With over 300 items on the menu at the Royal Rose Diner in Huntsville, Alabama, owners George and Tatiana Kontoulakos aim to please every hungry customer who walks in their door. George’s 50+ years in the kitchen and Tatiana’s meticulous attention to administrative details make a perfect partnership, and Huntsville eaters reap the benefits.
Location: 1009 Memorial Parkway N.W., Huntsville, Alabama
Menu: It will be a long time before you find a menu to match the one at Royal Rose Diner. The owners are Greek, so the appearance of lamb chops, pastichio, moussaka, spanakopita, gyro meat, lemon potatoes, and kabobs are expected, but then there’s more. On the appetizers page, you can find stuffed grape leaves and saganaki alongside seafood selections, chicken tenders, onion rings, fried mushrooms and jalapeno poppers.
The seafood section tempts you with plenty of grilled and fried choices of grouper, cod, trout, mahi-mahi, catfish, shrimp, oysters, scallops, lobster tails, salmon, flounder and crab legs.
Lasagna, spaghetti, eggplant and chicken parmesan, manicotti, linguine with clam sauce and fettuccine alfredo dominate the Italian page with nachos, quesadillas, chili and fajitas under Mexican choices.
If you are craving Southern-style comfort foods, then maybe chicken pot pie, country fried steak, liver and onions, turkey breast and stuffing or a veggie plate will suit your fancy. Steaks, chops and stir-fry dishes also have their places on the menu.
Lunch items are salads, wraps, sandwiches, burgers, and paninis, and a full breakfast is prepared all day. That “day,” by the way, begins at 5:30 each morning and runs until 10:00 every night. You have to wonder when George and Tatiana have any time to sleep!
Thoughts: Royal Rose Diner has a very fortunate location at the intersection of two major thoroughfares and near popular Big Box stores such as Books-a-Million and Costco. With so many restaurants having fewer hours of operation and smaller menus, Royal Rose can accommodate diners with sporadic or unconventional schedules, plus early birds and night owls.
The walls of Royal Rose are adorned with the whimsical and talented artwork of Don Howard, premiere caricaturist. His posters of famous people in sports, history, music, and government lend a fun and colorful air to the interior of the restaurant.
George is in charge of the extensive kitchen staff and loves making an array of desserts fresh every morning. He particularly enjoys New York-style diner cooking. He brings many years of culinary experience plus far-reaching travel and work opportunities to the table, while Tatiana is described as doing “everything else.” They are quick to greet their guests and thank them for coming and have very endearing personalities. Royal Rose is celebrating its 2nd anniversary in April of 2018 and has developed a host of loyal clients in a very short period of time.
Price range: Appetizers are $6.95 to $16.95. Salads are $6.95 to $12.95. Burgers are $5.95 to $8.45. All wraps and paninis are $9.95. Sandwiches are $5.95 to $8.75. Dinner entrees are $10.95 to $25.95. Kids menu choices are $3.95 to $6.95. Early Bird Specials are offered.
George and Tatiana recently purchased a second restaurant building on the square in downtown Huntsville. They are busy creating the menu and have chosen the name of “Alexander’s” in honor of their young son. It is due to launch in a few weeks.
Disclosure: The writer was provided a complimentary meal to facilitate this review.
Connie's book "Telling It On The Mountain: 52 Days in the Life of an Unlikely Missionary" was published in 2016 and is available on Amazon.In addition to her blog, www.theregoesconnie.com, she is a regular contributor to The Yums,Trip101.com, MilesGeek.com, Epicurean-Traveler.com, ShortWeeks-LongWeekends.com and other print and online travel publications.