Favorite

Hearty food for hearty appetites 

Dave and Ray’s is not for dieters.

ALL U CAN EAT: Catfish on Friday.
  • ALL U CAN EAT: Catfish on Friday.

A person can get a good, big, breakfast cheap at Dave and Ray’s Downtown Diner, and that puts it ahead of some eating places. You can order a la carte — eggs, bacon, sausage, gravy, cottage fries, grits, toast, pancakes, etc. And two kinds of gravy for your biscuits: cream and sausage. How many places offer that?

Ray Jones, an accommodating co-owner, explains, “Some people don’t eat pork. They don’t want pork in their gravy.” For a big breakfast eater, the $6.50 all-you-can-eat buffet is the best buy. Downtown can use another place like this.

There’s another all-you-can eat buffet at noon — $7 Monday through Thursday, $8.50 on Friday, when one of the offerings is fried catfish, which seems to be sort of a signature piece at Dave and Ray’s.

The building on West Capitol Avenue has been used as an eating place for several years. Ray and Dave Bisceglia, who’d worked at restaurants but never owned one, bought the place a month ago. “It was an opportunity to get started,” Ray said. They weren’t necessarily looking for a home-cooking place but that’s what became available. Ray does the cooking. Dave is the out-front guy. Ray is from Benton, Dave from West Virginia. They both used to work for Regas.

Dave and Ray’s does burgers and other sandwiches too, not to mention salads, but the buffet is what most people are here for. On a recent day, the weekly menu showed that the meats for Monday were beef tips and rice, smothered steak, fried chicken and lasagna; for Tuesday, Salisbury steak, liver and onions, Mexican chicken, chicken and dumplings and fried chicken; Wednesday was meat loaf, chicken livers, pork chops and fried chicken; Thursday, turkey and dressing, barbecue, chicken-fried steak and fried chicken; Friday, fried catfish, grilled Cajun fish, fried shrimp and fried chicken. Friday seems to be the busiest day. Whatever day you go, watch out for the parking meters. On that stretch of Capitol Avenue, they charge a quarter for half an hour.

The vegetables rotate daily from a list that includes mashed potatoes, fried okra, great northern beans, green beans, okra and tomatoes, pinto beans, sweet potatoes, cabbage, fried squash and more. Lunch at Dave and Ray’s is filling, and some of it’s pretty good. Dave and Ray’s is what it is, and we think there’s room for it downtown. It’s not a fruit plate kind of place.

As we said, it’s not all buffet either. Of the sandwiches, the eight-ounce patty melt and the Philly cheesesteak are among the most interesting. “We try to do a little bit of everything, to cater to all different appetites for lunch,” Jones said.

The place doesn’t look like much either inside or outside. You have to be able to overlook that if you go there. Maybe if Dave and Ray’s has success, it will spruce up a little.

Dave and Ray’s Downtown Diner
824 W. Capitol Ave.
372-8816

Quick Bite

Dive into the biscuits and gravy at the breakfast buffet.

Hours

6 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Other info

Inexpensive. Beer and wine permit on the way.

Favorite

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

More by Arkansas Times Staff

  • New episode of Rock the Culture: "Validated, Validators, and Accidentally Viral"

    In this week’s episode, Charles and Antwan provide conversation and perspective on the Little Rock Fraternal Order of Police Facebook post about the Little Rock Mayoral Race, Representative Blake’s proposed legislation that would require automatic voter registration, and Forbes 30 Under 30 list recognizing a student at Little Rock Central High School.
    • Nov 21, 2018
  • New episode of Rock the Culture: "People's Police"

    In this week’s episode, Antwan and Charles provide perspective and conversation on the ongoing contract negotiations between Little Rock Education Association and Little Rock School District regarding Fair Teacher Dismissal Act, the Little Rock Mayoral Runoff Election, and lack of coverage of white nationalist’s rally. In addition, they interview Sgt. Willie Davis of the Little Rock Police Department regarding importance of community policing and his involvement in the O.K. Program, a mentoring program for teenage black males.
    • Nov 13, 2018
  • New episode of Rock the Culture: "Vote for a Change"

    In this week’s episode, Antwan and Charles provide perspective and conversation on the 2018 local elections in Little Rock and Central Arkansas.
    • Nov 8, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Latest in Dining Review

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: The wonder of Mr. Chen's

    • We second your opinion about the food and service! Mr. Chens also gives back to…

    • on November 19, 2018
 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation