The Baker's Square, 227 Middle Street, New Bern, (252) 637-0304, has been serving family-style food for over 20 years. As the sign says, it's a restaurant and a bakery. Fresh homemade breads, cookies, cinnamon and pecan rolls and pies are a big draw here. Located in New Bern's historic downtown area, the restaurant is open Monday through Wednesday 7AM - 230PM, and Thursday through Saturday 7AM - 8PM.
The inside of the restaurant is very casual, with a homey appeal.
There was no line when we entered at 9:30 AM today (Thursday). On Saturday mornings you had best get there early if you want to get seated. This place is hugely popular, especially at breakfast time. Now that I've visited, I see why. Prices are good, and then there's that fresh-baked bread.
Guy ordered The Suburban (Toast, hashbrowns, 2 eggs, sausage). But -- get this -- $6.95 even includes coffee. There's plenty on the menu to choose from, including omelets.
But everything was either two eggs or three eggs. I asked the server if I could order just one egg. I mean, is there anyone left in the world except me who eats only one egg at breakfast? He said that would be no problem. Then I timidly asked if I could possibly have the egg poached. No problem. I was excited. There aren't very many places in New Bern that will poach your eggs. Christoph's at the Hilton, IHOP, and now The Baker's Square. So my order was 1 poached egg, 1 slice of wheat toast.
My excitement was short lived. Though my egg was good, even though it was sitting in a pool of water, it had the company of egg #2, which I didn't order. The server assured me that I wouldn't be paying for it, but we all know that every customer pays for waste. Two huge pieces of toast arrived, of which I could only eat about 1/4 of one piece. Really, who could eat two extra-large slices of 1" thick bread? Do people really eat like this, or do they just want it to look like they are giving you a lot for your money?
Hubby Guy has already been here once and wasn't crazy about the place. Last time he ordered bacon. This time he ordered sausage and was really annoyed when it came very dry and overcooked. He says they are serving what is left from yesterday.
I was disappointed that no one came to our table to ask if everything was okay -- they were busy seating new walk-ins. If someone had come, we would have asked for fresh sausage.
Nothing is greasy in this place, though, and that's a plus. The hashbrowns are not true hashbrowns. They are really good. Outside is tender-crisp, and inside is light and fluffy, which makes me guess that the potatoes were pre-cooked and then deep fried at point of order. Not a bit greasy either. Eggs were also cooked nicely and the bread is absolutely delicious.
If only that sausage hadn't been overcooked. I tasted it. It had a nice flavor, it was just so dry. I don't blame Guy for not eating it.
The acoustics here could use some fixing. Conversations three tables away floated over our table. Guy said the last time he was here the place was full, and some crying children were upsetting his meal. (Neither of us has anything against kids, but it's like being on a plane and listening to a child scream for two hours. It does start to get to you.) We were finished eating, and still no one came to our table. We waited a bit, then finally went up to the register to see if we could pay. Maybe that's the system, though no one informed us.
Anyway, the counter person asked if everything was okay, and my hubby told him the sausage was terrible. He asked if he could give him a cookie to take home. My hubby declined and paid the bill. I'm wondering when we are going to stop paying for food we can't eat. The entire bill was only $10.95 plus tip, so there's not much to complain about I guess. Before we gave our credit card, again we were asked, "Wouldn't you like to take some cookies home, or some cinnamon rolls?"
Would I go back? Well, that depends. If Christoph's and IHOP are closed and I really don't feel like cooking, the answer would be yes.