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Rafaynee Southern Cuisine

March 3, 2016

  • 97 Michigan Avenue W
  • Battle Creek, MI 49017
  • (269) 201-4499
  • Website
  • Menu

I first heard about a soul food restaurant opening in Downtown Battle Creek last fall from an article in the Battle Creek Enquirer.  Right away, I made a mental note that I needed to find time to check this place out.  I constantly searched for a menu online somewhere and hours, but it proved hard to find out much information for a while.  Eventually, I forgot about it until I drove through downtown a month or so ago which reignited my interest in the place.

Rafaynee Southern Cuisine takes up a surprisingly large storefront on Michigan Avenue near Arcadia Ales.  The previous tenant was Par 4 Lounge and Rafaynee takes advantage of the leftover bar near the back of the space.  Tables are set up in the front and along the wall in the bar area.

When I walked in, I was expecting a counter service type of restaurant but quickly noticed it was a table service place.  I was in at a pretty odd time, so the cook was also the waiter and he came out of the kitchen and told me to find a seat.  I was looking for take out so I grabbed a paper menu off a table and sat down at the bar.

The menu is soul food staples that the Enquirer claims are old family recipes.  The only real BBQ on the menu is a pulled pork sandwich.  They do ribs on Friday and Saturday’s and an old menu on their Facebook page shows rib tips, but those were not on the menu the day I was there.  Chicken is their main entree and they have a number of traditional soul food sides and deserts to compliment their small menu.  Their is a specials board with a number of sandwiches every day, but, like I mentioned, the only sandwich staples are pulled pork and a polish sausage.

I wanted something easy to eat in the car, so I went with the sandwich.  Chicken was tempting though and in the, I probably should have.  I ordered the pulled pork and mac & cheese.  There are no fries on the menu which saved me some money because I still would have gotten the mac & cheese.  

It took a little less than 10 minutes for my order to come out of the kitchen and cost me a little over $10.  I went to write a tip on the credit slip, but the cook/waiter pulled it away from me and said I didn’t need to tip.  I didn’t have any cash on me to just throw on the counter, so I didn’t have a choice in the matter.  Definitely a gesture I appreciated.

I should have just sat down and ate because I ended up eating in my car right outside.  I didn’t have to be anywhere in a hurry like I thought I was going to have to be so instead of driving to my first assignment of the day, I just sat in the car in downtown Battle Creek and ate.

The pulled pork was a little disappointing.  It was good, but it reminded me too much of the kind of pulled pork you get out of a plastic tub from the grocery store.  Don’t get me wrong, it tasted much better than that, but the texture and consistency of the pork gave me that impression.  I get the impression the meat was roasted then combined with the sauce and placed in warmer pans until it was served.  Again, a very good sandwich with a good, sweet BBQ sauce, but not the smoked, hand pulled type of pulled pork I really prefer.

The Mac & Cheese was good, but again, had a little too much of a canned taste and texture.  The pasta was a thick elbow macaroni and it was covered in a thick cheddar cheese sauce.  There were bread crumbs mixed into the dish which gave it a little bit of crunch.  I enjoyed the side, but didn’t feel like it really stood out much.

Rafaynee Southern Cuisine has a nice little restaurant in downtown Battle Creek, but I really need to try more on the menu.  The chicken and ribs are still something I would like to try and I wish the rib tips were still on the menu.  I enjoyed my meal, but I had high hopes for Rafaynee that fell just a little bit short on the meal I had.  I still plan on a return trip sometime to explore more of the menu because this is a place I really want to rave about.  They have a great, comfy space in downtown Battle Creek and they’re doing something unique to the city.  Both reasons to give this place a try.

Pulled Pork Sandwich

Mac & Cheese

Rafaynee Southern Cusine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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