April 18, 2019

Nostalgic Restaurant In Papillion

On a recent spring afternoon, my kids and I headed to Freddy’s Custard & Steakburgers in Papillion, Neb., for a treat. We had just finished two soccer games and were planning a walk around the trails at Walnut Creek Recreation Area. For a quick but satisfying lunch, this was a great restaurant in Papillion to head to!

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Freddy’s Custard & Steakburgers. All thoughts, opinions and typos are my own.

What's at Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers? Read up on the best thing to order, what kids love on the menu, and more! #Papillion #Nebraska #Restaurant

What should you order at Freddy’s?

Having only been to Freddy’s one other time to write about it as a cub reporter at The Daily Nonpareil, I wasn’t quite sure what to order. So, I chatted with Mary Seretta, to get the scoop on what’s popular at the restaurant.

Freddy’s was started by a guy name Freddy (surprise!), who opened up his first restaurant in Kansas with the idea of serving up down home food.

The burger that started it all the double steakburger. Unique to Freddy’s is the flat patty that makes up the steakburger. If you haven’t had one, they’ve got a crispy edge that makes them pretty unique.

Things to eat at Freddy's - The double steak burger is an original favorite
The double steak burger with cheese is an original favorite of customers at Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers. At the Papillion location, the local favorite is that steakburger with bacon.

At the Papillion location of Freddy’s, the bacon and cheese double steakburger and patty melt are more popular in than the original. Being a newbie to Freddy’s, I went with the original. Everything is cooked to order. See the full menu here.

Related post: Find more places to get the best hamburgers in the city (and steak…this is Omaha, after all) in this post.

I had fries with my burger (of course), and Freddy’s just might have the best ones in the business. These thin, almost shoestring thin, fries are perfectly seasoned. Freddy’s has two fry sauces in addition to ketchup, and you should try them. The jalapeno version wasn’t spicy, surprisingly.

Other menu items include hot dogs, chili (and therefore, chili dogs), and limited-time food like fish sandwiches. The Papillion Freddy’s just started serving crispy chicken sandwiches, with a spicy option available.

Things to eat at Freddy's - Try any of the Specialty Custards as a sundae. Options include the Hawaiian Delight, Signature Turtle and Chocolate Brownie Delight
Freddy’s Specialty Custards are available as sundaes or concretes, which have the toppings blended into them.

And then there’s the custard. There are a variety of specialties to choose from, as well as sundaes, shakes and concretes (which has the toppings blended in). Or you can order your own creation – there are about 30 toppings to choose from.

I ordered the mint Oreo concrete, which was a delicious treat. The custard is a lot creamier and richer than ice cream I’m used to.

What kids can eat at Freddy’s?

There is a kid’s menu available at Freddy’s, which includes the entrée, fries and drink. One of my kids ordered chicken fingers and the other had a steakburger, which was a pretty generous serving for a kiddo. Glad he was hungry!

Things to eat at Freddy's - The specialty custard treats like the Brownie Sundae
My kids first choice in sundaes at Freddy’s is the Dirt ‘N Worms Sundae, and then this brownie sundae came along and they fell in love with that, too.

They both opted for Dirt ‘N Worms sundae, a tasty treat with vanilla ice cream, cookie crumbles and gummie worms, topped with whipped cream and a cherry.

And, I’ll confess, we also tried the brownie sundae. The chocolate ice cream is a rich chocolate that I loved.

The other frozen treats you might be interested include custard cookie sandwiches. One is made with Oreos, the other made with Nutter Butters.

Tip: If you have dogs with you, Freddy’s has a “pup cup” available to order! These small servings of custard make nice treats for the pups. 

Related post: For more kid-friendly restaurants in the Omaha metro, read Best Omaha Restaurants For Families.

What it look like inside Freddy’s?

Freddy’s has a cool retro look to it, with red throughout. It’s got a pretty nostalgic feel to it.

You’ll find black and white pictures of the real Freddy throughout the Papillion location. Freddy was a Vietnam vet, and it’s interesting reading the captions of the photos to learn more about his history and travels.

Interior of Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers in Papillion, Nebraska
Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers has a distinct retro look with a lot of red accents.

Freddy’s is a restaurant chain that involves itself in the local community of each location. This particular Freddy’s, which is right be Shadow Lake Towne Center, participates in a variety of fundraisers, especially for schools. They offer up to a generous 30% donation on profits for fundraising nights. On the day we visited, Mary told me about the effort the restaurant had made to raise money for the Red Cross to support Nebraska flood victims.

