Very informal. Open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 to midnight Friday and Saturday, and noon to 11 on Sundays. Reservations only accepted Monday through Thursday, Credit cards accepted.
Roy's Place serves 194 types of sandwiches - from unadorned hamburgers to conventional chicken and bacon clubs to downright weird combinations like lobster salad, Swiss cheese and beef brisket. If you asked for ham and hot fudge on a bagel, you'd probably get it.
Roy's Place is located near the rail-road bridge in Gaithersburg and was built to look like an old depot. The inside is small, seating 130 customers, and the tables are close together. The atmosphere is one of good cheer. The Victorian ice cream parlor decor - red walls covered with old ads and posters, dark woodwork, globe lights - comes off as more authentic and less slick than in other restaurants using this popular style.
Our family of four plus a couple of friends went to Roy's on a recent Saturday night and had a 15-minute wait in line. Once seated, the service was fast and accommodating.
Eating and drinking are almost secondary - reading the 15-page menu and its colorful sandwich descriptions is the thing.
Proprietor and menu author Roy Passin calls a $2.50 sandwich made with tarragon mayonnaise, melted Swiss cheese and turkey "The Katherine of Tarragon - a midle-aged delight." Roast beef served with fried oysters on French bread is the "Marsupial (based on an old Australian aborigine)" and costs $3.55.
"Rosemarie's Introduction to to Life" is made with chopped chicken liver, corned beef, a special sauce and tomato, and sells for $3.20. The Fjord - makes your breath fjresh" combines beerwurst, cheese, sardines onions and garlic mayonnaise for $2.20.
The largest item is the "Bender Schmender" delivered to the customer with bell-ringing fanfare. At $6, it includes corned beef, turkey, roast pork, chicken livers, brisket, sause, lettuce, tomato "and a psychiatric appointment."
Roy's is not the place to go if you have trouble making decisions - the list of offerings is mind-boggling. My husband sorted things out enough to order with some conviction. He chose the "Schlimazel" ($2.70), made with rib eye steak, provolone cheese, fried onions and green pepper on a hard roll.
I tossed a mental dart at the menu and ended up with a good choice - a club sandwich called the "Tandalayo" made with generous portions of bacon, chicken "bosom," dressing and avocado. It cost $2.35. For another $1.35, they'll take out the chicken and put in crab salad - this is the "Taullulah J. Tandalayo".
The children elected to have plains sandwiches listed as an afterthought on the last page.A small cheeseburger cost $1.20, a large one $2. One child had an amply filled roast beef sandwich ($1.75) but the meat had a heavy garlic flavor to it.
Aside from a choice of bread, sandwiches come exactly as they are described. Extras must be requested (for anothe 35 cents "we will make a mess out of your hamburger" by adding dressing, slaw, lettuce, tomato, relish, onion, hard roll and more napkins).
The French fried onion rings are satisfactory but the orders at 75 cents are small. Garden salads are 60 cents. The unexpectedly good, laced with big chunks of cheese and carefully seasoned with herbs.
Dinners are also offered, including items like tongue in raisin sauce ($4.05), crab Norfolk ($6.95), steamship round of beef ($5.35) and German farm sausages ($3.05).
A 16-ounce draught beer cost 90 cents, mixed drinks $1.35. Desserts include cheesecake for one dollar and ice cream sherbet for 65 cents.
Roy will sell you a menu for a dollar. He says, "If you'll stop stealing our menus, we'll stop slashing your tires."
Our bill for two adults and two children came to $21.70 including tip.