October 31, 2016

Where To Get The Best Steaks In Omaha

Omaha sure loves its beef. One of the most frequent questions I heard from visiting performers back in Omaha Performing Arts days was “Where’s the best steaks in Omaha?”

Glad you asked. I posed the question to local bloggers and here’s where the list we came up with. If you’re hungry for a good burger, too, this list is for you.

beef Omaha

Where to find the best steaks in Omaha

Let’s start with the biggie: Steaks. If you’re looking for juicy, well-prepared steaks, look no further.

Tim and Lisa at The Walking Tourists have a few favorites, with Anthony’s Steakhouse being their favorite for steak. They offered these honorable mentions: Cascio’s Steak and Pizza House (open since 1946), The Original Johnny’s Cafe (open since 1922), Gorat’s (open since 1944) and Brother Sebastian’s Steak House & Winery.

Another old-school steakhouse of Omaha that gets some love is the Drover Restaurant and Lounge, which is a favorite of Bolton Carley‘s, Julie at Hostess at Heart, and Sara at Sabby Style for steaks. Whiskey-marinated steaks, y’all.

Kathy at Kissing the Frog suggests people try Mahogany Prime Steakhouse in West Omaha. She and her husband have never had a bad meal there, and said it’s more about the experience of dining there.

Looking for prime rib? Head to The Original Johnny’s Cafe, suggests Bolton Carley.

Where to find the best hamburgers in Omaha

Have you heard of the Stellanator? It’s a beast – six patties in all. You can find it at Stella’s Bar & Grill in Bellevue, Neb., just south of Omaha. Several local bloggers – including Tim and Lisa from The Walking Tourists, Bolton Carley and Jen at Liv Laugh Love – recommend Stella’s for burgers. The Walking Tourists suggest going with the single patty kind (with peanut butter and bacon). Jen said “There isn’t even a contest. The burgers are served without flair but the toppings and quality are second to none. The atmosphere is outstanding, and if you are from Bellevue, you can see how it’s grown through the years. . .even the parking lot has improved. . .but the burgers remain the same!”

Dinker’s Bar gets a lot of love from Omaha bloggers  – and throughout the city (they’re regularly voted the best in Omaha). Those who suggest grabbing a burger there include Samantha at Listening to His Voice and Bolton Carley.

One of my favorites is Croque Carcon at Block 16, which was seconded by Gretchen at Odyssey Through Nebraska (and third-ed – that’s a word – by The Walking Tourists). It also happens to be a favorite of Alton Brown (I do believe he said it was one of the best in the world), so I feel like I’m in good company.

What is there for the vegetarians?

Not everyone wants a juicy steak. I get it. I used to be vegetarian, so I know all about scouring menus for meatless entrees. As the representative veggie blogger, Liz over at LPO Beauty recommends the veggie burgers at Stella’s and Crescent Moon.

 

Your turn, Omaha and beyond: Share your favorite places in Omaha to get steaks, burgers and more!

September 5, 2016

Where To Find The Best Pizza In Omaha

Edited: Nov. 3, 2016

We may be known for our steaks, but Omaha has some serious pizza goodness going on. But who serves up the best pizza in Omaha? I rounded up some locals to share their favorite places to grab a slice to help you decide.

Where to find the best pizza in omaha

I’ll start things off. My all-time favorite is La Casa Pizzaria’s thin crust margherita. I’m not even kidding, back in the day, after a long bike ride, I’ve nearly polished off a whole pizza myself. It’s that good. The crust is ah-mazing too. The corner slices are the best because of the extra crust. If you balk at thin crust, you’ve never had La Casa thin crust.

A long-time player in Omaha’s food scene (since 1919), Orsi Italian Bakery & Pizzeria gets a nod from Christi from Leupold Confidential. She recommends Orsi’s for what she calls traditional, old fashioned goodness.

Johnny Sortino’s has been serving up pizza since 1965. Bolton Carley says it’s the Saturday night pick-up she and her husband go out of their way to get. What’s so good about it? Bolton says they use different cheeses that just makes it better and the sauce has just the right flavor and isn’t chunky. As a bonus, it reheats well. She recommends the Hawaiian, but her husband goes for all-meat combos.

For more than 25 years, Mama’s Pizza has been dishing some really good pizza. They have three locations in Omaha, so there’s a good chance you’ve dined there if your child has ever played a team sport. Two bloggers gave Mama’s some love, Laura from Qpon Saving Mommas and Heidi from Maternal Media. Heidi loved it because when the kids reach a certain age, you can dump them in the arcade/game area and have grown-up conversations at the table. Her family’s favorites are pepperoni or hamburger. “Pair up the pie with a cherry fountain Coke and you’ll be bound to want to unbutton your pants in no time. Sit back and relax!”

There’s something about the taste of pizza that comes out of a wood fire oven. It’s divine. One of the newest kids on the block, Via Farina offers hand-crafted pizza from a wood oven. It was recommended by two people – Christi from Leupold Confidential (she calls it a “foodie’s dream) and Dana from Mom’s Good Eats. Dana loves the Uovoi with kale, pancetta, egg, Pecorino Romano, thyme and tomato. While there, she said you should be sure to try the house-made pasta. Dana also included Via Farina in her roundup of great food and drinks in Omaha on Tri Wives Club.

Another somewhat fairly new local pizza place that got a recommendation from an Omaha blogger is Noli’s Pizzeria in the Blackstone District. Julie at the Hostess at Heart suggested it.

Jamie from The Kitchenarium had a few great suggestions for different reasons: “For big groups or family gatherings, we like to pick up The Big Joe from Frank’s Pizzeria. We usually get the Meat Lover’s and for $60 we have fed 20+ people and had leftovers! It is delicious and a great economic choice. 🙂 I think Pizzeria Davlo has the best gluten free crust in town – Der Bamberg is what we order. Have to love sauerkraut on pizza!” Here casual family movie night pick is one of my guilty pleasures, too: Casey’s pizza. Yes, a gas station pizza. Jamie speculates that the appeal is their cheese blend. Which should you try? She recommended the taco and traditional pepperoni, as well as the breakfast pizza.

Julie from Family Fun in Omaha suggested Varsity/Roman Coin Pizza, which also is a favorite of my family’s. Whatever you order, get the cheesy breadsticks. There are four locations so you should be able to find one near your neighborhood.

Kathleen from Thinking Smaller is a huge fan of the West Omaha eatery, Dante Ristorante Pizzeria. She orders the Diavolo & Monterosso pizzas almost every visit. You can’t beat their Neapolitan pizzas made with ingredients from local farms and cooked in a wood-fired oven.

Going with a traditional Nebraska favorite, Lisa from The Walking Tourists suggested Valentino’s cheeseburger pizza (it’s cut into squares). It’s also one of the few local places that has a heart-shapped pizza on Valentine’s Day. There are seven locations in Omaha and Bellevue.

Gretchen from Odyssey Through Nebraska isn’t quite local, but she’s visited enough to recommend some good ones! She recommends Zio’s Pizzeria and Raggazi’s Pizza. She’s even written about them (here’s her Zio’s post and Raggazi’s post). If she had to choose, she says she’s a Zio’s girl. Another not-local-but-close-enough blogger, is the woman behind Taste of Lincoln (with a name like that, you know she knows good food). She recommends trying the prime rib at Jerico’s Restaurant – it’s been voted Omaha’s favorite prime years on several occasions.

New-to-Omaha pizza franchise Uncle Maddio’s gets a recommendation from Kathy at Kissing the Frog. This is the lone player on the list that has a good review of the gluten-free option. Kathy said the draw is the fresh ingredients and whole wheat crust. Uncle Maddio’s is about to open a second location in West Omaha.

Your turn! Who serves the best pizza in Omaha? Leave a comment to let me know.

August 2, 2016

What To Eat At Omaha Restaurants

Omaha has a thriving food scene. Omaha restaurants are starting to get noticed. Midwest Living wrote about Omaha’s Sizzling Food Scene, The Chicago Tribune wrote about Omaha being on the cutting edge of food, and the Wall Street Journal included Omaha in a list of six great small cities foodies will love.

So many places to visit, right? But what should you order when you get there?

omaha restaurants

I have my favorites; I also invited Omaha and Lincoln bloggers to add to the list. Enjoy!

