A chorus of Angels should be singing right now. This latest episode of Dave Benson's Eating Kalamazoo is at my favorite place in all of Kalamazoo; Ray-Ray's on Miller Rd. at Fulford. You have to understand. I've lived here for a long time, and a lot of places have claimed to do "Chicago" food. And until Robert Gutierrez opened up Ray-Ray's, all the rest were nothing but wanna-bees. Ray-Ray's is the real deal.

I would put the Italian Beef up against any in the city. The French Fries are like Mom would make, crispy and not dry. The Chicago Hot Dogs are for real, complete with celery salt and sport peppers.

Ray-Ray's Italian Beef
Incredible Italian Beef Sandwich at Ray-Ray's, Kalamazoo (Dave Benson/TSM)

But the holy grail is the Italian Beef. Get it wet (au jus) with either sweet peppers and onions, or if you like it spicy, like me, get it with the giardinaire on it. And get plenty of napkins. This is not for the faint of clean shirt.

And one quick production note: You're saying, in the video, why is it all trees. They've got a couple of picnic benches behind the building. If it's busy or if it's nice, head back there.


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