21 Aug 2012 @ 6:46 PM 

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…

Or…

From somewhere…

Forgive, Eat, Live, Love, Enjoy…



Posted By: The Omaha Critic
Last Edit: 21 Aug 2012 @ 06:46 PM

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 10 Aug 2010 @ 5:40 PM 

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

Posted By: The Critical Wife
Last Edit: 10 Aug 2010 @ 05:41 PM

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 25 Mar 2010 @ 5:27 PM 

I am in search of a GOOD Cobb Salad… I’ve been craving one… who’s got the best? 

 

~TOC

Posted By: The Omaha Critic
Last Edit: 25 Mar 2010 @ 05:27 PM

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Categories: American, Suggestions
 24 Nov 2009 @ 5:27 AM 

With the economy taking a big dump here lately and comfort food finally getting some of the gourmet recognition it deserves, hamburgers are getting a little bit more press and more of the spotlight. Lately, I had been hearing some buzz from co-workers on two new burger joints going in. One is 5 guys burgers and fries and the other is Smashburger. Funny thing is I have been meaning to go to each and review them… ok.. yeah.. well… Apparently I haven’t reviewed jack squat for a while. To be honest, I haven’t been able to go out much and when I do, I go to places like Hiro because I know what to expect. (Quality food and quality service) but since I have not Posted anything in a while… I figure I should flex my descriptive muscle and start writing again. That being said… Here goes nothing..

The Nebraska Rifle season for Deer opened weekend before last. I had taken the day off of work in hopes of getting all my errands done, get the last trip to Sheels in and then get out to door and make it to the hunting ground and set up shop. What I thought was going to be an early start, got off late. My wife and I had some time to kill and we were driving on L street and decided that perhaps that day was going to be the day to hit Smashburger. We pulled in and crossed the parking lot with plenty of anticipation. It was 11:30AM and we could see that the place was already packed. We walked in and it was standing room only. There was no place to sit. Every table was taken and there was a line to the door. My wife spotted a table that was about to empty and made a B-line for it and claimed it as ours. Meanwhile, I stuck it out at the counter and put in our order. 1 Husker burger and an order of fries. Then a double baja burger and an order of what they call smash fries. Then I ordered two drinks. I received my plastic “10” and two cups. I filled them at the drink station (one diet coke and one coke zero) and then headed off to meet my lovely bride who was fending off a hoard of angry drunken midgets bent on usurping our table(sorry, just kidding). I sat down with her and started talking about kids and work. A few moments later a few ladies showed up with our food. They came out in rectangular metal baskets with paper lining. Our fries rested atop this basket in a conical shaped basket with fries in each. My wife had and order of fries and the husker burger which came with cheese and A-1 . I ordered a double meat Baja burger and smash fries. It was a well played attempt to bring some class to the a common burger.

Smash fries, I must say, were a bit surprising. They are a seasoned fry, using oregano as their primary herb. They were hot, crispy and cooked to perfection. I really liked them. My wife’s fries were good too, but she didn’t have the seasoning. I would say that the smash fries are a win. My burger, the spicy baja, comes with pepper jack, guacamole, veggies, chippotle mayonnaise and jalapenos. I tore into this burger with a vengeance…. it was my breakfast after all. The meat was flavorful and you could see the wonderful crust on the meat from being smashed flat Each bit was seasoned and flavorful. I have to say I got lost in my food until I looked up to this person looking over the wall at me with a mouthful of burger bliss. I could tell by the fact that the line was moving slow and he wanted to try to find a seat. So I snapped out of it and began to rush through my food. My wife rushed through hers. As soon as we were done, we were ambushed by the wait staff trying to get us out the door.

Pluses: Darn good burgers. Great fries. Food came out fast

Minuses: SMALL dining area and not enough seating.

Overall Impression: It was a fantastic burger experience that I will do again. I would love to rate them higher but I felt we were rushed out to get out rable. They should have made it bigger from the start. I will suggest this place to anyone that wants a good burger.

