Point Counterpoint: Dewey’s or RATT?

Pro Dewey’s

Dewey’s is RATT’s slouchy, laid-back cousin. You know, the one who shows up to the family reunion in a beanie with a beer in each hand. But that’s why it’s better.

The authentic personality of Dewey’s — nestled in a cozy spot on campus, with its signature brick walls and bright red door — lays a beatdown on the corporate sterility of RATT. Although RATT’s got the flashiness of a bird’s-eye view of campus, Dewey’s has the warm, inviting feel of a proper uni stomping ground. You can head there to work on a paper, order a pitcher of beer, chat, or play pool. It’s grungy, for sure, and a lot less modern — see the wobbly tables and lighting that makes you question how this place was ever called the Power Plant, because it seems like someone’s permanently trying to “set the mood” — but the pool tables, wall art, and live music stints transform the space from a campus hole-in-the-wall into an eclectic meeting spot for philosophy majors and engineers alike.

Maybe it’s because Dewey’s is so Batcave-y 24/7 that people tend to be so comfortable knocking back a half-dozen shots in the middle of the day. The cover of darkness is a powerful, and sometimes needed, force to get you through the worst of days. Try to be as covert in a room surrounded on all sides by windows.

When it comes to the food, let’s be real, neither Dewey’s nor RATT will be winning any culinary awards. Regardless, Dewey’s has RATT beat with three words: ALL. DAY. BREAKFAST. Hard day? Dip into Dewey’s for pancakes for dinner. Midterm season? Down some lunchtime waffles. Finish a big paper? Treat yourself to a big-ass omelet. The menus for RATT and Dewey’s may be near carbon copies, but this feature puts the latter ahead by a mile. If that didn’t convince you, this will: the vegetable plate at RATT has raw mushrooms in it. Who. Eats. Raw. Mushrooms? It’s a sin against campus cuisine, but more importantly against yourself to order this. Compared to that, all day breakfast sounds even better.

What’s more, the service at Dewey’s is better than at RATT. Instead of being served 58 minutes after you ordered your food, you’ll get it a mere 32 minutes after ordering. Okay, it’s not that much better, but I’ll take what I can get.

While it might not be Café de La Rotonde in Paris, at least Dewey’s doesn’t get hung up patting itself on the back because someone knew how to draw a rectangle.

– Victoria Chiu


Dewey’s might be a solid establishment if it weren’t for one fatal flaw. No, it’s not that infamous statue (which has since gone… somewhere), it’s their horrible chicken tenders.

If I’m going to willingly digest a bunch of ground up, fried protein and soy, it better taste good. At RATT, I can forget that the chicken tenders are made of “chicken,” because they’re actually crunchy and give that sweet and oh-so-satisfying pull-apart texture you absolutely need on any legit fried strip of chicken. At Dewey’s, there’s only ever disappointment as I bite into the baked, doughy, lifeless nugget they serve; it instantly makes me long for the ones I bought at RATT a couple hours earlier (hey, if you haven’t double chicken fingered in a day, you haven’t lived). It also doesn’t help that Deweys’ chicken tenders are too thick to dip into the sauce container, whereas RATT’s are the perfect size for dipping. The devil’s in the details Dewey’s.

But wait, there’s more. With better placed outlets than Dewey’s, RATT gives more options for recharging a perpetually low laptop battery. For those days you find yourself studying in a bar (which will happen more and more throughout your degree), you can rest assured that you can stay just as long in RATT as you would Rutherford thanks to plentiful power. Impressive functionality. Plus, with a longer list of burgers (I’m looking at you Lonely Burger), and a sweet penthouse view to boot, you’ve got plenty of ways to take a hard-earned break from your class readings. Forget Dewey’s, RATT trumps Rutherford as a study space.

That said, I can’t lie to you all, RATT isn’t perfect. It has its ups and downs — starting with actually getting to RATT in the first place. SUB has the worst elevators on campus (maybe even on Earth); only one has a working close button, and they easily reset if you press too many buttons, so getting to the seventh floor on a bad day can take forever. But on the bright side, there’s nothing like the camaraderie a bunch of students can form while stuck in an elevator just trying to get a beer after being massacred by a midterm.

RATT might have its issues, but for their chicken tenders, decent selection of food, and a beautiful view of campus, I can easily overlook them. Sure, Dewey’s might have more of a grungy Batcave-y vibe, but even Bruce Wayne ditched the cave for the penthouse in The Dark Knight.

– Nathan Fung

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