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John Tesar’s Royale Magnificent Burgers opens with burgers, shakes, poutines


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Partnering with chef and restaurateur John Tesar on a burger concept is like money in the bank, which is exactly why Aphelia Restaurant Group (Oak, El Bolero, soon-to-open Quil) sought out the outspoken JT to develop Royale Magnificent Burgers.

But when Tesar et al open the doors to Royale (shhhh- you did not hear this from us, but it’s Monday), don’t expect the CVap burgers of Tesar’s Commissary, shuttered four years ago, or the drip-down-your-arm burgers he serves at his steakhouse, Knife.

“These are not Commissary or Knife burgers,” Tesar told me yesterday while cooking a Royale burger (six ounce A Bar N beef patty with butter lettuce, sharp cheddar, tomato, applewood-smoked bacon, and truffle aioli spread across an Empire Bakery bun). “These are neighborhood burgers, straightforward, delicious flavor combinations designed to appeal to both kids and adults.” Which is also why you can order milk shakes (made with Henry’s ice creams) with or without booze. Or burgers made from veggies, turkey, chicken, salmon, shrimp or lobster.

“I developed a way to create firm textured seafood and poultry patties that don’t use any fillers. No breadcrumbs, no panko, no egg whites,” says Tesar.

Peek the menu up there at the top. Note the poutines (“my partners wanted them,” says Tesar), salads (“I added french fries to the Caesar because they’re even better than croutons”) and fries (“try the ‘dirty fries,’ which combines crispy bacon with pepperoncini”).

The burgers are all constructed with six-ounce patties (A Bar N or 44 Farms beef) and cooked on the flat top – no chargrilling here.

Don’t look for the bespectacled JT to be manning the burners here every night. “Some of my restaurants are John Tesar concepts – Knife and Gravy, for example. Others –like Royale and Bolero and Oak–are John Tesar designs,” Tesar told me. “I design the menu, help with the concept, but my staff and partners operate the restaurants. Target sells Todd Oldham products, but you don’t see Todd Oldham stocking the shelves at Target, right?”

(By the way, am I the only one who wonders whatever happened to that double decker burger bus Tesar bought for his mobile Commissary?)

3310 Dallas Pkwy., Plano (just north of Kona Grill); 972-781-0212

UPDATE: Royale is whispered to be soft opening Saturday, February 13, with a formal opening on Monday, February 15, but will be limiting the number of people they admit.

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