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

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

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mangia Italiana 5-18-2008

For some time I have been hearing about a little Italian place up in Irvington that had great food. Well today I spent the day working in that area, and had my sights set on giving Mangia Italiana a try.

I will admit, I was a little skeptical, was it really as good as people had told me? Well when I walked through the door, the wonderful aroma hit me in the face and I knew I was in for a treat! The blend of scents coming from the kitchen were hypnotic. I could not wait to get a slice of pizza. So I ordered up a slice and headed out to eat it. WOW, warm cheesy pizza with real tomato pizza sauce and a wonder blend of Italian seasonings that just melted in your mouth. I am a believer! Irvington has a slice of Little Italy and Mangia Italiana is it!

Now this is not a sit down restaurant, they have take-out and some limited delivery. Sounds like they do alot of catering as well. But I encourage you go up to Irvington and find this tiny little Italian place and experience the giant flavors they provide.

I heard they got great Italian sausage sandwichs, so that will be my next stop, even though I might have to get a slice of pizza too.

Take it home, take it to a picinic, hell take a slice a pizza to the car like I did. Just go try it!
By the way check out their webpage and read the story behind the restuarant. The great food won't suprise you after your learn about their pedigree.

Mangia Italiana
6516 Irvington Road
Omaha Ne

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Downtown Coffee Shop 5-16-2010

My wife and my mother went to breakfast this morning after walking a 5k. They went to a little diner in Old Towne Bellevue, that none of us had been to yet. They had a wonderful home cooked breakfast and told me all about it. Oh and by the way, they weren't holding a to-go container when they walked through the door, so I was disappointed.

They were very happy to find this hidden jewel in Old Towne Bellevue. Located on Misson Ave, this simple little diner is an epicenter for hometown cookin. They had the bacon omelet and the ham & cheese omelete. Both had light and fluffy eggs and loaded with alot of stringy cheese and plenty of bacon and ham. Sounds like the menu is loaded with home cooked classics for breakfast and lunch.

Have you been to the Downtown Coffee Shop in Old Towne Bellevue? I haven't, but I am going! See you there!

Downtown Coffee Shop
119 West Mission Ave
Bellevue Nebraska

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Louie M's Burger Lust 5-8-2010

Took my wife to Louie M's for breakfast last Sunday. I have taken her there for burgers several times since we met, but she had never been there for breakfast. As always the food was incredible. Louie M's has a wonderful selection on its menu. You can have a breakfast classic or you can have some of their unique selections, like a krab and cream cheese omelet.

We went old school on our order. My wife had the biscuits and gravy and I had the big stack of pancakes. Like always we share taste and the biscuits and gravy were great. The light flaky biscuits, were topped with a creamy gravy that had a ton of chunks of flavorful sausage. The pancakes were a delicious belly full and I loved them. There was 3 of them, and they were the size of the plate, warm and fluffy. I made it 3/4 of the way through them, but gave up, very full and satisfied. We had wonderful service in a classic dinner on a beautiful morning.

Louie M's is one of the places I recommend to friends visiting Omaha. The burgers are legendary and the service and atmosphere make you feel like you have been there 100 times, even on your first visit.

If you haven't been to Louie M's - Well get up and go! Breakfast or Lunch you will be pleased.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Big Mama's Kitchen 5-12-2010

After hearing so much about Big Mama's Kitchen over the last year. I finally had the chance try it for myself. It was absolutely incredible!

I had the Afro Burger, so spicy and flavorful, yet not too spicy. It was just right. It was served with a side of slaw. The slaw was a smooth contrast to the big flavor of the burger. I also got to try collard greens for the first time. I will be honest, I did not think I would like it them, but WOW I loved them. I can't wait to have a big bowl of them. The broth the greens were cooked in was so rich and tasty, I can't find the words to decribe it?

I saw alot of people eating the fried chicken, and it looked REALLY good, I will be trying that, but I first want to go have the catfish. I am a huge catfish fan and I have a feeling they do it right at Big Mama's.

On top of the great home comfort food, the service was wonderful. A young girl named Britany waited on us today, and she really went out of her way to make us feel at home. She knew all about the food and the history of Big Mama's kitchen. She was the one that got me to try the greens. Big Mama herself paid us a visit. She is a very charming lady, who loves what she does and it shows. She told us she just cooks the way her Mom and Grandma taught her.

Going to Big Mama's was like dropping by an old friends house, and staying for lunch! It's a comfortable place with comfort food, and friendly folks!

If you haven't been to Big Mama's yet, you are missing out on a special place!

Big Mama's Kitchen
3223 North 45th Street
Omaha Ne

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Kennedy's Irish Pub 5-8-2010

Saturday Night was date night. I took my beautiful wife out for dinner and drinks. We made our first visit to Kennedys Irish Pub, just north of 72nd and Q. We were there early in the evening. It was a very nice sports bar / Irish pub. I sounds like later in the evening, it morphs into a hopping hot spot, with music and great drink specials.