~TOC

Posted By: The Omaha Critic
Last Edit: 24 Nov 2009 @ 05:27 AM

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 26 Aug 2008 @ 3:34 AM 

Ok, so it’s not the most spiffy catch phrase/title I have come up with.  Along with the name of the restaurant, it may be a little misleading.  It is what it is. 

On this evening out, it was the eldest son and I.  It was the night of what will, I’m sure, be the first of many “man talks”.  The kid is 10 and well, I must say that he is like his old man and “bloom early”.  We’ve already seen some of the signs…  The “faux stash” has started to appear and his little legs are starting to hair up.  It is a little disconcerting.  That being said, my wife and I decided that a night out with Pappa would be a good way to break some ice.  So after a few rounds of “Where do you want to go?”, I decided that it may just be best to go where I want to go and leave the rest to fate. 

It was a little later in the evening on a Friday night, (around 8:00PM) and we pulled into Prima 140.  There were just a few cars in the parking lot.  Looking into the place the tables were sparsely occupied.  I was a little worried that things may have gone downhill since I was there last, but went in anyway.   We were immediately greeted by a friendly, well put together waitress and then quickly seated.    Very soon after, someone came by and filled our water glass and placed bread on the table.  My son looked at me and asked me if I was going to review the place and I shrugged and told him the evening was about us, not a review.  He cocked his head and looked at me confused.  I then offered to let him “help me”.  He seemed to like the idea and proceeded to look at his menu blankly, not knowing really what he was looking at.

A few moments later, Matt, our waiter came over and started the “dance” of introductions, specials, and drink orders.  (Now in some previous string of comments, I was asked why I would put the server’s name.  Matt’s performance is exactly WHY I think it is a good thing.)  After Matt finished listing the specials, I had a few questions about what was on the menu, some things about the specials, and an appetizer.  He didn’t just answer, he elaborated on how it was prepared, what was in it, when the ingredients came in, and how proud the chef was about the fish.  Not to the point of being a pest, but Matt relished and understood what he was serving.  Soon after that brought our drinks, took our order and left us alone except to answer any question, check on us and fill our drinks. (until later when I cornered him about the place.)

My son and I ordered two different fish specials: My Mahi-mahi and then my son ordered (Oh man.. now I forgot. *gulp*) something else.  We also ordered the alligator pot stickers and another shrimp appetizer.  After that we began our “chat” about the who’s and the what’s and “where do babies come from” speech.  I must say, that was one of the hardest questions I have ever had to answer.  I’m an open guy.  I like my children to talk to me, but the boy didn’t want to ask questions.  So I must have sounded like a dope.  This 10 year old kid had me blushing.  Fortunately, I don’t think Matt, our server noticed or he was nice enough not to let on.  So our appetizers came and the boy and I sampled them timidly.  That didn’t last long.  The pot stickers were fantastic.  The alligator, which is typically chewy and fishy when I’ve had it, was tender, savory and just melted in my mouth.  The accompanying sauce really complimented the pot stickers.  The shrimp were fresh and had that nice pop when you bit into them.  They were not overcooked and went well, offsetting the richness of the pot stickers. 

After knocking out our appetizers, Matt came with our fish.  He gave us a presentation of what was on our plate, giving center stage to the fresh Mahi-mahi that was before me.  I cut into it, just delighted.  It came with a rich sauce that clung to the fish and enhanced its flavor.   (You know how on Iron Chef when they talk about the theme ingredient?  How some chef’s really bring out the flavor or the theme ingredient and others don’t?  Yeah…)  This was Mahi-mahi and it tasted like Mahi-mahi is supposed to taste.  It tasted like a breeze off of the ocean, with a meaty undertone and grilled sunshine.  The sauce was a rich brown savory sauce that spread across the pallet and didn’t overpower.  I took in each bit as it was meant to be taken: a slow orchestral romp of culinary happiness.  There was a lot going on in each bite.  It didn’t taste at all fishy.  It was… perfect.  Can you tell I liked it?  *laugh*

So now it comes time for dessert.  I picked the chocolate pecan tort.  The pecans were crunchy, and the crust of the torte was flaky.  The filling under the pecans was moist, but firm.  It was again… Perfect.
I am always amazed at the Prima 140 chef’s presentation on each plate.  It is one of the few places in Omaha that actually take the time to produce a beautiful plate.  It is a great counterbalance to all of the generic, pre-produced, fried plates that are cranked out of the generic tasteless kitchens that we people in Omaha seem to flock to.  Thank you Prima for helping to keep beauty, flavor, and art in food.  Thank you Matt for being one of the top 5 servers I have ever had in Omaha.   You joined a very exclusive group.

