102 Main St.
Craig's List has helped me and Steve sell plenty of stuff over the years, and it's also responsible for numerous purchases we've made, but I never imagined that it would point me toward the best veggie burger in the Tri-State. But hey, I gotta give props because Craig's List took us through downtown Hamilton on our way to pick up an Electra Townie 7D, a bicycle that we'd had on our "want list" for over a year. We'd seen other Townies listed here and there, but sellers were asking more than we wanted to pay. This Townie, however, was priced to sell - and in the color we wanted! We could barely contain our excitement. Once we'd secured the bike we decided to celebrate our good fortune at the Riverbank Café, which we'd noticed on our way through town.
The restaurant is located in the historic Rumple Building, built in the mid-1850's and named for Squire Rumple, who operated an ironworks and hardware store in the space. Other tenants over the years include Beeler Drugs, which occupied the building until 1941, and Burg's Mens Clothing Store, which called the Rumple home for the next 50+ years.
At first glance the menu isn't anything special, but then you start to notice items like sweet potato fries in cinnamon sauce ($3.95), and the French Picnic appetizer ($6.95), consisting of grapes, a variety of cheeses and assorted crackers. I was surprised and pleased to note the number of vegetarian-friendly items sprinkled throughout the menu, including roasted tomato Alfredo pizza ($12.95), jumbo cheese ravioli in marinara or Alfredo sauce ($11.95), and fried lasagna rolls ($10.95), as well as the aforementioned veggie burger ($6.95).
Now normally I eschew veggie burgers if there are other vegetarian options on the menu, but our server sold me on it, and I'm glad she did because this homemade patty of minced veggies was astonishingly tasty. The burger comes with a side of potato chips and a pickle spear, as well as the traditional burger fixings of lettuce, tomato and mayo on the side. The tomato looked as though it had seen better days, but thankfully trimmings and condiments weren't necessary because the patty packed so much flavor.
Weekend mornings find an array of breakfast omelettes at The Riverbank, and I'm itching for a revisit to try their Spinafuccini, made up of spinach, feta and Swiss cheese, onions and diced tomatoes. And who could resist the groovily named Hippie Hash ($6.95)? Comprised of shredded, golden brown hash browns mixed with mushrooms, onions, broccoli, green peppers and crumbled feta, it's the sort of dish I used to look forward to finding on Shakedown Street when I frequented Dead shows.
This friendly neighborhood restaurant has a full bar and offers live entertainment at weekends. Jazz trios certainly have their appeal, but if you choose a window seat overlooking Main Street, you might just catch another form of live entertainment at The Riverbank Café: frisky puppies frolicking in a shopfront window across the street.