When you live in an area of small towns like the Crystal Coast, a new restaurant is big news. This year has brought us three new permanent restaurants and one new food truck. Swan's Burro was the last to open, and after a busy week, we managed to stop by for lunch.
I love food as many of you know, but I also believe that going out to eat should be a total experience. For me that starts from getting a parking place and goes to being greeted, served, and even paying my bill. If I am going to pay for a meal outside of the home, I want my memorable food wrapped in an experience that makes me want to come back.
First reviews of places are by nature tentative since we have a limited capacity to try food in a single meal. Swan's Burro is located in the former location of Captain Charlie's and Nicky's. The minute you walk in, it is obvious that a good deal of time and effort has gone into creating a very nice dinning environment.
We were there just after the busy time of day and were seated quickly. Our very professional waitress arrived in a timely manner, got us some drinks, answered some questions and took our order. Glenda, my wife, ordered the special, a grilled chicken breast with Guacamole, bacon, and Swiss cheese on a seeded baguette. I ordered the prime rib sandwich with provolone cheese and caramelized onion served with a side of horseradish and a cup of au jus. For an appetizer I got the smoky bacon and sweet corn clam chowder.
My chowder did come out before the meal as I had asked which is great. The chowder was full of clams and flavor. I enjoyed it very much. Not long afterwards, our sandwiches came out. My sandwich was certainly a good rendition of a prime rib sandwich with au jus.
However, until I checked the menu in writing the article, I did not notice that I never got my horseradish sour cream sauce. Glenda and I had decided to split the fries and the coleslaw. The fries were hot, seasoned, and tasty. Neither of us liked the coleslaw. The waitress had raved about how good it was and said it was a pimento cheese coleslaw. There was nothing special about it and certainly no pimentos in it.
Both are sandwiches were very good, but they were not particularly memorable. However this is just our first experiences at the Swan's Burro. The setting was very pleasant, clean, and comfortable. I would rate the dining experience as very good. We plan to go back and be a little more adventurous on our next trip and hopefully find something that is more exciting.
We do have a few quibbles. The fish tacos are tilapia and the fish sandwich is catfish. We are not fans of tilapia unless we can be assured of its origin. Also if I am going to blow my daily allotment of calories on a fried fish sandwich, it is going to be something more local than catfish.
There are few of interesting items that I might have tried but for some of the twists added. The menu item Chicken and Waffles sounded pretty good with crispy fired chicken on waffles, but I could not come to terms with Swan's maple gravy. It might be delicious, but I just did want to commit to it. Likewise the Burro's Puppy Pudding which is bread pudding made with hush puppies seemed a little too different to try. I love regular bread pudding when it is done very well.
The dinner menu does have some items that I would like to try including Jerk Marinated Fried Chicken and NC Trout.
We will be heading back to Swan's Burro. Of the restaurants that have opened recently, Swan's Burro has the highest prices but they have by far the most pleasant dinning experience and food that will likely please you. If you want to take someone to lunch or dinner in a comfortable spot that feels all new and clean in downtown Swansboro, you really should give Swan's Burro a try. Be sure to let us know what you think.
Swan's Burro has a very informative website with menus.