Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Omaha Burger Legends Part 1

I get emails all the time from people looking for great local joints to try when they come to Omaha. With the College World Series just around the corner, those emails have come fast and furious from all over the country. The one thing that everyone wants to know is "Where to get the best burger in town" Now Omaha has a alot of great places to get a burger. Let face it, Omaha is know for it's beef and so travelers expect to get legendary burgers when they come to the Metro.

Now I have been here my whole life and I fancy myself a hamburger connoisseur, but I can't tell you the absolute best burger in town. I can tell you about 3 legendary burger joints that I love and they all have great burgers, alot of history and charm. If you ask me about burgers in the Omaha Metro area, I will tell you about the 3 burger legends - Dinkers, Stella's and Louie M's BurgerLust!

Since I just can't play favorites, because I think these place all are incredible. I want to share with you a little bit about the history of each place. So in no particular order - here we go!

"In 1980, Louis Marcuzzo began a catering service out of what would become the Burger Lust kitchen. After some time supplying food service to area daycares, word got out to local business owners that Lou was cooking up some great tasting food in the location … and they began using the vacant diner portion of the building as an ad hoc breakfast meeting location.

One thing led to another and Burger Lust was born, growing from simple donut and juice breakfasts to a full-service, 7-day-a-week restaurant where you’ll find some of the tastiest breakfasts and lunches in the region.

Of course, word continues to spread. From College World Series fans to motion picture location scouts, everyone loves to share their Burger Lust stories. The diner was even a major location in the 1995 Shannen Doherty and Ed Asner movie, “Gone In the Night.” Gone in the Night is a 1996 television movie based around the Jaclyn Dowaliby murder case, with Shannen Doherty and Kevin Dillon as Cynthia and David Dowaliby.
So next time your at Louie M's ask for the Ed Asner booth!
By the way, my mom and her friends were extra's in that film!

Stella's is a restaurant rich in tradition and history. To be sure, the name, "Stella's," was not randomly selected, but is the name of the founder, Estelle Francois Sullivan Tobler, Bellevue's first tavern owner, a mother who raised her four children alone, and the creator of the famous Stella Hamburger. Stella and her first husband, Al Sullivan, moved to Bellevue in 1930 to operate a service station that her uncle built, located on the corner of Betz Rd and Lloyd St. The couple lived in a small house nearby. Stella soon converted one room of their three-room house into a tavern, originally named "Francois and Sullivan" and sometimes referred to as "Grandma's." The 12 by 15 foot room couldn't accommodate very many customers, but "in those times, they'd take their bottles outside," Stella said. She purchased her first beer license for $50 and her first tobacco license for $2. At one point another tavern opened within a couple blocks, and after two owners unsuccessfully attempted to get the business going, the building was offered to Stella and in 1939 she moved into bigger quarters. Sadly, Stella's husband died that same year leaving her with four children to raise on her own, as well as two businesses to operate. It was 20 years before Stella married her second husband, Dean Tobler. As business continued to flourish, Stella attempted to purchase the land upon which the tavern was located, but her landlord refused to sell. In 1949, she purchased the land at the current location which had once been a dairy farm. She then had the building moved there on Friday, May 13, 1949 and renamed the tavern, simply "Stella's." The new location was ideal since it was located next to a drive-in theatre and race car track. It's the "World Famous" cheeseburgers and the down-to-earth friendliness that continues to set Stella's apart from a state full of burger joints. Remember those fresh, generous, and rather messy burgers the little old cafe in everyone's home town used to make? Stella's still makes them. The burgers are good and, well, greasy, and that's part of what makes them good, and so real. The burgers are served on paper napkins and the freshly cut "Stella Fries" are served in plastic bowls lined with waxed paper. Stella's philosophy was, "Good food doesn't need to be fancy." Stella's attained its world famous status, thanks to the millions of Offutt AFB airmen and officers who've frequented the establishment throughout the 70 years it's been open, and subsequently spread the word at air force bases internationally. Although a heart attack claimed Stella's life on April 3, 1985, her picture is still prominently displayed in the bar, with the legend "Our Founder" written on it. She was a remarkable lady who built a successful business based on integrity, hard work, and a willingness to serve others. Her philosophy in life was "Help others out of the kindness of your heart without expecting anything in return." Her son, Al Sullivan and his wife Mary took over full-time management in the mid 1970s when Stella suffered a stroke and her doctor advised her to slow down a bit. Al and Mary continued Stella's legacy until they retired in June 2007 and sold the business to their cousin, Stephanie Francois who is Stella's great, great niece. Even though Stella's underwent a much needed renovation upon change of ownership, Stephanie maintains Al Sullivan's philosophy, "If it ain't broken, don't fix it." The same "world famous" burgers and fries are still being served today because the family secrets were handed down, and the original well-seasoned cast iron griddle is still in use. Special thanks to all our loyal customers and most especially to those who have enthusiastically shared their memories with us! We are here to serve you!

Located just off the I-80 Martha Street Exit, Dinker's is nestled in the heart of one of Omaha's oldest neighborhoods. We have been serving up Omaha's Best Burger for over 60 years. Our extensive menu features a variety of Original burgers, homemade daily lunch specials, and American classics.
Easy access to Downtown Omaha makes us a great stop for Creighton Bluejay games and Qwest Center events or enjoy watching your favorite team on one of our 6 high definition televisions. Our bar features a variety of daily drink specials and we always have deals for "the big game."
Dinkers has been an Omaha landmark since 1965. In August of 1965 "Dinker" Frank Synowiecki opened Dinkers, a small neighborhood bar in the heart of Sheely Town, a Polish immigrant area. Our staple then was cold beer, good friends, and friendly service. More than 40 years later, we're proud to say that while our staple has expanded from cold beer, to cold beer and great food,the corner- stone of our business still remains the same. We are a friendly family establishment, serving up the best hamburgers and homemade specials in Omaha!

