This is me giddy - giddy because I'm away for the weekend with my husband sans kids, giddy because I had just experienced one of the top ten meals of my life, and giddy because I was now an acquaintance of Bud Royer, a.k.a The Pie Man. Yes, happiness, creativity, and funky charm abound at Royers Round Top Cafe in Round Top, Texas and I am just giddy about it!
I initially heard about the town of Round Top, Texas (population 77) from my parents. They are antique dealers in my home state of Maryland who travel throughout the East Coast selling their classic country wares at antique shows. Two years ago when I told them that I was moving to Texas and taking their only grandchildren with me they were, of course, devastated, but after the tears had passed, they wondered, "Are you going to be anywhere near Round Top?" In fact, I did end up not too far from this antique collectors mecca and have just realized that when I'm really homesick all I need to do is travel down highway 290 for about an hour or so, explore the amazing little shops of Round Top, and then stop by Royers for a hot meal and a big hug from the Pie Man himself, Bud Royer.
Royers Round Top Cafe is a 40-seat restaurant that features gourmet meals, home cooked pies, and a mind-blowing atmosphere. Although my husband and I could have dined anywhere during our Saturday night alone, we chose Royers based on the information we read in the book The Round Top Experience by The Parisian Cowboys. Although the article was informative, it was the photo of the lit up "Eat Mo Pie" sign that convinced us. Who doesn't love a great slice of pie on date night?
Upon entering Royers, all my senses were stimulated by this small venue. I saw walls covered with meaningful letters, photos, and memorabilia; I smelled a cacophony of succulent meats and sweet pies; I heard a Beatles tune along with the low rumble of contented conversations; and I felt. . . at home! Pulling me out of my sensory stupor was the low, gruff voice of a man who offered, "You kids can sit at the back table on the left."
We happily complied and then began the arduous task of focusing our brains in order to ignore our creative and inspiring surroundings just long enough to read the menu. After no less than three visits from our pleasant and patient waitress, I decided on a glass of the Raspberry Iced Tea and the "L.I.T.S. - Life Is Too Short Platter, OMG!" As a menu item for "those who cannot decide", the L.I.T.S. features angus beef tips and veggies served over pasta with a delicate red wine cream sauce, succulent pork tenderloin with a peachy peppery glaze, and juicy grilled quail. All date night conversation came to a halt as my husband, who had ordered "Grilled Rack of Lamb OMG", and I began to experience our meals. When the waitress came back all I could manage was a goofy smile and exuberant nod. Yes, my plate was full, abundantly full.
Heidi's Full Plate is never too full, however, for a piece of pie which I soon found out is as famous as it is good. Throughout my entire Royers experience, I had been absorbing pie quotes which are sprinkled on the wait staff's eye- catching apparel, the restaurant's short story-like menu, and the unique interior decor. My husband and I read aloud to each other, "No pie left behind!", "Peace is Pie", "Remember the Alamode", and in all it's lit up glory "Eat Mo Pie". I chose the "Bud's Chocolate Chip Pie OMG" and my husband ordered "Sam's Coconut Chess", each with a scoop of Amy's Vanilla Ice Cream because, as the menu states, "