Hot Bites

Dolomiti Pizzeria & Enoteca »

May 10, 2024

The crust on the pie at Dolomiti Pizzeria and Enoteca is craggy and crisp, with dark bubbles and burnt bits, its finish airy and chewy, its flavor deep.  Here’s what might be the most unusual thing about it: the chef making it.  “I don’t know pizza,” Dolomiti’s chef, Roberto Garcia, told me after my two recent visits to the new north downtown restaurant, which quietly opened inside Millwork Commons in December and quickly became one […]

The SBH Review: Dolomiti is the pizza Omaha didn’t know it needed


May 8, 2024

I am truly excited to share that my reviews will now be featured every other Thursday on Flatwater Free Press. They’ll also be featured in a new Flatwater Free Press weekly e-mail newsletter focused solely on Omaha, which you can sign up for here. Both the Nebraska focused and the Omaha focused newsletters, as well as all the content on FFP, are available for free. The reviews will be featured here the following day, every […]

I’m joining the Flatwater Free Press

Phôba »

April 30, 2024

Sometimes a cruise around the internet leads you to an excellent bánh mì sandwich.  In this case, it also led me to some nice steamed hot chicken dumplings, a big bowl of hot pho on that one cool day last week and an excellent boba tea made with mint and sparkling water.  I hadn’t heard much chatter about Phôba, near 180th and Q streets in Millard, so I decided to check it out.  This little […]

Review: A Google search leads to Phôba, where you can find a memorable, delicious bánh mì sandwich

The Salty Dog »

April 12, 2024

I wasn’t expecting to be writing a full review of The Salty Dog. My plan was to run in, try their chicken wings — recommended to me by some restaurant industry friends — and write a few sentences about them on my blog. But it turned out that the bar and grill, tucked in a strip mall in Council Bluffs about five minutes from downtown Omaha, had wings good enough that I got curious: What […]

Review: At The Salty Dog, crispy, dry wings take time but are worth the wait

Tracks Lounge »

April 2, 2024

At Tracks Lounge, chicken wings might be the main attraction.  You would be hard pressed to walk past the handful of patio tables or the regulars holding up the bar and not see a basket of extra large, charred, saucy wings in front of them, along with a beer and a pile of crumpled napkins.  Count me and eight of my friends and four kids among them one recent Tuesday night, when we gathered over […]

Review: At Tracks, carefully crafted chicken wings keep regulars coming back

Koko’s Korean Fried Chikin »

March 21, 2024

I honestly don’t think I realized just how many wing sauces that exist throughout the 64 restaurants vying for the top spot in the city as part of this year’s Wings Bracket (first round voting ends tonight at midnight.) In part out of my own curiosity — you know by now I love trying something new — and in part to keep fresh content coming your way throughout bracket season, I drove out to 177th […]

Mini Review: Interested in curry chicken wings? I was, too.

Everett’s »

March 14, 2024

It’s a few minutes after six on a Wednesday, and Everett’s — one of the top spots in the city where Omahans suggested I should try chicken wings — is packed.  We scribble our name on the big chalkboard on the front wall and head next door to Brokedown Palace, the neighboring dive bar where the staff suggested we hang out with a beer until our names get called; we happily obliged. In spite of […]

Review: At Everett’s, time, brine and custom sauces make the chicken wings stand out

The Stuffed Olive »

March 1, 2024

I’ll admit it: I can be a bit of a cocktail snob. (I know, you’re all gasping with surprise.)  So when I saw The Stuffed Olive, a new bar in the Capitol District serving a massive menu of martinis had opened, I felt excited, but also trepidation: Martinis? More than a hundred of them? Can they possibly be any good?  It turns out that the answer is yes, many of them are good, nicely executed […]

Review: At the Stuffed Olive, martinis are served up with a shot of 90s nostalgia 

Corner Kitchen »

February 16, 2024

I don’t spend much time reading Yelp reviews — I like to go into most restaurants with as little knowledge as possible — but when I heard two Omaha restaurants had made the 2024 Yelp top 100, I’ll admit it. I started reading. Corner Kitchen and its mouthwatering Instagram had been on my radar for a while, but I’d never made it to this little spot, tucked into the corner of an unassuming strip mall […]

Review: At this Yelp top 100 spot, Mexican meets Asian for an interesting culinary mashup

Salted Edge »

January 18, 2024

Chef Joel Hassanali had absolutely no clue that the Salted Edge’s bread board was going to become the new Waterloo restaurant’s unlikely calling card.  Hassanali, the chef and partner in the business, along with owners Ashley and Gregg Young, all knew that they wanted bread on the menu in some fashion, but Hassanali said he had something well beyond the typical bread basket with pats of butter in mind.  “I wanted to take it to […]

Review: At Salted Edge, the popular bread board is just the beginning of the tasty, chef-driven menu

Tupelo Honey Southern Kitchen & Bar »

Omaha’s lineup of restaurants serving solid Southern cuisine is still fairly short. A trio comes to mind: Herbe Sainte, Mouth of the South, Acadian Grille.  Now there’s a new contender: Tupelo Honey, the first restaurant to open east of tenth street in downtown Omaha’s new Mercantile development.  After two visits, I found some dishes to like and a surprisingly good spirit free cocktail — but the dishes I enjoyed most were not the ones I […]

Review: At Tupelo Honey, some of the southern classics hit the spot while others could use a bit more soul

House of Bah »

January 5, 2024

Mouthwatering scents fill the basement kitchen where Djamil Djibril Bah-Traore is teaching his latest class of students how to make their way in America.  He shows them how to chop vegetables, measure spices and prepare dishes for an upcoming event catered by House of Bah, the company and nonprofit foundation that Bah-Traore started. “How much salt?” one student asks.  “Cook from your heart,” Bah-Traore answers. “We don’t cook from a recipe. We cook from the […]

This chef is teaching refugees how to cook and introducing Omaha to African cuisine one meal at a time

Top eight of 2024 »

December 21, 2023

A quick reminder before we dive right into the year’s best reviewed restaurants: As it has been for many years, my annual best-of list only includes restaurants that I have reviewed in the last calendar year. If you don’t see one of your favorites, that is probably why. Want me to review that favorite, or a different restaurant, in 2024? Send me an email. Check the graphic I’ve shared as part of this story – […]

Of the 25 restaurants I reviewed in 2023, these are my top eight 

The Boiler Room »

December 7, 2023

It’s hard to believe that the last time I sat down to review what has become one of my favorite restaurants in Omaha — The Boiler Room — it was 2016.  So much has happened since then, to diners, to chefs and to the Omaha restaurant scene. But one thing, at least when it comes to this review, remains the same: Since 2009, when it opened its doors, The Boiler Room has been one of […]

Review: Ten years in to Tim Nicholson’s Boiler Room, the Old Market spot is as good as ever

Semo Pasta + Wine »

November 23, 2023

One of the best meals I’ve eaten this year is in one of the most unexpected places: Fremont’s main street.  Semo Pasta + Wine, which chef Drew Statz and his wife, Michelle, opened in downtown Fremont last spring, is what he calls “European-inspired Nebraska cuisine.”  After two visits, I think it’s one of the most interesting spots to open in the Omaha suburbs in years, serving carefully crafted, high-end Italian with an often adventurous bent.  […]

Review: At Fremont’s Semo Pasta + Wine, the customers’ desire and the chef’s talent create a winning combination


November 10, 2023

It didn’t take me long to decipher what I think is the through-line between all four restaurants — Nice Rollz, Angelwingz, SingleDouble and Los Rollies — at Kamp, the food hall and bar in the Blackstone district.  As we dined and drank down a path of Takis-dusted elotes; crunchy, ground beef filled rolled tacos; messy but delicious cheeseburgers; big bowls of just greasy enough fried rice; and ordered drinks from the glowing neon bar that […]

Review: The Blackstone District’s Kamp makes grown-ups feel like kids again

Asian Market Food Court »

November 6, 2023

There’s a certain few friends I absolutely know will say yes when I ask them if they want to meet me for lunch at the food court inside the Asian Market on 78th and Dodge Streets.  That’s how I found myself facing down a space — and a menu — much larger than I intended on tackling in the hour we had together.  In fact, the Asian Market food court is selling Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, […]

Review: The thrill of the hunt is part of the fun at the Asian Market food court 

Let it Fly »

October 12, 2023

I have written about (and eaten at) a lot of sports bars in the decade I’ve been writing about restaurants, and I can tell you this with some confidence: Most don’t have very good food. Food often feels like an afterthought, a requirement, a third most important thing after Miller Lite and big televisions. Let it Fly, which opened with a flourish in June in the Capitol District, is an exception. I was not sure […]

Review: At Let it Fly, even the spouse of a sports lover can find something to appreciate

Mootz Pizza »

October 5, 2023

The first person you’re likely to see when you walk into the new brick-and-mortar location of Mootz Pizza, on the back edge of Countryside Village, is Brent Adkisson, Mootz pizza chef Collin Adkisson’s dad, working at the cash register. Look around and you’ll also probably spot Ruth Adkisson, his mother, prepping in the back of the kitchen, or clearing tables in the dining room.  Collin Adkisson himself is right there, too, preparing the pop-up turned […]

Review: At the family-owned and operated Mootz, pizza has a new home in Countryside

Grand Patisserie »

September 14, 2023

Last weekend, we had a few friends over to celebrate the completion of some remodeling to our home, and I was in full party planning mode: Cheese plate. Baguettes. Cocktail shopping. Snacks galore. And something I don’t usually do was on the list this time, too: Grand Patisserie.  I’d heard rumblings about a west Omaha French bakery that had lots of pretty cakes, macrons, pastries and breads, but I wasn’t sure what it was called, […]

Review: Find a little slice of Paris at West Omaha’s Grand Patisserie

Cibo Vino »

August 31, 2023

It’s been a few years since I have been excited about eating on the corner of 11th and Jackson, one of those charming Old Market destinations that has the potential to draw diners like a moth to a flame.  After two visits to Cibo Vino, the latest restaurant to take over the bay formerly occupied by The Collins, J’s on Jackson and Passport, color me pleased.  Reliable Italian might be the thing to finally find […]

Review: Reliable Italian at Cibo Vino might be just the ticket for the corner of 11th and Jackson 

Williamsburg Pizza »

August 24, 2023

Here’s a fun fact: The Williamsburg Pizza in Omaha — the one that opened just two months ago — is now the single busiest location of the New York-based chain of pizza restaurants operating in Brooklyn, Manhattan and various other NYC boroughs. Yep. You read that right.  “It is our busiest location in the whole country,” said co-owner Matt Hodges, who opened the Omaha location with Williamsburg Pizza founder and Omaha native Aaron McCann.  This […]

Review: At Williamsburg Pizza, a slice of Brooklyn proves popular in Omaha

Coneflower Creamery »

August 3, 2023

There’s a reason that the sun-ripened strawberry ice cream at Coneflower Creamery tastes so purely of sweet, ripe, red summer fruit. There’s also a reason that the tart cherry crumble, with its massive hunks of tender, sweet berries blended into a creamy vanilla base, has such perfect balance.  It’s the ingredients that owners Katie Arant and Brian Langbehn use, yes. There’s nothing artificial — I love telling friends and visitors that Coneflower makes everything from […]

Review: At Coneflower, it’s not just homemade ingredients diners taste, it’s care

TO5 Bollywood Grill »

When the “open” sign was off and all the blinds were closed at 6 p.m. on a Tuesday night when we pulled up in front of TO5 Bollywood Grill, I wondered if this review was going to happen at all.  Lucky for you, I decided to go see if the door was unlocked. It was.  I’ll happily claim this moment as one where I got a “wild hair,” as my grandma used to say, to […]

Review: Notable hospitality and a singular curry make TO5 Bollywood Grill the spot for your next takeout order

WD Cravings »

July 17, 2023

I’ve had W.D. Cravings on my radar for some time now, and I’ve kept an eye on the small pasta shop in Northwest Omaha where co-owners Piero Cotrina and Wendy Delgado make homemade pasta, Italian specialties, breakfast sandwiches and coffee. Somehow I’d only made it out once, during the pandemic, when the drive-thru was the only option and we ate our breakfast sitting on a blanket in a nearby park. Fast forward to 2023. Not […]

Review: At west Omaha’s W.D. Cravings, homemade pasta is king 

Lyle’s Pizzeria »

June 22, 2023

Lyle’s is one of those neighborhood spots that dot the city of Omaha: No matter how long it’s been open, it feels like it’s always been there.  The locally owned New York-style joint, which opened off 52nd and Leavenworth streets in April, has all the trappings of a comfortable, worn-in pizza joint, including a long bar, lots of white subway tile, vintage black-and-white photographs of Omaha and a large, powerful pizza oven.  During my two […]

Review: Lyle’s Pizzeria, new in Midtown, stands out with sourdough crust and comfortable atmosphere

Mercer & Sons Delicatessen »

June 9, 2023

I’ll be honest here: I knew before I ever set foot inside Mercer & Sons Delicatessen, the new deli, takeout spot and high-end grocery store from the owners of La Buvette, in the Old Market, that I was going to like it.  I did not realize just how much I was actually going to love the absolutely charming interior. Shelves packed with things like imported mustard, fancy crackers, and spices. A rotating case filled with […]

Review: At Mercer & Sons, the best ingredients push simple toward special

Koji »

May 26, 2023

The first thing a person notices when spending time with chef David Utterback is that he’s constantly in motion.   He rearranges the bottles behind the counter at his new six-seat, high-end sushi counter, Ota, which sits next to his wildly popular Omaha sushi restaurant, Yoshitomo. He stacks and re-stacks boxes of ingredients. He paces. He tears open and sifts several bags of flour that he’s planning to use for a new dish, his version of […]

Omaha chef ditched ‘familiar trappings’ in his restaurants. Now he’s a James Beard Award finalist

Primo’s Modern Mexican  »

In the mornings, the Primo’s menu has a sort of Mexican diner vibe to it, pairing eggs all sorts of ways with warm tortillas and flavorful salsas next to sausage, bacon and home fries.

Review: Primo’s version of a Mexican diner breakfast affordably hits the spot 

The Mill Leavenworth »

May 17, 2023

I remember in 1996, when I first discovered the downtown Lincoln Mill Coffee shop, it felt like it belonged to me.  I drank countless cold granitas — a frozen coffee slushy, basically — on its Haymarket patio on warm spring days while studying journalism at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  Then, I was still a coffee novice, so my drink of choice during the winter months was a steaming hot, chocolatey mocha, which I read seated […]

Review: At the Mill on Leavenworth, 90s coffee nostalgia meets a modern, cozy hangout 

Archetype Coffee »

May 3, 2023

An omakase and yakitori from the city’s first James Beard finalist, prime rib at a century-old steakhouse, the purported inventor of the Reuben sandwich, and more of Omaha’s best meals

The 38 Best Restaurants in Omaha — 2023 edition

Omaha Bagel Company »

April 27, 2023

The secret, though, is about to be out: Omaha Bagel Co. is making some damn good bagels. Tinged with the flavor of sourdough, the inside has the right amount of chew, and the exterior has an impressively bubbly, crisp crust. 

