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Bites Nearby: Peter's Restaurant

Classic American diner gets a new name and a modest facelift.

Peter’s Restaurant, 1307 E. 11 Mile Rd., Royal Oak, 248-543-2773

Driving along 11 Mile Road in Royal Oak, you might notice the iconic diner sign at Delmar Restaurant has been replaced and the shiny new one bears a different name.

Although is the new moniker, you can expect the same quality dishes and excellent service, amid some modest changes to the building and menu.

Peter Vasiliou is a veteran restaurateur. He recognized recently that Peter’s (nee Delmar) needed a facelift. Enter the new sign as well as some exterior modifications, including masonry work and a paint job. Vasiliou has been in restaurants for 35 years and has owned the Royal Oak location for two years. His vision for improvements at Peter’s is clear and diverse. Coming in recent weeks will be a digital sign to go with the new exterior sign, as well as the introduction of low-calorie/heart healthy items to an already comprehensive menu.

"We want to provide more choices for our customers," he said.

Customers want for nothing at Peter’s, as menu options are plenty. From American and Italian fare, to Greek (think souvlaki, moussaka, spinach pie and tender lamb chops) to epic breakfast items (the $1.99 special is two eggs, hash browns, choice of meat and toast), one could develop a decision-making crisis here. Roughly 15 different specials are listed daily and include everything from steaks and chops to skillet dishes and omelets.

The restaurant landscape is deep and wide in Royal Oak. With so many choices, why should someone go to Peter’s?

“Eighty-five percent of our menu is made fresh daily,” Vasiliou said. “There is a big variety in our menu, we have decent prices, very good quality and great service.”

He’s not kidding about the great service, either. Food can only do so much at a restaurant. It’s the service and staff that, when done properly, can create the home-like environment of a dining room. Meatloaf satisfies your hunger, but friendly, thoughtful servers who remember your kids’ names nourish much more.

Cathy Bible has been a server at the restaurant for 16 years. Yes, the food is good, but Bible said the rich community atmosphere in Peter’s is what sets it apart.

“It’ s a good, family environment,” Bible said. “People come in here and they can hear what is happening with the grandkids. Some people you know by name; some you know by their order.”

You’ll get no argument from long-time customers Kenneth and Norma Emery. The couple lives around the corner and has been patronizing the restaurant, they estimate, for the last 35 years. They come for breakfast, dinner and/or lunch. They bring their kids. They bring out-of-town guests. They are loyal to this place that has never failed to return the gesture.

“We were just here last night for dinner,” Kenneth said on a recent Saturday morning. “Had the lamb.” And, as adorable married couples with decades of longevity often do, they say in unison, “It was delicious.”

The Emerys bring their three grandchildren to Peter’s. Norma comes in every day for the $1.99 breakfast. They are at home here.

“It’ s just a good restaurant," Kenneth Emery said.

Vasiliou stresses that the menu will not drastically change. The strong sense of community is probably safe as well.

Recommended dishes: The $1.99 breakfast special and lamb chops

Prices:  $1.99 for breakfast to $12.95 for a steak dinner

Credit cards: yes

Hours: Sunday-Wednesday 7 a.m.-10 p.m.; Thursday-Saturday open 24 hours

Brianna Goshi August 16, 2011 at 04:52 PM
The only thing different about this place is the sign and the loss of the waitstaff. I can only think that the woman running the show must be sleeping with the Owner. She is rude and seems to careless if diners are satisfied. Can't help but wonder why one waitress might be there one week and never to be seen the next week. The food is mediocre but the service is lousy. Don't plan of returning to a place where the waitress acts like she is doing you a big favor by waiting on you!
maria November 08, 2011 at 01:40 PM
great food, great prices, kind caring waitstaff...just cant get enough off this place. you should try it for yourself. they also partiapate in the groupon...wow what a way to save more money!!!!
Gus November 26, 2011 at 12:55 PM
This place has sucked since Peter has taken over. Cathy was always the worst waitress on a staff that was fired. You must be joking me, this restaurant is a joke.
Kerri December 03, 2011 at 11:48 PM
We just finished a disappointing meal a restaurant my family has enjoyed for nearly 30 years. New management has clearly made changes that have lowered food quality. To be clear, the service was good. Our waitress was friendly and attentive. The food however, was not good. I don't know when they cooked my husband's half chicken dinner, but much of the meat was so hard he couldn't even stab it with his fork. The corn they brought his was almost brown. If it was from a can, it must have been reheated many times since it was opened. It was gross. Salad dressings are different. Not Good. Overall, the majority of our food was subpar at best. Not going back anymore. Unfortunate.

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