Food is consistently good, prices are reasonable, and the service is prompt. The decor is basic, but clean, and the dining room has sufficient capacity to usually eliminate waiting for a table. Chicken is chicken is chicken, right? Not so at Royal Inn. Lemon Chicken features a flattened breast, pan sauteed and presented cut into diagonal slices. General and Sesame feature pounded, flash fried chicken breast strips that arrive in large, tender curls. Sweet/Sour is the standard inch-square chunks of white meat, covered with a thick batter and fried. We stay away from the non-fried chicken entrees such as moo goo gai pan and chicken with garlic sauce because the texture of the chicken can border on velvety but more often than not hints of being undercooked. We've left too many uneaten entrees to give them another try. The shrimp and beef dishes really shine. Shrimp with green beans, with 8 or 9 plump, tender shrimp and a mound of fresh, crisp/tender green beans and a mildly spicy brown sauce, is what we order most often. Try Kung Pao Shrimp, with lots of crunch from peanuts and celery, or Mongolian Beef, with its caramelized scallions. Most lunch entrees are priced between $6 and $7 and include choice of soup (forego the basic egg drop or hot and sour in favor of the unusual chicken corn), appetizer (crispy but basic egg roll or skimpily filled rangoons), and rice (fried or steamed). Beverages are NOT included. The big drawback to this consistently good experience is the checkout. The line backs up regularly, but not necessarily due to volume of business. The problems are slow credit card processing speed and cashier, who is also in charge of taking phone orders, sometimes interrupting the flow of checkout for several minutes at a time. This could be easily resolved, but in the 8 years we've been otherwise enjoying lunch at Royal Inn, management hasn't figured out any improvement for the busy hour between noon and 1 pm. In any case, we'll keep returning!
Pros: Consistently good food, attentive service, value
Cons: Chicken dishes (other than fried), very slow checkout