SAN ANTONIO — All eyes were on King Charles III during the coronation. But did you know we have our own royalty right here in San Antonio? Literally. It's a restaurant called Royal Pizza, and hence the name, their pizza is legendary.
We received a request to visit this place from a viewer named Dan who watches Neighborhood Eats, a KENS 5 original series. He's one of several fans as their Google reviews rave about this spot.
"What I can guarantee is when you have the first bite, you'll say, 'Oh, that's why they're saying what they're saying online.' It's based on a true story. The ingredients, the freshness, the products, it speaks for itself," said owner Basset Ridene.
Every few months, the restaurant introduces a new pizza to the community. Currently in the rotation is the Pistachio Pizza.
"It comes with sausage, caramelized onion, roasted garlic, fresh basil and pistachio. Those ingredients work together very well," said Ridene.
They also showcased their signature pizza — The Royal Pizza.
"The Royal Pizza comes with onion, mushroom, kebab meat, homemade kebab sauce and it is very tasty. [It's a] European style pizza, Swedish in particular," said Ridene.
They also have sandwiches made with homemade bread, the way grandma makes it. And Greek-style food.
And to gain this culinary skill took years.
"Coming to the states in 2000, I settled in Hartford, Connecticut. I worked for an old Italian man. He's the one who teach me all the tricks of how to do the pizza and how to select the flavors and all," said Ridene. "I then worked with a Greek restaurant. I have exposure to Greek culture. And then in 2005, I came to Seguin, Texas."
He worked in hospitals after finishing school in the biomedical field, but a call came in one day from a friend that changed the course back to restaurants.
"He told me, 'Basset — a pizzeria — the owner, he needs some help,'" he said.
Ridene took over despite the construction happening at the time on De Zavala. Then, COVID hit. But, it’s the neighborhood that has kept this place going strong.
"During all this time, we focus on two items, which is customer service and high quality food. Those two items kept us surviving here," he said. "The community is very helpful here. They love the food. They want me to stay around and I am very thankful for their support."
Click here to explore Royal Pizza's website.