What’s near this restaurant in Papillion?

The big draw to the area is Shadow Lake Towne Center, where the Freddy’s Papillion location is located. This is a great outdoor shopping center with a mix of national brands and local stores like Michaels, Bath & Body Works, Chocolatier Stam and Nebraska Brewing Co.

If you head east on Highway 370, you’ll hit two favorite places of mine. The first, is Walnut Creek Recreation Area, which consists of a large lake, a playground, and paved and dirt bike trails.

Walnut Creek Recreation Area trail in Papillion, Nebraska
Walnut Creek Recreation Area has bike trails through wooded areas. The park is located in Papillion, Neb., not too far from Freddy’s.

The other place worth mentioning is Sumtur Amphitheater, which hosts outdoor concerts and has a great lineup of free, family-friendly movies each summer.

If you go

Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers

Where: Shadow Lake Towne Center, 11674 S. 73rd St., Papillion, Neb.

Looking for a family-friendly restaurant in Papillion, Nebraska? Here's a review of Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburger. Enjoy a concrete or order a famous burger. They even have a pup cup dessert for your dog! #Nebraska #restaurant

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April 10, 2019

Best Omaha Restaurants For Families

Omaha is enjoying an explosion of great, locally-owned restaurants opening up. The food is creative and delicious. But just because I have kids–and I often take them out with me to restaurants—there are just some that I wouldn’t dare take my kids to. But others? I’ve learned how to spot the restaurants that welcome families AND have good food. Here’s my list of the best Omaha restaurants for families, where you’ll find good food and a kid-friendly environment. I’ve asked a couple of friends who dine at far better places than I typically go to with kids, and they’ve added their recommendations to the list. Bon appetite!

Local's tips on the best restaurants in Omaha for families - Where to go for a special family night out or the restaurants that offer something good for adventurous diners. #Omaha #Nebraska #USA #restaurant

Big Green Q & Ted & Wally’s

Where: 6023 Maple St.

Why: It’s no secret that I have an undying allegiance to Ted & Wally’s – they have the world’s best Dutch chocolate ice cream. If you venture to the ice cream shop’s Benson location, you’ll find Big Green Q sharing the building. This barbecue place has a following from its food truck days. The food is pretty good, the kid’s meals are reasonable, and then you have to get ice cream for dessert, right? One thing that makes Big Green stand out is that its effort at sourcing ingredients locally AND everything is compostable. And the tots are good too.

Blatt Table + Beer

Where: 610 N. 12th St.; 2835 S. 170th Plaza; inside Westroads Mall at Flagship Commons, 10000 California St.

Why: Blatt is on just about every restaurant list I make. The food is just that good, plus they have a great craft beer selection. But, for the purpose of this post, I’ve been a fan of the restaurant since my early parenting days when I discovered the original NoDo location had a changing table in the bathroom. The kid’s menu offers substantial servings, similar to what adults can order.

Related post: Looking for more downtown Omaha restaurants that are kid-friendly? Check out this list of 8 Great Downtown Omaha Restaurants For Families.

Bob’s Donuts

Where: 3824 Farnam St.

Why: What kid is going to resist the chance to order an Oreo donut or one topped with cereal? Not even a big kid. But, creative flavors aside, Bob’s Donuts is on this list because they also serve chicken sandwiches. For breakfast. I love them. I may have my favorite donut shop elsewhere in Omaha, but Bob’s is great for my family because the kids can have their donuts, and I can force a little protein into them by having them split a chicken sammie, too.

FarmHouse Cafe & Bakery

Where: 3461 S. 84th St.

Why: This is my extended family’s go-to place for breakfast out with a large group. They also offer lunch and dinner, but breakfast is my jam there. The variety of food is great (portions are ginormous) and there are usually coloring pages offered to occupy kids. Even with the large portions, you may want to order a pecan roll to split with the rest of the table. The only downside to the restaurant is that on the weekends, there will likely be a wait. But, the good news is that FarmHouse is connected to Mangelsen’s, a craft shop that’s fun to explore while you wait. You’ve got to check out the Halloween and Christmas sections.

Korean Garden

Where:  5352 S. 72nd St., Ralston, Neb.

Why: So one of my friends is Korean and I trust her taste in food, so if she says a Korean restaurant is good, I’m going to believe it. And, knowing she’ll take her three kids there means it has a spot on this list. And as a bonus, Korean Garden has tabletop grilling there. My kids will eat anything if they’re allowed to cook it themselves.

Lalibela Restaurant

Where: 4422 Cass St.

Why: If you have adventurous eaters, head to Lalibela. It’s an Ethiopian restaurant where traditionally, you eat from shared plates (and you eat with your hands). If you’ve never experienced it, basically, you’ve got injera, the bread, and you tear off a piece and scoop up the food. Some kids are going to love it (mine did not). The food is fantastic and the service is prompt.

Louie M’s Burger Lust

Where: 1718 Vinton St.

Why: This is a meat eaters’s kind of place, where you’ll find more creative burger options than you thought possible. The real reason we go here, though, is that it’s one of the closest restaurants to Omaha’s zoo. There are closer restaurants, but the food at Louie M’s is better. It’s not a big place, so you might have a wait. The kid’s menu has some activities on it to help pass the time.

Mar Cafe

Where: 4646 Dodge St.

Why: This is one of my friends’ picks for restaurants, especially for breakfast. This Mexican restaurant is pretty unassuming on the exterior, but the food, I hear, is fantastic. The chef at Mar Cafe hails from the province of Michoucan, Mexico.

Pitch

Where: 5021 Underwood Ave.; 17808 Burke St.

Why: Handmade dough and a great Happy Hour? Pitch doesn’t quite sound like a family-friendly place. But it is. I always see kids there, because…pizza. Now this is the type of pizza my kids balk at – it’s what my kids call “Fancy Pizza.” I like it very much, but it’s not your chain restaurant type of pizza.

Related post: Pitch made it onto this list, Where To Find The Best Pizza In Omaha.

Plank Seafood Provisions

Where: 1205 Howard St.

Why: This is one of the few Old Market restaurants where you can get good fish entree, and as a bonus to parents, there’s a kid’s menu. Kid’s meals at Plank come with a little bag of goodies, including tattoos.

Shuck’s

Where: 1911 Leavenworth St.; 16901 Wright Plaza; 1218 S. 119th St.

Why: Like Plank Seafood Provisions, Shuck’s is a fish lover’s destination. It’s preferred by my family to Plank (for the price, it can’t be beat). Tables typically have brown paper on them, making it ideal for kids and adults to color and play tic-tac-toe while you wait. If you go during Lent, expect a wait on Fridays.

Upstream Brewing Co.

Where: 514 S. 11th St.

Why: Rare is a brewpub that welcomes families, but Upstream Brewing Co. is a good one. Kids get little bendy sticks to play with while you wait. If you visit on Tuesday nights, you may encounter Joe Cole, a roving magician who’s highly entertaining. Kid’s portions are large and they come with a choice of vanilla ice cream or a root beer float for dessert. And, for adults, the standard beer Upstream brews is superb and they have a few seasonal ones that can be pretty creative flavors.

Zio’s Pizzeria

Where: 1109 Howard St., 7834 Dodge St., 12997 West Center Road, and 18110 Wright St.

Why: Zio’s is a favorite of my family’s (but not of mine). However, it’s one of the few places that I know of that you can ask for a ball of dough and they’ll bring it to you. When my kids were younger, this was better than Play-Do to them. There is a kid’s menu, but we usually order pizza by the slice. The Old Market location on Howard Street is convenient to most tourists visiting Omaha, but if you ask me, the Dodge Street location has better pizza.

11-Worth Cafe

Where: 2419 Leavenworth St.

Why: 11-Worth Cafe is the quintessential greasy spoon on an unappealing street, yet, people love it. They’re doing something right. This is a good place for breakfast near the Old Market, where the service is quick, the food is good, and sometimes, your kid leaves with a balloon. It’s also the last of the Caniglia-owned restaurants, which probably means something only to those who’ve lived in Omaha for decades. If you’re looking for healthy breakfast options, this isn’t going to be your place.

Restaurants to go to on off-hours

So the following are restaurants that aren’t going to snub you if you bring well-behaved kids, but they’re in this category because they may either be typical “date night” places or they’re just a little fancier than the run-of-the-mill family restaurants. Don’t overlook them, just know that the dining experience is a little more formal.

Avoli Osteria

Where: 5013 Underwood Ave.

Why: I’m going to take my foodie friends at the word for Avoli being family-friendly (at off-hours) because I’ve been saving it up for a special date night occasion and haven’t been. I’ve heard it’s “impress-your-date” good. But my friends have brought their kiddos to this Dundee staple to enjoy the northern Italian cuisine, so at least one family has pulled it off.

Dario’s Brasserie

Where: 4920 Underwood Ave.

Why: While I have’t brought my kids here–yet–the thought has crossed my mind to do so. (I have gone for date nights and it’s fantastically casual and yet romantic). Featuring fine Belgian cuisine and the best fries in Omaha, Dario’s a remarkable restaurant that reminds me of charming European cafes I visited in my 20s. My friends and their kids have gone during quiet hours and can vouch that it’s suitable for families. And, by the way, this place has one of the best beer selection in Omaha, if you love Belgian stuff.

M’s Pub

Where: 422 S 11th St.

Why: Introduce your kiddos to an Omaha institution. M’s has had quite a history, being one of the first restaurants to open in the Old Market after it was revitalized decades ago, only to suffer a terrible fire that nearly ended its run. It’s a beloved restaurant by many, and I’ve been there for date nights (pre-fire). It’s a rather small place, so go during off-hours if you don’t have a reservation.

Via Farina

Where: 1108 S. 10th St.

Why: Via Farina serves wood-fired pizza in an impeccably designed space. If you’re the Instagramming kind of person, you’ll feel at home. I love it for hanging out with friends before a show at the Bluebarn Theatre. I wouldn’t have thought of it as a place to bring my kids since they usually snub yummy wood-fire pizza, but my friends have brought their kiddos. The pizza here has more adventurous ingredients (by my kids’ standards).

From fine dining to casual, local Omaha restaurants welcome families. Here are our top picks for family-friendly restaurants in Omaha. #Nebraska #dining #eatlocal

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December 26, 2018

8 Great Downtown Omaha Restaurants For Families

Having worked in downtown Omaha for more than five years, and living downtown for about seven years before that, I know my restaurants in the area. And I know which ones are great to take kids to. If you’re looking for a family restaurant in downtown Omaha, here are some of my recommendations:

Family restaurants in downtown Omaha

Short list of recommended family-friendly restaurants in downtown Omaha, including near the Old Market and TD Ameritrade Park

 

The Blatt Beer & Table North Downtown

By all appearance, this looks like a gastropub where grown-ups want to hang out in peace, but they’re pretty welcoming to families. The kid’s menu is above-average here (try the chicken strips), and the location can’t be beat for games and shows at TD Ameritrade Park and CHI Health Center. Plus, they have a changing table in the bathrooms.

Address: 610 N. 12th St. (North Downtown)

Olsen Bake Shop

Olsen is strictly a carry-out, hole-in-the-wall kind of bakery, but don’t let that deter you. They have, quite arguably, the best best donuts in Omaha. Not only do they taste good, they’re cheap, too. Olsen is on the list of
Best Donuts In Omaha.

Address: 1708 S. 10th St. (downtown, south of the Old Market)

Orsi’s Italian Bakery & Pizzeria can be found just outside of the Old Market, in a neighborhood that was once a bustling Little Italy.

Orsi’s Italian Bakery & Pizzeria

It’s Omaha’s longest-running restaurant for a reason. The garlic bread is my favorite, though it hardly makes a meal, so go ahead and order a sheet of pizza. Since I’ve visited last visited Orsi’s, it has expanded to have a dining room (or is planning to), so it has moved beyond being mostly a take-out kind of restaurant.

Address: 621 Pacific St. (Little Italy, southeast of the Old Market)

Plank Seafood Provisions has great outdoor seating – perfect for Old Market people watching.

Plank Seafood + Provisions

My kids are touch and go with seafood, but I can often get them to eat the fish sticks at Plank. The menu for adults and kids is pretty good (try to get there at happy hour for the best deals), and when we went, they gave my kid fun temp tattoos.

Address: 1205 Howard St. (in the Old Market)

Trini’s The Mexican Restaurant

Trini’s is located in my favorite part of the Old Market: The Passageway. It’s a charming indoor space with shops and restaurants. Trini’s is pretty casual and budget-friendly when ordering with kids (though, there is no kid’s menu). Trini’s made the list of best places to Mexican food in Omaha.

Address: 1020 Howard St. (in the Old Market)

Upstream Brewing Co.

I know. A brewery? I’ve gone for brunch, lunch, and dinner and my kids have always been welcomed. There is a kid’s menu (not for brunch, though), and usually some form of entertainment to occupy them while we wait for the food. They also happen to have great beer. The upstairs area will be more of a bar-like atmosphere, so stick to the first floor or the outdoor seating in front.

Address: 514 S 11th St. (in the Old Market)

Zio’s Pizzeria has a location in the heart of the Old Market in downtown Omaha. 