Review: At Omaha Bagel Co., from-scratch takes on new meaning 

Isla del Mar »

April 13, 2023

There is no shortage of fun at Isla del Mar.  Whimsical, colorful under-the-sea themed murals decorate the walls. The music is loud and the place always seems packed. And the food is a medley of popping pinks, reds and greens, bright with citrus, herbs, sauces and spice.  During two recent visits to the South Omaha location — the owners just opened a second location in West Omaha —  I particularly liked their versions of Mexican […]

Review: At Isla del Mar, fun seafood comes with pops of bright flavor


April 3, 2023

We have a champion! Kinkaider Brewing, based in the Nebraska Sandhills with locations in Broken Bow, Grand Island, Lincoln and Omaha, has taken the bracket. Almost 150,000 individual votes got us here. Thank you all for coming along on this journey, and thank you in large part to the Nebraska Craft Brewery Board for awarding us a grant to make this happen. See you next March for another food bracket!

After almost 150,000 votes, we have a Nebraska Beer Bracket Champion

Ensign Beverages »

Nathan Hoeft wanted nothing to do with the jar of kombucha his wife, Jessi Ensign, had been making for years “It was this weird looking liquid under the counter,” he said. “I didn’t like it.” Fast forward seven years, and Hoeft and Ensign are now the state’s biggest kombucha brewer through Ensign Beverage, a sister company of their Hastings-based First Street Brewing.  Hoeft didn’t like kombucha, a fermented drink made with tea, sugar, bacteria and […]

Nebraska’s largest kombucha brewer, Ensign Beverage, is fermenting in a new direction

Heavy Brewing »

March 31, 2023

The pizza at Gretna’s Heavy Brewing, which opened last November, could be throwaway, or boring, or not that tasty. But here’s the good news, beer lovers: it’s none of those things.  The super casual brewery, located in an industrial area that’s certainly off the beaten path, has already found its fan base, if the crowds during my two recent visits were any indication.  I like Heavy’s quirkily-named beers and pizzas — some with a PG-13 […]

Review: At Heavy Brewing, the beer and pizza names are quirky, but the food and drink are both solid

Kros Strain »

March 16, 2023

When you’re already the maker of one of the most well-liked beers in the state of Nebraska, you start asking the big questions: What’s next? What else can we do? How do we stay relevant?  After a recent visit to Kros Strain’s west Omaha tap room, it sure seems like that’s what the team of creative brewers is doing.  That best selling beer is, of course, Fairy Nectar, their signature, agreeable hazy IPA that’s fruity […]

Review: At Kros Strain, it’s all about figuring out what’s next


March 13, 2023

Let the games begin! Voting is now live in the 2023 Nebraska Beer Bracket! Round one starts today and runs through March 16. Read on for round one matchups and more.

Voting is now open in the 2023 Nebraska Beer Bracket


March 10, 2023

Editor’s note: Hey everyone! Thanks for all your great comments! I’m going to close the comments in this post, as they don’t count as votes. If you want to vote in the contest, please go to and cast your ballot there! — Sarah Baker Hansen *** Welcome back to bracket season! My team has been scheming this year’s first-ever statewide Nebraska Beer Bracket for many months — and just like last year, we’re letting you in on the […]

Help us choose 64 breweries for the statewide, 2023 Nebraska Beer Bracket

Ota »

March 2, 2023

Today is all about bold pronouncements. I am now prepared to make several, starting here: two-time James Beard semifinalist David Utterback, who has just opened a new, upgraded omakase experience in Benson called Ota, is making the best sushi in the Midwest. Period.  I’ve been writing about Utterback’s restaurant and his omakase since 2018, when I first reviewed Yoshitomo for the Omaha World-Herald.  From day one, Utterback created a dining experience that didn’t previously exist […]

Review: At Omaha’s Ota, find the best sushi experience between Chicago and Los Angeles

Tous le Jours »

February 16, 2023

Omaha has no shortage of great local bakeries — trust me, I’ve tried many. But I’d been curious as of late about a national newcomer to Omaha: Tous Les Jours, described as a French-Asian inspired bakery, something that, as far as I know, our city hasn’t ever had.  Walking through the bakery’s self-serve line, as I did one recent late morning, is both an overwhelming and delightful experience. The selection feels endless and adventurous.  Thanks […]

Review: At Tous les Jours, a wide array of interesting, unusual pastries await

Kinaara »

February 2, 2023

The food at the new location of Kinaara, which moved from a Millard hole-in-the-wall to a chic spot in Regency in August, is filling a hole in Omaha’s dining scene for creative, high-end Indian food served in an atmosphere to match.  I couldn’t be more thrilled for us diners, or for owners Ashish Sathyan and Kimberly Harris, who I first met when I reviewed Kinaara way back in 2021, and then again later that year […]

Review: The atmosphere at Omaha’s Kinaara now matches its adventurous, unusual menu

Phyl’s Deli »

January 26, 2023

Phyl’s deli, which opened last April in the Old Market, is tiny. Its menu is small, too – fewer than a dozen sandwiches, one soup, bagels and lox and a couple of homestyle Jewish specialties.  But what’s not small at all are the enormous piles of meat that co-owner and chef Craig Hoffman piles carefully between slices of locally homemade bread, each one topped with a specific, no-substitutions combination of thoughtfully selected cheeses and condiments.  […]

Review: At the tiny Phyl’s Deli, the pastrami is the real deal (and so is everything else)

Casa Bovina »

January 6, 2023

Under the warm lights of the Casa Bovina dining room, a round of Certified Piedmontese rib cap glows red, like a rare jewel. A selection of house-cured charcuterie made from Nebraska-raised Mangalitsa pork is served artfully arranged on a slab of reclaimed wood. Beef Wellington — a dish chef Zach Midgett, who came to Lincoln from Napa Valley’s famed French Laundry, says he’s still perfecting — arrives beautifully plated, with a piece of fork-tender Piedmontese […]

A Steak Star is Born: Italian breed showcased on Nebraska plates

Texas de Brazil »

January 5, 2023

At Texas de Brazil, the city’s first Brazilian steakhouse in the Capitol District, I can say one thing for sure: the meat just never stops coming.  During my two recent experiences at the downtown spot, which opened in October and has been much talked about since, I found that meat, when cooked to the medium rare promised at arrival, can be quite delicious, well executed and wonderfully seasoned. The salad bar is fun. So are […]

Review: At Texas de Brazil, it’s the smorgasbord of meat that’s drawing a crowd

Angel Wingz »

December 22, 2022

It has been a real pleasure to return to restaurant reviewing this year. I knew I missed it; what I didn’t realize was just how much. As we close out 2022 — a year that has been personally challenging for me on many levels — I just want to say a quick word of thanks to the Grow Omaha team for the opportunity, and to all of you, for still caring about what I think […]

My top five reviewed restaurants of 2022 (and five more favorites, for good measure)

Sofra Kitchen »

December 15, 2022

If you want to understand how restaurants have changed, and perhaps how our city’s dining scene has changed, consider Sofra Kitchen, the new breakfast, lunch and soon-to-be dinner space in Midtown Crossing.  It’s taken over the former Grey Plume bay — certainly, any food lover in Omaha would agree that the Grey Plume, at its height, was one of the most ambitious, forward thinking restaurants Omaha has ever seen. Its decline and eventual closing, during […]

Review: At Sofra Kitchen, Omaha’s dining past and future collide with varied results 

Twisted Cork Bistro »

November 24, 2022

The Dungeness crab pot, one of the new dishes on the menu at the newly reopened Twisted Cork Bistro, is a contact sport, in the best possible way.  I barely took any notes while I was eating it, and for good reason: I was eating crab, mussels, tiny roast potatoes, crisp-tender green beans and bread dipped in savory, hot broth, almost all of it with my hands. I absolutely love crab, and hardly ever see […]

Review: Seafood and steak still rule at the newly reopened Twisted Cork Bistro

Avoli Osteria »

November 17, 2022

From classic steakhouses to sushi, explore the top dining destinations.

The 16 Best Restaurants in Omaha, Nebraska

The Bookworm »

November 15, 2022

When Tiny House Bar owner Megan Malone asked me what my favorite cookbooks were, it led to a great idea: Let’s have a selection available at the Tiny House Holiday Scholastic Book Fair, which is this coming Wednesday, November 16. It has been a pleasure not only to pull together a partial list of favorites, but also to work with The Bookworm, one of Omaha’s favorite local bookstores, on the project. I’ve tried to include […]

A selection of my favorite cookbooks and food books, which you can buy at Tiny House Bar Wednesday night

Anna’s Place »

November 10, 2022

Tucked behind a softly lit door — that light green or red, depending on luck — in the lobby of downtown’s new Hotel Indigo sits the city’s latest speakeasy, serving a succinct lineup of original, artful cocktails. If the light is green, knock with the big brass door knocker shaped like a woman. (If it’s red, you’ll have to come back later.) When that door does open, you’ll be enveloped by hot scarlet light and […]

Review: At Anna’s Place, Omaha’s underground history is served in original, beautiful cocktails

Virtuoso Pizzeria »

October 27, 2022

It’s been a while since I found myself in Benson with a slice of what is, in my book, one of the city’s top pizzas.  I can’t quite say why it’s been several years — since 2017, to be exact, when I was first reviewing the restaurant — since I’ve returned. But here’s what I can say for sure: That’s way too long.  Virtuoso Pizzeria, which closed its dining room  for 22 months during the […]

Review: At Benson’s Virtuoso, much has changed, but the high-quality pizza remains the same

Hacienda Real »

October 13, 2022

Sometimes when I’m deciding whether or not to review a place, I turn to Google, simply to learn a little bit more. When I googled “Hacienda Real,” the Lincoln-based, locally owned chain of Mexican restaurants that opened its third location in Omaha in August, this line popped up inside the box devoted to recent Google reviews: “Their salsa and even their guacamole was a bit too spicy for this white girl.” Say no more.  It […]

Review: At Hacienda Real, home cooked Mexican and Tex-Mex hits the spot

Winchester Bar & Grill »

September 29, 2022

I’d heard a lot about Winchester Bar & Grill — in particular, about the burgers at Winchester — long before I ever set foot in the dive bar dining room a few weeks back.  I kind of love it when rumors turn out to be true.  Winchester made me feel like I was in some gem of a small town, far-flung dive bar, but with really good food. And, as a person who has spent […]

Review: At Winchester Bar & Grill, your small town dive bar burger dreams come true in Omaha

Dynamite Woodfire Grill »

September 1, 2022

Dynamite Woodfire Grill, the restaurant inside the new Farnam Hotel at 12th and Farnam streets, presents diners with an interesting proposition: Would you rather dine with us, or at The Boiler Room? With us, or at V. Mertz? For its price point — our dinners, after tip, stretched to $300 one night and topped $160 a second — it’s a question worth asking. From the crowds we saw during both visits, lots of diners are […]

Review: At Dynamite, some dishes are on fire, while others lack spark

Khao Niao Thai-Lao Restaurant »

August 18, 2022

Whenever a friend says something along the lines of “have you tried the Thai place on 155th and Ruggles?” a little light flips on in my head.  After two recent visits to that west Omaha hole-in-the-wall — which turns out to be called Khao Niao Thai-Lao Restaurant — I’m glad I have such friends.  This little joint needs to be on your radar, too. We found it full of colorful plates of Thai and Vietnamese […]

Review: At the tiny Khao Niao, Thai and Vietnamese classics are made with care

Saffron Urban Indian Kitchen »

August 4, 2022

Saffron Urban Indian Kitchen is trying to figure out a way to stand out in Omaha.  Our city already has a lot of good neighborhood Indian spots (Kinaara is one I like) and a couple of higher-end choices (Jaipur is one I like, too.)  When you first arrive at Saffron, and take in the upscale, jewel-toned decor, the craft cocktail list and the extensive wine list, you might sense what they’re going for. You’ll notice […]

Review: At Saffron, well-executed Indian classics are great, and there’s more to come

Barchen Beer Garden »

July 21, 2022

One of the toughest things a restaurant owner can take on is the reinvention of a classic. The Dundee Dell, which is nearing a century of history in midtown Omaha, is certainly that kind of an icon. So I was excited to see a successful revamp of this neighborhood spot, at 5007 Underwood Ave., when I visited twice recently. The reinvention includes the look, the aesthetic and a total rethink of the menu, transforming the […]

Review: The Dundee Dell is back for a new generation of locals

Gather in Omaha »

July 7, 2022

Gather is the type of new Old Market restaurant that long-time Omaha diners haven’t seen in several years.  The Old Market arguably hasn’t welcomed a good new restaurant since 2013, several years before the infamous M’s Pub fire. Gather, located in a rebuilt space also destroyed in that fire, is working to change that — and hopefully helping to improve the Old Market’s culinary future after the neighborhood suffered through the twin Old Testament disasters […]

Review: At Gather in Omaha, “something for everyone” turns out to be a rare success

Crumbl Cookies »

June 16, 2022

Sometimes a restaurant opening creates such an intense amount of buzz, it becomes unavoidable. In those rare cases, I simply have to check out whatever it is people are finding so irresistible. That’s what happened after I started hearing murmurs about a cookie place called Crumbl, which opened nine weeks ago in West Omaha.  As the days went on, I could not escape the news of Crumbl (full disclosure: I had never heard of it) […]

Review: West Omaha’s popular Crumbl Cookies are worth the hype


June 9, 2022

In New York doing New York things.



June 2, 2022

The wait is over. My first review after two challenging years for the Omaha food scene is here. At @izakayakoji, chef David Utterback is once again pushing Omaha’s dining scene forward; this time, he’s doing it with small skewers of meat.Well, that and a whole lot more. Find it now at the link in my bio. This review (and many more to come) produced in partnership with @growomaha.


Koji »

Omaha’s food scene, and Omahans, have had a tough two years. We’ve lost restaurants. We’ve done our damndest to keep our local chefs and favorite spots in business. We’ve ordered a hell of a lot of takeout.   Which is one reason it felt like such a gift when Koji, chef David Utterback’s adventurous new spot in Countryside Village, opened in May. Here, at long last, a talented chef is trying something different. He’s introducing a […]

Review: At Koji, small skewers of meat are pushing Omaha’s dining scene forward


May 26, 2022

I am so excited to announce that starting June 2, I will be back to writing regular, new restaurant reviews about Omaha food! Thanks to a new partnership with @growomaha, the reviews will be shared on both my site and on Grow Omaha Eats, as well as in both my newsletter and their weekly market report. Read more right up at the link in my bio.



I am so excited to announce that I have partnered with the team at Grow Omaha, who produce an excellent weekly market report newsletter, to roll out a brand new restaurant review every two weeks. The reviews will be shared on this website and on Grow Omaha Eats, a new food-focused section of the Grow Omaha website, beginning June 2, which is next Thursday. If you’ve read Grow Omaha’s market report before, you’ll know that […]

A big announcement: Restaurant reviews are coming back to Omaha


May 21, 2022

Last night @kristinally made a group of friends an absolutely delicious three courses of @nicerollz style Korean. I can’t stop thinking about it, so I decided to write about it. I sure hope the rest of Omaha gets to eat this too. I can’t wait to see what this talented chef (and downright kind human) does for our city next. Read all about it at the link in my bio.


