Ralph Raffio has been a writer and editor for more than 40 years. He is the former editor-in-chief of
Restaurant Business magazine and currently writes the award-winning food blog Mister Meatball. Originally from Brooklyn, New York, he is now based in suburban Portland, Maine, and curses United Airlines whenever he has to connect to almost anywhere. He'll always stop for BBQ at The Salt Lick in Austin-Bergstrom International and is convinced you should eat at Don Peppe while stuck at Kennedy Airport in New York.
MAY 27, 2021: ICE CREAM AND OLD-SCHOOL HOTELS
Getting back on the road brings a wave of nostalgia. It happens when you're in a 32-year-old Residence Inn.
AUGUST 20, 2020: TIP BIGGER, THEN QUESTION THE CONCEPT
Tipping more during the pandemic is a very good thing. But tipping proves the economy of restaurants is broken. What other industry bases its business on voluntary payment for an essential service?
JUNE 7, 2020: GREAT SPORTS FOR FREE
Live sports? Not so much. But now is a great time to be a sports fan of the past. Many of sports' greatest events are available online at YouTube and at zero cost. We're talking complete events in many cases, and in several different sports, enough to while away more than a few hours if you are so inclined.
MAY 24, 2020: JUST WHEN I THOUGHT I WAS OUT ...
A chance encounter at an airport check-in counter in Europe revived my love of the Mets, the team that once sold me out. The Franchise is gone, but I'm still with the franchise. That's how baseball works.
MAY 14, 2020: THE DUMBASS DOW
Even many smart Americans wouldn't know a municipal swimming pool from a municipal bond. That's not smart in these crazy times.
MAY 3, 2020: WHO'S ON YOUTUBE? ABBOTT, COSTELLO, GROUCHO ...
YouTube has a huge library of free TV you can binge. Groucho, Abbott & Costello, the Jeannie you dream of, Mary Tyler Moore, they're all there. And much more. Here are a baker's dozen of picks.
APRIL 9, 2020: THE LIFE LASAGNA
What, exactly, is there to a lasagna that is not to like? Have you ever known a person with an aversion to layers of baked pasta sheets separated by things like tomatoes, soft cheeses, ground meats, sausage and, for those who respect tradition, a fine béchamel?
MARCH 26, 2020: VINYL VICTORY
Digitized music is easier to take on the road. But how's that working out for you now? Vinyl albums sound much better and I've never given up my turntable and LPs.