Plusses: Service. The food was amazing. The kitchen was visible and clean. The bar was well stocked and beautiful.  The place was flawless.

Minuses:  Two words – Bigger portions.  (HA!)  Actually they aren’t open on Sundays.  I think I would have gone there more if it had been open on Sundays.

Overall Impression:  Num-Num!  I had a great time.  My server was professional, courteous, knowledgeable, prompt, attentive, and funny.  He was PART of the experience, not just some goober that just slung plates at us.  This is another place I URGE the good people of Omaha to FLOCK to.  This place is fabulous!

~The Omaha Critic

Posted By: The Omaha Critic
Last Edit: 26 Aug 2008 @ 03:58 PM

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 01 Aug 2008 @ 11:41 PM 

Lunch.. The final froti… ok.. it was lunch. As a matter of fact it was lunch at Absolutely Fresh Seafood/Shucks Oyster Bar. This is going to be brief. I want to elaborate, especially since I have been called “prejudiced” for bashing my server at Jazz, but it was only lunch and we were in and out in 35 minutes. So, I am going to run down some things kinda fast.

This the history as I know it for Absolutely Fresh Seafood: A few years back, there used to be this truck that was driven up from Louisiana to Omaha full of seafood. It was parked on the corner of 72nd and Dodge, and they used to sell out the entire semi over the weekend. This happened on some schedule that I could never quite figure out. I would buy boudin balls and boudin by the case as well as anything that seemed good at the time. Well, after a while of this someone thought that they should just open a shop in Omaha and fly everything in. Well, they did opened a shop down on 19th and Leavenworth Street and they have the best seafood for purchase in town. So after a while of doing great business, they opened a second location on 119th and Pacific Streets. They did great and wanted to something else. So using their seafood from the shop, and some awesome recipes from Louisiana (WHERE THEY WERE FROM), they opened Shuck’s Oyster Bar.

I have been to Shuck’s many times and I have to say that each time I go, the experience has been fantastic. The service is prompt, the food is out of this world, and the atmosphere is very “hole in the wall’. So much so, that they made a hole in the wall next to their seafood shop to put in Shucks. It’s awesome.

So today my wife and I went out for lunch. We walked in to the place and you can smell the fish, but it’s not overwhelming. You get exactly what it is. It IS a fish market with a oyster bar shoe-horned in it. Nothing pretentious about it. It is what it is. We take our seat at the paper covered table and are immediately greeted and asked for our drink order. There are about 20 or so tables and 3 servers. Each of which covered each others tables. So we get our drinks and place our order. Wife: Fish and chips. Me: Lobster roll and a cup of gumbo. After a few moments, my gumbo hits the table. It has a dark rich chocolate colored roux, with plenty of shrimp, okra, and andouille sausage. There was rice on top with a little file’ sprinkled over it. It has that ‘pop’ that just… MMMmmmm…. I liked the gumbo at Jazz, but it just wasn’t a flavor that went over the top. This had it. Just enough bite to make it warm you, but not to hurt you. The flavor was so deep, you could taste the layers that were built on the roux. It was awesome.