Nice Rollz »

Sometimes, exceptional things can happen just because you ask. The dinner we had with a group of friends last night, courtesy of Nice Rollz’ Kristina Lee, is a great example of just that. Here’s how it happened: Our group considered a few different cuisines for our dinner date, settling on Korean. I texted Kristina to ask here where we could find the best in town. She suggested Wong’s Hunan Garden, which I definitely plan to […]

A private Nice Rollz experience for the books


May 13, 2022

No trip to McCook is complete without a visit to @sehnertsbakery, Nebraska’s first America’s Classic @beardfoundation award winner. They make incredible bierocks — including these tiny ones for a talk Matthew and I gave about our book last night — and absolutely delicious baked goods. They have great coffee, a fantastic vintage sign and are a true center of the community in a way that just warms my heart.Anyhow. You should visit. It’s a one-of-a-kind […]



May 1, 2022

First annual La Buvette shareholders weekend was such a joy. I can’t wait for next year.



April 27, 2022

Berkshire weekend is back! This week I’ve got two lists: one of all my new faves (and a few old faves) I’m suggesting to visitors. And a second focused on, what else, beef. You can find them both right now at the link in my profile.And tell me: what’s your favorite spot to send out-of-towners?


Archetype Coffee »

April 26, 2022

It’s been a minute since the Berkshire Hathaway crowd made its way to Omaha, but thousands of shareholders are coming back this week. (I’ve already seen a few strolling around downtown, in fact.) A lot has changed since the last time I put together one of these lists — in fact, I didn’t even have this website the last time Berkshire Weekend was live in person in Omaha. But a lot of the spots I […]

Berkshire Hathaway is back. Here’s where to eat.

801 Chophouse »

This year marks the return of the in-person Berkshire Hathaway weekend and it also marks the 100-year anniversary of Johnny’s Cafe, the city’s most iconic steakhouse, at 4702 S. 27th St. It was a pleasure to write the definitive story on the Kawa family, who has owned and run Johnny’s for a century, earlier this year for Flatwater Free Press. I would send visitors to Johnny’s simply for the atmosphere: its on the site of […]

Omaha’s best steaks (and one in Lincoln) to eat during BRK weekend


April 14, 2022

Last night we had dinner @dante.omaha and were lucky enough to sample a working dish headed for the menu this weekend.All I’m saying is don’t sleep on the bison ravioli. It’s a showstopper.



April 11, 2022

It’s the last week of Lent and so here’s two delicious fish and seafood selections I tried and I think you should try, too.It’s all right up at the link in my profile!


Dundee Dell »

Yes, I have been eating a lot of burgers (Burger Bracket season just ended, in case you somehow missed the memo.) But even a burger lover like me has to break up the monotony sometimes, so here’s a couple of recent seafood and fish dishes I’ve tried and highly recommend you check out, too, whether it be for the last Friday of lent or just sometime soon. Fish and Chips, The Dundee Dell I had […]

Two fun Fish Friday suggestions for the last Friday of Lent

Committee Chophouse »

March 28, 2022

I’ve eaten a lot of fancy hamburgers in my day (I did a whole Food Prowl back in the day on the topic of gourmet burgers, which you can read at this link and this link.) Way back in 2013, our team named the Grey Plume’s gourmet burger as our favorite, and I remember at the time having a bit of sticker shock when I saw how much it was ($16 as it was on […]

Burger Review: Is this Omaha’s fanciest hamburger? I think so.

The Drover »

March 19, 2022

I’ve tried a lot of burgers in Omaha (and a lot the past two weeks!) and I have to say that The Drover, one of the city’s iconic steak spots, has perfected the burger that every single one of us wishes were the result of our own home grill. It’s thick. It’s juicy. It’s cooked to the diner’s specified temperature. It’s perfectly seasoned, topped with two slices of, in my case, Cheddar cheese, melted just […]

Burger Review: The Drover’s burger is the one you wish you could grill at home

Blatt Beer & Table »

I have always enjoyed the sort of simple but upscale menu at Blatt (I especially like their kale Caesar with Indian spiced chicken, if I’m sharing favorites here.) But their trio of burgers — the Backyard burger, inspired by summer barbecues; the Border burger, topped with queso and crispy poblanos; and the one I tried here, the Blatt burger, with its Guinness-braised onions and parmesan-peppercorn sauce — each have small touches that make them memorable. […]

Burger Review: Small touches make the Blatt Burger stand out

Fizzy’s Fountain & Liquors »

I am of two minds when it comes to brunch. On the one hand, I love a traditional breakfast spread: two eggs, poached; toast; bacon and some type of crispy potato. On the other? A burger all the way. Fizzy’s, a newer upscale diner spot in Little Bohemia, has flown a bit under the radar since it opened in 2020, right before the pandemic kicked in. (Fun fact: it was the last restaurant I ate […]

Burger Review: Fizzy’s diner burger should be on your brunch list

Crescent Moon »

Omaha Burger Bracket season is one of the only times of year — and one of the only reasons — I would forego one of my favorite Reubens in Omaha. But in the name of burger research, I ordered the house double smash burger topped with two slices of melted cheddar. As I said, I’d never really explored the burger side of the Moon, but I remain intrigued by one of the burger choices: the […]

Burger Review: In Lieu of a Reuben, I tried the Crescent Moon’s house smash burger


March 14, 2022

Voting for the 2022 #OmahaBurgerBracket is open and lively! Lots of great first round matches and we managed to group the contenders into regions this year, a highly requested change.Cruise on up to the link in my profile and vote now! Voting on the first round ends Thursday, and my “burger content” starts later this week.



March 13, 2022

I did not know today was Emo Brunch when we headed to @fizzysomaha, but I’m not sad we accidentally checked it out. This little boho joint is now firmly on my Sunday list. Espresso martini (the tour continues), cheeseburger (‘tis the season), Jimmy eats burritos (black beans, eggs, queso, roasted pepper, Spanish rice and flaming hot Cheeto dust) and the hummingbird song cocktail.



March 10, 2022

Welcome back to SBH bracket season! We're debuting the Omaha Burger Bracket next week and we're asking for your help: What burger absolutely must be on our list of 64 contenders? Cruise on up to the link in my profile and check out our initial list; then, in the comments on that post, share your picks for an Omaha burger we have to try.



Welcome back to bracket season! My team has been scheming this year’s Omaha Burger Bracket for a whole year — basically since the day the Omaha Pizza Bracket of 2021 closed — and this time, we’re letting you in on the action before the voting begins. We want to make sure we’re not missing an absolutely delicious burger, and that’s where we need your help. So let us know in the comments: What burger must […]

Help us choose 64 burgers for the Omaha Burger Bracket


March 5, 2022

Two things I learned in Miami today: 1. The Cubano at Old’s in Little Havana is so insanely good. The thick layer of melted cheese combined with the tangy mustard, tart pickles and the super tender ham and pork all between crispy Cuban bread. Man. So good. 2. A mojito is actually really delicious when the mint is gently massaged with just-squeezed lime juice and a big spoonful of sugar. Don’t pulverize the mint into […]



March 2, 2022

This week on the blog: Two excellent dinners in Denver, plus Shake Shack, which I can never resist. Find it all right now at the link in my profile.



February 28, 2022

I made a quick jaunt to Denver two weeks ago — mostly for a Kacey Musgraves show with a friend — but you know I managed to squeeze in a bit of dining worth adding to the blog. I haven’t spent all that much time in Denver; in fact this was only my third time there. Though I don’t know it well, I like it quite a bit. Before the concert, we checked out Corinne, […]

Review: Two great meals in Denver (plus, Shake Shack)

Johnny’s Cafe »

February 18, 2022

It’s 7:30 pm on a wintry Friday night and the parking lot outside of Johnny’s Cafe, a South Omaha landmark, is jammed.  The scent of seared steak wafts out the heavy, faux-bronze doors as they swing outward, and diners walk into a glowing, ruby-hued time capsule of Nebraska food history.  To the left is the massive dining room, still crowded on weekends with silver-haired men in sportcoats and ladies in their best blouses being served […]

Prime rib with side of history: Johnny’s, iconic Stockyards steakhouse, turns 100


Omaha’s history with steak dates back a century. Now, as the oldest restaurant in Omaha, Johnny’s Cafe, celebrates its 100th anniversary, we take a look back at the steakhouses of old and tell the stories of those still serving red meat.  Closed Trentino’s 1001 Pacific St.  1933-1976 The Pirruccello family moved to Omaha from Sicily and opened Trentino’s. It later became Angie’s.  Original Piccolo Pete’s  2202 S. 20th St. 1933-2015  Grace Caniglia married Tony Piccolo […]

The history of Omaha steakhouses, past and present

Godfather’s Pizza »

February 7, 2022

I wasn’t planning to make a heart shaped pizza list this year — a lot of other local outlets do their own version now — but then, while scrolling Instagram, as one does, I changed my mind. There’s three reasons, really: Wednesday is National Pizza Day, next week is Valentine’s Day, and I saw a heart-shaped pizza on Mootz‘ Instagram, and I really wanted to feature it because their pizza is so dang good and […]

The 2022 heart-shaped pizza list

Block 16 »

January 19, 2022

We really haven’t been going out much lately, but when we have, its been for select, delicious experiences at places we know and love. Hence this week’s post, a little recap of a few dishes I’ve had lately that stuck in my mind and popped out of my photo reel when I was thinking about what to write this Wednesday evening. If you feel like going out, might I suggest trying one of these? Le […]

Four great, recent food experiences

Carter & Rye »

January 12, 2022

It took me a few hours to shuffle through my iPhone’s camera roll to prepare for this year’s recap, which includes a wide variety of individual dishes, meals, destinations in and outside of Omaha and memorable experiences that together make up the best dining during the last year. I didn’t include any of my own food — you all know by now I enjoy dabbling in cooking, though I’m no chef. But my camera roll […]

The 11 best food experiences I had in 2021

Sandhills Elixir »

January 5, 2022

We spent the last week of 2021 in sunny Palm Springs (I know, I know, it was great) and wow, was the weather upon returning home the shock of a lifetime. We stood outside Eppley’s snowy, windy tundra in thin jackets, shivering while we waited for our taxi at 11 p.m. Ugh. I still feel cold. So what better thing to drink than a Dry January inspired zero-proof ginger lemon hot toddy? I honestly can’t […]

The best zero-proof hot toddy for sub-zero Omaha


December 6, 2021

Matthew and I were lucky enough to get away to sunny Phoenix for a week, and though I posted on my social media while we were there, I thought a recap of the best places we went and the best food we ate might be a great resource for those Nebraska snowbird types that spend the cold Omaha nights in the desert sun. (I can’t say I blame them.) Hush Public House, Scottsdale As you […]

A week in Phoenix: Here’s everything we ate

Sandhills Elixir »

November 22, 2021

Yes, yes, you know I love a good Mr. November like the rest of us. But this year — particularly after 2020 — I’m all about the zero-proof cocktails. Just in time for both the holiday season and dry January, I’ve partnered with Sandhills Elixir, a Nebraska-based zero-proof spirit distiller in Valentine. They make absolutely delicious spirit-free spirts (read: alcohol free.) Sandhills Elixir just released a new flavor, Cranberry, and for Thanksgiving is pairing it […]

Nebraska-based Sandhills Elixir is the key to zero-proof cocktails for the holiday season


November 21, 2021

I wrote what follows in 2020. I feel very lucky to say that, after glorious vaccinations and boosters, Sarah and I are planning to host several holiday events where the delicious cocktail I describe below will be served. Life during a pandemic remains challenging. Life in general is constantly shifting. But a Mr. November cocktail…it is as timeless as a Thanksgiving turkey. And, dare I say, far tastier. Matthew Hansen, November 2021 I don’t know […]

Our greatest hit cocktail, the Mr. November, is back for another Thanksgiving (now with video!)

Archetype Coffee »

November 13, 2021

I don’t know about all of you, but I have really, really been enjoying being out and about this past week. Maybe it’s the extra zing I felt after I got my Covid booster. Maybe it’s that there is just so much new and exciting stuff happening around Omaha. Maybe it’s being invited to soft openings and fun events again. Probably it’s all of the above. Anyway, it feels good to be out and about […]

A coffee and cocktail-filled eight days in Omaha

Avoli Osteria »

November 3, 2021

There’s been no shortage of suggestions as to the spots I may have left off my list of 38 Essential Omaha restaurants. To that end, I decided to share six that made my first working list, but didn’t make the final cut. But that doesn’t mean I like them any less — or that they’re any less worthy of discussion. When I first made my list, it included close to 50 restaurants that I thought […]

On the Edge of Essential: Six more spots worth checking out


October 15, 2021

It would be accurate to say I’ve been thinking about Omaha’s 38 essential restaurants for a decade. I finally got the opportunity to make it real: My list is live right now on What an honor to have been asked. Many ask how one puts together such a list, and let me tell you, it’s a time consuming task that requires a lot of thought and a lot of revisions. I revised the list […]

Omaha’s essential 38 restaurants are live on

Kinaara »

October 7, 2021

It is a rare experience these days to be truly surprised by a dish, at least for this writer. But Kinaara’s fish Pollichathu? I was, as the kids say, shook. I found several hits and only a few complaints during a recent visit to the tiny but extremely busy Kinaara, which opened just before the pandemic kicked in hard and survived by building a brisk takeout business that’s still going strong, if the line snaking […]

Review: West Omaha’s Kinaara is serving some of the most singular Indian food in town

Fizzy’s Fountain & Liquors »

September 14, 2021

I couldn’t have been more excited to be asked to judge the return round of Mercury’s Negroni Throwdown, this year the kickoff event to national Negroni week. Mercury is Omaha’s home for the Campari-themed event, and owner Clark Ross told me they’ll be running specials all week. The format of the Throwdown is simple: the drinks are all creative takes on the classic Negroni recipe with points earned for taste, creativity, garnish and the more […]

It’s Negroni week!

Jaipur Brewing Company »

September 8, 2021

I’ll keep this one brief and to the point: Omaha has a new spot for Nepalese dumplings, aka momos. We were surprised — and pleased! — to spot them on the appetizer menu at The Jaipur one recent evening, when we headed out west for dinner in Rockbrook Village. We like the Jaipur for several reasons: their house-brewed jalapeño beer is one of them. Jaipur momos are on par with the momos at Kathmandu Momo […]

There’s (another) momo in town you should try


August 22, 2021

It was an absolute pleasure researching and picking out restaurants for our recent trip to Chicago, the first in at least a couple of years. The food scene in Chicago is no joke, as I’m sure many of you already know. During our last few trips, we focused mostly on dining in the West Loop neighborhood, with a few spots thrown in from Logan Square and other neighborhoods. This trip, we stayed downtown at London […]

The Chicago hotlist, July 2021

Lola’s Cafe »

August 20, 2021

Way back in the olden days — 2012 to be exact — kale was the hottest vegetable in the city. Go to any mid-to-higher end restaurant, and there it was, below seared fish, crisped up as a chip in a bowl of vegetable chips, sautéed into some sort of old-school creamy side dish. It was everywhere. But it probably became most widely known, and most beloved, at Benson’s Lot 2, which served it in an […]

Is this the best kale salad in Omaha?

