The Royale Serves Up Classics with a Vegetarian Twist
The Veggielante has had it up to here with people bitching that St. Louis restaurants are vegetarian unfriendly. Sure, we'd like to see more restaurants offering more meatless dishes, but there are excellent choices out there if you take the trouble to look for them. We're not here to proselytize about greening up your diet. Our only motive is to spread the word about places where you can order good grub that ain't got no meat. To enhance your reading experience, we've settled on a handful of criteria we'll use to suss out a restaurant's vegetarian friendliness.
Destination: The Royale (3132 South Kingshighway; 314-772-3600)
The Royale is warm and inviting with an old world charm. | Tara Mahadevan
Neighborhood: Tower Grove South
Cuisine: "Elevated Bar Fare"
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Overview: The Royale, which has been open since 2005, has a fairly fixed - and overwhelmingly vegetarian - menu with a few seasonal items each year. When asked about The Royale's cuisine, general manager Marla Griffin was hesitant to label their food, finally giving in to the category of "elevated bar fare". And she was right on the money: though The Royale serves many typical bar foods, you will find no fried or greasy dishes on the menu - The Royale doesn't have a fryer.
In case there was any confusion as to its location, The Royale is conveniently labeled. | Tara Mahadevan
Highlights: The curry chicken salad sliders are one of The Royale's seasonal items, and are a fusion of sweet and spice. Although the sliders are traditionally made with chicken, you can sub the chicken for "Match" chicken, a vegan meat alternative. In addition to the vegetarian/vegan chicken, apples, carrots, red peppers, onions, red cabbage, pecans, honey, curry and yogurt are all sandwiched between three mini buns. The sliders come with a side of steamed green beans for a grand total of $11 (the "Match" meat is a $1 charge).
Royale's veggie wrap ($9) is a customer favorite: a generous serving of hummus, romaine lettuce, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, tomato, cucumber, onion, feta and tzatziki sauce are nestled into a Lebanese pita bread, and served with a side of sweet potato chips. This wrap will definitely leave you satisfied. It also has a vegan-friendly option as well.
Substitute curried chicken for Match chicken, a vegan meat alternative. | Tara Mahadevan
The Royale has dozens of other vegetarian-friendly dishes for its customers, including snacks, salads, sides, a veggie burger and their famed grilled cheese sandwich.
The veggie wrap is a Middle Eastern style delight. | Tara Mahadevan