Zio’s Pizzeria

Zio’s is a bit of an institution in Omaha. If you dig New York-style pizza, try it out. There is a kid’s menu, and often, the waiter will bring a ball of dough to the table to keep your kid occupied. Zio’s made the list for best places to get pizza in Omaha.

To be honest, though, if we’re going to have pizza downtown, my kids ask for Old Chicago; and if we’re downtown without the kids, we go to Via Farina. But if you’re looking for local and kid-friendly, Zio’s is a good bet.

Address: 1109 Howard St. (in the Old Market)

11-Worth Cafe

This is classic greasy spoon food at its best. I’ve only been for breakfast, so I can’t vouch for the grill after noon, but beforehand, it’s spot-on. They have a kid’s menu and, usually, will give your kid a balloon before you leave.

Address: 2419 Leavenworth St. (downtown, east of the Old Market)

Related post: 20+ Must-Try Restaurants In Omaha

Recommended restaurants and donut shops in downtown Omaha #familyfriendly #OldMarket #Nebraska

Bonus restaurant for zoo visitors

Headed to Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium? You can purchase food there at plenty of dining locations, but they aren’t always satisfying and they’re definitely pricey . If you didn’t pack a lunch, here’ s another option we tried recently:

Louie M.’s Burger Lust, 1718 Vinton St. Located in the historic Vinton neighborhood, this small but charming burger joint is going to please both kids and parents. I brought the kids here after a trip to the zoo recently, and was pleased they had a kid’s menu. Order a burger, obviously.

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June 18, 2018

Billy’s 10 Favorite Restaurants In Omaha

I’ve been a fan of Billy McGuigan ever since I was reviewing theater for The Daily Nonpareil and I heard him sing the first few notes in “Rave On: The Buddy Holly Experience.” He’s gone on to perform in other great shows too, including “Rock Twist,” opening Aug. 1 at Omaha Community Playhouse. So I have this chance to ask him anything about Omaha…and my mind goes to food. Typical. I’m so glad I asked him what his favorite restaurants in Omaha were, because, you guys, McGuigan’s list is stellar.

Billy McGuigan Rock Twist

Billy McGuigan’s “Rock Twist” runs Aug. 1-12, 2018 at Omaha Community Playhouse. Photo courtesy Christine McGuigan Photography

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Rave On Productions. All thoughts and opinions below are Billy’s. 

Here’s Billy’s take on the Omaha food scene, in his own words:

I would never classify myself as a foodie. Let’s start there. But, after touring the country and world for the past 15 years, I started noticing that I judged a city by its local restaurants and the food in a city in general. San Francisco’s Dungeness crab, New Orleans’ crawfish and any restaurant in Albuquerque are some of my favorite spots in the U.S. Omaha is no exception and I’ve come to love the local flavor of this town. With that, I’ve put together my 10 favorite food spots in Omaha in no particular order. If you haven’t tried these places, please do!

list of favorite restaurants in Omaha

Billy’s favorite restaurants in Omaha

10. Stokes (Old Market and West Omaha)

Billy McGuigan orders an off-the-menu hot sauce to go with the Sharon’s (World Famous) Enchiladas at Stokes. Photo courtesy Billy McGuigan

I first had Stokes when it was located in the 114th and Dodge streets area. After having Sharon’s chicken enchiladas with a side of inner beauty (their off-the-menu hot sauce), I was immediately hooked. Spicy and fresh and delicious. I’ve eaten at Stokes more than any other restaurant in my life.

Favorite Menu Items: Sharon’s (World Famous) Chicken Enchiladas, Koko’s Harvest Salad, Stokes Tenderloin Pueblo

9. Wilson & Washburn (Downtown Omaha)

Wilson & Washburn is located in downtown Omaha. Photo courtesy Billy McGuigan

This place is an experience. It feels very Chicago, very New York. The drinks are finely crafted and the food is so great. The bartenders tend to remember you after a few visits and they learn the way you like your drinks made and typically how you ordered your food the last time you where there. Bonus party room upstairs for private parties as well!

Favorite Menu Items: Scotch Egg, Beet Chips (seriously!), Beet Burger (again, seriously), Braised Short Rib

8. Early Bird (Blackstone)

Billy McGuigan and his kids in front of Early Bird, a favorite brunch spot for his family. Photo courtesy Billy McGuigan

My kids would kill me if this all-day brunch place wasn’t included on this list. It opened last year and I think we’ve been here six times already. Be prepared for a wait because this place is super popular. It is totally worth it. A unique brunch menu filled with both traditional and non-traditional breakfast items (check out the Ka-Bob’s) as well as sweet and savory. The service is also fantastic!

