It was a lovely Sunday afternoon and we were on Delaware Avenue in Kenmore for a special event. It’s an area we don’t get to often so we were stymied trying to find a restaurant open at 3 p.m. Hopping back in the car toward busy Sheridan Drive, we were at the Royal Restaurant within minutes.
The restaurant’s parking lot surrounds the Royal and the welcoming sight of fig trees, giant pots of flowers, urns, a few tables and water features. Inside, the family restaurant continues the theme with columns, metal scroll work that separates seating areas and a large waterfall centerpiece.
We were immediately greeted by a waitress who was friendly, efficient and went beyond normal duties several times. Realizing our table was wobbly before we did, she returned twice to level it out until she was satisfied that it wouldn’t rock on us.
We needed the extra time to peruse the large family friendly menu that had separate sections on appetizers, salads, Royal Melts, Greek Souvlaki Dinners, Royal Dinners (stuffed meatloaf, roast beef and turkey), desserts and more. Salads range from a dinner salad ($5.45) up to a “one-size only” Mediterranean Village Salad ($11.50) with cubed feta, Kalamata olives, red and green peppers, onions, tomatoes and cucumbers.
The multiple breakfast breakdowns included “Scrumptious Mouth Watering Royal Omelets,” which start with a basic cheese omelet ($7.55) made with four eggs (yes, four), to a Steaks and Sausage Breakfasts section that went beyond the expected with a 12-ounce strip steak or 10-ounce chair-broiled prime rib with eggs ($15.65 each).
Let the kids choose from a special menu for ages 10 and younger that includes a small beverage and starts with an egg, home fries and toast ($3.85), to a burger and grilled cheese with fries ($4.35 each).
Often the quality suffers with such a large menu, but not at The Royal. In the end, we all went with our favorites and were more than thrilled with the quality.
We started from the Greek appetizers section with Tyropita or cheese pie ($6.10), feta cheese in phyllo dough pastry served with Kalamata olives and tomatoes. It was topped with a generous sprinkling of feta and a drizzle of melted cheese. The disc was flaky and melt-in-your-mouth soft and flavorful and was more than enough for the three of us to share. My brother was especially pleased with the quality since the Tyropita was grilled, not microwaved as he said it so often is.
Think pancakes are just pancakes? Not here. Dad’s stack of blueberry pancakes ($5.50 plus $2 for the blueberries) filled the large round platter and seemed to have a pint of deep blue berries on top. Some of the pancakes and blueberries went home.
A ham steak ($2.80) was a thick slice of sweet and juicy ham that we all shared.
Turkey dinners shouldn’t just be for Thanksgiving so they always are tempting, but they will always be my second choice if there is a hot turkey sandwich on the menu. The Royal’s version ($9.75) was amazingly large with juicy turkey slices between bread that was covered in thick homemade gravy. The creamy and buttery mashed potatoes achieved that rare combination of smoothness with just enough lumpiness for texture and homemade flavor. It was too much to finish.
The Greek Florentine Omelet ($8.75) hung off the plate and was a colorful array of fresh bright green spinach, Portobello mushrooms, diced tomatoes and feta cheese. Not something I normally eat, it looked so tempting I had to grab a forkful and wasn’t disappointed. In fact, everything looked so good that there was quite a bit of taste testing at the table. With such large portions, everyone could share and still go home satisfied - and with to-go boxes.
1320 Sheridan Drive (873-0056)
Hours: 6 a.m. to midnight daily.
Parking: in the lot.
Wheelchair accessible: Yes