Royers is a family-run café on the square in the small town of Round Top (population 81). Bud Royer has described his menu as “sophisticated comfort food.” In fact, no one category of cuisine begins to describe his kitchen’s boundlessly creative bent. Some of the choice things to eat are grilled pork tenderloin topped with peach and pepper glaze, crabmeat-and-shrimp-stuffed jalapeno peppers, a huge BLT sandwich made with grilled shrimp, and a boneless quail stuffed with grilled shrimp and wrapped in bacon. Entrees come with a choice of downhome vegetables that include black-eyed peas, mashed potato casserole, and creamed corn … or, for a few dollars more, one of Round Top’s creamy pasta dishes. Among the available seafood meals is "OMG!" grilled Gulf snapper crowned with sauteed shrimp or sided by pasta. (OMG is the menu's shorthand for "Oh, My God!" to indicate the best dishes in the house.)
If you know Royers Round Top, then you know that we haven’t yet mentioned the one item that has made it a beacon for food pilgrims from coast to coast: pie. Bud (who goes by the moniker Bud the Pieman) offers big country-style classics with ribbons of baked fruit oozing out over the edge of knobby crusts as well as several pies of his own design. We believe the pecan pie, made with giant halves of Texas-grown nuts, is the best anywhere – a perfect balance of toasty nut flavor and syrupy sweetness. And the chocolate chip pie, loaded with pecans and super-chocolaty -- really more a huge, thick cookie than a pie -- is nothing short of devastating. Royers is so deeply into pies that the menu threatens to charge customers extra if they do not get it a la mode. "It is so wrong to not top your pie with Amy's ice cream!" If you are a group of people (i.e. two or more), consider a pie sampler for dessert, which is a choice of FOUR kinds of pie with ice cream. If you are not able to come to Round Top, the café is set up to mail-order pies anywhere in the U.S.; and if you really, really like pie you might consider enrolling in the cafe's Pie-of-the-Month plan, which ranges from six pies delivered every other month for a year to Pie-of-the-Month-For-Life!
Serious as the cooking is, Royers is a brash and silly sort of place. There was a time when the walls were available as a writing surface to be covered with graffiti from staff and customers, i.e. “Please don’t tell my mother I’m a lawyer. She thinks I play piano at a local bordello” and “Practice safe eating: use condiments.” The walls have been retired, and now customers are invited to add their bons mots or doodles to the Napkin Art Gallery.
Note: although reservations are NOT accepted, if you call ahead the day you plan to eat at Royers Round Top, your name will be put on a wait list for priority seating.
"The best pecan pie on earth? (By the way, the green area at the lower left of the photo is NOT actual leaves. It is the decoration on the china dessert plate!)"
"An extreme close up of Royers' pecan pie: sweet dessert gets no better than this!"
"Round Top, Texas, may not be a convenient pie stop if you happen to live in, say, Oregon or New Hampshire. But Royers is all set up to ship these beauties anywhere, ready to heat and eat."
"Royers is a relatively small place with a hugely delicious menu -- one of the country's true Roadfood gems."
"Royers always feels like a party -- worth a drive from anywhere."