Carter & Rye »

July 19, 2021

I’ve been wanting to check out the new Carter & Rye brick and mortar location, off 35th and Center, since I’d heard it opened earlier this year. I’d had great experiences with their delicious hand pies, both at farmers markets and at a long-ago pop-up event at Rally Coffee. Kate Anderson’s fit-in-the-palm-of-your-hand pies, with their hot, buttery, flaky crust and fillings both sweet and savory are worth the trip to her new destination spot, open […]

The newest take on a bierock? A savory hand pie “Funza”

The Speakeasy »

June 13, 2021

I thought about a lot of restaurants during the past year. One, I can say, was especially inaccessible during 2020: the Speakeasy, a restaurant I first wrote about in 2017 that’s nestled in a town formerly known as Sacramento, about three hours from Omaha, right in the heart of south central Nebraska. I thought about Chef Ryan Puls’ family-owned restaurant that he’d moved back to Nebraska to run, and I wondered if I’d ever be […]

Review: Revisiting the Speakeasy, a small town gem

The Cottonwood Hotel »

May 31, 2021

The Reuben at the new Cottonwood Hotel lives up to the legend.  I’ve paid several visits to the hotel, and you may have already read my review of their Committee Chophouse and Matthew’s review of their beautiful bar. (If not, read away!) But if I’m honest, the Reuben — the Omaha classic that has its roots at this very spot, on the corner of 36th and Farnam Streets — is what I’ve most been looking forward […]

Review: Cottonwood’s update on the Omaha Reuben is a winner


May 20, 2021

Mini food review: Let’s talk about the bananas foster ice cream at @coneflowercreamery, one of their newest flavors that we tried this week. Full disclosure: I don’t really like bananas — it’s a texture thing — but I’m here for bananas foster, with its caramel-y, retro flambé action. Coneflower has perfectly captured the dessert here, with a pure, clean flavor of banana, a hint of deep caramel and just a touch of crunch. Delectable. Highly […]



May 14, 2021

I'm back this week with my first restaurant review in more than a year. Yes, a real live restaurant review, where I went and sat inside a restaurant and ate food! We had a delightful experience at @thecommitteechop, from top to bottom. And this week's bonus: Matthew is also back with a bar review of the beautiful Cottonwood Room. You can find both stories live on my blog now. Just click through to the link […]


Committee Chophouse »

May 13, 2021

When it is the first time sitting down for dinner in a dining room in more than a year, you make it special.  You put on a long-forgotten outfit and break out a vintage bag. You make a reservation, invite some family members — some of whom you haven’t seen in more than a year! — and look forward to catching up.  You also choose somewhere exciting. In our case, it was one of Omaha’s […]

Review: At the Committee Chophouse, old-school steak meets modern whimsy


May 9, 2021

A collaboration between me and @lindseyannebaker for our mom today: a mom-themed cheese plate complete with a homemade cheese ball, a family favorite, plus a bottle of champagne. Happy Mother’s Day to our mom and all the moms out there.


The Cottonwood Room »

On a beautiful late April evening, I tugged on my mask, descended some stairs and entered an Omaha bar for the first time in 13 months. I was fully vaxxed, not quite relaxed and a little in awe of the scene before me. I heard the familiar clinking sounds, the low, comforting hum of a dozen relaxed conversations punctuated by the all-too-unfamiliar sound of strange and lovely laughter. Before me lay a circular bar bathed […]

Cocktail review: The Cottonwood Room is a great place to return to indoor drinks


May 7, 2021

A 1-2 punch kind of night in Benson. @krugpark @yoshitomo_sushi All the feels.



May 5, 2021

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Lots of fun recipes to celebrate at home tonight, including Matthew’s pineapple mezcal margarita, are live on the blog right now! And here’s a hint: my first real food review in more than a year is coming to the site soon! Sign up for my free email newsletter to get the first look. You can do all this and more at the link in my bio.



April 29, 2021

It’s 🌮 TACO 🌮 week on my blog! We have three new stories for you:🌮 A fresh look at Benson’s Taco Co., which is simple and feels just right for right now.🌮 Interested in taco night at home? I have your menu!🌮 Matthew is sharing his go-to margarita recipe along with two original margs of his own creation: a blood orange margarita and a pineapple mezcal margarita.🌮 Find all of it and more right over […]


Taco Co. »

April 24, 2021

If there’s one thing I have always felt was true about Taco Co., in the heart of Benson, it’s that Taco Co. can’t be taken too seriously. For whatever reason — perhaps its because we’re coming out of a year of cooking our own food at home — I haven’t yet feel like serious food. (I think I will, in a mere few days, when we will be fully vaccinated, can cautiously return to sitting […]

Review: Revisiting Benson’s simple, straightforward Taco Co. just feels right right now


On a recent Saturday night, one with spring weather so fickle we couldn’t possibly dine on a patio, I made a proclamation: It was going to be Taco Night at Home, and I was going to cook. As any home cook knows, sometimes you just make your mind up on something and nothing is going to stand in your way. That’s how I felt about this particular Taco Night idea, and so I set out […]

Don’t want to go out tonight? Might I suggest Taco Night at Home?


A margarita is a great goldarn cocktail. It’s a little sweet. A little tart. A tiny bit dangerous. A tad bit fun. So I am wholly supportive of you, Señor Home Bartender, if you want to stick with your tried-and-true recipe and make it until you meet your Dios. Here’s the basic recipe I use, courtesy of the Death and Co. cocktail book. Simple. Solid. And with just a touch of agave and that ¾ […]

Matthew’s three takes on the classic margarita


April 22, 2021

Matthew and I have been doing all kinds of things during the @shareomaha #dogoodweek. We’ve made donations to @ibeblackgirl and @savinggracefood. We fulfilled some wish list items for @felinefriendz, the volunteer group we adopted our cats from. Today, on #volunthursday we walked around our neighborhood and picked up two bags of litter as part of @keepomahabeautiful’s love your block litter cleanup. Check out their page to donate or to participate in your own neighborhood litter […]


Top 5 Omaha Pizzas »

April 14, 2021

Many, many people have strong, bold opinions about the first ever Omaha Pizza Bracket, which racked up more than 110,000 votes over the course of March Madness and closed earlier this week with its first ever winner, Mangia Italiana. In the hopes to continue the conversation — to debrief after the bracket, as one friend put it on Twitter — I thought I’d share a neat little list of all the places I hoped would […]

My top five pizza spots in Omaha (that got eliminated from the pizza bracket way too soon.)


April 9, 2021

A few readers were confused about who won the #omahapizzabracket. No further confusion necessary! Also congratulations to Bridget Hale, the winner of the $50 @mangiaitalianaomaha gift card! Her first round vote for @goviafarina got selected randomly from the 112,355 votes.



I thought you might enjoy some cooking content this week, particularly as, post Pizza Bracket Life, I’ve been enjoying making some meals for dinner at home these days. I recently ordered the new New York Times Cooking book from Sam Sifton: “No Recipe Recipes.” (Jump to the recipe) I’d seen Sam write his “no recipe recipes” week after week in his great email newsletter. They’re sort of easy weeknight riffs that are simple enough to […]

A recipe so easy its not even a recipe


April 6, 2021

I take my job as the #omahapizzabracket lady very seriously. These are all the pizzas we ate during the past month of what turned into an absolute blast of a contest. Thank you to everyone who retweeted, shared, commented, tried a new pizza and, above all else, voted. We’re already talking about 2022. Special thanks to my friends at @hanscompark, @quenluen and @bvankat who got just as excited about this as I did (and who […]



April 1, 2021

CHAMPIONSHIP WEEK. It’s here! I’ll save my commentary for next week — look forward to it. Until then, read the reviews I did of @mangiaitalianaomaha and @coppspizza in the past two weeks, and don’t forget to vote. Do it all at the link in my profile. #omahapizzabracket



Today's review: In the past few weeks, I've been spending time checking out pizza places in Omaha I have never tried. Who would have thought that I'd end up reviewing the two finalists in the Omaha Pizza Bracket? I didn't. ⠀⠀That said, today I'm sharing a review of Mangia Italiana, which has perfected the specific kind of pizza Omahans seem to particularly, especially love. Find it right now at the link in my profile. ⠀⠀#OmahaPizzaBracket


Mangia Italiana »

March 31, 2021

There’s a certain kind of pizza this town loves. I’ve described it before, but here it is again: medium-thick, pillowy crust with a crisp-chewy edge. A heavy hand of red sauce. Plenty of meat, usually including beef (this is the Beef State, after all.) A thick spread of melted cheese. Vegetables? Nah. I’ve called it many things – Omaha style pizza, softball game pizza – but I think we’ve nailed the new name for the […]

Review: Mangia Italiana perfects “flyover pizza”


March 28, 2021

Here’s some non-pizza related content for your Sunday. @sandhillselixir is a new Nebraska-based zero proof spirit. I’ve tried several zero proof spirits — this one is distilled with water from the Ogallala Aquifer — and so far this is the most flavorful and refreshing one I’ve had. We used it as part of a simple alcohol free cocktail: 2 oz. Elderberry Sandhills Elixir, 1 oz. lemon juice, 1/2 tsp. grated ginger and 3 oz. plain […]



March 27, 2021

The day has come! Omaha’s final four in the #omahapizzabracket.Is it my final four? Nope. I’ll be sharing that on the blog this week, along with another new pizza review. Until then, vote!



March 25, 2021

One thing has become clear in the past two weeks: Omahans have a deeply personal, very specific like for a certain kind of pizza, and their likes beer strong toward nostalgia. Our Elite 8 proves that! Voting is open now through Sunday, so get them cast to choose your favorite. You know where to go: right over to my profile. #omahapizzabracket


Timber Wood Fire Bistro »

March 24, 2021

There is a certain kind of pizza crust that I just love. It’s chewy but crispy, stretchy in the best way, sometimes with a distinctly fermented flavor. The edges are flecked with burnt spots and air bubbles, and the thin center is often topped lightly, because it’s delicate. Airy. Timber Wood Fire Grill’s pizza crust fits snugly into this specific category. And though it’s not my favorite in Omaha, it’s worth experiencing if you haven’t […]

Review: Timber Wood Fired pizza nails chewy, crispy, fermented crust


March 22, 2021

Pizza friends: It’s getting down to the wire. Some will lose. Some will win.Who will you vote for? Whatever the answer, do it now at the link in my profile. #omahapizzabracket



March 21, 2021

This morning’s brunch-at-home:* corned beef hash with eggs made using my vintage poached egg pan* soul music* a grapefruit and Campari cocktail* memories of Dixie Quicks, my all time ride or die brunch. How I miss it.



March 19, 2021

Second round voting in the #omahapizzabracket is open! Let me tell ya: there are going to be some pizza battles royale to decide who moves on. Vote now at the link in my profile.



March 18, 2021

In case you missed us live this morning: today’s @1620TheZone segment with me, @damonbenning and @MikelSevere doing 20 minutes straight on the #OmahaPizzaBracket is live at the link in my profile.First round voting closes at midnight!



For your listening pleasure, here’s the clip from my interview this morning with Mike’l and Damon on 1620 the Zone, where we break down the pizza bracket, Omaha pizza joints and more. I’m on every other Thursday at 8 a.m. Tune in! And, of course, don’t forget to vote. The first round closes today at midnight.

Interview: Severe, Benning and SBH on the Omaha Pizza Bracket


March 17, 2021

These four rounds are so close! SO CLOSE!We’re closing in on 50,000 votes so far in the #omahapizzabracket! Wow. Just wow.First round voting closes tomorrow at midnight. You decide who moves to round two on Friday!



March 16, 2021

For the next few weeks, to celebrate the #omahapizzabracket, I’m checking out Omaha ‘za that I have never had before. First up is @coppspizza, a new favorite for many. I’m pretty excited about their burnt ends pizza, and I’m also happy to clue you in on where, exactly, that excellent barbecue comes from: Kansas City. Find it, and more, as always, at the link in my profile.


Copp’s Pizza Company »

If Facebook is any indication, I might be the last pizza-lovin’ Omahan to try Copp’s Pizza. After I did finally try it, last week, I can see why it has taken social media by storm. It’s familiar. It’s comfortable. It’s the kind of pizza we have all devoured hundreds of times in our lives, but…a bit better. I may be the last to realize it, but now I do: Copp’s serves ‘za with surprisingly creative […]

Review: At Copp’s Pizza, the Internet’s opinion, for once, proves correct


March 15, 2021

Day one of the #omahapizzabracket is closing in on 20,000 total votes! You folks really love pizza. Here’s four matches within 50 votes of each other as of 6 p.m. Which one will get your ️? You know where to find it: right at the link in my profile!



Tomorrow at noon, #OmahaPizzaBracket goes live!



March 11, 2021

This week's SBH newsletter: Introducing the Omaha Pizza Bracket, where you can vote for your favorite Omaha 'za starting March 15. Read all about it at the link in my profile and get ready for some serious competition and (hopefully) some serious upsets.



March 7, 2021

Kristina: do you want to try the new @nicerollz breakfast pizza?Me: yes.Kristina: be sure to take a bite in the car to get “that fresh fresh.”Me: check.



March 5, 2021

The weather has us all excited anew about Omaha’s wide array of hot patios. And it seems like this weekend’s weather is going to be just perfect to keep the hot patio exploration going.Today’s newsletter: discover your own favorite spot in the city to become an #OmahaPatioWarrior and dine outside with our list of more than 30 heated patios. Find it right now at the link in my profile.



February 21, 2021

This is how Matthew and I celebrated the big news of the week around here: I’m joining @emspacegroup this week as a senior public relations strategist. Their goals align so well with one of my own: to make Omaha a better place to live. I can’t wait to start working for clients that focus on issues like transportation, nonprofit work, early childhood education and urban design, among many other issues important to Omaha.If you come […]



February 19, 2021

At the new to us @salmexomaha, we found delicious Salvadoran and Mexican food made with care. You can also get some dishes for as little as one dollar, believe it or not. My latest review is at the link in my bio.


Salmex »

It’s been a while since I have been as excited about a little hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant as I have been about Salmex, a new-to-me Salvadoran spot on the edge of downtown. Here’s why: Every item we tried on the restaurant’s rather massive menu tasted like it was made with care, from scratch. There’s dishes you don’t see every day — pupusas with what feels like an endless list of options for filling, chilaquiles, tortas — […]

Review: At Salmex, Salvadoran and Mexican food is made with care


February 14, 2021

Happy Valentine’s Day from my kitchen: blueberry muffins and Excellent white bread both from @nytcooking. It smells really good in here.



February 3, 2021

New this week on the blog: the five things I’m most looking forward to in 2021. Travel is one. Fine dining is one. But the main one? It’s a lot more abstract.⠀⠀Find it at the link in my profile.The picture is from dinner at Bouchon in Las Vegas. (No. I am not in Vegas.)



