You know how you know that some oysters can climb trees, but you don't really believe it?
That's what I thought about appetizers. I knew they were dishes meant to awaken your appetite for the main serving, but I didn't believe it. To me they were just something to order when I either:
1. Didn't like any of the main entrees.
2. Wanted to eat on the cheap.
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3. Wanted a lot of food and part of it real quick and I don't mean those lettuce-head shavings you call a salad, uh-uh.
Recently, I've had another reason for ordering appetizers: to test out more of the food at a restaurant I'm reviewing. That's why I ordered the Taste of the Palm appetizer at the Royal Palm Cafe in Forsyth.
Oh, I believe now. Appetizers? They can awake the appetite.
It was a piece of shrimp, a crabcake and a seared piece of scallop and it grabbed my appetite in a headlock, dragged it out of bed, shoved it under the shower head and screamed, "Git up, cowboy! Wells Fargo is here!"
The Royal Palm has a chef named David White, and he has some flair. In addition to that appetizer, I had a lamb chop entree and my wife had a pork chop one. The dishes were tender mercies of sizzle and spice. My fully awakened appetite was so grateful it promised to stop calling me "Igor."
(Let me add in the most literal parenthetical way that White's flair extends to the presentation of the dishes. The appetizer was served in a small, cast-iron skillet with the seafood surrounding a piece of cornbread that was standing on its side and dripping sauce; my lamb chops floated on a double dip of mashed potatoes and were circled by a ring of really tasty pearl onions; and the bread came with a wide pat of butter that had chocolate sauce dripped on it like some kind of piece of modern art. I call "cool" on all that.)
There also were entrees of steak, salmon and tuna. There's a Sunday brunch for $12.95 with an omelet station that is highly praised by The Telegraph's chief photographer Woody Marshall. Recently, the Palm added a Thursday night Italian buffet.
This gem on the courthouse square of Forsyth is a bit pricey. Our meal for two cost $85 with tip. But, hey, you can't dance on a dime no more.
The Royal Palm Cafe
14 W. Main St., Forsyth
Three and a half stars
Hours: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m. Friday; 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday
Price range: Entrees at $17.95 and up
Payment: Cash, credit cards, debit cards
Dress: Casual or dressy
Noise level: Low
Kids menu: Yes
Wheelchair accessible: Yes
Health rating: 92
To contact writer Randy Waters, call 744-4240.