I have had many lobster rolls in my time. Typically they are lobster bits in some mayo on a dried out roll. Small, and just not that good. Today I have found a ‘moment’ on a bun. There were large chunks of fresh lobster claws. The bun was still warm and was toasted. The lobster sang through the mayonnaise instead of drowning in it. It had shredded lettuce that was still crisp and complimented the lobster. The whole experience of eating that thing left me teary eyed. It was a huge lobster roll with huge chunks of lobster in it on a very fresh toasted roll. I thought I was in heaven. It is a MUST HAVE again and again. Our service was spot on. Never an empty drink. The wait staff covered for each other (I said that before I know) and we were served quickly but never felt rushed. It was an A plus experience that I plan on repeating.

Pluses: Great service, great selection, Great GUMBO, and an awesome hole in the wall atmosphere.

Minuses: It’s a hole in the wall. (Yeah, plus and minus) and there was a smell of fish when you came in, but that’s to be expected… it IS a fish market.

Overall Impression: This is one of the great little ‘joints’ in Omaha and I plan on going back again and again. I would suggest the sampler platter appetizer. I had it before and if you like fried things.. MMmmmmm.. You’ll love it. I wish they had a bigger menu, but keeping it simple has kept the quality high and I would be sad if they did anything different. Perhaps an entrance other than into the fish market. I am going to rate this as 4 napkins because it’s a hole in the wall. The food though is a SOLID 5… the service us a SOLID 5… It’s just because of what it is… a hole in the wall.

~The Omaha Critic

Posted By: The Omaha Critic
Last Edit: 02 Aug 2008 @ 01:33 AM

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 11 Apr 2008 @ 2:38 AM 

I’m sitting here wanting to review The Amazing Pizza Machine with an open heart and mind, but I find myself bashing it over and over again each time I thought about the food.  I have to remember that it’s more than the food, it’s the total experience.  That being said, I will try to be fair and recount my entire experience.

As usual, I was running late at work and my wife and the kids were hungry.  This typically means that I’m not going to be cooking dinner.  The day we visited The Amazing Pizza Machine, the kids were on Spring Break.  We wanted to do something fun and special for them.  Sitting home all week, when my wife took the whole week off of work to be with the kids, we believed, would seriously stink.  So, we tried to plan the entire week for the bunch.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t get the time off. 

We end up going to The Amazing Pizza Machine at 7:35 PM and get “The Amazing Buffet” for the lot of us. We spend some coin on “credits” for their “Entertainment Center” and head for our seat.  This evening, they only had half of the buffet open as they weren’t pushing the numbers through mid week.  That’s fine.  They typically have the buffet duplicated on the other half  to accommodate the crowds.  So I go up and get a salad and we sit in one of the large rooms.  The Flintstones are on the big screen and we start eating.  I figured we would take our time.  Kids didn’t have school the next day and I wanted to unwind from work.  We sit there for a few minutes, and they announce that the buffet will be closing in 20 minutes.  I look over at my wife: “Uhhhh.  We just got here.  We should complain.”  I wasn’t worried.  I figured that was plenty of time to throw down some pizza then head out into the arcade to blow some stuff up.  HA!  I was wrong.  I went up to get some other food, and there were already in process of breaking down the buffet.  Not that I go to this sad excuse of a Valentino’s grand buffet for the food, but I paid for it, don’t put it up until it’s closed.  So, I quickly grab some macaroni and cheese, a piece of crappy pizza and go back to my chair.  As I sit down the bus-person starts grabbing plates off our table.  Part of which, I was still eating off of.  She leaned over our table as if to hurry us along because SHE wanted to go home.  I’m not happy about this, but wanting to have a fun night with the kids, I just let it roll.  I sent one of the kids for Ice cream (Which they hadn’t torn down yet) and dirtied a few more dishes out of spite.

So, dinner being done, we packed up our coats and went into the “Entertainment Center”.  I can’t tell you how much I blew on their redemption games, but I will tell you that they made their money off of my family and I that night.  One thing I did notice however, is that the staff seemed aloof –OR– like they had the desire to be shot.  You know that feeling: “Just shoot me!”  None of them had any interest in being there.  I have seen that place when it just opened.  Everyone had so much energy and excitement.  Every one of the staff seemed happy and energetic.  It was all crazy and new and they seemed to really care what happened.  Now?  Not so much.