January 28, 2021

We’ve recapped the restaurants the pandemic took from us last year, and the best food I ate in 2020. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to look well into 2021 toward some of the things I’ll most welcome back into my life post-vaccine. What are you most looking forward to? Share it in the comments. Spontaneity Remember randomly running into friends? Deciding at the end of the workday to head to a dive […]

Five things I’m looking forward to in 2021

Plank Seafood Provisions »

January 23, 2021

Let me be the first to say it: Most Omaha restaurants have closed their hot patios for the season. It’s been an especially challenging few weeks for us being cooped up in our home (“Join the club,” you might be saying right about now.) That’s why it was such a pleasant surprise, such a heart lifting moment when, during our recent aimless stroll around the Old Market, we saw outdoor tables and red hot glowing […]

Hot patio review: Plank Seafood + Provisions


January 22, 2021

This week's SBH newsletter: Ever wonder how Block 16 adds new menu items? I did. So I asked. Plus, a recap of all my 2020 favorites. ⠀⠀Find it all at the link in my profile, and if you haven't subscribed, you can do that there, too.



January 21, 2021

I reopened my kombucha factory after a long hiatus and wow, things are fizzy!First time trying d’Anjou pear infused jun tea.



January 9, 2021

I had no intention of recapping the best of 2020. But a conversation with a chef and taking the time to actually look back at the past year led me to a revelation: Even though 2020 stunk, a lot of the food I ate sure didn't. ⠀⠀In no particular order, here's all the best food, plus one cookbook, I loved last year.⠀⠀Find it right now at the link in my profile.


Best of 2020 »

I had no plans to recap the best food I ate in 2020. Then I saw a Facebook post written by chef David Utterback, where he featured my best of 2018 list which I wrote when I was still at the World-Herald. I sent Dave a text, and we chatted. He made a good point: “You should document even a shitty year of food.” So, here we are. And it turns out, my friend Dave […]

Best of 2020: Crap year, great food


Some days you have a craving. That craving for me today was a @lacasapizzaria #meatcarpet. So dang happy. Don’t @ me.


Baela Rose »

January 1, 2021

It’s been a long year for restaurants, chefs, owners and the service industry workers who have fought through the 2020 pandemic. It’s been a long year for diners, too, trying to support the restaurants and bars we care about most to make sure they stay open. Business owners pivoted once in the spring, and then again and again, as the weather cooled and the pandemic continued. By now, most of them are exhausted, and with […]

2020 closed these five restaurants. We will miss them in 2021.


December 28, 2020

Today on the blog: Ten Omaha spots serving take-and-make dinners for New Year's Eve, many with wine and Champagne, so we can all safely ring in 2021. (And yes, there is champagne on tap, just in a growler this year.)Photos are of New Years Eve 2019 at @bouillonomaha. I got nostalgic thinking back this morning, but then I remembered: there’s always next year.Find the list at the link in my profile.


Big Mama’s Kitchen »

How I miss sitting in a basement bar with a cocktail and my friends, or sitting snugly at a back table at La Buvette over beef bourguignon, or in a semicircular booth with friends at V. Mertz in the Old Market passageway. Among the many things 2020 took from me is the chance to ring in the new year somewhere in the Old Market, as we’ve done with the same group of friends for the […]

Ten New Year’s Eve takeout options to ring in 2021


December 26, 2020

Got my dad Bloody Mary’s from @krugpark for Christmas and clearly took the opportunity to get a kit for us too. Support our local bars and restaurants and get yourself a kit online.



December 24, 2020

Our Christmas Eve-Eve gift to you: Matthew Hansen is back with another holiday sipper, this time direct from the brain of Clark Ross, owner of @mercuryomaha.May we introduce you to the Backdoor Santa? Find the recipe in my bio.


Mercury »

December 23, 2020

You need a Christmas cocktail, and Clark Ross is here to help. The co-owner and cocktail impresario behind Mercury – my favorite Omaha cocktail bar – agreed to share a holiday drink recipe with you, (print the recipe here) the loyal readers of Consider it the holiday bookend to the Thanksgiving cocktail, the Mr. November, that I shared a few days before that holiday. (Which of course you can still make now, as it […]

“It Tastes Like Liquid Cinnamon Roll” – A Christmas Cocktail Courtesy of one of Omaha’s Best Bartenders


December 19, 2020

Big food news: After a decade, The Grey Plume is closing its doors. I talked to chef and owner Clayton Chapman about the decision, why he made it and the restaurant’s legacy on the Omaha food scene. The link is in my profile.


The Grey Plume »

December 18, 2020

The Grey Plume is closing its doors, ending its decade-long run as Omaha’s most nationally acclaimed restaurant. The permanent closure, rumored for months, also sounds the loudest alarm yet that the pandemic is battering our city’s restaurant industry — particularly brutalizing those restaurants, like the Grey Plume, that were financially endangered before COVID-19 hit. “I feel fortunate and blessed to have had such a wonderful run,” said Chef Clayton Chapman during a recent interview. “It […]

After a decade and thousands of memorable dinners, The Grey Plume has closed

Archetype Coffee »

December 15, 2020

This year it is more important than ever to keep our dollars in Omaha and shop local this holiday season. It’s also more important than ever to support our local, beloved bars and restaurants, especially if we want to keep them open beyond the pandemic. To that end, here’s six ideas to consider for all those gifts you still have to buy — and if all else fails, buy yourself a gift and do the […]

Six last minute gifts that support Omaha’s food & beverage scene


November 26, 2020

This is the most I have ever baked on a single day. Not sad about it. Also, this is the single time I have ever used my two pie plates at once. Happy Thanksgiving!



November 25, 2020

Thanksgiving Eve:Vegan pesto babka via @goldenrodpastries and @foodandwine Blood orange cranberry sauce via @thepioneerwoman More to come.



November 24, 2020

I am sure by this point you have your Thanksgiving menu sorted, whatever it might be. But even so, I thought I’d share some last-minute inspiration in what I decided to make for my first ever Thanksgiving — one like no other. I pan to scale down most of the recipes below since we’re just going to be two diners, but I am going to make a full turkey (we love leftovers!) and a full […]

My 2020 Thanksgiving menu


November 21, 2020

Padma’s Pomegranate ToastToast a piece of good sourdough. Top with a thick spread of peanut butter and a few handfuls of fresh pomegranate seeds. Relish in your utterly delicious, fancy PBJ.



November 12, 2020

Hi. I’m Sarah, your hot patio expert. I’m here to let you know that a brief write up about eating this delicious @dante.omaha carbonara on their petite, heated patio is on my blog right this dang second. So is a list of 30 other hot patios around the city of Omaha for you to consider visiting this weekend. It’s all at the link in my bio.


Avoli Osteria »

Thanksgiving — the quintessential American food holiday — is going to look very different this year. Many of us (myself included) will miss seeing family and friends. Some of us might be eating alone, or with family over Zoom, and might not feel like cooking at all. That’s where this list comes in. Restaurants have been constantly adapting in 2020, and this year, I’m not focusing my list of Thanksgiving restaurants on dine-in. We’re in […]

A list of SBH-approved Omaha-area spots offering Thanksgiving takeout

Dante Ristorante »

November 11, 2020

Three words I saw on Instagram led Matthew and I to Dante’s patio in west Omaha: black truffle pizza. Yes, it was excellent, but that’s no surprise. The experience at Dante never seems to let me down, but it had been a while since we’d dined there because Matthew and I have stuck to our “outdoors only” dining plan. But now Dante’s petite patio has heaters, enough to keep all the diners at the six […]

Hot patio review: At Dante, the petite patio and excellent Italian are worth visiting


November 4, 2020

If you’ve ever worked a day in a newsroom, you know election night means pizza.Tonight I made my own #electionnightpizza from scratch.I used the basic @kingarthurbaking pizza crust recipe and topped it with mushrooms; red peppers; pepperoni; a blend of Asiago, Parmesan and Mozzarella cheeses; and a thin layer of chunky red sauce.



October 25, 2020

Things I will go out in snow for:1. The @nicerollz spicy bulgogi burger.2. ?3. ?



Eleventh hour basil preservation: a how-to.I’ll admit I should have done this months ago when my basil plant was mammoth. Instead, I waited until the morning of the first snow, and my basil is looking pretty sad. But I know come January (hell, come next week) I’ll be glad to have some of the flavor of summer preserved in my freezer.To make your own pre-snowstorm sad basil cubes: chop basil. Fill an ice cube tray […]


Ika Ramen »

October 22, 2020

If you’ve ever dreamed of getting a whole roasted Peking duck in the Blackstone district, your dreams are about to come true. Jose Dionicio, of Ika Ramen, JoJo’s diner and Taqueria Chignon, has taken over the former Forno space, at 3852 Farnam St., which closed this summer. He’s opened a new concept, Lucky Tiger Izakaya, to serve ramen and sushi and make good use of the wood fire oven with roasted whole ducks and bibimbap […]

Lucky Tiger Izakaya, from the owner of Ika Ramen, is new in Blackstone

Ika Ramen »

In other ramen news, Ika Ramen is headed to Papillion in early 2021. Ika chef and owner Jose Dionicio said the southwest Omaha location of his popular ramen spot was to be his 2020 project, until the pandemic hit. Now, he’s planning to open in Shadow Lake Town Center early next year. “We signed the deal back in January, but as it developed, we decided this is the one for early 2021,” he said. “We’re […]

Ika Ramen is headed to Papillion


October 21, 2020

We’re working on building a list of local restaurants and bars who have heated patios! Restaurants can fill out a simple form at the link in my profile, or at Please share so we can get as many restaurants as possible. Many of you have asked me for such a list to get through the colder weather this year so we can support local restaurants and still dine outside. I know that’s what I’ll […]



After the Arctic blast we all experienced a few weeks back (shudder) the sun and warmer temperatures feel absolutely fantastic. And it’s also the perfect time to resurrect our list of hot patios — Omaha area heated patios — just in time for the weekend. Want your restaurant added to the list? Fill out the form below. Have a question? Send me an email. Add your business in the form below.

It’s the perfect weekend for a hot patio


Last week Matthew and I had dinner around 6:30 p.m. on a patio in West Omaha and, I’m not going to lie: it was cold. The patio didn’t have heaters. We were the only people outside. But it brought me to a realization: I can do several things as a diner to make my outdoor cool weather dining experiences a lot more pleasant this fall. There’s been a lot of conversation lately about what restaurants […]

Five things diners can do to become #OmahaPatioWarriors


October 16, 2020

Patio warriors. Can I make that a new hashtag for people who aren’t afraid to keep eating outside even when it’s cool like today? #omahapatiowarriors


Mercury »

October 15, 2020

A couple of weeks back, Matthew and I took a stroll downtown and ended on 16th Street, where we spent our whole evening. I’d like to recommend you consider doing the same: locally-owned bars and restaurants need our business right now, and the two in question this week — Mercury and The Green Room — have new patios to experience. Get to it while it’s still warm-ish.  The burger above is new on Mercury’s food menu, and wow, should you […]

Letter of recommendation: Burgers and Manhattans on 16th Street


October 8, 2020

This week’s newsletter is a letter of recommendation to get yourself the new cheeseburger @mercuryomaha and while you’re on 16th, a Manhattan @greenroomomaha. Enjoy those new patios while you’re at it. All that and more at the link in my profile.


Kitchen Table »

You all know by now one of my favorite foods is the Runza, or bierock, which I’ve written about many times before. (I like to claim I wrote its definitive Nebraska history.) I like to eat bierocks from Runza — in fact, I’ve recently moved from the classic Runza to the cheese version in my drive-thru order. I also love homemade versions, which I’ve made myself, and which I eat whenever I can. So when […]

You should probably try an “Aksarben” from Kitchen Table

Saving Grace Perishable Food Rescue »

October 7, 2020

I don’t know about you, but we’ve enjoyed several outdoor movies this summer — one tonight, though, helps contribute to a good cause.  Saving Grace Perishable Food Rescue is the good cause in question. They have, since they started in 2013, rescued more than 4.8 million pounds of perishable foods and redistributed it to more than 40 nonprofit organizations that feed the hungry.  Tonight is Saving Grace’s annual fundraiser, a socially distanced screening of “Wasted! […]

Looking for something to do Thursday? How about a drive-in movie for a good cause.


September 27, 2020

Today is Matthew and my 11th wedding anniversary. There’s no doubt that we’re spending the day thinking about our friend Laurie Smith Camp, who died this week. We are the first couple she ever married. One of the things I remember most about the day is her words, which focused on court cases throughout history where love prevailed. We will miss Laurie’s grace, her wonderful parties, her stories and most of all her wise advice […]



September 15, 2020

This week I have a half review/half appreciation of the beautiful patio dining experience we had recently @boilerroomrestaurant. Just spectacular, from top to bottom. Read it at the link in my profile, and make your reservation. You won’t regret it.



September 13, 2020

The Greater Omaha Chamber Young Professionals Council was kind enough to invite me to be part of its virtual INTRO event, coming up Sept. 17, which is Thursday evening. The event focuses on introducing people — newcomers, people who moved away and came back, or locals like me — to what Omaha has to offer. I’ll be talking about the Omaha food scene and how the pandemic has changed things since March. I’ll also talk […]

I’ll be speaking virtually this week about Omaha food

Nice Rollz »

September 10, 2020

I love the style of Nice Rollz, a Korean pop-up operating on weekends out of the Archetype in Little Bohemia. I’ve been meaning to try one of their breakfast sandwiches (which look great on the ‘gram) but when I saw a video featuring the spicy bulgogi burger, I was done. We ordered two immediately for pickup last Sunday. (Mark your calendar: they’re available once a month.)  You all know I love a good burger. I […]

Can we talk about the Nice Rollz pop-up for a minute?

The Boiler Room »

September 9, 2020

There’s been no shortage of moments in 2020 where I have looked around my life and wondered where “normal” went. Last Friday was a moment as close to “normal” as we’ve seen in many months. Last Friday we found ourselves among the lucky handful of diners who scored a seat on the patio — newly opened for dinner — at The Boiler Room restaurant. It’s not fair to call this a review, really, because when […]

Hot Patio Review: The Boiler Room’s patio is simply sublime


My PSL is a Manhattan. Also, it’s fall now.



September 4, 2020

I was lucky enough to be the guest editor of the most recent issue of Nebraska Quarterly, the beautiful publication sent to University of Nebraska-Lincoln alums. My stories include an update from @sehnertsbakery in McCook, a profile of @goldenrodpastries owner Angela Garbacz and a story about the future of the dining hall, which has changed immensely since 2000, when I was a student. Plus, I’m sharing a bonus outtake from a photo shoot @quenluen did […]


Goldenrod Pastries »

I was lucky enough to be the guest editor of the most recent issue of Nebraska Quarterly, the beautiful publication sent to University of Nebraska-Lincoln alums. I hope you got a copy. But if you didn’t, don’t despair: my stories, and many others, are available online. You can read my introductory column, where I try my best to answer “What is the future of Nebraska food?” I’ve got all my stories linked below, but I […]

I guest edited the fall issue of Nebraska Quarterly, all about food


August 29, 2020

I know I’m usually here with food reviews, but we’re living in new times, and today I have a mask review. I have tried lots and lots of homemade masks since the beginning of the pandemic and this one, designed and handmade in Omaha by my friend @rdqlus is hands down my favorite one. ️ Here’s why: The origami mask fits perfectly. No gaps. It looks fashionable, with its simple, beautiful design. It has a […]



August 27, 2020

The @nicerollz spicy bulgogi burger is so good I wrote an entire newsletter about it. Plus: I’ve got a story about the inventive spirit at @darios_brasserie helping the restaurant get through the pandemic. All that and more at the link in my profile.



