Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Royers Round Top Cafe Review

Royers Round Top Cafe
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.

Royers Round Top Cafe LITS Platter
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, "We serve all pies with AMY'S ICE CREAM for 6.50. It cost .50 extra if ya’ don’t have the ice cream. IT IS SO WRONG TO NOT TOP YOUR PIE WITH AMY’S ICE CREAM!!!!!" The crust was rustic, flaky, and flavorful. The chocolate chip pie was fresh-baked-cookies meet grandma's-pecan pie. The coconut chess ala mode was a pina colada on a plate.

Royer's Pies

After paying our Texas-sized but well-worth-it bill, I asked our waitress if I could take a few pictures for my blog. She obliged and as I floated around the restaurant in all my giddy glory attempting to capture my Royers dining experience on film, I met The Pie Man himself! He was warm, inviting, and exuded a charismatic charm that was as sweet as his pie. I can't really remember exactly what I said, but I do recall that Bud gave me his full attention and in our five minute interchange he managed to inquire about my blog, my family, and my passions, in addition to giving me a free pie for the 'fam'.

Royer's Round Top Cafe
Now I have acquired a new date night destination that fulfills my desire for quality food, amazing pie, and guaranteed creative inspiration. I recommend that anyone who is within a hundred mile radius of
Round Top make the trek to Royers Cafe and anyone who is outside of that area either plan a vacation to this little town in central Texas or at least check out the website and order a mail-order pie or a bottle of marinade. I'm just giddy with all the possibilities!

8 comments:

  1. wow...... u r so gracious in all your comments. it was a memorable 5 minutes in conversation with u.
    i so look forward to see yawl in the cafe soon. bless, bud the pieman!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Right on!! You are right....date night at Round Top and meeting Bud, the pieman sounds like a LoveFeast Table indeed!! Love it! Food looks delish! We'll have to go when we visit!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well I am so glad you had a great Royer's experience. I went to high school in Brenham about 15 miles from there and my dad ate there so often they named a special after him - 'the Sonny special' or something... I'll have to ask him to be sure. Anyway, their Tollhouse pie is the stuff of dreams. Glad you had a great time!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Heidi,
    You made me smile!! You look gorgeous btw! And I agree with Chris Ann....sounds right up our alley!
    ~kristin

    ReplyDelete
  5. HI Heidi,

    Thanks for sharing. I enjoy your blog and your recipes. Don't know if you remember me but I would go to Liz's crops.

    Keep the recipes coming,
    Lisa Lamont

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Heidi,
    Glad you found my dear friends the Royers and the cafe. The cafe is one of my absolute favorite places in all of Texas. My perfect Saturday is driving through pretty country, arriving at the cafe to have my tummy, senses, soul and spirit filled and revived, then contentedly driving home (with an extra piece of pie stashed away for midnight).

    I have written about Royers on my blog:
    http://wp.me/pyCBa-4o
    http://wp.me/pyCBa-6N
    http://wp.me/pyCBa-xO

    Did you know there is a Texas Blogging Gals network? You can go here: http://texas-blogginggals.blogspot.com/ and see all kinds of Texas bloggers, and also grab their badge to put on your blog. I think you and I probably live fairly close.

    Happy July 4th weekend!
    @lonestarlifer
    Paula

    ReplyDelete
  7. I was your waitress on your date night at Royer's and enjoyed guiding ya'll through our menu. Ya'll were so sweet and I hope to see you again soon!! Angie

    ReplyDelete
  8. Paula, so nice to cyber-meetcha! Seems like we had similar Royers experiences.

    Angie, you were so kind! Thanks for putting a little bug in Bud's ear about the excited blogger customer:) Can't wait to see you again!

    ReplyDelete