I think a brief review of this blog might reveal that I have a thing about monks. I don’t, really. Just have come across some interesting stories lately. This most recent brush was for a class assignment – to review a restaurant and write about it. My review of The Royal Eagle can be read on yelp here, but in the interest in not being redundant and talking about what makes this restaurant unique, lets review the facts.
Fact 1: This restaurant is on the grounds of the St. Sabbas Orthodox Monastery. St. Sabbas is a Russian Orthodox church (see above). Monasteries are typically tasked with doing something to support themselves. This ranges from making beer or jellies to selling ink on the internet, as we previously talked about. St. Sabbas has a restaurant. They’re really popular. This is because the food is tasty but also due to limited availability. Tea is twice a week and dinner is just once, so the wait can be lengthy (right now it’s 6 weeks). There are rules to visiting The Royal Eagle Restaurant, due to their management. No cell phones, though I was told it was OK to take photos. Modest clothing options are enforced. The bathroom had a bag with a long skirt in it – not a forgotten garment, but something available if a guest came wearing something a touch too scandalous. At least one review I read noted that the reviewer was asked to wear the skirt (a bit of a feather in her cap). I wasn’t asked to rein it in when I came. I guess I’m not tempting to monks!
Fact 2: The monastery is just on a street in an ordinary neighborhood. I found it driving around one day. In the photo you can see homes on the left and the monastery on the right. It was the craziest thing. And the building are all bright and colorful and the whole thing just stands out like Dr. Seuss set up a church in town. I mean no disrespect; it’s just kind of ornate and fantastical in a way that really is in great contrast to the mid century homes around it. Apparently they’ve been buying up the land for years.
Fact 3: It was great. I would have a picture of food here, but I was being respectful of the whole ‘no phones’ rule. It was good! Seriously, I ate what was the best brownie I’ve ever eaten. That not hyperbolic. It’s factual. I just love that this simply exists in my neighborhood. They have a little gift shop and the counter clerk was the chef. Another little surprise for my day. “Oh, that is a nice white coat you’re – wait. Wait a minute here.” Churches are littered all over the Detroit area, but I feel like stumbling on this monastery was really pretty special. The grounds are apparently beautiful in the summer and the inside of the church? Breathtaking.
There’s just something to be said for getting outside and exploring.