Favorite Menu Items: Ka-Bobs, Corned Beef Hash, Cereal Killer Pancakes (my son Ciaran’s favorite), Morning Pot Pie (my daughter Cartney’s favorite)

7. Mula (Blackstone)

Mula makes borracha beans like Billy McGuigan’s grandmother used to make. Photo courtesy Mula

I’m a complete and total sucker for Mexican food. My grandmother was a Garcia and she made borracho beans so good they could make you cry. Mula makes these and after the wave of nostalgia I got from eating them here, I choked up a bit. A massive tequila selection and a varied selection of unique tacos and tortas.

Favorite Menu Items: Any of their Guacamoles, Camaron Tacos, Carne Asada Torta, Jalapeño Margarita

6. Block 16 (Downtown Omaha)

Billy McGruigan promises that Block 16 is worth the wait. Photo courtesy The Mullers via Block 16

The first time I came here, I nearly didn’t go in because there was such a long line. The guy in the back of the line looked at me and told me it was well worth the wait. I couldn’t agree more. If you’re under the impression that vegan food has no flavor, you should go vegan here. I love this place so much!

Favorite Menu Items: Vegan Sloppy Nick, Vegan Dragon Fries, Vegan Poutine Burrito

5. Yoshitomo (Benson)

Sushi at Yoshimoto is as good as the best Billy McGuigan has tried across the U.S. Photo courtesy Yoshimoto

I’ve been a huge sushi fan since the late ‘90s when I had it for the first time at Sushi Ichiban when it was on the corner on Dodge street. Since then, I’ve been lucky enough to try it all over the country and Yoshitomo is as good as any I’ve ever had. Super classy environment and a menu that rocks!

Favorite Menu Items: Sake Nigiri, Hamachi Nigiri, 3 Kings Maki, Aburi Wagyu

4. Pitch (Dundee)

Pitch in Dundee

Pitch manages to make pizza without cheese so good, you don’t miss the cheese. Photo courtesy Billy McGuigan

Full disclosure: I have a dairy allergy. I know, pizza with no cheese? Yeah, it’s hard to find. Pitch’s pizza is so good, it works without the cheese. Try it! Also, those Brussel sprouts. Have you not had these? They are ridiculously good.

Favorite Menu Items: Shrooms Pizza (no cheese), Roasted Brussel Sprouts, House Made Fennel Sausage Pizza (No cheese)

3. Coneflower Creamery (Blackstone)

Coneflower makes a wickedly good, dairy-free ice cream. And a tip from McGuigan: Always add Spanish peanuts. Photo courtesy Billy McGuigan

Speaking of no dairy, do you have any idea how hard it is to find really good, dairy-free ice cream? Look no further. This place is an absolute gem. There’s nearly always a line, but again, totally worth it. The vinyl records and great taste in music also add to the ambiance of this wickedly good ice cream shop!

Favorite Menu Items: Vegan Golden Milk Ice Cream, Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter, always add Spanish Peanuts

2. Red Lion Lounge (Blackstone)

McGuigan’s choice for a place to hang out with friends and enjoy a good cocktail. Photo courtesy Billy McGuigan

“Friends” had Central Perk. “How I Met Your Mother” had McLarens. You know, the iconic place to hang out with friends and have a drink or two. I always wanted one of these and I’m pretty sure I’ve found it in the RL. Limited snack items and amazing craft cocktails. Amazing “Mad Men”-esque decor with iconic black and white photos throughout. If you find Roald Dahl, you’ll find me.

Favorite Menu Items: Candied Cashews, Local Heirloom Popcorn, Rusty Nail, Infusion Vanilla Bean Blonde

1. Farine + Four (Midtown)

The spicy chicken sandwich at Farine + Four. Photo courtesy Farine + Four

You ever hope and dream there’d be a place you could wake up and walk to and grab a great coffee and a sandwich? Farine and Four is this place for me. Nestled in the heart of my neighborhood is this gem. Farine + Four means Flour + Oven in French. It also means they only use four ingredients as the base for all of their breads: flour, water, salt, and levain (yeast). It’s so amazingly good and you have to try it. They open the garage door in the summer and you won’t be able to resist the smells coming from their kitchen.

