Montclair Food Review: Ray’s Luncheonette

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Published September 30, 2016
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The Montclarion
Chicken Fajita is a dish served at Ray’s Luncheonette, a restaurant located in Montclair, N.J. Photo by Tunmise Odufuye
Chicken Fajita is a dish served at Ray’s Luncheonette, a restaurant located in Montclair, N.J. Photo by Tunmise Odufuye

Chicken Fajita is a dish served at Ray’s Luncheonette, a restaurant located in Montclair, N.J.
Photo by Tunmise Odufuye

The first line says it all: “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” These were the wise words of Confucius ― an illustrious Chinese philosopher whose words still dictate truth today.

Preaching the importance of morality and simplicity, every human being could use his words as guidance within the many corners of life we occupy. But look who’s talking: me, the same person who looks for ways to get his stomach in trouble when tussling with a foreign eatery menu. I understand that trying new things gives life a new branch to breed leaves, but sometimes what you already know is all you need.

Directness leaves no room for a conundrum in your tummy because you are already used to what you know. If this is the path you want to take on a lovely afternoon brunch run then ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, Ray’s Luncheonette, located on 99 Walnut Street, Montclair, N.J.

Ray's Luncheonette Montclair Review

Ray’s Luncheonette’s logo and menu.
Photo by Tunmise Odufuye

Ray’s menu reads out like the American handbook for starting a restaurant: plain and simple. That’s not to say plain is boring ― it’s just easier to enjoy.

You know what you’re getting upfront. There is no gibberish presentation to the food that will scare you off like Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas, Nevada (if you survive Heart Attack Grill, please email me immediately). I can say, “I would like to have the chicken fajita with rice, beans and vegetables” with confidence. What’s even better is the price: eight dollars and fifty cents. Not included in that price is the “natural flavors”- filled Kiwi Strawberry Snapple I disappointingly ordered before I made up my mind to go the chicken fajita route.

Now, I could give you some bombastic description as to how the beans changed my life and how the combination of sautéed cucumbers, broccoli and carrots replenished my soul, but then it wouldn’t be plain and simple, would it?

Again, there is nothing wrong with being typical when it comes to taste, as this meal was for me, but sometimes that is really all you need at 1 p.m. on a Wednesday in Montclair.

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