What To Eat At Omaha Restaurants

Breakfast

 

Homemade pop tarts. Do I have your attention yet? The Walking Tourists recommend trying any flavor (they change seasonally) made at Over Easy. Over Easy is located at 16859 Q St.

Mom’s Good Eats suggests having Sunday brunch at Le Bouillon – there’s nothing better than Kaiserschmarrn with a mimosa and side of soft scrambled eggs. Kaiserschmarrn is like a shredded pancake, if you’re wondering. Le Bouillon is located at 1017 Howard St.

 

Best sandwiches

Croque Garçon – so yummy @block16omaha #blogomaha #food #burgers #oldmarket

A post shared by Travel Writers * Lisa Trudell (@thewalkingtourists) on

 

Alton Brown named five of the best hamburgers in the world, and one is found here in Omaha: Croque Garçon at Block 16. I’ve tried it. It’s messy, but ridiculously good. It’s also The Walking Tourists and Odyssey Through Nebraska favorites list. Block 16 is located at 1611 Farnam St.

The Walking Tourists recommend a couple of other great sandwiches. First, they suggest trying the prime rib dip sandwich from the Anthony Piccolo’s Food Truck. You can get updates on where the truck is on Facebook.

The Reuben originated in Omaha – did you know that? The Walking Tourists recommend trying Crescent Moon’s Reuben. The Crescent Moon is located at 3578 Farnam St.

For a good gyro, Mom Saves Money recommends a hidden gem in Bellevue called John’s Grecian Delight. You’ll find it on the lower level of the old Southroads mall off Fort Crook Road (and there will be no signs for it – it’s that hidden). John’s Grecian Delight is located at 1001 Fort Crook Road North, #11.

Kim, one of the authors over at It’s Really 10 Months, loves Voodoo Taco and recommends the Barbacoa Beef. Voodoo Taco has locations at 114th and Dodge streets, 67th and Center streets (Aksarben Village), and 90th and Fort streets

 

Best pizza

My all-time favorite pizza is the thin crust Margherita pizza from La Casa Pizzeria. I don’t actually prefer thin crust pizza but this pizza is just that good. La Casa is located at 4432 Leavenworth St.

Not quite pizza, but still in that realm, are the calzones at Zio’s Pizzeria. They’re recommended by Odyssey Through Nebraska. Zio’s has several locations in Omaha: 1109 Howard St., 7834 Dodge St., and 12997 West Center Road.

 

Best appetizers

.@lot2benson Bangers and Mash. Good food, great friends.

A post shared by Jen Schneider (@jenlivlaughlove) on

Mom’s Good Eats recommends starting off a meal at The Boiler Room with the classic house made charcuterie. The Boiler Room is located at 1110 Jones St.

The boards at Lot 2 are recommended by Liv Laugh Love to start a meal. You can get three to six items on a board. Lot 2 is located at 6207 Maple St.

Haute Bauble recommended an appetizer I didn’t know existed at Pitch Pizzeria – the brussels sprouts. While we’re talking about Pitch, she also said to try the pizza and that the meatballs are amazing there. Pitch Pizzeria has two locations: 5021 Underwood Ave. and  17808 Burke St.

 

Best seafood

You had me at sushi. @craveomaha 1/2 price #sushi Sunday and Monday 4-close. #craveomaha #omahaweekend #foodie

A post shared by Jen Schneider (@jenlivlaughlove) on

 

There are two Omaha restaurants offering darn good fish and chips. I have a favorite and Liv Laugh Love has hers. I like the fish and chips at the Dundee Dell. Liv Laugh Love recommends trying the fish and chips at Brazen Head. If you want to try and compare, please report back to me with your favorite. Dundee Dell is located at 5007 Underwood Ave. Brazen Head is located at 319 N. 78th St.

If sushi’s your thing, Liv Laugh Love has two favorite places to go: Crave and Hiro 88. A little note: Sushi is half-price at Crave on Sundays and Mondays from 4 p.m. to close. Crave is located at Midtown Crossing at 200 S. 31st Ave. Hiro 88 has three locations, 1308 Jackson St., 3655 N. 129th St., and 17664 Welch Plaza.

