Best of Kent: Best Place to Take Your Parents

Barbara and Curt Van Blarcum enjoy dinner at Ray’s Place in downtown Kent on Monday, April 18, 2016.

Benjamin VanHoose

First Place: Ray’s Place

Finding the right venue to take your parents to eat when they visit can be complicated. Luckily, Ray’s Place simplifies the search. With a design and feel so similarly attached to Kent’s personality, it is a great way for students to give their parents a taste of the college town experiences they will reflect on years down the road.

The real key to impress visiting parents is preventing discussions of grades or relationship issues. Show them you’ve been  reading by dropping some Ray’s Place historical facts found in “Meet Me at Ray’s,” a book that traces the local significance of the restaurant just hope they don’t bring up that world history exam you failed last week. 

Get your parents reminiscing about their college memories by pointing out iconic Ray’s Place items, including the “Mo-Fo” burger; just hope that dad doesn’t finish retelling that continually-embellished college story before the check comes.

Also try not to mention that the table you guys are currently sitting at happens to be the same one where you downed several shots the night before. Besides, there’s a good chance that many years ago, they did too.

Second Place: Mike’s Place

At Mike’s Place, conversation starters and distractions from awkward college talk with parents is in no shortage. The restaurant’s eclectic décor, including but not limited to a “Star Wars” spaceship and an Elvis mannequin, provides plenty to chat about.

Owner Mike Kostensky feels the restaurant appeals to all ages.

“We have a laid-back, family atmosphere that’s non-generational,” he said.

Plus, Mike’s hilarious menu is sure to lighten the parents up. With item names like “The Julius Super Cheezer” and the “Carb-tastic Breakfast,” a fun dining experience is practically guaranteed.

Third Place: Pufferbelly Restaurant LTD.

Pufferbelly’s rich history and wholesome food ensures a satisfactory meal for the whole family. Located in a former railroad station that dates back to the late 19th century, Pufferbelly offers a diverse menu that includes gluten-free options and classic favorites. 

“We have a little bit of everything,” syas manager Kevin Long. “I call it American cuisine with international flair.”