Editor’s note: Since I wrote this post as a newsletter, I’ve taken the advice of my friend Mary Ann and upgraded the beans: I ordered several bags of dried heirloom beans from Rancho Gordo, and the dish you see above was my first go at the cassoulet beans. More bean content to come! If there’s one thing I can claim during this pandemic, it’s that I can now work magic with a humble can of […]

The dishes you make from beans will not be pretty

Avoli Osteria »

If there’s an Omaha chef who isn’t going to let something like a little old global pandemic close his restaurant, that chef is probably Dario Schicke.  His namesake restaurant — Dario’s Brasserie — has been a fixture in Dundee for 14 years. Avoli Osteria, his homey Italian spot, for seven.  This spring, when we all started to realize what was happening, Dario did too.  “You know the story,” he said on a recent phone call. […]

For chef Dario Schicke, necessity is the mother of invention (and patios)


August 26, 2020

I’ve written in my newsletter about how I’ve been cooking with beans a lot. (If you missed it, subscribe for free on my website!) But I upped my game recently with some advice from a friend: I ordered heirloom dried beans from @rancho_gordo. The best thing in the bowl tonight? The beans. (Recipe: Penelope Wisner’s white beans with star anise and chicken from The New Basics.)



August 14, 2020

This week's SBH newsletter: Matthew on the joys of dining out al fresco when there's little to look forward to, an ode to the humble bean and an update on Covid Times cooking.


Au Courant »

Sarah and I haven’t wined and dined inside a restaurant or bar since COVID rudely interrupted life’s regularly scheduled programming in March. Five months feels like five decades. We miss cozying up to our favorite back table at Dante and splitting the Cortona pizza and the Bolognese. We miss sidling up to the sushi bar at Yoshitomo, our eyes slightly widening as the first perfect piece of nigiri appears before us. We miss the Friday […]

Matthew Hansen: On the joys of dining outside in a pandemic summer


August 13, 2020

Today’s loaf: spicy olive garlic bread. I used my favorite castlevetrano green olives, fresh shaved garlic and @flatironpepper classic red pepper flakes, which pack a serious punch. Recipe via “Bread Illustrated” from @cooksillustrated.



August 11, 2020

Last night I took my homemade kimchi and I made it into a kimchi pancake, and it’s one of the best ideas I’ve had in a while. (Recipe via @ciaosamin in @nytcooking.)



July 31, 2020

Baker-Hansen date night last night thanks to the new weekend price fix offerings @jgilbertsomaha: diners get to choose from beef or salmon and the deal comes with an order of crab cakes and an insane, giant dessert (️ to see a massive piece of carrot cake.) Cruise on over to their page for all the details, available all weekend. Treat yourself (and your lucky date.)



July 30, 2020

I was really excited to try @ddomaha. The little Benson shop’s singular atmosphere and delicious, unusual coffee drinks didn’t disappoint. Read it at the link in my profile in my newest Takeout Chronicle.


Dripped + Draped »

July 29, 2020

If you, like me, spend a lot of time on Instagram, you’ve probably seen the irresistible ‘grams of the inside of Dripped + Draped, the newest coffee shop in Benson. The shop has no shortage of personality: a faux grass, floral and neon wall piece; pink paint; a rainbow of pastel coffee drinks made with creative, good-for-you ingredients; and racks of fun of clothing and accessories curated by its owners, Vanelle Littrell and Vandra Caldwell. […]

Takeout Chronicles: Dripped + Draped


July 28, 2020

It started with sourdough starter. Then kombucha. Now? Kimchi. For whatever reason I’ve really gotten into fermentation this summer. I like to watch things grow — the thickness of my scoby in my jars of kombucha tea, my springy starter that inflates and deflates overnight before I make bread. Kimchi actually was a special request from my husband, who has gotten into eating fermented foods as much as I’ve gotten into making them. Kimchi is […]

It’s the summer of fermentation: Next up, kimchi


Covid diary: fermenting and brewing. (Homemade kimchi, homemade toddy.)



July 26, 2020

We escaped to Mercury. #patiosonly #sociallydistantdrinking



July 15, 2020

I’ve missed you, @tinyhousebar.



July 3, 2020

This week's SBH newsletter: What the impending closure of the Dundee Dell, plus other restaurants like it, means for the future of the Omaha dining scene. Plus, my six favorite Omaha patios, and an endorsement for taking takeout outside. Subscribe to my free weekly email newsletter if you haven't already, and find the link to all the stories of the day at the link in my profile.


Absolutely Fresh Seafood »

Greg Lindberg feels like two years have passed since the beginning of March.  He’s reinvented his business model at least a dozen times since then, the unofficial start of the COVID-19 pandemic.  None of it mattered for the Dundee Dell, the restaurant he bought in 2016 and that has been a midtown staple for 86 years.  “None of this is my fault, or your fault,” he said. “But we’re all paying the price.” The Dundee […]

The Dundee Dell is the tip of the iceberg

Barchen Beer Garden »

The summer of 2020 has been the summer where I do exactly none of the things that I enjoy about summer, and that absolutely includes drinking wine on as many restaurant patios as possible. (It also includes the College World Series and the Maha Music Festival, but I probably shouldn’t get started down this path.) Anyhow. The patios on this list are my absolute favorites. They’re the places I wish I were spending the summer […]

Six patios I love, plus a recommendation on taking takeout outside


June 27, 2020

Tonight is 100 percent a night you’d generally have found me with a sweating glass of wine and a cheese plate on a patio. Second best option? Takeaway from @lolasomaha on your patio at home. Read my latest takeout chronicle at the link in my bio, and get yourself cheese, meat, wine and lots more for next weekend.


Lola’s Cafe »

June 25, 2020

I only got to check out Lola’s, the newer spot inside the Dundee Theater, once before Covid times started (You can read about it here.) So I knew when I saw they’d started offering weekend takeout boxes, I wanted to bring one home. Lola’s is one of the handful of Omaha restaurants that has, in some ways, pivoted temporarily to a grocery model: the provisions boxes come filled with cheese and meat, loaves of bread, […]

Takeout Chronicles: Lola’s


June 19, 2020

The employees at @secretpenguin got the day off today in observance of Juneteenth. I’ll enjoy the day off, but I’m also spending time with this book, “The Cooking Gene,” by the James Beard Award-winning author Michael Twitty. There is so much I don’t know.



June 18, 2020

This week's SBH newsletter includes a new review, of @BestBurgerOmaha, in Florence, which lives up to its name. Plus learn about the precautions being put into place before the new Blackstone food hall opens its doors June 22. Find it all, plus the latest updates on our list of local black owned businesses and restaurants, at the link in my profile.


Best Burger Omaha »

Universal Allah figured out the focus of his restaurant after a traveler asked him one simple question: “Where can I find the best burger in Omaha?”  He set out to make it.  At Best Burger, in Florence, Allah and his partner, Ashlei Spivey, serve grass-fed black angus beef patties on brioche buns topped with all the fixings, all homemade. Think a from-scratch sweet Thai slaw, garlic aioli and barbecue sauce, among other toppings. There’s also […]

Review: At Best Burger, the goal is simple: tasty burgers at the right price

Ansel’s Pastrami and Bagels »

The Switch, the new food hall in the Blackstone District, is one of the more anticipated openings since the beginning of the pandemic. The hall, which will open June 22, has precautions in place to make dining in (or taking out) safe. General manager Miranda McQuillan said the hall and its large outdoor patio will be set up so customers can practice social distancing. Customers will be able to order from their phones inside the […]

The new Blackstone food hall will open with precautions June 22


June 8, 2020

All the local, black-owned restaurants on our Omaha and Lincoln list in one simple, shareable square. Please order, eat, support and learn. Thanks to @hanscompark for the graphic.



June 2, 2020

I’m doing what I can to help lift up Omaha’s black restaurant owners. Please share this to your story so we can get as many black Omaha entrepreneurs to get their business on this list. Then join me in eating at their restaurants. The link to the list and the form is in my profile now. And thanks to @krugpark for the inspiration to put this resource together.


Best Burger Omaha »

June 1, 2020

It’s Juneteenth, now recognized as a federal holiday in the United States. Want to learn more about what the holiday is about? Here’s a good primer. We encourage you to support these businesses, restaurants and otherwise, which create a varied and important part of our community. Editor’s note: The form to add a business is still open for submissions below, and we will happily accept more!

Celebrate Juneteenth by supporting a Black-owned business in Omaha or Lincoln


May 28, 2020

I think everyone has some food that brings them comfort. One of mine? The lahvosh at Read about it and more in the latest Takeout Chronicle, at the link in my profile.



I really miss patio season. This photo is of my favorite, La Buvette, which I miss a whole lot. When I do dine out in the future, I think it’ll be outside. To that end, I want to build a new list of my favorite patios, and I want your help. What’s your favorite? Send it to me in an email, or comment on this post. I want to find some new favorites. 

What’s your favorite Omaha patio?

Mercury »

They bought a gently used Nissan. They stenciled their formidable bar’s name near each taillight and hand-painted a trippy celestial scene all over the faded black paint job. They gave their new rolling headquarters a name, emblazoned it on the driver-side and passenger-side doors in electric green: BOOZE CRUISER. And then they headed out, to deliver the city’s best cocktails and maybe teach us a little lesson about how to survive a global pandemic. Mercury’s […]

Corona cocktail club with Matthew: Mercury’s Booze Cruiser is teaching us how to survive a pandemic

M’s Pub »

Sometimes you’re simply hungry for the familiar. When I saw M’s Pub had reopened its doors for takeout — they have since reopened the dining room at half-capacity — I immediately made a mental list of what I wanted to order. It’s a shortlist of my favorites: crab cakes (which I once called the best in Omaha and still hold up to that claim), a classic lahvosh and Matthew’s pick, the Iowa grill sandwich. I […]

Takeout chronicles: M’s Pub

J. Coco »

May 15, 2020

To be honest, it’s been a while since we had a meal from J. Coco. I remembered why I liked it so much: our dinner arrived well-seasoned, nicely cooked and prettily plated even in a couple of takeout boxes. I have always really liked Chef Jennifer Coco’s burger, so we got one of those, plus an entree: Plum Creek chicken with mushroom risotto, seasonal vegetables and truffled mushrooms. I also talked Matthew into a side […]

Takeout chronicles: J. Coco


May 14, 2020

Editor’s note: Most of the restaurants on this list have reopened for business. Please contact the restaurant directly for further information. As promised, here’s our list of restaurants currently offering takeout, curbside pickup and delivery, but who have made the choice to not yet open their dining rooms.

Our list of restaurants offering delivery, but not opening their dining rooms just yet


May 12, 2020

I’m still updating my list of what I’ve cooked during quarantine. I’ve got a super tasty new @mollybaz stir fry, an iced matcha latte using tea from @theteasmith and a cauliflower soufflé. It’s all at the link in my profile!



May 7, 2020

My newest Takeout Chronicle proves that even in tough times, our talented chefs persevere. Link in my profile now for all the details on the new pop-up from @mootz_ and @kano.omaha.

Instagram: May 7

Omaha Farmers Market »

The Omaha Farmers Market will kick off June 6 and 7 with many new guidelines. Here’s the rundown. You can also download a full list of the changes here. Old Market location and hours On Saturdays, the market will take place from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., but will move into the top level of the city parking garage at 10th and Jackson Streets. Aksarben location and hours On Sundays, the market will take place […]

Here’s how the 2020 Omaha farmers markets will work

Mootz Pizza »

Take one look at the photos on the Mootz Pizza Instagram account and you’ll see why checking out this new concept was high on our list, pandemic be damned. Mootz comes from the Adkisson brothers: Collin, the brainchild behind the pizza; and Kane, who many of us know from the high-end Kano pop-up series he ran all over town pre-pandemic. (Oh, how I await the return of things like a Kano pop-up.) Mootz is their […]

Takeout chronicles: Mootz Pizza

Yoshitomo »

May 6, 2020

I am so thrilled to share chef David Utterback’s recent column for “Food Street,” a new regional food magazine, to my readers. I’ve gotten to know Dave during the past two years, and he is one of the restaurateurs in Omaha doing the most to push our food scene forward. He’s also a dynamic chef and personality. I love sitting at his counter, eating his food. When he sent me a link to this essay, […]

“Sushi in the time of Coronavirus”, an essay by chef David Utterback


May 5, 2020

The form is live right now on Please share!

Instagram: May 5


May 4, 2020

Here’s the thing: I really want to go out to eat. I miss it so much. It is part of who I am. But I’m not ready yet.Today many Omaha restaurants are reopening their dining rooms. Some are not. And every diner is thinking about what to do.Read what I’m doing — and what a couple of well-known restaurants are doing — at the link in my profile.

Instagram: May 4

Block 16 »

I miss eating out.  Restaurants have shaped the last decade of my life. Food continues to be a central focus of my work.  Dinner at an Omaha restaurant is my job, my pleasure, a huge chunk of my identity, as big a part of my daily ritual as brushing my teeth, getting dressed and reading the news. So yes, I miss eating out, but I also know this: I’m not ready to go back yet.  […]

I’m not ready to return to restaurants


Editor’s note: After I wrote my column “I’m not ready to return to restaurants,” readers asked for a list of Omaha restaurants that are pausing on reopening their dining rooms starting May 4, but still offering curbside takeout and delivery. If your restaurant is making that choice, we invite you to share your details on this form. We will keep the list updated, and share it by the end of the week. Questions? Email

Want to be on our takeout only list? Here’s the form.

Au Courant »

Neither of Omaha’s James Beard-nominated seminfinalist chefs made the cut to the finalist round, which were announced this afternoon on a Twitter live feed. This year, Omaha had two chefs nominated in the Best Chef: Midwest Category. David Utterback runs Yoshitomo and Ben Maides runs Au Courant; both restaurants are in Benson. An Omaha chef has never advanced to the finals round of the awards. The finalists for Best Chef: Midwest are: Steven Brown, Tilia, Minneapolis […]

Omaha’s two James Beard semifinalist chefs have not advanced

Taste of Omaha »

May 3, 2020

This summer’s 23rd annual Taste of Omaha festival has been rescheduled for Aug. 14-16 and will take place in Elmwood Park, near 67th and Pacific Streets. Traditionally, the festival is in May on the downtown Omaha riverfront. The festival is in the process of working with the city and volunteers to pull the festival off with changes related to the pandemic. The festival will this year focus on local restaurants that can use the support, […]

Taste of Omaha is rescheduled for August 2020

Hub Cafe »

How to order Hub Cafe makes it simple: order online at and pay by card, or call 402-474-2453 and pay on arrival. The restaurant is located at 250 N. 21st #3, just a hop off the Rock Island Trail.  What we got The breakfast bowl, brioche French toast, and four fresh bierocks that we held onto for dinner — beef and cabbage, ratatouille, jerk chicken, and curry. We also ordered a mimosa-to-go for Michael […]

Takeout Chronicles Lincoln: Hub Cafe


April 30, 2020

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April 28, 2020

It’s been a hell of a journey with my sourdough starter, Prince Rogers Nelson, and my attempts to bake the kind of bread I love to eat when we’re not living through a global pandemic. If you’d like to read my essay about learning how to bake, the link is right over in my profile.

