Ray and Dot’s
6351 W. Grange Ave. Greendale, WI 53129
Cuisine type: American
Price per entrée: $4.00-$10.00
Payment: Credit Cards Accepted
Sometimes it’s the simple no-fuss restaurants that are the most appealing. If you are from the Greendale area, like I am, you know that Ray and Dots is one of these simple dining pleasures. Ray and Dot’s has been a family-owned neighborhood bar and restaurant since 1957. Connected to the American Legion, Ray and Dorothy (Dot) Koepsel opened the tavern when the Legion was looking for someone to run a bar on their first level. In 1969, the Legion and Ray and Dot’s moved to their current location on Grange Ave. in Greendale, and is now the longest-running business in the town.
It is a local favorite. Everybody from college students to retirees, and everywhere in between, comes to hang and enjoy the friendly neighborhood bar atmosphere. Nothing fancy to it. With just a bar and a few high-top tables available for seating, ‘Dot’s’ does not carry a traditional wait staff, cooks, or even individual menus. Everything you need is taken care of by the hard-working bartenders, and the food is ordered off a big menu above the bar. Darts, pool, and a jukebox are available for use making it the perfect place to have fun with friends.
So, that is exactly what I did last Thursday night.
Two buddies and I decided to go to Ray and Dot’s for some Thursday Night Football, wings, and a couple beers. Ray and Dot’s is famous for their $2 draft beers and is not a bad place to catch a game either with the many TVs they have on the walls. They pride themselves on having the lowest drink prices around on their 18 tap beers and mixed drinks. The food at Ray and Dot’s is a bargain too. ‘Dot’s’ serves up a simple American flare bar menu from addicting appetizers to sandwiches to burgers to pizzas. The highest priced item on the menu is a specialty pizza for $10. Appetizers range from $2.50 to $4, sandwiches range from $4 to $6, and their wings (a total of 8 traditional, or boneless) are only $4.50. Thursday night is half-priced wings. The reason for my visit.
Growing up in Greendale, I had been to Ray and Dot’s in the past but never had their food. A buddy of mine suggested I try their wings, so I decided to head there on a Thursday night instead of my usual visit to Buffalo Wild Wings for their Boneless Wing Thursday. When we arrived, my friends and I sat down at the bar, ordered a few beers, and put in an order for some half-priced wings and fried pickle spears. You have the pick of traditional, or boneless wings and can choose one of the many sauces available: bourbon, buffalo medium, buffalo hot, BBQ, honey BBQ, ranch, honey garlic, sweet chili, and teriyaki. I went with the teriyaki sauce and it did not disappoint.
I placed my order right away, and before I could even finish my first Miller High Life, the bartender was already bringing out both the pickle spears and wings. With everything the bartenders have to handle, I was surprised by how fast they made and served the food. The meal was served basket-style with a plastic fork and stack of napkins, embodying its minimalist and “local tavern” feel. The wings were big and glazed to perfection in the sweet and tangy teriyaki sauce. The fried pickle spears were lightly breaded, crisp and plentiful. Served with a side of ranch for dipping, and a fresh cold beer, I was one happy guy.
The wings were so good that I have declared to not go back to Buffalo Wild Wings on Thursdays. Ray and Dot’s serves up wings that are equally as good and for a much better price. Eight wings for $4.50 and half-priced on Thursdays makes them only $2.25! The best part was when my bill came. For three beers, a fried pickle appetizer, and eight boneless wings my total tab came out to be only $12.75. Combine that with a friendly neighborhood bar atmosphere, diverse crowd, cheap drinks, and caring bartenders, and you have a recipe for a great dining experience.