For small bites of seafood during Happy Hour, Liv Laugh Love’s favorite is Shucks Fish House and Oyster Bar, particularly the peel & eat shrimp and blue point oysters. Her other Happy Hour suggestion is Plank Seafood Provisions, where she recommends trying her favorites the oysters and salmon crostini. (I’ll second that salmon crostini –  it’s really good!). Shucks Fish House and Oyster Bar has three locations: 1218 S. 119th St., 16901 Wright Plaza, and 1911 Leavenworth St. Plank Seafood Provisions is located at 1205 Howard St.

 

Dessert & pastries

When your #icecream is so good, it merits golden hour lighting. #dessert #foodie #omaha #omamag

A post shared by Kim Reiner (@ohmyomaha) on

 

There are two ice cream shops that vie for my affection: Ted & Wally’s Ice Cream and eCreamery. To pick a favorite would be like picking a favorite kid. Both offer rotating flavor – some pretty creative – to try, and sometimes I branch out. But these two are my tried-and-true favorites. At Ted & Wally’s, nothing beats the simplest one: Dutch chocolate. You will not find a better chocolate ice cream out there. I dare you. For eCreamery, if Shark Bait is available, order it. It’s made with sea salt caramel gelato and chocolate covered pretzels. Ted & Wally’s has two locations: 1120 Jackson St. and 6023 Maple St. eCreamery is located at 5001 Underwood Ave.

Family Fun in Omaha is with me on loving Ted & Wally’s Ice Cream, though, she says you should try peanut butter & chocolate or the cinnamon ice cream there. She lists five great local places to get ice cream here.

The chocolate cake at Salt 88 is possibly the best cake I’ve ever had. I had it for dessert at my birthday dinner one year and still haven’t forgotten about it. It’s housemade and drizzled with chocolate sauce. If it were socially acceptable, I’d have licked the plate. Salt 88 is located at 3623 N. 129th St.

Mom’s Good Eats says there’s no better way to end a meal than the Candy Bar at V. Mertz. She might be right. V. Mertz is located at 1022 Howard St.

 

Best of the rest

The Kitchenarium recommends trying Oscar’s Pizza & Sports Grille char buffed wings and boldly saying they’re the best in Omaha. Oscar’s is located at 17330 Lakeside Hills Plaza.

Mom’s Good Eats says Ugly Duck has the best ramen. Ugly Duck is getting its own brick and mortar location in September 2016 at Midtown Crossing.

 

Your turn: Please share your favorite dishes around Omaha! Leave a comment with your recommendation(s). Thanks!

July 25, 2016

5 Ways To Save Time At Hy-Vee + Giveaway

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Hy-Vee Food Stores. Hy-Vee provided the gift card, and I was compensated for writing and promoting it. All thoughts and opinions expressed are mine, since I am a long-time shopper there.

Being a mother with a full-time job and an obsessive tendency to write, I have to find ways to save time on everyday tasks like grocery shopping.

Hy-Vee Food Stores has been my go-to grocery store for more than a decade, but they’ve found a way to make it even easier for me now: Hy­VeeDeals.com. They asked if I’d write about it and of course I said yes – I use that website already!

Hy-Vee Deals Logo

It’s a super easy site to navigate and it makes grocery planning easy for me. Here’s how you can use the site to save time and money!

5 ways to save time (and money) with Hy-Vee

Shopping at Hy-VeeDeals.com, you can find exclusive Fuel Saver + Perks deals, digital coupons, easy-to-create shoppings and more.

Shopping at Hy-VeeDeals.com, you can find exclusive Fuel Saver + Perks deals, digital coupons, easy-to-create shoppings and more.

 

1. Personalize your account. You can quickly sign up at Hy­VeeDeals.com, adding your preferred Hy­Vee location of your choice and syncing it with your Hy­Vee Fuel Saver + perks card. Do it just one time and your set.

2. Plan your shopping list online. I browse Hy-Vee’s ads before I make my meal plan and shopping list for the week. I’ll add stock-up items I spot in the ads and plan meals around produce that’s on sale for the week. Don’t miss the exclusive digital ads you can only find on their site. You can make your shopping list and note which items have coupons all from the HyVee website.