Favorite Menu Items: Spicy Chicken Sandwich (best you’ll ever have), Egg Sandwich, Peanut Butter Cookie

Billy McGuigan’s “Rock Twist”

If you didn’t know Billy McGuigan before this post, you’ve got to hear the music of this foodie-that’s-not-a-foodie. You can see him in the show, “Rock Twist,” which will be at Omaha Community Playhouse Aug. 1-12.

The show features McGuigan and a 13-piece band performing the music of artists who have impacted McGuigan’s life. There’s everything from Frank Sinatra to The Doors and Chuck Berry. 

Performances of “Rock Twist” are Aug. 1-12, Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $42 each and are available at by calling the box office at 402-552-0800 or go online to www.omahaplayhouse.com.

 

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May 11, 2018

8 Great Places For Pancakes In Omaha

Every so often, you just need a huge pancake, right? There are dozens of places to get pancakes in Omaha, and as expected, when I asked my readers on Facebook where to go, they had MANY suggestions. I’ve narrowed down their favorites and added mine to create this list. Here are eight great places for pancakes in Omaha:

Where to find the best pancakes in Omaha | Restaurants that serve great pancakes for breakfast (or any other time of day) #Omaha #Nebraska #eatlocal

Amato’s Cafe & Catering

Where: 6405 Center St.

What to order: They’re known for their ricotta pancakes, which occasionally has added ingredients like peaches or pumpkin.

Claim to fame: Amato’s has been featured on the “Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives” and “Man Vs Food.”

Lisa’s Radial Cafe

Where: 817 N. 40th St.

What to order: Their Killer Cakes come with add-ins like chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, peanut butter, or seasonal fruit. My kids will tell you the chocolate chips are the best, I’m old-fashioned and go for plain ol’ pancakes, though.

Note: They only accept cash at Lisa’s Radial. It’s inexpensive, but still something to note.

Vidlak’s Brookside Cafe

Where: 15668 W. Center Road

What to order: If buttermilk pancakes are too tame for you, try the bacon stuffed pancakes or the German potato pancakes.

11-Worth Cafe

Where: 2419 Leavenworth St.

What to order: Like all Caniglia family restaurants of yore, 11-Worth Cafe serves heaping portions. It’s no different with pancakes. Pancakes are pretty straight-forward here, and you can opt to add in only three things: Strawberries, blueberries or peaches.

Note: They often hand out balloons to kids. It’s the highlight of my kids’ day when it happens.

Tip: This restaurant was included in 19 Great Places To Get Breakfast In Omaha.

Farmhouse Cafe & Bakery

Where: 3461 S. 84th St.

What to order: I prefer the Golden Griddle Cakes with blueberries added, but if you feel like branching out, there are German potato pancakes that come with applesauce.

Note: If there’s a wait, not big deal. Go browse Mangelsen’s, the craft store connected to the restaurant.

Tip: This place was included in Kid-Friendly Breakfast Spots In Omaha.

Harold’s Koffee House

Where: 8327 N. 30th St.

What to order: Harold’s has been around since 1958 and has that perfectly homey feel to it. They have fluffy buttermilk pancakes, but if you want to get crazy, try the berry and granola pancake. And always, always, ask for one of their homemade donuts. Totally over-indulgent if you’re already eating a pancake, but trust me on this.

Early Bird

Where: 3824 Farnam St.

What to order: The pancake options are abundant here, good luck deciding. Cereal Killer Pancakes are pretty Instagrammable (Fruity Pebbles or Coco Puffs on a pancake?!). If you can’t decide, you can always get the pancake flight, where you choose any three from the following: Plain, blueberry, chocolate chip, Cereal Killer, pineapple upside down, cinnamon roll, and PB&J.

Note: This is the newest restaurant on the list in one of the trendiest neighborhoods, Blackstone District. Expect a wait if you don’t get there early.

Leo’s Diner

Where: 6055 Maple St.

What to order: I usually check the specials board for pancake specials (lucky you if you arrive on Pancake Weekend). Regular options on the menu are the short-stack and blueberry pancakes.

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April 8, 2018

100 Things To Do In Omaha Challenge

When my friends, Tim and Lisa, published their first book “100 Things To Do In Omaha Before You Die,” Lisa asked how many I’ve done. As bloggers at The Walking Tourists, they write a lot about Omaha, as do I (obvs). So, I too wondered how many I could check off. Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Oh My! Omaha is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

things to do in Omaha

Answer: I’ve done about 75 things in the book. Being a completionist, there are some half-finished sections that I don’t want to count, like the coffee shop list that has just one place left to visit (The Bike Union/The Coffee Union) and the classic steakhouses (I’m missing The Drover and Cascio’s).