In my next article we will be taking a look at a classic cheeseburger from each of these historic places!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Corned Beef Dinner Tangier Shrine

Check out this post from Chef Dad Omaha.
This is a GREAT!!!! Corned Beef Dinner served all day at the Tangier Shrine on 84th and Center in Omaha Ne.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Zemog's Cocina Mexicana

On the corner of 108th and Q Street sits a great little Mexican restaurant called Zemog's Cocina Mexicana. Translated Zemog's Cocina Mexicana means Zemog's Mexican Kitchen. That is what the experience feels like at Zemog's, like hanging out at a friends house while they cook up some great food in the kitchen that is just feet away! We went to Zemog's twice in the last month. We were thrilled with the food and the service both times! Not only did we find some dishes we loved but the staff was friendly and fun. This made our experience fun on top of the great food.

After being seated, you are greeted by your waitress with fresh made chips and some of their home-made salsa. When I said the chips were fresh, I mean warm right out of the cooker! The salsa has ton a flavor and a little heat. I would classify the salsa in between mild and medium, as far as heat. I would classify the flavor as off the charts! Now as good as the salsa is, I will also suggest you get a cup of their White Que-so Dip. I promise you, we will not go to Zemog's with out ordering the White Que-so Dip!!!!! This is awesome! If they made a tooth paste in this flavor, it would be the only thing I used. For those of you that can't take a hint. You really need to try the White Que-so at Zemog's.

As for our entree's my wife ordered the same thing both trips, the Zancho. "Zancho... Just like a Sancho but better! This 12 inch tortilla is filled with refried beans, seasoned beef, chipotle sauce, sour cream, onion, cheese, tomatoes and black olives, then it's topped with our delicious White Queso." The folks at Zemog's must of designed this dish just for my wife. It has all of her favorite ingredients wrapped in a soft tortilla and topped with that family favorite White Que-so Dip. This dish is perfect for someone who loves loaded nacho's. Hey, it's loaded nacho's in a wrapper. So when your Mom's says "you can't have nacho's for dinner - that's a snack, you need a well balanced meal" Well now you can order that Zancho, and have everything you like and Momma will be happy too!

I ordered different things both trips. The first trip I ordered the Mogzilla Gringo Enchilada. "The Mogzilla Gringo Enchilada... Hungry carnivores, we are here for you! We take a 12 inch flour tortilla, cram it full with almost a pound of taco meat and onion, drench it in our mild red garlic sauce and a quarter-pound of cheese. It's pretty big. Seriously" To translate - Mogzilla Gringo Enchilada means... a freaky huge enchilada with a cows worth of beef in it! They did not bring it out on a plate. They brought it out on a platter. The floor shook as they carried it out! Women and Children ran screaming when it entered the room. Even grown men trembled as it entered the room. OK - do you get it - It was really big. I wasn't scared, I am a big eater. I am a carnivore! So a dug in - and dug in and who I am trying to kid? The Mogzilla Gringo Enchilada kicked my ass. I only ate about 3/4 of it, but I'll be back.

In out next trip I had the Fish Taco. "Fish Taco... Even fish haters love this taco! Huge swai fillets (it's like tilapia) hand dipped in our homemade batter, fried crispy and tasty, then wrapped in our huge homemade flour tortillas with lettuce, our unique chipotle sour cream, cheese and pico de gallo. Holy Chihuahua! It's a meal!!" Now I have to admit I love fish tacos but I have had a hard time finding good fish taco's in Omaha. Here is the deal I either like the fish grilled or if it's breaded I want a nice light crisp breading. At Zemog's the fish is breaded and it is very but nice and crisp. Unlike most places you get a big hunk of fish! Being built on a good foundation of a great piece of fish, the go on to layer the flavors on perfectly. I can add Zemog's to a very short list of places with great fish taco's in Omaha.

During one of our trips I had some of their homemade lemon-aid. That was some really good stuff. This isn't a powdered mix, this home made lemon aid. It had a perfect blend of sweet and tart. Like all of the drinks at Zemog's, they serve it in a glass the size of popcorn bucket. Between the size of the drinks and the attentiveness of the wait staff, if your glass runs dry, you probably spilled it. By the way I spilled on our second trip. opps.

In Omaha you have a lot great choices for Mexican Food, but I encourage you to go check out Zemog's. They food is GREAT and the staff makes you feel at home!
So what are you waiting for - Get out of your rut and try something new - Try Zemog's

Zemog's Cocina Mexicana
10904 Q St
Omaha Nebraska

Call In Orders 402-933-2509

Fax In Orders 402-933-8226


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Share Our Strengths Cooking Matters®

They other day I got a chance to talk to some of the great people at Share Our Strengths Cooking Matters®. This is a wonderful program that gives people like me that have a passion for cooking and food, a chance to share our knowledge with young people! I really look forward to doing some volunteer work with this organization. I wanted use my blog to share with you a little bit about this great program.

Share Our Strengths Cooking Matters® empowers families at risk of hunger with the skills, knowledge, and confidence to make healthy and affordable meals. With the help of volunteer culinary and nutrition experts, course participants learn how to make nutritious and low-cost ingredients and prepare them in ways that provide the best nourishment possible to their families. Cooking Matters is nationally sponsored by ConAgra Foods® and generally supported by the Walmart Foundation. For more information, visit CookingMatters.org.


Facebook- “Cooking Matters Omaha Metro Area”- http://tinyurl.com/4fon5gp


Sunday, January 30, 2011

Gusto Cuban Cafe

Saturday night we were looking to try something a little different. Our tasted buds were begging for a surprise! So I decided to take my wife for a traditional Cuban meal. Now I am not Cuban but I have heard from a couple of my Cuban friends at my lodge that the Gusto Cuban Cafe is the real deal! So it was time for Omaha Yum to pay them a visit!

So first off, what are the characteristics of Cuban cuisine? According to Hector Rodriguez the author of Cuban Food Profile: Cuban Food History - "Cuban cuisine is a fusion of Spanish, African and Caribbean cuisine. Cuban recipes share spices and techniques with Spanish and African cooking, with some influence in spice and flavor. This results in a unique, interesting and flavorful blend of the several different cultural influences. A small, but noteworthy, Chinese influence can also be accounted for, mainly in the Havana area. During colonial times, Cuba was an important port for trade, and many Spaniards who lived there brought their culinary traditions along with them."

Well after having my first Cuban meal, I can tell you that the combination of influences makes for a explosion of great taste that will please your taste buds. Yes, my lodge brothers were right the Gusto Cuban Cafe is the REAL DEAL! We had a great meal in little cafe that made you feel like you were dinning 90 miles south of Miami, despite being 4 degree out.

