Feast is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.
How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.
How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.
To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.Show less
I have seen the Riverwalk café grow from one little room tucked away in the corner of Railroad Square, to a nightlife scene that isn't an all too TO BE seen in little New Hampshire. The scene that I am talking about is a café by day, to restaurant and music bar by night… At least Wednesday through Sunday. This is a place where artists dwell, giving them a brief escape from the hum drums of their city, and giving them the sense of San Francisco in the summertime… Or a backdrop that looks like it could be the set of an HBO'S Girls episode. (Rest in Peace)
I love spending my time here, and I have spent many a time here, writing, drawing, daydreaming, and living with my art girl- head with a nice cup of coffee.
Now, during the day at the Riverwalk, the sun usually shines through large glass windows. You walk into the front dining room where the walls are painted a bright Mediterranean blue, on them, a menagerie of paintings and photos. A metal antique looking roaster is hanging out in a corner near the kitchen.
Beyond that, there is an archway that upon first entering the shop is dim and enticingly cozy, and there’s the bar. That’s where you order, and from there, it's a standard café. You wait in line, there's the pastry case to the left with locally sourced cakes and goodies under a neon light, and the house menu is written in chalk! How hip! It’s a hot spot for those working downtown; they serve coffee, sandwiches, some seasonal favorites- and you can also get smashed! (That's right, they serve alcohol!)
They have two shades of coffee, medium, and dark roast. They switch the blends out day-to-day. I am a dark roast girl, myself.
For breakfast, my go-between is usually The Regular on a croissant. Juicy bacon, a crisp and flaky croissant, with hot-out-of-the-oven melted cheese. (Picture steam rising from it) Or I get the Breakfast Burrito, which is jam-packed with spinach, tomato, red onion, olives, a fluffy egg in between, sour cream and salsa, and your choice of cheese between Monterrey jack or feta.
The back dining room has more of a bistro ambiance than the Mediterranean front. This is where the music happens at night. There's a red couch with a Bob Dylan poster hanging over it. Chalk drawing quotes from Virginia Woolf and Leonard Cohen. The walls are cooler here, think jazz and soulful. The opposite wall is painted brick and felt canvases that look like the universe are hanging on them.
At night, the lights dim, the bistro tables get pushed together, glasses are overturned for invisible guests, and I am here at their open mic night, held weekly (On Wednesdays) at 7 pm. From my seat, I can watch the busy cars on the Main Street as our nightly performers set themselves up, unfolding wires and opening laptops.
I ordered the Last word. But got the Aviation. The gin's botanical, the lime is sharp and tart, with not a lot of texture, there's a dark red cherry sitting at the bottom. Even though the atmosphere reads Brooklyn jazz club, and prohibition-era drinks are becoming popular again; well, if you are a first-time guest, to put it simply, it is a drink.
The sad part is that I realized too late that my drink was not the drink I ordered. I am annoyed by this. Learn from my mistakes, know your drinks, and if it is not the correct one, make sure you tell your server! (This was not the only time this had happened to me at this café, so bartenders I am lookin' at you, and I'm lookin’ at myself.)
They moved the pizzas off their menu. I noticed this because I wanted a pizza. Their Gump pizza to be exact. This was their white pizza served with just a little bit of that southern heat. Garlic, pesto, and shrimp served on a flatbread, and it was a generous size too. Classic favorite.
So, I ordered samosas and pot stickers instead. Two things I haven't had from their menu yet, and that's saying something because they don't change their menu very often. From potstickers to curry and rice bowls to sandwiches! Sounds like anyone could find something to eat here!
From the beginning, their dinner menu had: sandwiches, they still do, salads, they still do, and starters, they still do. And the more interesting commodities like their pizzas and their macaroni cheese specials… They got rid of and replaced them with rice bowls and curry dish specials. I personally haven't tried the curry, but I have had their rice bowl once and their macaroni and cheese (when it was still around) a couple of times. The mac and cheese always had different ingredients tossed in them. Sometimes it was mushroom, other times it was scallions and sweet potato. Every week or every day it was different. The texture was okay, it was baked, the inside wasn't super creamy and generally wasn't anything to run home and try and recreate, unless you wanted to do it better. The portion size was always a small square, which is no fun if you like macaroni and cheese!
The rice bowl I had once, the brown rice was dry, and everything about it looked more impressive on their promotional photo on Instagram. The egg you could add to it was the best part. It was fried and a little gooey on the inside. It came with little pork meatballs that were dry with little flavor and tasted like manufactured grain.
On the other hand, they often have really good sandwich specials, some, that I wish would make it onto their permanent menu. Like their buffalo chicken sandwich that they had last spring. Boar's Head buffalo chicken, perfect smoky sweetness and melted with Swiss cheese on a ciabatta roll. The dinner sandwiches always come with chips.
My Samosas and Pot Stickers are here! I try the samosas first, served with a sweet chili sauce and tamarind to dip with. The potato center is soft with a dry heat. The crust is crunchy and from their menu, it says it's vegetarian! I enjoy the pressed look to it, but the potato doesn't have a lot of texture or enticing flavor. These samosas are very filling and look like big puffy pillows.
For Pot Stickers, they offer veggie or meat, I ordered meat, and they are the usual suspects. They are buttery in flavor and taste better when you dip it in with the soy sauce. It even comes with chopsticks! (Chances are you'll probably just use your fingers)
Tonight, the back room is decently packed and not a lot of people have signed up for open mic. This varies from week to week.
Sometimes it's so busy and you pray there will be room on the board, and other times, the board is so scattered, that when we start, other people who want to sign up, show up, thus filling in those scattered spaces as people begin performing… And the MC is nice enough to let those kids cut in front of those who were already waiting. Thus, throwing everyone off, but it's bearable if you have friends with you. (I think they should be moved to the back of the line, and if they go a the end of the night, they go.)
The Riverwalk has that vibe and feel of a jazz bar that belongs in a big city but instead is at the top of Railroad square in Nashua, New Hampshire. Here we commune and listen to those who have a voice and have a story to tell. From millennial to xennial, to generation X, and to the greatest of them all. The vibe attracts all ages and is a good place to meet friends and start a routine. Or it’s a cozy nook for a writer to pour their mind into blank pages, or it’s a good place to meet somebody, make friends, lose them, live sweet memories; enjoy a cup of coffee and relax.