Partly that's because I often was passing after this breakfast and lunch spot was closed for the day. And partly it's because, with this type of diner-style establishment, things often go one of two ways: You have an enjoyable meal and wind up making it one of your regular stops, or you regret, mentally and intestinally, ever going in the first place.
Thankfully, Royal Eatery is one of the enjoyable places, as the many people passing in and out most lunchtimes should have told me in the first place. It's got big, high-quality burgers, sandwiches galore and a breakfast menu that surely will tempt me back for a morning repast. (Breakfast is served until 11 a.m. weekdays, 2 p.m. Saturdays.)
The place was hopping on the recent day that we stopped for lunch. Everything is made after you order it, so you'll have to wait a bit longer than at a fast-food place. But the line moves along smartly, and the high-ceiling, open space walled with windows on two sides for a great urban view is a comfortable place to eat for the attorneys, court workers, construction folks and others who give the Royal their business.
My husband had the chicken-fried steak sandwich, something I hadn't seen on another menu. It was a pounded-thin patty, crumb-breaded and fried to crispiness, topped with the usual burger fixings on a big, soft bun. There's no mashed potatoes or country gravy, but if you like chicken-fried steak, this is one to try.
I had the mushroom and Swiss burger, loaded with sliced mushrooms and real Swiss cheese. A confession: I've never had a mushroom burger, fancy or otherwise, that I liked better than the goopy, drippy confections at good ol' Arctic Circle. However, this one was pretty tasty.
With our sandwiches, we had mounds of thick-cut fries served up steaming hot and crisp. Fries also accompanied the chicken souvlaki, which the kids shared. As with the chicken-fried steak sandwich, the usual accompaniment to souvlaki that is, lemon rice was absent, replaced by fries. But it actually was kind of a nice change: the delicious herbs and spices coating the chicken transferred themselves onto a bunch of the fries, adding to their flavor. And the souvlaki itself was great, a big portion seared to brown wonderfulness on the outside while remaining moist inside.
A small salad iceberg with a tomato slice, topped with herbed Greek dressing also accompanied the souvlaki.
For dessert, my husband and I had shakes, him vanilla with Oreos and me chocolate-banana. Both were made with soft-serve, but it was good quality soft-serve, and the Oreo shake had loads of cookie chunks as well as the tasty little bits that flavored the whole thing. The chocolate-banana was caramel-colored and strongly flavored, especially with banana.
The kids shared a sundae, a big bowl of soft serve drenched in lashings of chocolate and caramel sauce.
Breakfast $1.20-$6.65, burgers and sandwiches $1.85-$4.70 (combos $2.60 extra), platters $6.75-$7.75, salads $2.40-$4.85, sides 25 cents-$3.95, desserts 80 cents-$2.25.
Where: 379 S. Main
Hours: Monday-Friday 6 a.m.-4 p.m.; Saturday 7 a.m.-2 p.m.
Payment: major credit cards accepted
Wheelchair access: easy
Also: breakfast served Monday-Friday 6-11 a.m.; Saturday 7 a.m.-2 p.m.
Stacey Kratz is a freelance writer who reviews restaurants for the Deseret Morning News. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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