We started our experience with a round of drinks. Now the Gusto Cuban Cafe has a full bar with a large selection of drinks, but I knew before I walked in the door, I was having a traditional Mojito! A Mojito is traditionally made of five ingredients: white rum, sugar or sugar cane juice, lime juice, sparkling water and mint. The Mojito is one of my favorite summer time drinks! They are a cold refreshing drink that blends the sweet, the tart and the mint flavor to make an incredible drink. I have had some good Mojito's, but I can tell your hands down, the Gusto Cuban Cafe makes the BEST Mojito's anywhere! My Wife ordered a Banana Mojito, which is basically the same drink with a nice banana flavor added on top. I am looking forward to this summer, and going to the Gusto Cuban Cafe to sit out on their outdoor patio and enjoying a mojito and try one of their nice selection of cigars!

Prior to our dinner coming, our very nice waitress brought out a basket of a bread which was really good. I think it was dusted with a dry cheese and had a real nice flavor. Now their was a bottle of a flavored oil on the table, and I am not sure what it was seasoned with, but WOW - AWESOME!! I think it had garlic, lime, some type of mild pepper and maybe cumin, parsley and thyme in it. OK I forgot to asked what it was called or what was in it, but this was absolutely incredible. To be completely honest, I am not even sure if I was suppose to put it on my bread, but I am going to do it again next time I go there, it was that good. Any way I have sent Roberto an email asking him about the wonderful oil and I will keep you posted! Remember if your see a little bottle of oil with a bunch of seasoning in it, try it!

Now for our main coarse we both order something different and as always we traded taste. My wife ordered the Bistec de Palomilla. The Bistec de Palomilla is a Top sirloin cut thin served with home made french fries and onions. This is the perfect dish for someone that has never had Cuba food and are not very daring. You get a huge thin cut top sirloin that has a real nice flavor but nothing over powering in it. It is topped with fresh white onion and some great thin cut fries. My wife chose for her side white rice, black bean and the plantain. My wife had never had Cuban food and wasn't sure if she would like it, but she has already asked - When are we going back?

I had the Masitas De Cerdo Fritas. The Masitas De Cerdo Fritas is fried marinated morsels of pork. These bite sized morsels of pork and just packed with a tangy flavor. I will certainly recommend these to everyone. You get the tangyness of the marinade along with the crispiness of the fried pork, and WOW what a combo! It is like little meat candies! For my sides I had red beans which were very tender and served in a great bean broth. I also had the congris. Congris is traditional Cuba rice with black beans. I also had the plantain. We both agree that this is the best plantain we have ever had. I have had it other place and I have tried making it at home, but it is never been as tasty and as tender as it was a Gusto's. You have got to try the plantain.

Now here is the deal, we had the bread, a drink and our entree, and we were stuffed! The problem is, we saw people eating incredible looking appetizers, and delectable desserts, but we had no room for them. The only thing I can think of, is to go back! They also have great selection of sandwich's at lunch time! The Gusto's Cuba Cafe was a great find and we will be enjoying this place more in the future.

If your looking for a change of pace and an incredible meal with lots of choices. Stop and see our friends at the Gusto Cuban Cafe and take your taste buds on a wonderful journey!

Gusto Cuba Cafe
7910 Harrison Street
Ralston Nebraska 68128
(402) 614-7800

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Tour of Council Bluffs Iowa

Last week I found myself over in Council Bluffs and decided to drive around and see if there has been any changes in my favorite eating places in CB. Now it's been about 5 years since I worked in Council Bluffs, but in the 3 years I worked across the river, I found a handful of great places to eat! I am happy to report that all but one of my favorite spots were all still there.

I started my tour on North Broadway and swung by Pizza King, now Pizza King doesn't open until 4pm so it was pretty empty at 11 am when I was in the neighborhood. Pizza King is an interesting place, it is a nice steakhouse where you can sit down and have a great steak dinner or your can call in a Pizza and pick it up at their to go counter in back. Either way you can't go wrong, Pizza King has been serving great food in CB for decades!

My next stop was on West Broadway to snap a picture of a Barley's, if Barley's sounds familiar, it should, I have written a review of Barley's Tip Top in NoDo. As many of you already know the Council Bluffs location is the original. I think was in about 2001 that Matt Johnson sold his first bar on the west end of Broadway called "Repetitions"bought "Dirty Harry's" on 114 West Broadway and turned it into Barley's Bar and Grill. As I mentioned in my review of the Omaha location Barley's Tip Top, I highly recommend the Club Burger, but if your not in the mood for a burger, Barley's has great daily specials, and I never went wrong ordering the special at Barley's!

After that I cut through downtown to get to south 3rd Street to snap a shot of the Goldmine. The Goldmine is a tiny bar and grill with a huge following. I used to get the Thursday special with a buddy of mine after we worked out at the old Depot Gym over the lunch. The Thursday special was a Ribeye Steak with all the fixin's and it was awesome! The other thing I had noticed, because I drove by their everyday on my way to work is that it was packed every morning. I assumed it was the after work crowd from the 3rd shift of the plant next door, but come to find out they served breakfast and it was great too. The Goldmine is a great hide-a-way that only the locals know about until now!

Now if you have ever driven over the viaduct on Broadway that takes you into downtown Council Bluffs, you probably noticed a little bar and grill below the viaduct on the south side. That my friends is the Railway Inn. When I was working in Council Bluffs, the Railway was the first place I ever at lunch. At the time it was owned by Mark Andrews. The Railway was a place with great food and friendly regulars. Even though the had a lot of great food on the menu, I always had one of two things - The Cheeseburger or the Chicken, because the were both incredible. About 6 months before I went back to working in Omaha, Mark sold the bar to a nice couple named Jamie and Dan. They made some changes to the decor and added new items to the menu, but one thing that didn't change was the great food and friendly atmosphere.

Down on 33rd and Broadway is a Sam's Italian Villa which has been feeding Council Bluffs over 40 years. The first time I went to Sam's Italian Villa, I assumed it was your typical Italian joint with the usual food and it is! but they also have Fried Catfish, Steak, Pork Tenderloin and Broasted Chicken. One of my favorite comfort foods is fried catfish and Sam's Italian Villa does fried catfish right! Sam's is a great family restaurant with endless choices. You will know how good Sam's when you drive by, if they are open the parking lot will be full!

