Cafe in the Clouds

September 26, 2015

Latest Post The Rake - Part 1 by Owen Soule

During a brief stint over the summer at the Big C in Philadelphia, I had the privilege of making regular visits to Ralph's Cafe, which has to be the best cafeteria ever. While the food is certainly above-average, with attention paid to presentation and freshness, it is the view that is the real stunner. Any time I was up here, the Drifters song ‘Up on the Roof’ invariably played in my head and turned out to be the perfect accompaniment to these surroundings.

Liberty Place Del River

Left: Looking south at the Liberty Place towers;  Right: View to the east with the Delaware River in the background (plus a ghost image of the photographer). The white things in the foreground are the roofs of the Philadelphia Convention Center.

Like a lot of trendy cafeterias, Ralph’s follows a food-station layout which probably helps to cut down on long lines. Also, they don’t take cash either, which also keeps the crowds moving along during peak hours.  

Below is the ’Out of the Oven’ station (that day it was honey-brined barbecue-glazed pork shoulder and cajun chicken kabobs)


Fried goodness at the ‘Five on Demand’ station:

5 Od

A gas flame oven is on hand for grilled-to-order pizza & panini:

Img 2090

Raspberry meringue tart, baklava AND madeleines? Are you kidding me?  It goes on -- there's a whole cookie assortment on the other side…


Lunchers discuss the future of pay-TV and gigabit internet service (or maybe just their latest trip down-the-shore?)

Se View

So it’s a high-end cafeteria that doubles as an observation deck — what could be better? “On the roof’s the only place I know - where you just have to wish to make it so!”

Initially conceived as a venue to document some home improvement projects, this blog has since expanded into other pursuits including anything from jewelry to art appreciation to places I've visited to textiles and more.

Art and art-making have always been an important part of my life. I believe there is therapeutic power in one’s own imagination, and it can be tapped through any kind of beautiful ‘object of meditation’. Whether in the form of music, photos, a good story, or the things only Mother Nature can take credit for, art nurtures our brains and souls. Like spirituality, art may not be necessary for survival but it definitely makes life worth living. Happy imagining!

Laura Soule

Published September 26, 2015