Restaurant Review

First Bite: Royale Magnificent Burgers

Don't be ashamed to order the veggie.

In February, Royale Magnificent Burgers opened in Plano, two minutes from where Whiskey Cake is already serving an OMG burger of Brobdingnagian proportions, its signature a gargantuan onion ring that overshadows the patty and corrals a herd of sautéed mushrooms. The burger is impaled with a steak knife, as if to underscore its caveman scale.

Take that, add a dose of whimsy, and you get Royale Magnificent Burgers. The Wes Anderson-inspired burger-poutine-milkshake concept’s initial menu was developed with input from John Tesar, and tongue-in-cheek superlatives make ordering a madcap exercise in over-the-top excess: “We’ll have the Bison Quintessence and Crab Cake Concoction with the Deviled Egg Marvel and Fried Pickle Bliss.” Desserts are whipped-cream-bombed candy-factory creations of gargantuan excess. (My friend ogled the next table’s chocolate-pretzel-covered, M&M-ringed mountain camouflaged in whipped cream … that is, until a mountain of a salted caramel sundae landed chez nous.)

Burgers on fluffy brioche buns had issues with cooking consistency. But among the many options (lamb, lobster, bison, crab) and their many aiolis, I found what may be my new favorite veggie burger. No one else at my table loved it as I did, but I found singularly satisfying its mix of beets, lentils, rice, and toasted almonds; pomegranate ketchup and cranberries (a tart punch); sautéed mushrooms and porcini powder (bulked-up umami power); and curry powder for depth. Yes, it lacked structural integrity. But black-bean burgers and textured-vegetable-protein patties have been so overdone, it’s nice to find something different that entices with a little commotion of flavor and isn’t simply trying to mimic, in a work-horse way, the texture and protein-content of meat. I found this beet-red number, served with sprouts and avocado, to be a smart, rather nice mess.


The Royale burger. (Photo by Eve Hill-Agnus)
The Royale burger. (Photo by Eve Hill-Agnus)