My last stop on my tour of CB took me by Tish's which is located on 35th just south of 9th Ave. As the story goes Tish's started off as an Ice Cream Stand and grew into a wonderful family restaurant. Tish's was a great little restaurant with beautiful dinner room, as well as open air dinning on their patio during the warm months. My favorite thing to get a Tish's was the steak salad better known as the Beefeater! For those of you who know me, know I don't order salads as my main course, but their is so much juicy steak on this salad, I made the exception!

Their are several other places I had great meals at and I would to mention them as well and I will definitely get them on my next tour of Council Bluffs. Those places are LPL's, Scott Street, Old River Pizza, Mo' Fish and The Main Street Cafe.

So if you find your self in Council Bluffs or just want to take the short ride over the river try one of these great places!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


To start this post I was to clear up a few myths about Sushi

Myth #1 - All sushi is fish
Fact = Even though most sushi is made with fish, there are many veggie alternatives.

Myth #2 - All sushi is raw
Fact = Even though some sushi is raw, there are a lot cooked items available.

Myth #3 - Sushi is the the only thing you can get at a Sushi Restaurant
Fact = Often you have choices of non-Sushi En tree's, Appetizers and Deserts on the Menu

Myth #4 - You can't get great sushi in Omaha Nebraska
Fact = I had great sushi at Blue Sushi Sake Grill in Omaha Nebraska on Sunday December 12, 2010

Now that I got that cleared up - Let's Get To IT!

I ate sushi for the first time almost 10 years ago, while traveling for my old job to Denver. I was working downtown and stayed on the 16th Street Mall. I decided while sitting down for a drink at Wolfgang Pucks Restaurant, I would try some sushi from the sushi bar, and I loved it!

It was almost 7 years before I had it again, due to myth #4. Eventually I started trying some new local sushi places, and found a great one called Blue Sushi Sake Grill. Then after 3 years of trying to talk her into it, I finally got my wife to agree to go out for sushi with me. So this past Sunday we enjoyed a wonderful lunch at Blue Sushi Sake Grill!

For the last few years, when I have had Sushi, I would stop in for lunch and get a Spicy Tuna Roll (Spicy Tekka). It was suggested to me that the best way to enjoy Blue Sushi Sake Grill, is to go with a someone and order a few different small plate items to share them. So since I got my wife convinced to have an opened mind about sushi, we planned our trip and it went great. Let me take you through our meal.

First we got their on Sunday right at noon, when the opened. Come to find out on Sunday from noon to 8pm they have some great happy hour specials if you sit in the lounge area. So we sat down in a comfy love seat in the lounge and enjoyed our lunch while taking in some NFL football!

Like I said we took the advice of ordering several different small plate items and shared them.


Edamame Hummus - Japanese cucumbers, carrots, olive oil, toasted sesame seeds, curry crostini

This was my wife's favorite, and I will admit this is the best hummus dip on the planet! The fresh crunch of the Japanese cucumbers and carrots with the wonderful flavorful hummus. Even if you think you don't like hummus try this, it takes hummus to a new level!

Mango Crab Rangoon
- scallions, mango & mirin purée, fire-roasted red pepper sauce

We have always loved crab rangoons, So the Mango Crab Rangoon's had our curiosity. We found the little bit of mango really brought a new element to the overall flavor, and the sauces have perfect contrast!

Grilled Chicken Lettuce Wraps - bean sprouts, scallions, toasted cashews, puffed glass noodles, cucumber sunomono, cilantro sprigs, sunflower sprouts, pickled carrots, sesame rice noodles, creamy cilantro, spicy peanut, house-made sweet chili sauce

We have had Lettuce Wraps at other place and I have even made them at home, but Blue's are different than the others we have had. The thing about Blue's Lettuce Wraps is they are laid out on a platter with several different elements and sauces so you can put them together different every time and get a variety of taste in one dish!

House Salad - mixed greens, pickled carrots, Japanese cucumbers, red onions, cherry tomatoes, scallions, daikon sprouts, carrot ginger or wasabi soy vinaigrette

We had no intention of ordering a salad, but when we were reading the menu , it caught our eyes and we had to have one. I can honestly say, this would be a wonder lite lunch by itself. Very fresh and a lot of flavor but still lite!

Cherry Bomb - tuna, jalapeño, rice tempura, spicy sauce, ponzu

My wife is new to sushi, so she wasn't ready to try anything raw yet. So I was more than happy to eat these myself. Let me tell you it is called a Cherry Bomb for a reason. A huge explosion of taste! You get the great freshness of the savory tuna with punch of the jalapeno's and the spices!
It was great and fun to eat! If you like a little kick try these!

Tidal Wave - shrimp tempura, crab tempura, cream cheese, sweet wasabi & eel sauce

These are not raw, so I got these for my wife to try as her first attempt in to the wonderful world of Sushi. I also tried them, because I normally on eat raw sushi, but wow I really like these, it was a lot different then the raw, but it had a wonderful savory flavor and I will try other cooked items! The sauce on these really enhanced the flavor.

Spicy Tekka
- spicy tuna roll
These are my all time favorite, most of the time I get sushi, this is my standard and I will admit, Blue does it best! I could sit and eat these like popcorn all day!

Now I know that sounds like a lot of food - Well it was a ton of food! Let me tell you we had a feast and had left overs for lunch the next day!

The best thing about this trip is my wife had a great time and loved the food, which will lead to me having more sushi! We also found a lot of other things on the menu that was awesome! So even if your don't think you like sushi, go to Blue Sushi Sake Grill and order a nice variety of dishes and share them with some, but please open your mind and try a piece of sushi! I promise most of you will become a huge fan!

I want to thank the staff at Blue who served us that day, they were a great bunch of young people who really know how to make people feel comfortable and welcome. We will be back!
I suggest you get out to Blue today!

Blue Sushi Sake Grill
14450 Eagle Run Dr.
Omaha, NE 68116


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Why haven't you reviewed my restaurant ?

Why haven't you reviewed my restaurant ?

I get this question all the time.