3. Digitally clip coupons. I have every intention of clipping coupons but I never set aside the time. I can roll that task into my online meal planning at Hy­VeeDeals.com. When your Fuel Saver card is scanned at check out, the coupons will automatically be redeemed. How easy is that?

4. Shop the same location. One time-saving tip is to shop the same store each week. The familiar layout cuts down on endless aisle wandering (and impulsive buying when you stumble upon tempting food not on your list).

5. Save even more time and pick up your groceries or better yet, get them delivered. Shop online at Hy­VeeDeals.com and then select how you’ll get your groceries. Your delivery is FREE if you have more than $100 in groceries.

Ready to shop at Hy-Vee and use Hy-VeeDeals.com to save time and money?

Giveaway!

Sweet giveaway!

Hy-Vee is giving one Oh My! Omaha reader a $50 gift card! To enter, use the Rafflecopter form below. It’s quick and easy to enter, just like shopping at Hy-Vee.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Must be 18 or older to enter. Giveaway ends at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, July 31. Winner will be contact within 48 hours of the giveaway ending and will have 48 hours to respond to the email before another winner is drawn.

June 14, 2016

10 Things Dads Should Know About Crave + Giveaway

UPDATE: The giveaway has ended. Congrats to Kaila!

Disclosure: I attended a complimentary blogger sampling dinner at Crave in order to tell you about some of the dishes served at Crave. All opinions and thoughts expressed here are my own. The restaurant provided the giftcard for the giveaway. 

 

Crave at Midtown Crossing in Omaha is one of those restaurants that changes every time you visit – depending on what you crave to eat (see what I did there?).

With new executive chef, new owners and a new management team, things have changed for the better. I last visited with my parents and my kids about two years ago, and while the kids scarfed down their mac and cheese, I can’t tell you what I ordered.

I returned recently to sample a ton of dishes and I’ll be remembering the salmon for much longer.

With Father’s Day around the corner, here’s what I took away from the sampling event that dads – and those who love them – should know about Crave.

10 things dads should know about

 

10. Father’s Day Menu

They’ve created a special menu just for Sunday, June 19. They’re serving up prime rib, baby red potatoes, green beans, dinner roll and a Crave Salad for $23.95. I’m pretty sure I have a father-in-law who’d go for that meal.

9. Kids Eat Free On Sundays

Know a dad? Then you know someone with a kid. Kids eat free with a paid adult entree on Sundays (except Father’s Day with its special menu).

8. Half-Price Sushi Sundays & Mondays

I tried three sushi rolls at Crave recently: Veggie sushi, Bamboo Bite, and Electric Dragon. The favorite? It's close between the Bamboo Bite and Electric Dragon. Both have a kick to them - the Bamboo Bite is topped with a jalapeno slice, the other has some sriracha in it.

I tried three sushi rolls at Crave recently: Veggie sushi, Bamboo Bite, and Electric Dragon. The favorite? It’s close between the Bamboo Bite and Electric Dragon. Both have a kick to them – the Bamboo Bite is topped with a jalapeno slice, the other has some sriracha in it.

Not all dads are going to go for this one, but I know some out there who will. On Sundays and Mondays from 4 p.m. to close, Crave has half-priced sushi. Everything is hand-rolled fresh there, and if you want to substitute or omit something in the roll, you can.

7. Half-Price Wine Wednesdays

I used to work with some people who celebrated Winesday. They knew what was up. On Wednesdays, Crave has half-price bottles of wine. Dads, you’ve earned it. Time to book a babysitter.

6. Date Night Deal

Let’s say you got a babysitter for two nights in the near future – one’s a weekend night. It could be date night at Crave, then. They have a three-course meal for two plus a bottle of wine for $60. It’s available on Fridays and Saturdays. One of the entree options was one of my favorites from the sampling dinner I had – the Bamboo Bite sushi roll.

5. Best Beef Stroganoff Ever

Beef stroganoff at Crave is pure comfort food, which, I think means the calories don't count.

Beef stroganoff at Crave is pure comfort food, which, I think means the calories don’t count.

Admittedly, I don’t eat a whole lot of beef. So maybe it’s just been so very long since I had beef stroganoff. This ultimate comfort food served at Crave was rich and delicious. It’s filling for even the biggest appetite.

