Farm-to-table foods and cocktails elevate menu at Royale! 
Published - 03/11/20 - 12:00 PM | 4939 views | 3 3 comments | 120 120 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The vodka cocktail with Nopalito farm guavas and lime. The restaurant’s signature Royale with Cheese and a vegan burger. PHOTO BY LAURA WINGET
The vodka cocktail with Nopalito farm guavas and lime. The restaurant’s signature Royale with Cheese and a vegan burger. PHOTO BY LAURA WINGET
The concept of farm-to-table food is growing leaps and bounds. The social movement promotes culinary, farm-fresh food that sidesteps all distribution venues. At its heart, foods are not only healthier – foods are picked at their peak of freshness and void of chemical preservatives – they provide environmental sustainability.

Royale!, Voltaire Street’s classic burger diner, touts farm-to-table foods and farm-to-shaker cocktails sourced from their very own family farm. Owners, and husband and wife team Jordan and Mariah Brownwood, source their culinary delights from El Nopalito, their 8-acre farm located in Valley Center.

Mariah’s twin brother Jacob and Jordan’s parents also play a role in the wholesome harvesting of the cooking process. Jordan helps in the Royale! kitchen while mom and dad handle the farm’s maintenance and restaurant deliveries.

The certified organic family farm is filled with avocadoes, lemons, limes, seasonal vegetables including carrots, beets, and arugula; peaches, blackberries, pomegranates, guavas, and passion fruits.

The dynamic duo began their lives as cooking partners selling sliders and grilled cheese from a food cart – Royale with Cheese – in Austin, Texas.

The team moved back to San Diego in 2014 to fulfill their dream of owning a farm. In addition to caretaking their new investment – along with Jordan’s parents who conveniently purchased a home right next door to the farm – they reopened their cart (upon local beckoning) Royale with Cheese in University Heights. 

A year later they opened their first brick and mortar present-day location, Royale!

The “simple” menu touts classic and fancy, grass-fed burgers, grilled cheese sandwiches, chicken sandwiches, a variety of salads, tater tots, fries, fried veggies, and roasted seasonal vegetables.

“We incorporate our farm to table foods into our classic diner concept,” said Mariah Brownwood. “We elevate our menu by using fresh ingredients and grass-fed organic beef. We’ve glorified the classic burger through quality. And better-quality equals better taste. The menu’s simple but our ingredients make us special.”

In addition to working with their own farmed seasonal produce, other farm-fresh ingredients are sourced locally from farmer’s markets.

“We offer seasonal foods,” she continued. “And what we don’t have, we source locally. The time and effort we put into our daily menu would never be found in a fast food place.”

The causal family-friendly eatery is decked out with “so much fun.”

Royal! is perfect for young families,” continued Brownwood. “We’re a casual dining eatery that connects its menu with farm-to-table food. We also offer craft beers, wine, farm-to-shaker cocktails, catering to those who crave something new, fresh, and unique.”

Despite “loving the lifestyle of growing our own organic food,” Brownwood admits to “working really hard.”

“We enjoy the farm and the restaurant, but juggling both is a challenge,” she said. “Royale! is ours but the restaurant business is tough; ask anyone in the business!”

The fun casual burger and more eatery can be found “off the beaten path” bordering Point Loma and Ocean Beach

“We love the neighborhood – we have a great deal of community support,” said Brownwood.

Because of Southern California’s intermittent, and sometimes undependable rainfall, the diner is named after the prickly pear cactus – the nopal – to underscore the Brownwood’s efforts in adopting traditional methods for maximizing rainwater. Brownwood describes the farm’s name as a “metaphor for our ethos.”

“When life gives you cacti, make nopalitos!” she concluded.


Where: 4204 Voltaire St.

Hours: Mondays-Thursdays 4-11 p.m., Fridays 4 p.m.-midnight, Saturdays 10 a.m.-midnight, Sundays 10 a.m.-11 p.m.

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