So let me explain how Omaha YUM works.

Since I have been married, my wife and I have had our Friday or Saturday night date night. We usually go out to eat, we like to try different places, but we also frequent some of our favorites.
I decided one day to write about our positive experiences, because I thought it would be fun and a useful tool for other people like us who like to go out for dinner. We had found there was need for a guide to great food in the metro. So Omaha YUM was born.

Since then we have found locals and travelers both have followed our blog and we enjoy writting it! We have visitors from all over the country!

So If you would like you restaurant, cafe, diner, ice cream shop, coffee shop or any place the serves food reviewed on Omaha YUM. Here is what you need to do - Contact us!


We would love to chat with you.

We can't promise to grant every request, but If we are contacted by the Owner or Manager of the establishment we will review you request and contact you.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Pudgy's Pizzeria

I have to admit, I don't like da'Bears, I don't like da'Bulls, I don't like da'Cubs, and the da'White Sox are just alright, but I really like da'food at Pudgy's Pizzeria.

A couple weeks ago I started working out again, and since then I have been really hungry all the time. So when topic turned to where to get pizza Saturday night, I told my wife that thin crust just wasn't going to cut it, I needed deep dish Chicago style pizza loaded with toppings. Well when I want Chicago Style Pizza, I want REAL Chicago style pizza, made by I guy from the Windy City! That is what you get from Phil Cerra at Pudgy's Pizzeria.

Phil has been selling Chicago eats since 1977, when he started his first business a Chicago Dog stand in Chicago's Central Park Mall. He has since moved to Omaha and created Pudgy's Pizzeria, a little neighborhood pizza joint, like those in Chicago.

Pudgy's has Pizza, Chicago Dogs, Italian Beef and some Appetizers. As hungry as I was on Saturday, I tried to eat them all, and came close. We ordered The Works Chicago Style Pizza loaded with Beef, pepperoni, fresh mushrooms, black olives, green peppers and onion (no black olives on my half) I also ordered an Italian Beef and some Cheese Bread. Hey I said I was hungry!
First off the was the Italian Beef, this was my first Italian Beef. I have seen them on Food TV and the Travel Channel, but have never had one. I was not disappointed, it was hogie bun loaded with thin sliced roast beef and splashed with a perfect amount of the rich tasty broth. It also came with some type of pepper mixture on the side, can't remember its name, but they were incredible, I dumped the whole thing on my sandwich. This was a great sandwich! I will be back for another one!
We also had an order of the cheese bread. It was buttery, and cheesy with just a hint of garlic. It is the perfect appetizer to hold you over while you wait for your pizza.
Now on to the Pizza. This is Chicago Style DEEP dish pizza. So don't expect this to be done in 15 minutes. It takes about 40-45 minutes, but it is well worth the wait. So order an appetizer and enjoy your wait, watching the game on TV.

If you have never had REAL Chicago Style pizza before, let me explain. It starts with a thick crust in a deep dish, next is the Cheese, yes I said the cheese goes on next, then your topping and then a chunky sauce. Yeah they put the sauce on top, and it is good enough to be on top. This is a "stick to your ribs pizza" and it is packed with flavor!!!

I have had the world famous UNO Pizza, one of the Chicago originals, it was great, but I will take Omaha's own Pudgy's over them any day!

Do you wanted to try a Chicago Style - Pizza, Dog or Italian Beef?
Well get over to Pudgy's!

Pudgy's Pizzeria
16919 Audrey Street
Omaha, NE 68136-3188
(402) 884-7566

OK I will give the da'Bears 4-6 Defense in the 80's some props. It was the second best, next to the Steel Curtain of the 70's!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Orsi's Italian Bakery & Pizzeria

I was working downtown on Friday and found myself starving around noontime. Lately I have been craving pizza and have not had Orsi's in a few months. So I headed over to Little Italy and got an individual hamburger pizza. Orsi's is a place that one of the food channels should do a story on. They are old school and unique. It is one of those places that could be cast in a movie. It's a neighborhood shop in a historic part of town. That always has traffic and conversation.

Orsi's is an Italian Bakery and a Pizza take out. Many people know about Orsi's bread, it is a historical favorite here in the metro. I love to have it with a steak dinner or with any pasta dish I make. Not only does Orsi's have great bread and great pizza, they also have a deli case with fresh Italian meats and cheeses.

About the pizza, of coarse Orsi's has great crust. It's in an Italian Bakery so the crust is awesome. That's just the half of it. The toppings are always top notch and the sauce is loaded with a classic flavor. I am not sure what type of cheese the use, but it REALLY good and they load it up. If you like great crust and a pizza with a ton of cheese and flavor this is for you.

Here are some things to know about Orsi's pizza.
1. On your first order asked for help. Orsi's larges are huge and filling
2. It is take out only. No tables and the don't allow picnics on the floor.
3. Don't forget to pick-up a loaf of bread when you come in.

If you want to try classic pizza from an old school pizza shop
Get down to Omaha's historic Little Italy and stop in to Orsi's and get a great pizza!

Orsi's Italian Bakery & Pizzeria
621 Pacific Street
Omaha, NE 68108
(402) 345-3438

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Shirley's Diner

Sunday, Monday, Happy Days.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Happy Days.
Thursday, Friday, Happy Days.
Saturday, What a day,
Groovin' all week with you.

These days are all,
Happy and Free. (Those Happy Days)
These days are all,
Share them with me. (oh baby)
Goodbye grey sky, hello blue.
There's nothing can hold me when I hold you.
Feels so right, it can't be wrong.
Rockin' and rollin' all week long.

These days are all,
Share them with me. (Those Happy Days)
These days are all, Happy and Free.
These Happy Days are your's and mine, Happy Days.

OK maybe I over did the intro, but every time I go to Shirley's Diner that song is stuck in my head for days. Shirley's Diner is a throw back to the days of Diners, like Arnold's from Happy Days. It is a classic dinner with classic diner favorites, like burgers, tenderloins, chicken fried steak, hot beef and fish n chips. Besides the classic diner food Shirley's is interior takes you back and time. There is also some great memorabilia for your gazing pleasure. Best of all there is a jukebox with some great nastagia rock n roll.

