Yesterday my sister and I had lunch at R. Thomas Deluxe Grill. We've been to R. Thomas about half a dozen times, escaping to its shady location on busy Peachtree St. for some healthy food and views of the eclectic dining room. The restaurant opened in 1985, and is open for business 24 hours a day. If you have a craving for ocean vegetables or a green, herbal smoothie at 3am, R. Thomas will happily accomodate you.
Eclectic may not be a sufficient word for the decor of R. Thomas. I always tell people who are meeting me there that it is perhaps the strangest-looking building on Peachtree. The exterior is multi-colored and framed with huge plants and bird cages filled with talking parrots. Inside, metallic streamers, Chinese parasols and lanterns hang from the ceiling, and brightly clothed tables are accompanied by dark green lawn chairs. I really can't do its odd quality justice here. It's something you'll have to see for yourself.
And I do recommend that you see it, taking the opportunity to eat something on the large, descriptive menu. Today Sabrina and I both ordered quesadillas. Mine was the breakfast quesadilla plate, which came with eggs, cream cheese, fresh basil, white chedddar, bacon, pepper and onions wrapped in a tortilla and served with salsa, sour cream and my choice of a side dish. it was tasty and filling. There are at least 15 vegetables from which to choose, and I opted for the cinnamon sweet potatoes. The quesadilla was very good, but the potatoes were only average. I often consider the sides at R. Thomas to be a let down, and have in fact never eaten one that I would describe as excellent.
R. Thomas serves breakfast all the time, so be sure to try their French toast one of these days. It's not as good as the French toast at Cafe 458, but Cafe 458 only serves the dish for Sunday brunch. The chicken piccata is very good, but pricy at $18.50, and I love the seared wild ahi tuna salad. This huge salad includes sashimi grade tuna (this is kind of a stretch), red cabbage, carrots, scallions, daikon, red peppers and snow peas with lemon agave hempseed dressing, with sides of seaweed salad and cultured veggies. All of those ingredients justify its price of $15.25.
If you think that sounds like a lot of interesting and healthy food, you've just scratched the surface of what's offered at R. Thomas. They have an extensive smoothie and juice menu, lots of vegetarian and raw options, and pride themselves on serving homegrown herbs, organic oils, organic free range eggs and wild caught tuna. One day I ordered the aforementioned salad and found a black, rubbery thing that I could only surmise was some sort of sea urchin. Eating it didn't shed any light on the matter.
For dessert, R. Thomas has a number of varied selections, including raw apple pie, vegan cake of the day and banana chocolate chip cake. Today we chose the latter. It was super moist, delicious, and seemed to be soaked with mashed banana. It was almost like a banana nut bread with chocolate chips and syrup - definitely a great dessert. However, it costs a whopping $7.75. Up to this point I thought that nearby Cafe Intermezzo was the only place who had the gall to charge over $7 for a piece of cake, but apparently I was mistaken.
I wish I could say the service is great, but most of the time it's not. Some of the servers are nice and attentive, but many times you'll find yourself waiting for your food, drink refills or check. This seems to be the case regardless of whether the restaurant is busy or not.
Verdict: R. Thomas Deluxe Grill offers a truly original setting and a wide variety of good tasting, healthy choices. A very interesting, but slightly expensive lunch or dinner alternative.