Instagram: April 28

Farine & Four »

I’ll take a wild guess that your Instagram feed started getting cluttered with pictures of people’s beautiful loaves of home-baked bread around the same time mine did. It felt like about a month ago, everyone I knew (and a lot of people I don’t know) morphed overnight from regular people I liked to people I no longer liked because they also had the secret talent of bread baking. I was jealous. I did not have […]

Bread in the time of Corona: a tale in three loaves


April 24, 2020

The latest Takeout Chronicle is here in time for your weekend dinner plans: add @dante.omaha to your list. I’ve got details on both their regular menu and excellent family meals live on the site right now. You know where to find it.

Instagram: April 24


April 23, 2020

I’ve been sitting on this banana bread photo since last night and am seriously excited to share that you can find this recipe, plus the recipe for every dish I have cooked since mid-March, right now on I’ll keep the post updated with all my fresh cooking adventures, because we all need a little recipe inspiration right now, am I right? Click on over to the link in my profile for this week’s dispatch.


Dante Ristorante »

How to order Dante is offering almost all of its regular menu, along with several specials: a family meal option, several varieties of a take-and-make pasta special and both wine and cocktails to-go. All the specials are available for curbside pickup. The restaurant is also offering delivery through Grubhub. What we got We’ve ordered twice from Dante: once, we got the weekend special, a whole chicken dinner with roasted vegetables and their signature mixed greens. The […]

Takeout chronicles: Dante


It is in these dark times, with the city shut down due to global pandemic, that a man has got to hold onto something. A man has got to believe in something. I am holding on tight to a cocktail shaker. I believe I will have another drink. That’s not exactly Confucian wisdom right there. To be honest, I stole “A Man Has Got To Believe in Something…I Believe I’ll Have Another Drink” off a […]

Corona Cocktail Club with Matthew: How to make my favorite drink


April 21, 2020

August 2019 update: I’ve maintained rather heroic levels of cooking. I’ve dirtied so many dishes, and mostly, thankfully, had many more successes. I’m updating the list of recipes and ideas as the season has changed, and so have the ingredients I’ve been cooking with. Hope you enjoy. Paneer With Burst Cherry Tomato Sauce Iced matcha lattes This is our afternoon pick-me-up for a gentle jolt around 3 p.m. I ordered our matcha from The Tea […]

The updated list of everything I’ve cooked during quarantine


April 14, 2020

It’s #takeouttuesday so I dropped the latest Takeout Chronicle a little early. It’s @niteowlomaha and you know you want this burger and those tots. Cruise over to the link in my profile for the full rundown.

Instagram: April 14

Nite Owl »

Editor’s note: Welcome to our new series. We can’t dine out right now, but we can order in. I’ll share my chronicles of getting to-go meals, curbside takeout or delivery from various Omaha restaurants a few times a week. How to order To order, call 402-991-6767. You may have to call several times to get someone on the line. The menu is available online at, and the restaurant is at 3902 Farnam St. Curbside […]

Takeout chronicles: Nite Owl


April 13, 2020

Made my best quarantine version of the @publicanchicago chicken and fries for Easter dinner. Would I rather not be stuck at home? Yeah. But even so, pretty good. (The recipe is on @nytcooking if you want to try it yourself.)

Instagram: April 13


April 9, 2020

The Omaha farmers market will happen in 2020. The market announced yesterday on its Facebook page that it plans to open later than normal this year, in the first week of June, with some changes. The Market will continue to operate on Saturdays in the Old Market and Sundays in Aksarben Village, and the post notes that “the location in each district may change to accommodate social distancing requirements.” The markets are following recommendations from […]

The 2020 Omaha farmers market is still on

Yoshitomo »

This week in the Takeout Chronicles we’re taking a look at the takeout and delivery options from the two recent James Beard semifinalist nominated restaurants. Chef Benjamin Maides of Au Courant and Chef David Utterback of Yoshitomo have both introduced new programs since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic. I’ve tried both. Here’s my thoughts. How to order Yoshitomo has long been available via Grubhub, and we ordered rolls from the restaurant pre-pandemic pretty regularly. […]

Takeout chronicles James Beard edition: Yoshitomo


This week in the Takeout Chronicles we’re taking a look at the takeout and delivery options from the two recent James Beard semifinalist nominated restaurants. Chef Benjamin Maides of Au Courant and Chef David Utterback of Yoshitomo have both introduced new programs since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic. I’ve tried both. Here’s my thoughts. How to order You can visit this link to place an order for the Au Courant weekend family meal. This […]

Takeout chronicles James Beard edition: Au Courant

MōMō Pizzeria & Ristorante »

Editor’s note: Welcome to our new series. We can’t dine out right now, but we can order in. Guest author Liz McCue is sharing her takeout chronicles from restaurants offering delivery and curbside pickup in the capitol city. How to order Online at or by phone at 402-261-5966. MōMō Pizzeria & Ristorante is located at 7701 Pioneers Blvd.  What we got A pepperoni pizza, a verdura fresca pizza and tiramisu. How long it took […]

Takeout chronicles Lincoln: MoMo Pizzeria & Ristorante


April 2, 2020

Today in The Takeout Chronicles: one of my favorites: @tinyhousebar. You know what to do: hit that link in profile for more.

Instagram: April 2

Tiny House Bar »

Editor’s note: Welcome to our new series. We can’t dine out right now, but we can order in. I’ll share my chronicles of getting to-go meals, curbside takeout or delivery from various Omaha restaurants (and in this case, a bar) a few times a week. How to order In an ingenious move, Tiny House Bar converted a window on the side of its central room into a drive-thru (or walk-thru) window for takeout orders of […]

Takeout chronicles: Tiny House Bar

Salween Thai »

Editor’s note: Welcome to our new series. We can’t dine out right now, but we can order in. I’ll share my chronicles of getting to-go meals, curbside takeout or delivery from various Omaha restaurants a few times a week. How to order Salween Thai has been a pro at the Omaha takeout and delivery game for a long time. You can find the restaurant on Grubhub and UberEats if you prefer delivery, or you can […]

Takeout chronicles: Salween Thai


March 29, 2020

Apparently I bake now. (Lemony turmeric tea cake via @alisoneroman and @nytcooking.)

Instagram: March 29


March 26, 2020

This week's SBH newsletter: New Takeout Chronicles are here, plus the recipe for a giant blueberry pancake that should be on your brunch menu this weekend. It's all at the link in my profile right now.

Instagram: March 26

Pho Factory »

March 25, 2020

Editor’s note: Welcome to our new series. We can’t dine out right now, but we can order in. Guest author Liz McCue is sharing her takeout chronicles from restaurants offering delivery and curbside pickup in the capitol city. How to Order Online at — the restaurant offers takeout and curbside pickup, as well as delivery through Doordash — or by phone at 402-261-3213. Pho Factory is at 940 N. 26th St., Ste. 206. What we […]

Takeout chronicles Lincoln: Pho Factory

Barchen Beer Garden »

Editor’s note: Welcome to our new series. We can’t dine out right now, but we can order in. I’ll share my chronicles of getting to-go meals, curbside takeout or delivery from various Omaha restaurants a few times a week. How to order We ordered our dinner via Grubhub, but the restaurant is also offering delivery within a five-mile radius of Benson. In-house deliveries can also include alcohol. They’re also offering takeout, and have delivery via […]

Takeout chronicles: Bärchen Beer Garden


March 21, 2020

The newest Takeout Chronicle — @bouillonomaha — is live right now on my website. I’ve got two more waiting in line to post. Read the reviews if you wish and do what you can to support local. The link is in my profile.

Instagram: March 21

Le Bouillon »

Editor’s note: Welcome to our new series. We can’t dine out right now, but we can order in. I’ll share my chronicles of getting to-go meals, curbside takeout or delivery from various Omaha restaurants a few times a week. How to order Le Bouillon did a wonderful job revamping its website to make ordering delivery incredibly easy. Customers can order online or by phone – 402-502-6816 – and the restaurant has several options available: A […]

Takeout chronicles: Le Bouillon


March 19, 2020

This week in my SBH newsletter: The only thing that hasn't changed is cooking. Plus my new series "Takeout Chronicles" and all sorts of books and shows I'm enjoying. Find it now at the link in my profile.

Instagram: March 19


March 18, 2020

If you’re a restaurant owner wondering what to do, here’s what you can do. Read this post, share it, then click through the link on my website and contact your local officials. Thanks to Michelle Strawhecker of @dante.omaha and @forno.omaha for spearheading this important work. Link on my profile to get all the resources you need.

Instagram: March 18

Crystal Jade »

Editor’s note: Welcome to our new series. We can’t dine out right now, but we can order in. I’ll share my chronicles of getting to-go meals, curbside takeout or delivery from various Omaha restaurants a few times a week. How to order Crystal Jade is on Grubhub, and you can also call for a takeout order at or by calling 402-398-1688. Crystal Jade is at 7255 Cedar St. What we got Chicken Rendang, Isa […]

Takeout chronicles: Crystal Jade

Block 16 »

Editor’s note: Welcome to our new series. We can’t dine out right now, but we can order in. I’ll share my chronicles of getting to-go meals, curbside takeout or delivery from various Omaha restaurants a few times a week. How to order Call 402-342-1220, or message the restaurant on Facebook to place an order for takeout. The restaurant is offering curbside pickup outside its restaurant at 1611 Farnam St. Block 16 is also delivering through […]

Takeout chronicles: Block 16

Dante Ristorante »

Omaha restaurants are facing unprecedented challenges in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. Owners have been faced to overhaul their businesses overnight. Bars and dining rooms have been forced to close. There is no end in sight to the crisis. What you can do Restaurant and bar owners are circulating the below post on social media, spearheaded by the owners of Dante Ristorante and Forno. If you are a restaurant or bar owner, share the post […]

Help Omaha restaurants survive the pandemic

Barchen Beer Garden »

At Hardy Coffee Company, sharing tables is encouraged. People are meant to engage with each other, to share a power strip for their computers, perhaps to make conversation.  “All of a sudden we have to be six feet away from each other,” said Autumn Pruitt, the owner of the three Hardy shops around Omaha. “It’s the opposite message of what we’ve been saying for years. It has to be different for now.”  Initial steps restaurants […]

Omaha restaurants attempt to respond to a pandemic: “The shockwaves are yet to be felt.”


If you’re going to order in, do it right. @block16.jessnpaul Reuben for St. Pat’s (a personal favorite of mine.) We has a seamless experience with their new lunch hour curbside delivery. Support your local restaurants as much as you can right now. They need it.

Instagram: March 18


March 17, 2020

Local restaurants are adapting fast as the news cycle changes and people are urged to self-isolate. We all want to support restaurants during this time. I’ve gathered a few spots where you can find the most up-to-date information. Takeout & Delivery  → This is the best roundup of takeout or delivery options I’ve seen so far. Gastronom Cocktail Blog is switching gears and has gathered many Facebook posts from local restaurants, plus contact information.  → […]

Where to find takeout during the COVID-19 pandemic, plus some charitable options for the service industry


March 16, 2020

It’s a weird time. Today was our first day in quarantine for who knows how long. I set up a new home office and it feels different. I saw all my coworkers as little bobbing heads on a screen instead of in real life. I texted and slacked with friends instead of meeting them for a drink. And, at the end of the day, I cooked. Because cooking just felt like the right thing to […]

Instagram: March 16

Au Courant »

The James Beard foundation announced Monday it plans to postpone the announcement of this year’s James Beard Awards finalists. The announcement, originally slated for March. 25, will now come this summer. The delay is part of the foundation’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, Omaha has two chefs nominated in the Best Chef: Midwest Category. David Utterback runs Yoshitomo and Ben Maides runs Au Courant; both restaurants are in Benson. An Omaha chef […]

James Beard foundation will delay semifinalist announcement


March 12, 2020

I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek at @fizzysomaha earlier this week. Read all my thoughts right now at the link in my profile.

Instagram: March 12

Beercade 2 »

Noah and Katie Mock are Omaha’s king and queen of nostalgia. They’ve already wooed us with their singular wood-paneled grandparents’ basement vibe with Nite Owl, in the Blackstone District. Prepare to be wooed anew. Fizzy’s, their latest effort in Little Bohemia, at 1408 S. 13th St., opened Wednesday. I was lucky enough to be invited to a sneak peek earlier this week. Fizzy’s is so damn cool, I can barely stand it. The Mocks kept […]

Fizzy’s Fountain & Liquors will be the new Omaha retro hot spot


March 7, 2020

The first rule of fish frys is that you don’t talk about fish frys.

Instagram: March 7


March 5, 2020

This week’s SBH newsletter: I cooked carnitas for a crowd last Sunday, plus our list of Omaha fish frys just keeps growing. Check those stories out and more at the link in my profile.

Instagram: March 5

Saddle Creek Breakfast Club »

March 4, 2020

Saddle Creek Breakfast Club, the midtown cult classic, is reopening its doors Friday. The restaurant closed about a month ago and was unusually open about the reason: its chef and co-owner Chase Thomsen went to a treatment center for addiction and mental health issues, according to a post from his wife, Niki. This is the happy ending every Omaha breakfast-loving diner hoped for when the restaurant closed. While SCBC was closed, a GoFundMe aimed to pay the staff […]

Saddle Creek Breakfast Club reopens this weekend


→ Old Chicago at Shadow Lake Towne Center closed this week; no one answered phone calls. It’s not the first Omaha-area Old Chicago to shut; the Old Market location closed last fall, and Lincoln’s Old Chicago closed Sunday night. Its parent company, CraftWorks, has closed numerous stores and filed for Chapter 11. Omaha’s last Old Chicago locations are 76th and Cass Streets, near 132nd and West Maple and at 144th and West Center Road. → The Granite […]

Two West Omaha breweries closed this week

Kinaara »

→ Kinaara, a new Indian spot near 138th and Q Streets, is open. Its chef comes from the now-closed Blackstone Indian Bowl. The restaurant is serving a full menu, including curries and biryani, along with some interesting house specials like Tellicherry pepper goat fry and Fish Pollichathu, which is salmon marinated in chili powder, turmeric, and black pepper, then wrapped in a banana leaf with pollicha masala and grilled. → The Mandarin, a new Chinese spot, is […]

New West Omaha Indian and Midtown Chinese, and goodbye to Mars Bar


March 2, 2020

My friend @lizknowsher gets me. She gave me this weird little man-vase and this is his springtime debut. %%image-date%% %%instagram-url%%

Instagram: March 2


February 27, 2020

This week’s SBH newsletter: Omaha has two James Beard semifinalists, plus the food lover’s guide to Maui, new specials at Forno and new food at Mercury. Stroll on over to the link in my profile for more.