I ordered the Chicken Fried Steak Sandwich. Let me tell you this is the REAL DEAL. This isn't a cloned processed frozen patty passed off as chicken fried steak, this a real piece of tenderized round steak, breaded and fried to a perfect golden crisp brown and served on a toasted bun! They served it with your choice of sides.

This a great hang out for the whole family! It's got great food, great decor and great tunes.

Check it out! Tell Shirley Omaha Yum sent you!

Shirley's Diner
5325 South 139th Plaza
Omaha, NE 68137
(402) 896-6515

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Tas's Thai Pepper

Tas's Thai Pepper

Went to Tas's Thai Pepper today for lunch.

I had my favorite, as usual the Pad Thai. Pad Thai is a stir-fried noodles with egg, bean sprouts, and green onions. Ground peanuts on the side. It is Thailand's most popular dish.
This is a great dish, you can order it very mild or very spicy. I ordered the second spiciest.
This dish a several layers of flavor, and won't bore you. You can get this with in other meats as well.
Lunch Chicken or Tofu 8.75 Beef 9.50 Shrimp 11.00
Dinner Chicken or Tofu 10.00 Beef 11.00 Shrimp 14.00

This is a great spot for lunch, it is quiet enough for a lunch meeting, even though it is always at least half full. The food is great, it's fresh, hot and they get you served is a very short time.

This is a nice moderately priced restaurant. It's very clean, and the service is great.
If you like Thai food or spicy food this is a great spot to try out

Tas's Thai Pepper
12775 Q St.
Omaha NE 68137
Tel: (402) 895-7788

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Smashburger 7-1-2010

I had lunch at Smashburger the other day. It is a franchise the is mutlipling across the metro area, with locations in the L Street Marketplaces, 72nd and Jones and a new locations coming to Bellevue.
Smashburger get it's name from the way they cook their burgers. They cook them on a hot griddle and continually smash them. This gives you a nice thin but wide patty with a nice carmelized outside and a moist inside. I cook my burgers at home like this sometimes. So I found this to be a really good burger place.
Now I did have an unexpected surprise at Smashburger, the Smash Fries!

To give you a little background, I AM a french fry purest. I strongely believe a french fry should be a cut from real potato, fried in oil and seasoned with salt, nothing else. I generally curse, being creative with french fries, and praise the old addage "less is more". But I had heard some many people rave about the smash fries. So I put my predjudice aside and tried them.

A Smash Fry is a thin french fry, cooked in hot oil, then tossed in a little olive oil. rosemary, garlic and I think asiago cheese. I will admit, they were GOOOOD. They had a light but bold flavor and were very additive. So maybe there is a little room for creativity in fries, but lets not over do it.
Most people mess it up, but Smashburger got it right.

I will have to warn you that Smashburger is not a place for big groups, if your going at peak times and want to sit together. It is a fairly small shop, quite a few seats, inside and outside, but it is more suited for groups of 4 or less. Its has a modern look, but it is still cozy!

So go give it a try and get the Smash Fries for SURE!!

L Street Marketplace
12330 K Street
Omaha NE

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Is There Any Place I Don't Like?

So I get this question posed in different ways all the time.
Is there any place you don't like?
How can you love every place you go to?

Here is the deal.
I don't like every place I go to
There are plenty of places I would never step foot into again.
I just don't write about them. I will admit sometimes, I will give someplaces a second chance, if I think it might have just been a bad day, bad order choice or I got the one bad server in the place.

When I started my blog I made a conscious desicion not to be a critic, instead be a guide for people looking for good places to eat in the metro.

I also do a little research on the places I do go. I find out what they do really well and pick those items to eat. I talk to alot of people about their favorites places to eat, and I always ask what they order. I look at the restuarants website and check out the menu in advanced. I aways ask the server what they like or what's popular. This has improved my dinning experiences.

My goals is for people to go to my blog and waste no time finding a good place to eat.
Besides the fact even though I may not like someplaces, somebody does or they would be out of business.

I hope this answers these questions.

Besides My Mama Always Said - "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't waste your time blogging about it"

Also this is Omaha YUM - for Yummy Food
But I this give my an idea for a sister site - Omaha YUCK! Places to avoid eating in the metro.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Richies Chicken 6-12-2010

Earlier this month was my daughters birthday. She is a huge fried chicken fan, just like her grandpa. So when I asked her what she wanted to for birthday dinner, it was no surprise when she told us she want FRIED CHICKEN!
Well, if your going to have Fried Chicken, one of the first places that comes to mind is Richie's. Richie's Chicken is a legendary fried chicken joint, which is located on Center Street, in the Field Club area. I am not sure how long Richie's has been around, but I am almost 40, and it's been there as long as I can remember.
We were having the whole family over for the birthday party, so we need a large amount of chicken. Richie's can accommodate orders of all sizes. We called in our order a couple days before and it was hot and ready at 11am on Saturday, just as promised.
Everyone of our family members loved it. Especially my daughter who wants to get chicken from Richie's all the time now. I don't blame her, the coating has incredible flavor and the chicken is always good and juicy.
Now I know Richie's has several other things on their menu, but honestly the chicken is so good, I could not have Richie's and not have the chicken.
One thing I would like to point out. Richie's would have been perfect stop for Dinners, Drive In's and Dives. I hope the next time they come, they call me so I can aid them in their selections. Missing Richie's was a mistake! Guy give me a call!
If you like fired chicken - GO TO RICHIE'S! It is the benchmark that all other chicken places are measured by.
Richie's Chicken
3528 Center Street
Omaha NE

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Donut Haven - 6-26-2010

My wife and I, stopped for a quick breakfast this morning on the way to pick up the kids from the grandparents house. We have been hearing good things about the Donut Haven in Millard and decided to give it a try.

The Donut Haven has a full selection of donuts, that includes a gigantic donut they call the Texas Donut. I think because it is the size of Texas. They also have biscuits and gravy, and some breakfast sandwich's on the menu.

My wife ordered the biscuits and gravy this morning, and of coarse I had a taste. Nice flaky biscuits covered in a great tasting sausage gravy. It was a rich, creamy white gravy that really hit the spot this morning.

I ordered the Texas Donut. Now there is not doubt in my mind I could tackle the challenge of eating the Texas Donut, but since it was going to be 100 degrees today, I didn't. I figured gorging myself first thing in the morning on the hottest day of the year would be a bad move.