So I’ve got about 25 things to check off from “100 Things To Do In Omaha Before You Die.” Rather than list all of them, here are the 10 I’ve set up as a mini challenge for me to visit before summer ends. As you’ll see in my list, the book covers a good variety of things to do in Omaha, from dining and sports to arts and history.

If it ever begins. Will winter ever end in Nebraska?!

100 Things To Do In Omaha Mini Challenge

1. Alpine Inn

I know you’re shocked to hear I haven’t gone to this quirky restaurant, where the main draw is watching wild raccoons pick through chicken bones out on the patio. Tim and Lisa promise Alpine Inn’s fried chicken is worth the wait. If you go, snag seats by the large windows for the “big dinner show.” Alpine Inn, 10405 Calhoun Road

2. College World Series at Ameritrade Park

It’s been a few years now that Ameritrade Park became the new home of the NCAA College World Series. Maybe I ought to see a game there? Technically, I have been to the park, at least. I’ve been to Fan Fest. Should I count that? Should I say I’ve checked 76 things off the list? Ameritrade Park, 1200 Mike Fahey St.

3. Microbreweries

Omaha’s craft brewery scene is growing, and I can’t keep up. I can only check off half the list in the book “100 Things To Do In Omaha Before You Die.” Here are the breweries I have yet to visit: Lucky Bucket Brewery, 11941 Centennial Road, La Vista, Neb.; Farnam House Brewing Co., 3558 Farnam St.; Brickway Brewing & Distillery, 1116 Jackson St.; Kros Strain Brewery, 10411 Portal Road, suite 102, La Vista, Neb.; Scriptown Brewing Co., 3922 Farnam St.

4. Bryson’s Airboat Tours

Though technically not an Omaha thing, these boat tours on the Platte River are close enough. If you’re not from around here, you might be surprised to know the Platte River in Nebraska is pretty shallow – like inches deep. So it makes sense that airboats are about the only way to really cruise the river. Bryson’s Airboat Tours, 879 Co. Road 19, Fremont, Neb.

5. Florence Bank and Florence Mill

Florence is one of those historic neighborhoods of Omaha that I haven’t explore much of. Two museums included in the Florence section are on my list to visit: Historic Florence Bank and Florence Mill. Find them at 8502 N. 30th St. and 9102 N. 30th St.

6. Film Streams at Dundee Theater

Here’s another one where I can say I could check it off the list, as I’ve been to Dundee Theater back in the day (anyone remember Midnight Movies?). But, I haven’t revisited it since it’s been renovated by the nonprofit Film Streams. The plan is to have a meal at Kitchen Table first and then see a movie. Film Streams at Dundee Theater, 4952 Dodge St.

7. Diventures

I haven’t been to Diventures, but mainly because I’ve never had a good reason to. I don’t plan trips that off good scuba diving opportunities, so I haven’t had a reason to learn it. Yet. Side note for those with kids: They also offer mermaid and shark classes with fin bodysuits. Or forget the kids, maybe you want to learn to be mermaid? Diventures, 4303 W. 121st Plaza

8. Horsemen’s Park

One obvious reason that I haven’t been to Horsemen’s Park is that I don’t know a thing about horse racing. But, I’ve heard on the few nights a year that they have live horse racing, it’s quite a party at Horsemen’s Park. Maybe I should once just for the experience? The 2018 live racing schedule is: May 12 (Opening Day), May 18 & 19 (Preakness), May 26 & 27 (Family Day), June 1 & 2, and June 8 & 9 (Belmont). Horsemen’s Park, 6303 Q St.

9. General Crook House Museum

Here’s a landmark I have yet to truly explore. Built in 1879, it’s been lovingly restored and is now on National Register of Historic Places. I was thinking I’d time it with a special event, or when it’s decorated for the holidays in November and December…but then I discovered they offer Afternoon Tea events there. I think I need to round up a group for that. General Crook House Museum, 5730 N. 30th St., Building 11B

10. Alpacas of the Heartland

My kids can say they’ve been to the Alpacas of the Heartland farm during the annual open house, but I can’t. The pictures are stinking cute though. Who can resist alpacas? Incidentally, I just stumbled across an event coming up: Yoga Humm – Yoga in the Fields With the Alpacas on April 28. I think I know when I’ll be going there. Alpacas of the Heartland, 7016 County Road 39, Fort Calhoun, Neb.

 

If you’ve bought the book, I’m curious to know how many you’ve checked off. Leave a comment!

 

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