We had a very nice dinner. My wife order the patty melt sliders, and loved them. I ordered the "Kennedy" sandwich. It was a bbq brisket sandwich topped with coleslaw and french fries, all put between two pieces of marble texas toast. I really enjoyed it, there was alot of things going on in that sandwich. It was fun to eat and extremely filling. Both sandwichs came with a choice of fries, we both got the sweet potato fries. No matter what you order at Kennedys you have to try these sweet potato fries - they ROCK!

Next time I have to try the Pork Tenderloin. I heard it is gigantic and delicious. When Kennedy's was recommended to us, it was the pork tenderloin that was suggested. So we will have to make another trip.

Back in college we used to go to "penny pitcher night" at a place called Dooley's. Dooley's is long gone, but Kennedy'd has brought the greatest beer special of all-time back to Thursday nights. Yes, I heard they have penny pitcher with a $6 cover charge on Thursday nights.

Try out Kennedy's - there is something for everyone!

Kennedy's Irish Pub & Grille
5170 South 72nd Street
Omaha Ne

Zesto's 5-4-2010

Took the family to Zesto's for ice cream. What a treat! I have been going to Zesto's since I was a kid, and despite changes in ownership the ice cream has remained one of the best anywhere.

Besides having the ledgendary soft-serve cones, we tried an order of the cheese balls. This is something we have had at many places, because my daughters love them. Zesto's were different than the rest. The coating tasted like the cheese frenchies Mom made when I was a kid. We really liked them. My daughter has been asking to go back.

Also found out that Zesto's is going to move when the stadium moves. They are going to be located on 12th and Webster. It will be sad to see a South Omaha landmark move, but it is wonderful that Zesto's will live on and stay a apart of the CWS!

If you have not been to Zesto's or have not been there in years. Make it a priority to get there this Summer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It is an Omaha landmark!

3901 South 13th Street
South Omaha Nebraska

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

DJ's Dugout 5-1-2010

We had a full day on Saturday. We ended our night with a drink at DJ's Dugout in Bellevue. DJ's is a great place to watch sports or just hang out. It seems to be always full of good spirited people. I have eaten there serveral times but this time it was just drinks. My wife had a Blue Hawaii, which she said was as good as the one we had in Maui. I just ordered a beer. Our server asked if I wanted the big draw that they had on special for $4.75, I said sure! She proceed to bring me a popcorn bucket full of beer - WOW what a special.
If you like sports, good folks, great food and nice specials. - Check out DJ's

DJ's Dugout Sports Bar
10308 South 23rd Street
Bellevue Ne

Piccolo Pete's 5-1-2010

In February I made reservations to eat at Piccolo Pete's on the evening of the Berkshire Meeting. So after enjoying the expo and some drinks downtown, we met my parents for dinner.
Now we have been to Piccolo Pete's countless times over the years. We have always had great food and great service - Saturday night was no exception.

Here is the thing about Piccolo's - you won't leave hungry! The meals came with soup, salad, bread, choice of potato and a veggie. The steaks always seem to be bigger that listed. Not only is there alot of food, but it all taste great. Not only did it taste great on Saturday, but it is like that every time we go there.

Here are some of my favorite things about Piccolo's.
1. Great Service - the ladies that take care of you, have been there forever and they are the best in the business. Your order will be fast and right every time - with a smile, no matter how big the crowd.
2. Great Chef's - they get the steak wellness right every time.
3. The salads - yes believe it our not the salads. I love the 1/2 and 1/2 blue cheese dressing
4. The atmosphere - it's an old school Omaha Steakhouse - with a ton of history. Great food and great people.

Found a couple new things I liked. The soup was chicken and rice. I have never had it before, but it was like grandma used to make! Smooth and creamy with tons of flavor.
My Dad had the fried chicken - it was excellent too. I normally stick to steak or Italian at Piccolo's but I will have the fried chicken in the future.

I have been a huge fan for years, and will continue to be.

If you have not been to Piccolo Pete's - GO today!

Piccolo Pete's
2202 South 20th Street
Omaha Ne

Monday, May 3, 2010

Rock Bottom Gold Medal Tap 5-1-2010

After checking out the expo at the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting, my wife and I walked over to the Old Market. We stopped at the Rock Bottom Gold Metal Tap on the corner of 11th & Harney. We just stopped to have a cold drink and enjoy their cozy patio. The day was beautiful and we had a wonderful time.

The staff was really friendly and attentive, eespecially our server Melissa who really made us feel at home. We both tried one of the drink specials for the Kentucky Derby. My wife had drink called a "Derby", it was a fruity drink made with cherry infused Jim Beam and served in a martini glass. She gave it a thumbs up and would definitely have it again. I had a Mint Julip in honor of the Derby, and I will have one again next year on Derby day, but not until then. It wasn't that it was not made right, Mint Julips just aren't my favorite.

I will go back to the Rock Bottom again for the great atmosphere and excellent service. If you're in the old market on a nice day, stop and have a drink on their patio.

Rock Bottom Gold Medal Tap
1101 Harney Street
Omaha Ne
Old Market