I’m not a Valentino’s fan.  I think that their pizza stinks.  Their sauce is gross and their pasta needs something called flavor.  Don’t get me wrong, because they wouldn’t have as many locations as they do if everyone felt the way I do.  I am GLAD that Valentino’s opened The Amazing Pizza Machine.  It’s a great place for kids and families.  I just think that the food stinks and the service is lousy.  There is no pride in the employees anymore.

Plusses – It’s a great place for kids.  Their Salad Bar is always nice and clean.  They always have a decent variety of foods and the kids really seem to like it.

Minuses – The food stinks, the staff seems to hate life, there were several games that were broken and were run down.  The photo-booth didn’t work and I just didn’t feel it.

Overall Impression – Don’t get me wrong.  The place has character.  I am glad that they opened it in Millard.   I just wish that they would pay more attention to the quality of the food and the experience in general.  I fear that if they don’t, that they will lose the business.

~The Omaha Critic

Posted By: The Omaha Critic
Last Edit: 11 Apr 2008 @ 02:38 AM

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 10 Dec 2007 @ 4:54 AM 

Well, I was pleasantly surprised yesterday with B & G Tasty Foods.  I was going to paint Christmas ornaments with the family, and we wanted to catch a quick bite before our ‘appointment’.  There were a few places in the strip mall where ‘That Pottery Place’ was and I had been to some of them (in different locations) but, I wanted to try something else that was local.  I had heard some bad things about B & G Tasty Foods, but being the adventurer that I am, I wanted to try it.

I dragged the family in and looked about.  There was a 50’s style diner sprawled out right before my eyes.  There were stools and a counter and classic pictures in the wall depicting things in Omaha history and some 50’s art.  My wife and I looked at each other and took a seat with the kids.  We were the only ones in there besides the guy at the counter and who was ever in back.  Being our first time in there, we expected the guy at the counter to come over and give us menus and take our order.  Instead of coming over, he just stood there staring at us.  We looked at him, he looked at us… Nothing was said.  Then my wife leans over and whispers to me that we should probably stroll up to the counter and get some menus, so she went up and got a few.

After perusing the menu, I realized that they didn’t have much: Burgers and the ‘BeeGees”, with fries, malts and shakes.  You could have different combinations of each, but the selection was limited.  I had the ‘T’ stacker, fries, and a root beer float, the kids had ‘BeeGees’ fries and float, and my wife had a ‘ham and cheese’ sandwich, fries and a soda.  We got our own ‘BeeGee’ with everything just to try it.  The food came rather quickly and we brought it to the table.  The girls mowed through their ‘BeeGees’ quickly, the boys not so much.  As for myself, I was presented with this triple cheeseburger.  The patties seemed pre-formed, but the flavor was fantastic.  I am a burger lover.  I adore a great burger, and believe it or not, was one of the best I had ever had.  The meat was seared on the outside and juicy and flavorful on the inside.  The patties were thin, and the cheese dripped from this thing like molton gold.  Wow.  I was really taken back  The fries?  They were ok… hot and crisp and super skinny.  They were nothing to blog about.  The root beer float, seemed to go with lunch perfectly.  All in all that was really good.  After I finished licking the paper tray that my burger came in (not really, it was just very good) my wife and I turned our attention to the ‘BeeGee’ to give it a whirl.  As far as my loose meat sandwich experience, this was my first.  It wasn’t bad.  I thought it a bit grainy, and needed a little salt.  I would give it a 3 on a 5 scale.  I would eat one happily again, but I wouldn’t go out of my way for it.  The way to go really was the burger.  As we sat, ate and talked about what kind of paintings we were going to do, the place just seemed to fill up around us.  When we left, there were people just waiting in line for our seats.

So, B & G Tasty foods?  You do good work.  You must be doing something right.  Keep it up!  You have a new customer now.

Plusses: The Burger was good!  The root beer floats were tasty and the ‘BeeGees’ were tasty.
Minuses: Bubba behind the counter could tell people they need to order from the counter instead of staring at them.

