on a recent visit to Lawson's Landing: A Riverwalk Cafe, Hungry Bear was charmed by more than just the view. for starters, HB is always excited to see an espresso machine and always makes a point to try out the local brew. in this case, there were loads of flavors to chose from and the sugar free latte was delicious. it was weaker than expected, but still flavorful, so next time HB will just order a double.
this visit was just for a light lunch, so HB ordered two side items, the chips and hummus and the cucumber pasta salad, along with a bowl of French onion soup. the crowd was light but steady, and the weather outside drove in a few more tourists. a group of four were dining outside, enjoying their drinks before their meal, and the waitress rushed outside to rescue them when the rain approached. with all the commotion, Hungry Bear had to wait a little longer than expected for side items and soup, but the latte and panoramic river views made the wait a little easier to endure.
once the food arrived, Hungry Bear couldn't wait to dig in. the chips and hummus were a visual disappointment, but the black bean hummus proved to be a pleasant and welcome surprise! the chips were clearly from a bag from their food supplier (and not the nice ones, either), but they were fresh and hummus' bold flavors made up for where the chips were lacking. no leftovers there! as for the cucumber pasta salad, the flavors were uninteresting, the pasta was tough, and the cucumbers were unappetizing. it could've been an easy, delicious dish but this side item remained entirely uneaten in the wake of the fabulous hummus.
the French onion soup is a dish that receives criticism from anyone and everyone on all fronts. we all have our favorite version and it's hard for anything to live up to those expectations. there are criticisms online about this particular French onion soup, with most comments circulating around the use of what has been described as "Wonder Bread." Hungry Bear doesn't know exactly what kind of bread was used, but can confirm that the soup is GREAT! once you're wrapped your head around the bread on top, dig in and enjoy because these flavors are delicious and are not to be missed.
in addition to these sides and the wonderful espresso bar and side items, Lawson's Landing offers sodas, beer, wine, salads, and sandwiches. almost everything is reasonably priced under $10. the dining room is clean and rarely crowded, but it could probably get loud in there quickly if there was a large group. the Cafe is attached to the Tryon Palace's NC History Center and is located on the Trent River in historic downtown New Bern. if you time it right, you can walk next door and pick up some wonderful produce and local products at the New Bern Farmer's Market.
Lawson's Landing: A Riverwalk Cafe