Royal Meats Barbeque
710 Kipling Ave
(at North Queen)
416 251 1144
Royal Meats has transformed this former site of a run down donut shop into a bustling hamburger restaurant. Like the Sky Ranch, it's not an ideal spot for vegetarians but there are some interesting meatless menu items.
The Shopska salad - sliced green peppers & onions with diced tomatoes, cucumbers and sirene (a white brine cheese with a milder flavour that feta), $4.99 for the large size. The kaymak (a clotted cream spread) on a lepinya bun is a steal at $1.99. At the server's suggestion, I added sliced tomatoes and pepper. The meat eaters in the group thought that their sandwiches were exceptional value for money. The Steak Sandwich [picture below] was fresh and properly cooked, $11.99 in a fries and drink combo.
Don't be fooled by the exterior, which suggests a licensed, table service restaurant. You order your food at the counter, which looks like a butcher shop with sausages, patties and other cuts of meat on display, then pay the cashier and find a table. They give you a plastic disk that flashes and buzzes when your food is ready and you go back to the counter to choose your toppings.
With the decor they've gone for a black and silver pseudo-industrial look and an open kitchen so you can watch your order being flame broiled. Food is served on china plates and with proper cutlery. This gritty neigbourhood is not "a destination" but if you're looking for an alternative to the fast food chains this is it.
Rating: Ambiance (2)
Food Presentation (3)
Food Quality (3)
Value for Money (4)