Overall impression:  This has been an Omaha institution since 1956.  I would urge everyone in Omaha who likes burgers to give this place a whirl.  Oh, their sign makes me think of Jamaica or Brazil.  They really need a good Neon sign to reflect the places heritage. 

The Omaha Critic (Unexpected fan)

P.S. Hey Tom G. you were WRONG!  This place was great!

Posted By: The Omaha Critic
Last Edit: 10 Dec 2007 @ 04:54 AM

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 24 Aug 2007 @ 3:36 AM 

We went Outback tonight….

Outback Steakhouse (Near 132nd and Center)

Ok, *cracks knuckles* lets take a stab at Outback Steakhouse and give them a review. Today was kind of an off day for me. I had a bad experience with traffic at the middle school (That’s an entirely different rant!), I was then late, so I decided to pick up breakfast for my team, and got stuck in drive-through hell at a local fast food place. This put me to work 15 minutes late so I skipped lunch and tanked up on water to keep me occupied. Couple this with a hectic day at work and you get a cranky man.

So roll into dinner time. The weather has turned as foul as my mood. I have a headache because I skipped dinner, I’m cranky, and I have a boatload of hungry children. We drive around looking for someplace to eat, and I drive past a few “family staples” but want something different from the usual, and I end up at Outback.

It’s about to rain and we get a good parking spot and zip on in. The greeter was nice enough, and then we hit the hostess. Amazingly enough, there wasn’t a line or even a wait. I must admit that we have eaten at Outback several times and it was never outstanding and the food was typically mediocre. Never bad food, just never blow your socks off good.

So we’re seated quickly and our waitress immediately comes over for our drink order. As soon as she has our order, she’s off. She returns with our drinks and a loaf of customary bread. She takes our order and is quickly off again. So, as I am famished and ready to eat one of the kids, we attack the bread. No sooner had I sliced the last two pieces, another loaf with butter is put in front of us. I had to do a double-take on the waitress, as my service at Outback had never been that prompt ever. So we start in on the other bread, and my oldest son makes one of his favorite noises…. *slurps empty glass sound* I was about to tell him to stop, when our waitress shows up again with drinks in tow. (Again with the double take)

So now we’ve had our bread, and 2 rounds of sodas. So we sit looking at each other and then starts the ‘Outback wait for your food shuffle‘. I had ordered prime rib, with the “seasoning and sear”, steamed veggies, and green beans. My prime rib was ordered “as rare as they can”, but showed up between medium-rare and medium; which was fine. It’s not like they can custom cook every order. So, oddly enough I go after the green beans first. They just looked fantastic. The flavor on them was awesome and the steamed veggies were fresh and still had a snap to them. It was a far cry from the nasty Cali-blend that most places serve. It was really good. Then I cut into the prime rib. It was very tasty. It was tender and with the “a jus” and horseradish, it was divine. Our waitress came back once during the meal as well as the manager to make sure that everything was ok and cooked right.

We wrapped our meal with the youngest, finally passing on half of his kiddy burger. That is when the tide turned on our night. So far, it had been pretty good, a mostly solid experience. We looked around for our waitress. (Insert the sound of Jeopardy’s final answer here) She was nowhere to be found. We sat….. and waited…. What seemed like an eternity soon passed (more like 10 minutes) she finally swings by, with check in hand, looking flushed. As she asked us if we needed anything else she clumsily slid the check on the table. We decline and I pick up the check and start looking at it. She begins to clear the table as I’m digging in my wallet. I must have looked mad or something, because she took one look at me and shuffled off. So, I put my money in the little check folder and set it on the table…. and wait…. Did I say we waited? After a period of time I started to look around, and she’s at a table behind us gabbing. I look at my oldest daughter and give her “the look”. I turn around and the waitress is gone. I was getting impatient at this point and do the “looking around” thing trying to make eye contact with her…. Eventually she sneaks up on me: “I’ll be right back with your change.” I just had her keep it and off we went. Tip was about 18-19%, give or take a buck.

