Ok my Omaha friends, after 2 years of not having my site URL I’m back. I hoped this day would come. I was an idiot and left my URL off the auto-renewal list and… well… Some jerk picked it up and wanted to sell it back to me for a bunch of money… I did have some great friends that bought a similar URL for me… but I had all this work just sitting out here that I didn’t want to lose. So I waited and I hoped… and God let me have her back. Oh the places I’ve eaten… the things I have seen in the past 2 years…
So much food… so little time…
I am going to dig through my facepage and see what I can dig up… WOOT!
Since I have gotten a new job downtown… I have been eating out with my new team… I will be posting some new stuff here soon. I have updated the “Best of” page. I have a few reviews that are sitting on the back burner… and will be hopefully posting them this week.
I have to admit, I am not a big 5 Guys fan.. I think they have a good product and all, I just think that there are better… but this guys was SO funny… and he loves his 5 guys…
Makes me want to go have a double bacon cheese burger from there…
Forgive, Eat, Live, Love, Enjoy…
Hey everybody. Hope everyone is not getting to worked up over the nice weather we are getting. The worst part about spring peeking around the corner is the possiblility of a blizzard. Anyway, this is Chef Paul and I really have wanted to post some eatery experiences. I go out to eat very little. Unless it is something quick. My fiancee and I splurge once in awhile at Smashburger. I freaking love everything about the place except I wish they had fresh cut fries, the kind served at Broncos. Tip: the one on “L” Street is better. Just like everyone else I am pinching pennies. Dinner at home is one of my favorites, a steak on the grill, butter roasted lobster and a cold beer in my hand. I know that this site and many other sites are about eating at restaurants, but we all like good food and probably prepare some damn good stuff at home. Can we share some of those things?
I can’t wait for the warmer weather and what everyone is eating!
With all that’s been happening in the Omaha lately.. the new restaurant tax, new wheel taxes, recall elections, and the fact that we have become a single income family, we really haven’t had much time or cash to go out and eat. When we do, it’s been to someplace that we regularly go to, like Hiro or Famous Dave’s. It puts a cramp on being able to do reviews for new places. I have, over time, invited other people to post their reviews and experiences on TOC and haven’t had any real response. Today I was sent a link to a site called “The Inner Fatty“, which is about individual things this person eats. He keeps going back to the same Chinese place and I like his photos. This may be another site rework… it may be that I just start copying the format… I don’t know… I miss posting, I miss telling you guys what I’m eating and what I like…
We’ll see how it goes.
~The Omaha Critic
It seems like all sorts of new restaurants are springing up around Omaha, which is a bittersweet development for the OC and myself. I love nothing more, when we have a chance to go out to eat, than saying “Let’s try somewhere new!.” Sadly, there are far more “new” places than our budget allows us to visit!
To that end, we stopped in to the new Buffalo Rings & Wings at 12240 L Street. We stopped in for a late lunch, so we missed the majority of the lunch rush. After a little confusion amongst the wait staff as to where to seat us, we were given a table, and immediately placed our drink orders. Our server, Luke, was awesome at making sure we had everything we needed, and that we never had to wait for a drink refill.
I ordered their lunch special boneless wings with lemon pepper sauce (5 boneless wings and a side for $5.99), as did our daughter with parmesan garlic sauce, and OC represented all of MANHOOD by ordering 10 mild roasted garlic wings, 15 Original Hot wings, and then an additional lunch special with 5 Original ATOMIC wings (Yes, about half of them went home for the rest of our troops to devour). For sides, we ordered saratoga chips and onion rings.
The wings? They’re good. They’re not spectacular – they don’t stand out as the BEST wings we’ve ever had, but they were good. They were flavorful. They had plenty of sauce and were cooked perfectly, for both the boneless wings and the traditional wings. Heat-wise – they just weren’t that hot. Even the atomic wings – while they did provide some longlasting burn – weren’t that hot. The Original Hot wings would be on par, for me, with a Buffalo Wild Wings Medium hot wing. The roasted garlic and lemon pepper sauces were good, but not spectacular. The parmesan garlic sauce was my favorite of the ones we tried.
The saratoga chips? Meh – they were good chips, I will say that, but they also weren’t anything to write home about. The onion rings, however? PHENOMENAL. They were easily the best onion rings we’ve had in a very long time, and when dipped in the garlic parmesan sauce from the wings? Outstanding. VERY VERY GOOD.
