Royal Oak

 By Anthony Brancaleone

This small, countertop diner, located on northbound Woodward in Royal Oak, has gone through several changes over the years, but the good food and local atmosphere have always managed to remain the same. Recently, the restaurant has changed hands and is now owned and operated by husband and wife team, John and Bardha Goni.

Married for twenty-five years, the couple moved from Capital City, Albania sixteen years ago, where John covered politics as a journalist, and launched two papers – one daily, one weekly. Mr. Goni, an anti-communist, was very concerned with the future of his country. According to John, the people of Albania have always felt that “America is #1”, with a dream shared by many to come to the U.S. in hopes of a better life.

Bardha prefers to keep political conversations to a minimum stating,” we have very good people who come in here, and we are happy to serve all, regardless of politics.” – Which brings us directly to the food.

As my readers know, I am a breakfast man (thus, this column). I ordered two-poached eggs (med-well), bacon, and potatoes with grilled onion, and I am happy to report that I was completely satisfied with my meal: Eggs were correctly poached, the bacon was lean and perfectly prepared, and the potatoes turned out just fine. I added a little A1 sauce to create my own poor man’s steak and eggs.

At counter were several neighbored locals, some I recognized, some with faces that for me were new. Regardless of Bardha’s wish to keep politics to a minimum there was much talk of it from all sides. Bardha happily continued to pour fresh, hot coffee, adding a few jokes here and there, and the little diner seemed to moving along as it always had. People who come to Monty’s do so not only for the good food, but for the chance to strike up conversation. For a moment it was politics, but there is also talk of sports, history, and the cultural landscape of far off places.

Monty’s grill serves breakfast and lunch, and offers carryouts. Open 7 days a week, 7am-3pm.

28300 Woodward Ave Royal Oak MI (248). 547. 1959