Overall impression: I would say it was a wash on service. The food was good and the place was clean. The booth was well maintained and the menus that were bound to the table were clean and free of pens, crayon, food, and drink. If I could have gotten a solid performance out of my waitress, I would be rating it higher.

Minuses: The kitchen was a bit slow as well as the waitress took forever after the meal.

Pluses: The food was very good, the service before and during the meal was great. I say overall, it was a fair-plus experience.

~The Omaha Critic

Posted By: The Omaha Critic
Last Edit: 24 Aug 2007 @ 04:02 AM

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 22 Aug 2007 @ 4:28 AM 

KFC (134th and Q)

I had the misfortune of taking the kids to the KFC near 134th and Q street.

I am not going to bother going into a lengthy diatribe here. I just don’t want to spend the energy on them. To make a long story short: It took us over 15 minutes of standing in line to place our order. Then, when we get to the front, the lady looks at me and walks off. The next thing that happens, is some snot-nosed kid “takes over”. Please understand I’m a purest. You are wearing a fast food uniform, and they designed it to look a certain way. As a representative of the company, you are the face that people see when they walk in and order. The gentleman that eventually “took my order” (that I had to tell him three times and then correct him a 4th time when he again read it wrong) was less of an employee and more of a “Gangsta-Wannabe” in a KFC uniform. After tending my change, I waited. The alarms started going off for the chicken, drive through, fryer pressure, or impending doom. I couldn’t tell what any of the 3 or 4 going of was for. 10 minutes of that and I am sitting at my table, shooting my daughter a nice glare. She kept apologizing to me. She is so awesome. So after that, another family walked in. This was with their spoiled 2 year old. There were 5 of them. They plopped his rear end into a typical Hi-Chair and the rest of them went to the counter. *twitch* The screaming began. He was angry that he was left, and his parents began to scream back at him. Finally they sent the young teen girl over to keep him occupied. That didn’t last long. The girl ended up smacking (By accident mind you) the toddler in the face with a toy and it started all over again.

“Order number blah blah!” and I move swiftly toward the counter. Pick up the bounty before me and hobble back to our table. As we sat there eating, (I had a breast/wing combo with Mashed spuds and fries with a regular diet) the alarms came back on, and the kid started screaming again. I vowed that I would never step foot in the place again.

On my way out to the car, I realized I had to pee, so to the bathroom I went. My final, and almost fatal mistake. The urinal was caked with settled urine and the room wreaked of stale/old urine. It was foul. I would have rather taken a leak in the parking lot where it was cleaner. I quickly washed my hands and then realized there was no soap OR paper towels. It left me wondering if they had ever cleaned it. Those people have to go to the bathroom on their shifts? What do they do when they can’t wash in the bathroom with either soap, or dry with paper-towels? So out I run, angry, frustrated, and vowing never to come back.

Overall Impression: The food, for a fast food place, was consistent, though the time to take a piece of chicken off of a drainage tray, scoop some spuds and throw it in a Box is apparently challenging. The place was dirty and I was wondering when my table was last wiped down. The Noise levels of the alarms coupled by the screaming toddler made my head hurt bad. By the time I left, I didn’t care that I had eaten some really good chicken and sides. All I wanted was out.

Plusses: Good chicken that followed it’s recipe to the letter. Good sides that came right out of their packaging just perfectly.

Minuses: The counter was dirty, the staff was dirty and “Gangsta”, None of them had a clue as to what was really going on. The alarms that could deafen the undead, would constantly go off and the staff just sits and makes jokes about how loud they are. The FILTHY bathroom with no supplies like soap and paper towels.

Rant: Oh yes, this deserves a rant! What are these people thinking? Have they lost their minds? I understand wanting to hire people and having a hard time finding qualified talent, but at least take the time to tour your store and get these boys to pull up their pants and maybe wear their hats straight. This is pathetic. I’m not even going to bother with drive through anymore. I love the chicken but will have to get Popeyes until you fix your joke of a store.

. 

~The Omaha Critic

Posted By: The Omaha Critic
Last Edit: 22 Aug 2007 @ 07:40 PM

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