February 24, 2016

Omaha Day Trip To Plattsmouth

It started with a great review about a restaurant.

“Sisters Café is, at its base, a small-town cafe. That’s part of its charm and why it’s unusual menu — and the success of that menu — is even more notable.” 

I made note of that. Who knows, maybe someday I’d be in Plattsmouth and need a recommendation.

Sisters Cafe in downtown Plattsmouth, Neb.

Sisters Cafe in downtown Plattsmouth, Neb.

Then I read a year-in-review in another newspaper. There was that restaurant again!

“The best restaurant I reviewed this past year wasn’t in Lincoln. Instead, Sisters Café in downtown Plattsmouth was among those I enjoyed during my annual excursions out of town during July.”

Well then. Guess I should go there.

If you know me well, it’s not too crazy to think I’d make a special trip just for a restaurant. Those who know my family know it’s pretty much what we do. My parents drove to Sioux City once just for sausage.

So during the shortest sabbatical from full-time work ever, I found myself on a little road trip to Plattsmouth, expressly to eat at Sister Café.

About Plattsmouth

Go ahead, stare at the old buildings in Plattsmouth. They're darling.

Go ahead, stare at the old buildings in Plattsmouth. They’re darling.

Plattsmouth is the county seat of Cass County, Neb., and about 20ish miles south of Omaha. Cass County is one of the earliest settled counties in the state of Nebraska, and also one of the largest counties with 15 towns. Plattsmouth was established as a ferrying point of the Missouri River in 1852, and the name comes from its location at the confluence of the Platte and Missouri rivers.

Want to see the confluence of the two rivers? Head to the site once visited by Lewis and Clark Expedition at the Schilling Wildlife Management Area in Plattsmouth.

With a population of little more than 6,500, it’s a small town, and one with the most charming Main Street I’ve come across in recent years.

The colorful buildings on Main Street in Plattsmouth, Neb.

The colorful buildings on Main Street in Plattsmouth, Neb.

You’ll find cute, locally owned shops in the downtown area – clothing and a used book store stood out for me. You’ll also find antique shops.

There’s also the Cass County Historical Society Museum, which I visited briefly. For a small fee, you can see a ton of interesting items from our state’s past.

The historical marker by the Cass County Historical Society Museum.

The historical marker by the Cass County Historical Society Museum.

There were a few hands-on things in the museum, but for the most part, it’s look, don’t touch.

You can play this at the museum. Don't be shy.

You can play this at the museum. Don’t be shy.

It’s small but don’t let it detour you if you have a remote interest in Nebraska history. And, from experience, these types of county museums actually are quite interesting to children. We took a tour of one in Franklin County, Iowa, and all the kids on our tour got a kick out of the old timey stuff, especially the toys, phones and clothing.

One of the volunteers at the museum started playing a record while I was there - now that's how you add atmosphere to a museum.

One of the volunteers at the museum started playing a record while I was there – now that’s how you add atmosphere to a museum.

It’s the same sort of museum here in Plattsmouth. If you visit, expect to spend less than an hour (unless you’re one of those types who has to read every. single. plaque).

Scattered throughout the museum, you'll see lots of items with connections to the county, some invented there, some that belonged to residents, etc.

Scattered throughout the museum, you’ll see lots of items with connections to the county, some invented there, some that belonged to residents, etc.

One of the notable parks in Plattsmouth is Caboose Park with – guess! – a caboose. It’s actually a 1913 Burlington Caboose. The park also has the Cook Log Cabin, an old-time threshing machine and tractor. I didn’t actually see it, so I’m taking the county visitor’s guide’s word for it.

Let’s Talk Sisters Café

For me, the main draw was the Sisters Café, and it did live up to the hype. If you read the reviews, you know it’s both a Thai and a German restaurant. No fusion, the menus are totally separate.

I wish I had brought along Mr. Wonderful or some other relative who puts up with my spontaneous ideas so that I could’ve sampled some other dishes. I’m going back to try some German food next time.

As it was, I asked what the best thing on the Thai menu – crunchy chicken, they told me – and dined happily at the counter. It was so good.

My lunch at Sisters Cafe in Plattsmouth, Neb. - Crunchy Chicken. Must remember: It's impolite to lick the plate.

My lunch at Sisters Cafe in Plattsmouth, Neb. – Crunchy Chicken. Must remember: It’s impolite to lick the plate.

It started out with rice soup. It comes along with the lunchtime entree and it was so satisfying.

The rice soup that comes with the lunchtime entree at Sisters Cafe.

The rice soup that comes with the lunchtime entree at Sisters Cafe.

They also have a selection of German and southeast Asian beer, and wine.

And dessert. Which I regrettably didn’t order. Yelp reviews raved about the dessert. Figures.

Instead, I decided to get a sundae at a nearby soda fountain.

Because…how can you resist a soda fountain?

So, after pigging out at Sisters Café, I walked a block to River House Soda Fountain Café. The interior is pretty fun, and looking at all the dusty old stuff passed the time away until my sundae arrived.

My view when I saddled up to the bar at the soda fountain.

My view when I saddled up to the bar at the River House Soda Fountain Cafe.

Alas, I am spoiled by the ice cream shops in Omaha, and this sundae was, well, nothing special. Still, I can totally see my kids loving a visit here.

Timing your visit

Kim’s note: I’ll update this when I get specific dates for some of the events. Just know that things like the Taste of Plattsmouth and the Harvest Festival do not last a month. 

June through October – Plattsmouth hosts Destination Plattsmouth on Friday and Saturday evenings 

July – Taste of Plattsmouth

September – Harvest Festival, featuring parades, a carnival, car show and other fun competitions like corn eating contest and a water fight with the fire department.

October – Cruizin Mian

December – Victorian Christmas on Main

 

If you go


Sisters Café

Where: 534 Main St., Plattsmouth, Neb.

402-296-3283 (reservations would be smart on the weekend)

Website

 

River House Soda Fountain Café

Where: 402 Main St., Plattsmouth, Neb.

Website 

402-296-4949

 

Cass County Historical Society Museum

Where: 646 Main St., Plattsmouth, Neb.

Website 

402-296-4770

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