The only down side we felt was that there could be a little more flexibility in allowing customers to select more sauces. OC wanted 25 wings with 3 different sauces, but was told he could only have 2 (as an order of 10 and 15). He would have tried more sauces if he could have broken them out in 5’s – and then we’d be able to rate more of their sauces for you! Unfortunately, it is what it is. I understand it’s easier for them to manage this way, but as a customer, especially at a new place, you want to try all the sauces. More accomodation would be nice.
OH – the other thing that was absolutely fabulous – we had the Xango dessert, which was essentially cheesecake wrapped in a pastry shell and fried, and then dressed with cinnamon and sugar, strawberry sauce, and whipped cream. It was AWESOME.
The atomsphere was great – very uptown sportsbar-ish, with enough tv’s on the walls to make my husband’s ADD-addled head explode. Everything was clean and efficient, and aside from the small issue seating us, everything was perfect. It’s not overly pricey (on par with the other wing places in town), and everything was great.
I give it a solid 4 French Fries – it’d go up if the’d let you mix and match your sauces a little more.
~The Critical Wife
Mexican food is by far one of my favorite “categories” of food. From time to time, we venture out to South O to check out some of the more “authentic” Mexican restaurants, and we have a couple of less authentic, more tex-mex-y type places around where we live. We are always looking for new places to try – and just happened to find one the other day that we hadn’t known about.
While we were out looking for a new/different place to eat yesterday, we stumbled on Salgado’s Mexican Grill, near 90th & Fort. (It’s in the shopping center where the Shopko is. Formerly Julios, Matt’s Grill, and possibly several other random things.) Going into the restaurant, it reminded me of most of the other middle of the road Mexican restaurants around here. Somewhere along the line of Julios or LaFondas, is what I expected.
We arrived around 12:15, and were seated quickly in an empty section. Upon perusing the menu, the OC and I were both stumped. We wanted one of everything. Salgado’s offers a mix of more traditional Mexican fare, along with Americanized versions of many dishes, and even burgers. OC kind of twisted it up by having traditional Mexican tacos, but with ground beef and chicken fillings. (This seriously bummed me out, as I was hoping he’d get asada and carnitas. Darn him.)
I went the white girl route with the Burrito Gringo. People…what they didn’t say on the menu is it should be burrito gringoS. Plural. As in there is no way one person can finish that burrito in one sitting. WOW.
Ok, the food – rather than the standard chips and salsa, Salgado’s serves chips with a selection of salsa, beans, and a spicy pico de gallo. All of these were good – very spicy on the salsa and pico, but the beans were a little bland (fixed this with salt). The tacos were great – all they were missing was a slice of lime, which was requested but never delivered. The dish was two ground beef and two shredded chicken tacos in corn tortillas with onions, cilantro, and radish slices. Flavorwise, they were awesome. My burrito was also fantastic, and I ate about 1/3 of it before being completely miserably full. It was filled with beans, rice, and ground beef, and smothered in melted cheese and sour cream. TOTALLY wonderful.
The best part – the burrito bigger than my head was $5.99. OC’s tacos were 7 or 8 bucks total – can’t remember if he got them as a lunch special or a la carte. Either way, still cheap. The horchata they offer….wasn’t memorable. It had a really perfumey taste I don’t love, but it wasn’t bad. Service was decent, but a little flighty.
We will definitely go back.
My rating? 3.5 Napkins, brought down only for service. If I could give it a 3.75, I would. Very tasty food, very affordable, decent service (not great). All in all, good, authentic-ish, Mexican food! Give it a shot.
Rated by: TheCriticalWife
For year’s I’ve been hearing about Vidlak’s Brookside Cafe in Millard, located on the Northwest corner of 156th and L/Center/Bob Boozer/whatever it is at that point. (Sorry, no website or we’d link!) I’ve heard time and again that Vidlak’s had the best breakfast in Omaha. But, to be honest, the best breakfast in Omaha is made by my husband right here at home on a fairly regular basis – so we don’t go out for breakfast much!
Regardless, I wanted to try Vidlak’s out and see what all the hype was about. We stopped in on a week day morning, around 10 AM. The restaurant was busy, but not overly crowded, and we had no problem finding a table. I overheard one of the servers saying that they had just had a rush, and everyone who was there had come in within the last 10 minutes. Ok, I thought – it may be a bit to get our food, if everybody just got here.
We ordered quickly – a selection called the “gut buster”, which included two sausage patties, two eggs, two potato pancakes, and choice of toast or regular pancakes, all for $6.95. I also ordered a cup of coffee, as I find that’s almost always a good barometer of a “breakfast joint”! If they can’t get the coffee right, forget the rest.