Now I did make a big dent in it, and I have to say it was a good as it was big. They have a plain glazed and a chocolate. I got the chocolate.

Besides having great food the Donut Haven has great prices. We ordered biscuits and gravy, a Texas Donut and 2 Pepsi, we also ordered a Texas Donut to go. Believe it or not I got change back on my $10 bill.

If you haven't tried the Donut Haven yet. Why not? Great Food and Great Prices!

Donut Haven
13807 P Street
Omaha Ne - Millard

Pitch Pizzeria 6-25-2010

The kids had a slumber party at Grandma and Grandpa's last night so, we treated ourselves to a night out that included a wonder pizza dinner at Pitch Pizzeria. Pitch Pizzeria is the latest venture by Omaha's "Godfather" of Pizza, Willy Theisen.

Located in historic Dundee, Pitch is an upscale Pizzeria, featuring thin crust pizza cooked in coal fired ovens. The crust is thin and light, with a slight crunch when you bite into it. The coal fire oven gives it a wonderful flavor. You choice of toppings consist of classic Italian meats such as peperoni, pancetta, prosciutto, fennel sausage, roast chicken and white anchovy. Other toppings include fesh motz, arugula, mushrooms, carmalized onion, roasted tomato, and many more. You can choose from one of their 8 recipes or create you own. Either way the toppings are fresh and very high quality. Besides the great pizza, Pitch has a variety and appetizers and sides to capture a wide range of taste. Pitch also has a full bar with a huge selection of beers and great menu of original drinks.

We had 2 pizza's, the "two peps" and the "shrooms". The "two peps" was topped with pepperoni and pepperoncini peppers, it gave you that classic pepperoni taste with a little tart and a little spice on top. The "shrooms" pizza was loaded with roasted mushrooms and roasted tomato's then drizzled with truffle oil. Both pizzas were great. We also had the roasted brussel spouts. These were not your typical brussel spouts, they were cut in half and roasted, then tossed with pancetta and romano cheese. WOW! if I could make brussel spouts like this we would have them more often.
This was a great meal.

This isn't a pizza place for the masses, but its sophisticated tasted will have mass appeal for people looking for a unique upscale pizza experience. Go give Pitch a try, it not your typical pizza joint! Seriously DO IT!

Pitch Pizzeria
5021 Underwood Ave
Omaha NE - Dundee

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Lucky Bucket Brewery 6-24-2010

Had a little fun on the way home from work tonight. I stopped at the Lucky Bucket Brewery and took the tour. Yes I said it, we have a production Brewery in town and they give tours. The tours are on Thursday from 4pm to 7pm and Saturdays from 10am to 1pm. They are 30 minute tours and run about every 45 minutes. The Lucky Bucket Brewery address is 11941 West Centennial Road in LaVista.

Now if all that wasn't enough to get you excited. On the same trip you will get to tour the Solas Distillery, which is located in a separate section of the same building. Solas distills JOSS Vodka and they are in the process of making a Rum and Scotch Style Whiskey.

The tour is really interesting they tell you about how they got started and the process they go through to make our favorite drinks. You will be amazed by the process involved in creating these drinks. It is an art form.

Just so you know, they do provide samples, for people of age 21 or older. I have already had the Lucky Bucket Lager several times, but I did not pass up the sample. The Lucky Bucket Lager is a great lager for most beer drinkers, it has a smooth balance of malt and hops. It has unique yet traditional flavor, perfect for most people.

Next I sampled the Lucky Bucket IPA an American India Pale Ale. This is more advanced flavor, for your people who crave that Full Hop Taste. The Lucky Bucket IPA has an "in your face" flavor with a little bite. It may not be for everyone, but the people it is meant for will be instant fans.

Our last taste from the brewery side was their limited yearly brew, called Certified Evil. It is a Belgian Strong Ale and it was my favorite. It is a dark beer with a very rich but smooth flavor.

Here is who I would describe it - say you average dark beer is like drinking a milk shake made with 2% milk - Certified Evil is like drinking a milk shake made with heavy cream. WOW!!!! So rich and creamy.

If that wasn't enough we got to sample the JOSS Vodka as well. Now I will be the first to admit, I am not a Vodka drinker, I generally drink Bourbon or Gin if I am having spirits. Now I need to find a drink made with Vodka that I like, because that was really good. The last time I took a drink of straight Vodka, I made a funny face and didn't like it. When I drank the JOSS, I made a funny face, because I was surprised just how good it was. I can't wait to try the rum which is coming soon. They Scotch Style Whiskey is in oak barrells aging for a few more years, but I will be their when it is ready.

You can find JOSS Vodka and Lucky Bucket Beers in most stores and pubs. I suggest you try some soon! I also suggest you get your friends together and go take the tour, it is entertaining yet educational.

Lucky Bucket Brewery and Solas Distillery
11941 Centennial Road
LaVista Ne

Sunday, June 20, 2010

LaCasa Pizza West 6-20-2010

Here is the deal! LaCasa Pizzeria has GREAT Pizza. One of the things that makes it great is its uniqueness. It is a Neapolitan style pizza with a very thin crust, with a slightly sweet crushed tomato sauce and Romano cheese. YES I said Romano cheese, not mozzarella. You can get it with motz, but their traditional recipe has Romano. Oh yeah it is rectangle in shape.

Now I am a big fan of Pizza and we have lots of great pizza here in Omaha, and LaCasa is one the the best. Here is the deal, with all the great pizza places, we find a ton of different styles. LaCasa is definitely one of the most unique. Now if you are someone that only likes a round pizza with mozzarella cheese, this might not be for you. LaCasa has a very distinct taste, and it is sooooo good.

If you have not been to LaCasa's yet, go try it. Be ready for a unique taste and try it. It will be like no other pizza you will have around here. Important note: They take Cash or Check only - No Cards at all!

LaCasa Pizza West
8216 Grover Street
Omaha Ne

Friday, June 11, 2010

Pepper Jax 6-11-2010

Had alot of things to do tonight, so we need something for dinner that would be fast, but we wanted something GOOD. Answer Pepper Jax!