For something a little less heavy on the gut, go for the salmon. You won’t regret it.

4. Patio Seating

The patio at Crave has fire pit seating as well as your standard table setup.

The patio at Crave has fire pit seating as well as your standard table setup.

I love a good patio, and if you snag a seat at Crave during one of the many events at Midtown Crossing, you can enjoy a great view – and great people-watching – from a comfy seat. We’ve had a meal there during a classic car show, and loved the atmosphere. Only thing to note: No reservations for the patio. So show up early, if you’re thinking of having a meal there during Jazz on the Green this summer.

3. Discounts To Know

Know that if Dad or someone in your party works for UNMC, Creighton, Mutual of Omaha or is in the military, they get a discount at Crave. And, police officers eat for FREE up to $25.

2. The Oh My! Omaha Discount

I'm just going to leave this picture of the dessert sampler right here. Because it is good. So so good.

I’m just going to leave this picture of the dessert sampler right here.

If none of your party qualifies for any of the above discounts, I’ve got you covered. Mention Oh My! Omaha and you can get 15% off your check through July 31.  

 

1. Giveaway!

What would you order if you had $25 to spend at Crave in Omaha?

What would you order if you had $25 to spend at Crave in Omaha?

I’ve got a $25 giftcard to give to one lucky reader so they can try Crave for themselves!

UPDATE: Giveaway has closed and the winner has been contacted. Thank you for participating!

Fist way to enter: Please visit Crave’s website and browse the menus – leave a comment with what dish or drink you’d try if you won the $25. Please only comment one time with your choice.

BONUS ENTRY: In honor of the very Instagrammable (it’s a word) food at Crave, if you are an Oh My! Omaha Instagram follower, you get an entry! Just leave your handle in a second comment.

One winner’s name will be drawn using random.org on Sunday, July 3. I will contact the winner via email within 48 hours; that winner has 48 hours to reply. 

 

If you go

Crave

Where: Located in the bowl of Turner Park at Midtown Crossing, 200 S. 31st Ave.

Website 

April 18, 2016

Be The Good In Omaha With TAGG + Giveaway

Editor’s Note: The giveaway ended May 1.

Having spent the last four years working in the nonprofit world, I’ve learned that Omaha is a giving community. Good news: It now easier to do good in this city.

Have you heard of TAGG, or Together a Greater Good? Organizers reached out to me recently to see if I’d share the app with you.

Tagg Logo2

I think you’ll like the app if: A) You’ve donated to a charity in the last year, B) You have a child on a team or club that regularly holds fundraisers or C) You’re a good person.

What’s TAGG?

 

 

Basically, TAGG is an app that you can download for free (App Store or Google Play). When you visit a participating business – and there are a lot of them and almost all are local – you “TAGG” your purchase. That business then donates to the cause you support. Some of my favorite restaurants participate, including Plank Seafood Provisions, eCreamery Ice Cream & Gelato and Block 16. Places you’ll likely visit this summer, like Boulder Creek or Papio Fun Park, also participate.

Once you TAGG then it gets social – you share your good deed on Facebook or wherever so others know about it.

I only recently heard about TAGG when my son’s school became one of the causes to support. You’ll find schools, sports teams, nonprofits… all sorts of causes to support. All you have to do is download the app and be the consumer you usually are!

I recommend setting up notifications so the app will let you know when you’re by a participating business. I’m pretty forgetful and this reminds me to “TAGG” a purchase before I check out.

Giveaway

UPDATE: Giveaway has ended – congrats to Elise and JoAnn!

you plus tagg2

Give this TAGG app a try! I’m giving away a $25 gift card to Karma Koffee (a participating business, by the way) to two lucky readers.

Here’s how to enter: To be considered, you have to download the TAGG app (App Store or Google Play). You have two weeks to TAGG a purchase. Leave a comment here when you do, letting me know you TAGGed. Feel free to share where, too. You’re entered to win!

Already have the app? Leave a comment and let me know where you last “TAGGED” a purchase.

Must be 18 or older to participate. The winners names will be randomly drawn using random.org on May 2. Each winner will be contacted via email and will have 48 hours to respond before a new name is drawn. Good luck and happy “TAGG”ing!