don’t have to worry too much about Tennessee chefs trying to make stupid fusion egg rolls with bean sprouts and Heinz 57 sauce stuffed in them. They have American food (and lasagna), for Americans.
First let’s talk about appetizers. The fried mushrooms kick ass, mostly because they include this awesome horseradish dip that matches perfectly. Smear that shit all over my body and leave me to die. Also, the standard chicken fingers are there and are a hit, especially with ungrateful bastard kids you bring along (seriously, hire a babysitter and leave them at home).
Their side salads don’t have that “side salad” taste. They do a great job of covering the salad with toppings like egg, potato sticks, and bacon bits. Each salad comes with a fan-fucking-tastic croissant with some sort of honey butter smothered on them. I sometimes feel like I should just come here after work and order buckets of rolls until I die a carbohydrate death.
Now the main dishes. They’ve got big ol’ burgers that I love. It’s a half pound, almost too big for people that suck at eating, but plenty for Obese Carl. My sissy friends enjoy the chicken wrap, club sandwich, and whatever soup of the day they have. I’m not as big on the soups, and since it always changes it can be a crapshoot in my opinion.
They have lasagna and a couple of pasta dishes for people that like to waste 15 dollars on something they could make at home for 3 bucks. Don’t get me wrong, they taste great. But alfredo sauce is like the ramen seasoning packet of Italian cooking–cheap, easy, and any dipshit could make it. If you have to have pasta, by all means go for it.
The star of the show are the steaks and cuts of cooked meat. I have friends that bounce around from the New York Strip to the Jackson Hole Filet (most expensive dish on the menu). They’re all pretty good. Even the pork chops aren’t too bad, but pale when you put them next to the beef. I’ve got to give a shoutout to the prime rib though. I love it like the son I never had that went on to play for the Titans and buy me a house next to Leann Rimes tanning naked in her backyard. It comes with au jus, that I would also lick off of Le…damn, never mind.
Rafferty’s is set in this weird country-style looking brick house that has nice low lighting…surrounded by 37 HONKING HUGE TV’S THAT BLAST SPORTS INTO YOUR SKULL. On one hand, Rafferty’s has an awesome patio that is open during warm months and comfortably covered in the cold months. On the other hand, the center of the inside dining area is wall-to-wall TV’s that make you feel like you been taken hostage by the cast of Sportscenter. If you like ignoring your wife, this might be perfect for you. But it is a little too much for me.
I guess you can always ask the hostess for a table away from the TV’s, as they do have some cozy corners in the back. But then she might think you’re an asshole and you never get a table. Whatever.
The waitresses and waiters have almost always been quick, friendly, and knowledgeable of the menu and any specials. They know what they like, and are usually not afraid to tell you what they don’t. I appreciate honesty like that, especially when I’m tipping…
Rafferty’s is still my favorite “American” restaurant in Clarksville. That might not be saying much considering what city we’re in, but at least I know what I’m getting here. When I order the right food, drink, and sit in the right seats, I’m happy and fat as my name suggests.
One thing I didn’t mention is the price. It costs a good chunk of change to eat here compared to some other places. But you can show up early and get 1/2 off appetizers and 2 for 1 drinks if you play your cards right. The only other “con” is that this place is packed EVERY NIGHT. You will likely wait 45 minutes for a table many nights. Weekends can get even worse. I’m told that you can call ahead, but I haven’t tried that here. Maybe you wanna pick up a McDouble for a buck to snack on while you wait for your table…
But in the end, I wanna thank Rafferty’s for not sucking. You made my day.