Nearly a year after first trying the Royal Scam, I finally made it back downtown for another taste of the menu. I was suppose to meet a friend for lunch, but she fell asleep. I ended up having an appetizer there and bringing two sandwiches home for myself and my brother.
|Tuna Martini $8.99|
I had the tuna martini at the restaurant. It's raw sushi grade tuna chunks with a sesame soy sirachi dressing topped wasabi creme fraiche. It's served in a little bed of lettuce inside a martini glass. This was really hard to eat, especially with a fork. I couldn't really mix the wasabi creme with the tuna so I would get a chunk with either too much or too little wasabi. I think I would have been ok if I was given a pair of chopsticks instead. It's much easier to maneuver in and around the small container. I did like the dish overall though.
|Steak Sandwich scam|
|Roasted Duck Panini|
I got my brother the roasted duck panini because I remember being so impressed with it the first time around. After taking a bite, I think it was still good but maybe not as great. I thought the duck was a little tougher than I remember. I still like the combination of flavors though.
After the drive from the restaurant, the sides I ordered kind of lost all it's appeal. It was about a 30 minute drive, hence one reason why I don't make it downtown very often. I still really like the side salad though. It's baby greens with sun dried tomatoes, sliced red onions, apples, toasted almonds and an orange basil vinaigrette. I can totally see this with a nice chicken breast for lunch or dinner.
Original Post: 9/2/11
From a reasonable lunch menu to an upper crust dinner selection, the Royal Scam has it all. I've gone here before but it was part for a Christmas party years ago for local professionals. I don't remember much about that party except there was some darn fine food. This time, I went back for a birthday dinner and got to try items from their menu. There were ups and downs but for the most part I had a good experience.
Let's start with the appetizer; honey chipotle wings. It's your basic fried chicken wing then tossed in a honey chipotle "butter." It was decent but nothing as flavorful as the name suggest. There was no heat at all to the wings, but they were cooked well. The outside was crunchy and the meat was still very juicy.
There are a variety of other starters that include crab cakes, a seared tuna dish, tuna martini and southwestern shrimp. I've heard good things about the tuna dishes. It's pretty pricey though. The appetizers started at $8.
|Roasted Duck Panini $8.99|
The Royal Scam is one of the few places in town I've seen with duck on the menu. In this case, it was in a panini style sandwich. The description sold me; roasted duck, spinach, applewood smoked bacon, gargonzola, herb garlic cheese and balsamic vinaigrette. It's served on a herb focaccia round. I thought it was great. You can definitely tell it's duck in this sandwich. I really love the gargonzola and herb garlic cheese. The cheeses made it very rich and creamy while the vinaigrette gave it a punch and broke up the richness. My focaccia bread was toasted a little long so it was extra crunchy. The panini is served with your choice of two sides. I got the spicy mango salad and the baby field greens. The mango salad is a nice change from fries (although it's available). I would have liked it better if they used less ripe mango for a more crunchy texture instead of mushy. The baby field greens is actually a side portion of the baby green salad. It consists of a spring green mix topped with sun-dried tomatoes, red onion, apple, toasted almonds and drizzled with orange basil vinaigrette. I loved it. This was one stellar salad. There was a great combination of flavor and the vinaigrette is wonderful. I think this would have been great with maybe some grilled chicken.
|Steak Sandwich, Salmon Sandwich and Gumbo|
I didn't get a chance to try anything else, but I did ask two of my friends what they thought of their food. The Steak sandwich was apparently very delicious. The size of the salmon fillet on the sandwich was huge. It practically overwhelms the bun. My friend, Zee (who is a gumbo connoisseur) thought the gumbo was just ok. Nothing spectacular. I'll have to come back and try it again for myself. For the most part, the menu is very affordable. There are more fancy dinner items that can get up there but for the sandwiches, burgers and salads.. you can get away with spending less than $10.
The inside dining area is very chic. There are high tables and a gleaming bar. We were seated on the back patio. I got tore up my mosquitoes. It probably didn't help that they put table clothes on the wrought iron tables so the fans couldn't circulate the air. The waiter was very nice. More than half of the guests didn't show up until hours later and I think he was able to get all the order straight. There was once or twice where he forgot to grab another beer or so but otherwise really good service. He also kept checking on us even though we were the only ones on the patio and the very last customers to leave. I had a very fun night. I think the Royal Scam would be a great place to meet after work for drinks or an early dinner; even a date. The only thing I didn't like is the parking. I didn't see a parking lot for the Royal Scam so you would have to park on the streets and on the weekends that may be a challenge.
For a look at the menu, click here.