I have to admit I always thought Pepper Jax was a big national chain. It is not, in fact the are a privately own local chain with 6 locations in Omaha and 2 in Kansas City. Pepper Jax has done a great job of building their brand here in Omaha. Normally locally owned business fail because they don't know how to build a brand to compete with National Chains. Pepper Jax has the brand to compete with the national chains, but unlike most national chains, that offer a fast meal alternative, Pepper Jax has great food, great service and a clean restuarant.

We went to the Ralston location
We had Great Philly's
We had Great Fries
We had Great Service
In a clean restaraunt
and it was FAST!

Normal when your talking about a fast meal, you get waited on by a scurvy looking character, who generally acts annoyed to have help you. But at Pepper Jax we got served by a personable, friendley staff. The kids behind the counter were engaging and you could tell were enjoying working there.

I can't say enough good things about Pepper Jax.

So you don't like national chains -
Good - Pepper Jax is LOCAL!
Go to their website read their story!

Pepper Jax
8406 Park Drive
Ralston Ne

Monday, June 7, 2010

Quick Bite CHEAP!

Here are a couple quick and cheaps eats in the Omaha area

Somedays you just don't feel a big lunch, sometimes you just need a little something to get through the day. Here are a couple ideas.

Sonic has a "Happy Hour Special" everyday 2pm to 4pm = 1/2 price drinks!

Sam's Clubs and Costco have a Nathan's Hotdog and a large fountain drink for $1.50

No Frills Deli has corn dogs for $1 each

Bag N Save's Deli has burrito's for $1

Franks Pizza you can get a slice for $2.25

Petrow's has a homemade slice of pie for $2.99

LaVista Keno has 50 cent tacos on Wednesdays

And for Dinner, Texas Roadhouse has $7.99 early bird specials and kids eat free on Mondays

Email your favorite specials under $10 to omahayum@gmail.com

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Barley's - 5-30-2010

Saturday Night I took my wife to Barely Tip Top, in Omaha's growing NoDo area. This was our first trip to Barley's new Omaha Location, but not our first trip to Barley's. When I worked in Council Bluffs from 2003-2006, we had eaten at Barley's frequently. In fact Barley's is one of our favorite places to eat in CB.

Now I haven't been to Barley's in a couple years, but I did not need to look at the menu! I have been craving one of Barley's famous Club Burgers! After 4 years it is still one of the most unique, best tasting burgers around. Image taking a club sandwich, kicking out the turkey, replacing it with an juicy hamburger, and using a dark rye bread. WOW it is SO good!

I never had anything that wasn't good at Barley's, but the Club Burger is my favorite. When I used to eat lunch there alot, the always had great lunch specials, sounds like that hasn't changed.

Just like Barley's in CB, the Omaha location has the same great food and friendly people. We were there early for supper, but I hear the late night is hopping too!

If you haven't been to Barley's - GO! Omaha or CB they are both great!

Barley's Tip Top
1510 Cumming Street
Omaha Ne

Barley's CB
114 West Broadway
Council Bluffs IA

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Johnny Sortino's 5-24-2010

Ok this is one of the easiest review I will ever do!
Sortino's has been a family favorite for as long as I can remember.
I don't know when Sortino's opened but I am 38 and I don't remember it not being on 78th and L Street. I am estimating that I have eating at Sortino's 2-3 a year and gotten take-out 4-5 times a year for atleast the last 20 years. Before that I don't recall but when we had Pizza growing up it was from one of two places, Sortino's or Pizza Keg and Pizza Keg has been gone for about 25 years.
So to make a long story short - I am fairly familar with Sortino's pizza!

We ordered the same thing we have ordered for years a Large Pizza and an order of Rings! Yes, if your not from around here, Onion Rings are the perfect partner for a Pizza.

This night we just had a hamburger pizza, but my favorite is hamburger and Canadian bacon and my wives is the Johnny Surprise. We had the kids with us, so we kept it simple.

Here's the deal - when someone asked me where to get a great pizza in Omaha, I have 3-5 places I mention, depending on what style of pizza you like, but every single time Johnny Sortino's is at the top of the list.

Now as for those Onion Rings - they are crisp and flavorful and even if your not a big onion fan - you will like these! TRY THEM!

If you haven't been to Sortino's - What wrong with you?
Get down to Johnny Sortino's - Order a Large Pizza and an Order of Rings and find out why my family and thousands like us have been going there for decades!

Johnny Sortino's
7880 "L" Street
Omaha Ne

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Lansky's 5-22-2010

Grabbed a quick bite to eat Saturday night at Lansky's. Lansky's has three locations in the metro area - one in Bellevue on HWY 350, one on North Broadway in CB and the original on 50th & L in South Omaha. We ate at the 50th and L location, which is a building with a strong culinary history. The very popular Little Willy's Cafe was located there for most of the 70's and 80's. Today the tradition of great food lives on today in Lansky's.

Now Lansky's is a great place to go when you don't know what you want. We had that problem on Saturday, we were hungry but could not decide what we felt like. Lansky's was the perfect solution. They have Pizza, Pasta, Calzones, Phillys, and large selection of sandwich's, Soups, Salads, and a great selection of appetizers. We both decided on the Philly's. As usual the food was great. This was not our trip to Lansky's, we have been to all 3 locations and have sampled a good chunk of the menu over the years and I can assure you everything is really good.

Lanskys is a great casual dinning option! It's LOCAL and It's TASTY!

Next time you don't know what you what - Just go to Lansky's!

50th & L Street
Omaha NE

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dundee Double Shot 5-19-2010

I visited a nice little coffee shop on the edge of Dundee today. The Dundee Double Shot at 118 North 50th Street is a nice little coffee shop which sits right behind the Kohls Pharmacy on 50th & Dodge.

The Double Shot is a simple little shop with great bold coffee aroma and a friendly atmosphere.
The choice blends for today were the Northwest and Kona. I asked the owner for her suggestion. She suggested the Northwest blend. I told her if I liked it, I'd blog about it. Obviously I liked it.

The Northwest blend was a great suggestion for my taste. It had a nice rich but smooth flavor, perfect for a mid morning pick me up.
Next time your in the area, stop in and have a cup at the Dundee Double Shot.

Dundee Double Shot
118 North 50th Street
Omaha NE