As I sat and waited for our food to come, I watched how the servers buzzed around the room and interacted with the other customers. Buzzed is very much the right word – as the main server in my section was constant in her trips from table to table, making sure everyone had what they needed. Now – Vidlak’s isn’t all that fancy. I stop short of calling it a diner, because…well…because I guess it feels just a step above a diner. It’s just a nice, middle of the road kind of place.
To my surprise, the food actually came out rather quickly, and piping hot! The sausage was great, the potato pancakes were awesome, and the eggs…well…they were eggs. Scrambled, by my selection, and there was nothing wrong with them. Eggs just don’t thrill me, so I admit I avoided them. They looked good, however, and my dining companion enjoyed some of mine.
What I really loved, though? The regular pancakes! They were served as a side to my meal, and…wow…the were sensational! Great flavor, cooked to a beautiful golden brown, served with warm syrup and softened butter…the were pancake perfection! I will definitely be back!
My overall rating…it’s a good 4 napkins. I can’t find much to argue against it actually being the best breakfast in Omaha. It was pretty darn good. The ony slight problem I saw was that the person sitting across from me never got her food, and there was confusion over who had put her order in. HOWEVER – three of the servers immediately worked to make the situation right. I left before she received her food, so I don’t know how that ended, but it was the only less-than-perfect thing I saw. Given the actions of the staff, I can’t even fault them for it.
I can’t wait to go back for some Eggs Benedict. Or maybe a potato casserole. Man, I don’t know – I just want some more pancakes!
~The Critical Wife
Okinawa sushi, at 124th & L. (I can’t find a website for them – sorry!)
As you may or may not have noticed, we’re big sushi fans. Omaha Critic is more about the sashimi/nigiri, while I am definitely more about the maki rolls. But when there’s a new sushi place opening, you can bet it’s on our radar. I hit up Okinawa early in the evening on their grand opening weekend. Now – I will admit, I expected there to possibly be some bumps, given that it was their opening weekend, but it wasn’t too bad. We tried the Gyoza appetizer, which was pretty good. We also tried the california roll (if a sushi place can’t do a cali roll, they need to close up!), a tempura shrimp and crab roll (I think it’s called a rocky roll), the shrimp naruto roll, and the “Golden Eagle”.
The sushi, overall, was good. It doesn’t compete with my favorite sushi place, but it was good, and better than some of the other places locally. The service was fairly good, if not really communicative. The cali, rocky roll, and naruto roll all came out together, and we had quite a while to finish them before the Golden Eagle came out. The Eagle, which we ordered on the recommendation of the server, is a tempura roll with tempura banana and a special sauce. Unfortunately, because that came out quite awhile after our other rolls, we were too full to really enjoy it, and took the majority of it home. (Cold – not so great.)
The restaurant, being brand new, was clean and nice, if a little small. The food was good, and the service fairly decent. My only complaint about this restuarant was that they charged us for refills on our drinks. Normally, this wouldn’t annoy me because most places tell you they charge – but Okinawa didn’t. Also, the server started asking if we wanted refills before we were even half way through the drinks, and did refill them far before they were empty. SO – it was just a minor annoyance, but it bugged me.
I’m feeling 3 stars on this one. Some room for improvement, but not bad overall. We’ll definitely give this one a try another time, and see if that moves up!
Ok, so again we’re not updating quite as often as I would like, and I have the best of intentions. But you know how it is – life gets in the way.
Grand China Buffet – Roughly 112th & Chicago (by Parable book store).
Ok, people. Don’t roll your eyes. It’s a buffet. It’s a CHINESE buffet. Sounds a LOT like China Buffet right across Dodge street at 114th. But you know what? WOW. This place offers the standard Chinese buffet, Mongolian barbeque, and…wait for it…SUSHI! Not the premade sushi a lot of buffets have, but fresh, prepared on-site where you can see it, sushi. I’m not going to lie – it’s not on par with our favorite sushi, but you know what? It’s not half bad! Their buffet is expansive, with many, many selections including some non-Chinese options. My personal favorite? Their coconut shrimp. AWESOME. They also have the standard crab legs at dinner, and all the Blue Bunny ice cream you can handle for dessert! SO – as buffets go, it’s a win. The restaurant is clean, the staff has been very attentive on the several occasions we’ve gone. The food is buffet food quality – but not bad, and plentiful. I’m going to give this one a solid 4 napkin rating. It is definitely well worth it.