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Eats and Drinks

Best Convenience-Store Dining

Royal Farms

920 W. 36th St., (410) 889-9444,

Posted 9/19/2001

If you've ever been to the palatial Royal Farms store/corporate headquarters on The Avenue in Hampden, you understand why it deserves its regal moniker. It's a two-story castle of a convenience store, with dining tables on both levels, a vast interior, arched windows, and a ceiling painted sky-blue with white clouds. At the grand-opening party two years ago, a passerby peered into the store and ranted at the lordly, well-dressed revelers: "Look at you blue bloods, eating your cake!"

We don't know whether the cake is any good, but Western fries are the staple crop at this, and any, Farm. So buy your fries, pour yourself 44 ounces of soda, and ascend the antiquated wooden staircase to the second floor, where wall sconces adorn the cream-colored walls. A glance down at the serfs on the sidewalk confirms that this castle hovers above downtown Hampden. But, somehow, it's all OK. You're a king here. You can have your cake and eat it too.

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