This is where the Alec Baldwin narration could begin.
A cream-colored menu with illustrations is placed in front of MAN WHO LIKES BURGERS (Me, 31). A burger illustration wears a crown at the top of the menu. The man looks at the menu for a minute and points, with one confident finger, to one of the burgers listed. Over the front door, an umbrella is open above a high chandelier. Spherical lights are trapped in bird cages. In violet neon, the words “Shake it” hang above the kitchen. This is Royale Magnificent Burgers.
Does that work, Alec? It’s a balmy night in Plano, I’m seated toward the front of the big, open concept Royale Magnificent Burger, which opened Saturday, and really hoping Gene Hackman, dressed as Royal Tenenbaum, will somehow magically join me. The Wes Anderson theme is all the way to 11 here. I expected a falcon to land on my head. In case you missed it, Royale is the new spot, off Parker Road and the Tollway, from the people who brought us Pakpao and Oak, and this chef named John Tesar. In a 2015 interview, Tesar told me, “Like we did with Knife, we’re going to add the chef-driven element to the ground-patty process.” Add this quote from Royal Tenenbaum to the mix and you’ve got Royale Magnificent Burgers: “Anybody interested in grabbing a couple of burgers and hittin' the cemetery?”
Yes, please. The Wes Anderson theme, precious and meticulous and a little bit subversive, is all over the burger side of the menu too. There’s the Burger Sauvage ($13.50), a 6-ounce, 80/20 ground beef patty with avocado, sprouts, Swiss cheese, sautéed mushrooms and mushroom aioli. Another is called The Bison Quintessence ($15). I ordered The American Treasure ($11.50), the same 80/20 ground beef patty — which Mike Hiller at EscapeHatchDallas reported are from 44 Farms or A Bar N — with a melted curtain of American cheese, “sauce royale,” finely chopped lettuce, tomato and onion.
The burger, under that perfectly melted blanket of American cheese, came with three crinkle-cut sweet pickles on a chafing dish etched with leaves. The Royale Fries ($5) showed up with pomegranate ketchup in what looked like a tiny metal egg cup. A queso poutine — with taco-flavored cheese curds, queso, salsa, cilantro and roasted jalapeños — and dirty fries are options for sides, a few poutines less than what was previously teased. My burger was expertly designed: a soft bun, not eclipsing the patty, with thin, whisper-sliced onion and tomato underneath the patty. I nudged those bread and butter pickles in there, too.
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I’m definitely looking forward to trying more on the menu, especially the dirty fries with fried sage, bacon, parmesan and chopped pepperoncini, and all of their different patties, like house-ground bison, lamb, salmon and shrimp.
At this point, Alec Baldwin's narration returns:
Immediately after making this statement, Nick realized that it was true.
Royale Magnificent Burgers, 3310 Dallas Parkway, No. 121, Plano. Open 4 p.m.-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 4 p.m.-midnight Friday and Saturday.