Instagram, Feb. 27


For years, readers have been asking me to write about Omaha fish fry season, and I finally did it. This week, we present a list of 45 fish fries, checked and double checked and searchable by neighborhood. The list features dates, hours and address of every fry. And, where I could, I pointed out fun menu details or useful information, like if a fry has a drive thru or is all-you-can-eat, or if they serve […]

Instagram: Feb. 27

Nori Sushi »

 → Pacific Eating House, a new restaurant from the owners of Twisted Cork Bistro, is opening March 3 at 1130 Sterling Ridge Dr, off 132nd and Pacific Streets. The restaurant, owners Darrell and Laura Auld said on their website, is the continuation of their original restaurant at 107th and Pacific Streets. Pacific Eating House will combine ingredients from the upper northwest, where the couple is from, with ingredients from the Midwest. The new spot is […]

New restaurant from Twisted Cork owner; sushi comes to Inner Rail

Okra African Grill »

→ Ragazzi’s announced plans to close its location near 168th and West Center. The restaurant said in a Facebook post that after four years, its owners decided to close. → Okra African Grill, the restaurant I first reported on last week, has an opening date: March 14. Its owner also shared her backstory. Owner Nina Sodji came to America in 1994 from Togo, West Africa, and worked as a nurse. In 2004, she opened an […]

Ragazzi’s plans to close, more on Okra African Grill and two new bakeries

Avoli Osteria »

How many talented chefs can Block 16 get in one room? Last Sunday, it was three (not counting the restaurant’s owners and many guests) in Le Bouillon’s Paul Kulik; Dario Schicke, of Dario’s Brasserie and Avoli Osteria; and Nick Strawhecker of Dante and Forno, who competed against one another at the restaurant’s third Burger Fight, which is just what it seems like from the name. Each chef comes up with a slider, the burgers get […]

Block 16’s Burger Fight III is about more than who won the contest

Forno »

Last weekend Matthew and I stopped by one of our favorite spots, Mercury, to find they’d updated their food menu with some real gems. The highlight of what we tried is the new Dr. Pepper barbecue chicken sandwich: tender, sweet meat stacked deep on an absolutely delicious cornbread and honey biscuit bun. A pile of red cabbage slaw cools things down and adds the right amount of creaminess. We also tried their new charred broccoli […]

Mercury adds new food and Forno revamps its happy hour

Au Courant »

February 26, 2020

Breaking food news this morning: Omaha has two James Beard semifinalists. Congratulations to Ben Maides at Au Courant Regional Kitchen and David Utterback at Yoshitomo. Both Yoshitomo and Au Courant have become staples of the new guard of restaurants turning Benson from a bar neighborhood to a food destination. Au Courant, 6064 Maple St. Maides opened Au Courant in 2016 with business partner Carlos Mendez in the former location of España. Before that, Maides worked at Avoli, in Dundee, […]

Omaha has two James Beard semifinalists


February 24, 2020

Aloha! Matthew and I spent a lovely week in Maui this February, and if the flight out of Omaha was any indication, lots of Nebraskans head to Hawaii when the weather here gets particularly grim. My list isn’t exhaustive, but it does include all the places I’d recommend, and if you’re headed to Maui, that I think you should check out. We did other non-food stuff: whale watching, which was beautiful; shopping in Wailea; driving […]

The food lover’s guide to Maui


February 23, 2020

Paul Urban promised a gravy fountain. That man also delivered a taleggio fountain and a RANCH FOUNTAIN.

Instagram: Feb. 23


Last week’s email newsletter focused on the new Sam Sifton cookbook, which I pre-ordered in October and have been excited about since. I’ve been reading the book since I wrote the newsletter last week, and I came across his recipe called “Meatloaf for Nora,” which led me to this wonderful story, summarized in the book. It’ll be the first of many I’ll make in the next week or so. Anyway, here’s the newsletter. Enjoy. It’s […]

It’s Sunday, the perfect day for a bit of writing on Sam Sifton’s new “See you on Sunday.”


February 20, 2020

This week's SBH newsletter: Sam Sifton's fantastic new cookbook, a brief Maui food recap, including the best Panang curry I've ever had, and lots of food news. Find it at the link in my profile.

Instagram: Feb. 20

Saigon »

A few weeks ago, I had a real hankering for a big bowl of pho. It’s partially because it was snowy (it is tonight, too), partially because temperatures had ebbed to the single digits (again, tonight, too) and because winter had no end in sight. Sadly, that also remains the case. But a bowl of long-simmered Vietnamese beef broth full of chewy-tender noodles topped with rare beef, fresh basil and all amounts of sauces and […]

I got my pho fix at the original Saigon – and discovered a new soup

Fizzy’s Fountain & Liquors »

February 19, 2020

→ During my vacation, I saw a Facebook post about a Gerda’s pop-up. A Gerda’s pop-up that I had missed. Since the midtown German mainstay closed last summer, lots of people have mourned the loss of the restaurant’s homemade desserts and their popular Oktoberfest. Apparently I wasn’t the only bummed diner, as more than 250 diners commented on the Facebook post, which mentioned another Gerda’s pop-up is planned for the spring. It sounds like a […]

Czechfest comes to Little Bohemia, plus a Gerda’s pop-up

I Love Pad Thai »

→ Okra African Grill is headed to 72nd and Pacific Streets, in Aksarben Center. I’ve seen glimpses of the food, which looks wonderful, on friends’ Facebook pages, and you can see it yourself courtesy of Omaha photographer Ariel Panowicz’s image above. I’m still working on gathering more information about the menu. More soon. → Though it’s not exactly new, last week was the first time I’d heard of Pan y Leche, a Salvadorian bakery in […]

New African food in midtown, Thai takes over at old High Peak Asian spot, J’s on Jackson is back and a Salvadorian bakery


February 13, 2020

This week's SBH newsletter: a brief aloha from Maui (because yes, I'm still here, and still soaking up those island vibes.) Find it at the link in my profile.

Instagram: Feb. 13


February 11, 2020

Dole Whip goal unlocked.

Instagram: Feb 11


February 9, 2020

The Aloha Mixed Plate: shoyu chicken, imu braised teriyaki beef, fresh fish, white rice and macaroni salad.

Instagram: Feb. 9


February 6, 2020

This week's SBH newsletter: An ode to a neighborhood favorite, Matthew's new favorite cocktail, Dante lasagna night and the latest on Saddle Creek Breakfast Club. Find it at the link in my profile.

Instagram: Feb. 6

Saddle Creek Breakfast Club »

Update: SCBC staff plans to open the restaurant tomorrow, Feb. 7, and Friday, Feb. 14, to serve a limited menu from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saddle Creek Breakfast Club’s announcement earlier this week that it will be closed in February is the talk of the local food world. The restaurant approached the announcement with unusual openness: its chef and co-owner Chase Thomsen is in a treatment center for addiction and mental health issues, according […]

Saddle Creek Breakfast Club is the news of the week

Dante Ristorante »

Omaha winters suck. They are cold. They are gray. The dirty snow piles up on the dirty curbs. The entire city bundles in scarves and coats and hurries hunched through grocery store parking lots. We silently curse the wind. We silently curse ourselves for not living in !$%^&!^@$8#$ Palm Springs. Or maybe I’m projecting. Anyway, winter is bad. So when a proverbial ray of sunshine peeks through the proverbial clouds and melts the proverbial dirty […]

Matthew Sez to Drink This: Dante’s “Hazy Shade of Winter”

Smokin’ Oak Wood Fired Pizza »

→ A pizza restaurant that has locations in Minneapolis, Denver and Ames, Iowa is headed to Omaha. Smokin’ Oak will take over the Midtown Crossing space formerly occupied by Della Costa and Brix. Omaha is listed as “coming soon” on the restaurant’s website. Midtown Crossing’s website reports it will take over the majority of the space at 220 S. 31st Ave. Smokin’ Oak cooks its pizza and sandwiches in a wood fired oven; among the […]

Wood-fired pizza is headed to Midtown Crossing; Village Inn closes in midtown

Dante Ristorante »

February 5, 2020

I’ll keep this one short and sweet: Dante’s lasagna is wonderful. It’s a one-night-a-week special, on Thursday, and it’s paired with select half-price wine that evening, too. (You know we took advantage of that.) Dante’s lasagana uses its delicious bolognese sauce folded between several layers of house-made pasta along with bechamel and grated cheese. Honestly. Lasagna is limited, and when it’s gone, it’s gone, so plan ahead. I strongly suggest topping your portion, enough for […]

SBH Recommends: Dante’s lasagna night


I love Super Bowl Sunday. For one, my favorite consignment store in Omaha has a Super Bowl Sunday sale and I never miss it. (I didn’t miss it this year, either, in between making several dishes for the afternoon feast.) For another, I like to make any day into a food holiday. Super Bowl Sunday is one of those days. This year, I got sucked in by several good looking recipes I saw on the […]

Our all Bon Appetit Super Bowl Sunday spread


February 3, 2020

Here’s the rest of my @bonappetitmag Super Bowl spread: @lallimusic turkey and bean chili and @sohlae queso not from a jar (in my favorite vintage Dansk saucepan.)

Instagram: Feb. 3


February 2, 2020

It’s an all @bonappetitmag Super Bowl Sunday at our house starting with the extra corny cornbread muffins from @mollybaz that I made with Nebraska sweet corn frozen from last summer. They smell goooood.



Just a beautiful whole trout amandine. Who says you can’t get good fish in Omaha? Yeah. Rethink that.

Instagram: Feb. 2


January 30, 2020

You can see my new favorite cooking gadget, the Meater, poking out of this gorgeous roasted chicken. Rad all about it in this week’s SBH newsletter, plus openings and closings and a recap of the Omaha event where diners eat 47,000 shrimp.

Instagram: Jan. 30


Innocently enough, I added an item to my Christmas list this year: meat thermometer. Little did I know that what I was going to get was much more than what I had in mind when I wrote those two words. My in-laws got me a Meater, which I had never heard of before Christmas morning, and didn’t really understand until a few weeks later, when I used it for the first time. The sleek little […]

Let’s talk about my favorite new kitchen gadget: The Meater

Shucks Fish House & Oyster Bar »

I’d heard about the annual Shucks Fish House “Shrimp Fest” for years, but somehow never managed to check it out. It turns out I might be the only person in Omaha who wasn’t there. Owner Greg Lindberg said during the four-day event, Shucks sold about 47,000 shrimp to close to 3,000 diners. That’s a lotta shrimp. If you, like me, are among the uneducated, Shrimp Fest is, in a nutshell, a whole variety of shrimp […]

Who knew Omahans loved shrimp this much?

DarBar Indian Cuisine »

January 29, 2020

→ Many midtowners shed a tear for the popular Americanized Chinese takeout spot, Three Happiness Express, after it caught on fire early Wednesday morning. The Omaha Fire Department tweeted about the fire, near 51st and Leavenworth Streets, around 7 a.m. Wednesday. Shortly after the fire was out, the restaurant posted on its Facebook page that it would be closed until further notice because of the fire. The owner, who said he was on site when […]

Three Happiness closes after a Wednesday morning fire, goodbye Saigon Bowl, new Indian in Blackstone and new Korean-poke in Aksarben


January 27, 2020

Copious amount of dill on the @alisoneroman creamy farro with crispy mushrooms and sour cream. SO GOOD. (The recipe is on @nytcooking FYI, and you should make it.)

Instagram: Jan. 27

Au Courant »

January 24, 2020

If you looked at social media last Sunday, it felt like everyone who knows anything about food in Omaha ate brunch at Au Courant. Yep, I was there, too. And now it’s my turn to rave. The menu is small but focused, with a handful of entrees and shared plates. Chovie’s Egg, the rotating egg-based creation, is this time around, a sort of avocado toast and egg situation; the brioche didn’t hurt anything, either. Matthew […]

Add Au Courant’s new brunch to your must-do list


January 23, 2020

You guys know how much I love a good cheese plate, right? I found a new one for you to try, at Lola’s, in Dundee, plus I’ve got a recap of my first Au Courant brunch experience and, as always, openings and closings. Go after it at the link in my profile, or better yet, subscribe at

Instagram: Jan. 23

Ahmad’s Persian Cuisine »

→ There’s a new cocktail spot on 16th Street. The Green Room, at 306 S. 16th St., specializes in “upscale cocktails at dive bar prices.” It’s on the first floor of the Farnam 1600 building on the southeast corner. → The Switch, the new food hall coming to the Blackstone District, announced its official name this week, but no word on the seven restaurant concepts just yet, but we do know this: Infusion Brewing Company […]

The new midtown food hall has a name, the end of the road for Ahmad’s (for now) and downtown has a new Green Room

Lola’s Cafe »

Lots of friends told me before I even stepped in the door that Lola’s, the new restaurant inside the Dundee Theater that took over the old Kitchen Table space, is taking a page out of the La Buvette playbook. If you read this site, you know La Buvette is my favorite restaurant in the city (and maybe the world) so I arrived at Lola’s with a fair amount of trepidation. Here’s the thing, though: Those […]

Review: The delightful little Lola’s, inside the Dundee Theater, is a must-try

Au Courant »

January 22, 2020

I love a good pop-up, and I’ve got one on the blog today. Get it at that link in my profile.

Instagram: Jan. 22

Marz Bar »

Matthew and I headed down to Lincoln recently for a Nebraska basketball game; though the game was dire, the food situation wasn’t. We decided to skip our regular spots (read more about those here) in favor of something completely new, at least to us. Turns out there’s a weekends-only pop-up, the Webster Bistro, in the back of Lincoln’s Marz Bar that serves a rotating menu of cuisines each week. We happened to be there during […]

There’s a weekends only pop-up restaurant inside Lincoln’s Marz Bar

Herbe Sainte »

January 17, 2020

You all know by now that I’m about halfway through Dry January (January is the longest month ever, right?) Anyhow, a friend sent me the Facebook event about the new Mocktail Monday nights at Herbe Sainte in Aksarben, so we checked it out a couple days ago; this week was the first week for the alcohol-free drinks, but co-owner Justin Halbert, who was working when we visited, told me that it’s going to become a […]

We tried the drinks at Herbe Sainte’s new “mocktail Monday”


January 16, 2020

This week in my newsletter, we sampled all the new zero-proof drinks at Herbe Sainte (and there are some goodies.) Plus a fresh look at Umami, in Bellevue, and several noteworthy new openings coming to West Omaha. It’s all online at and at the link in my profile.

Instagram: Jan. 16


→ Saltgrass Steak House is coming to Village Pointe this winter, to the spot formerly occupied by Stroud’s and Mimi’s. The chain restaurant, which focuses on capturing “the flavor of the open campfire,” focuses on grilled steak, chicken and seafood. Saltgrass has locations in a dozen states, including many in Texas. → Barnato Lounge, a new cocktail bar and live music venue, plans to open in Village Pointe, also; it’s another project co-produced by Maven […]

All about west Omaha: a new steakhouse, new lounge and new Thai spot

Umami »

I really need to get to Bellevue more. I already knew Keen Zheng’s Umami was great (and his story remains one of my favorites I’ve ever written.) If you don’t click through, here’s the short form: Keen worked at New York’s four-star restaurant Sushi Nakazawa, among other spots. But he didn’t want to open his own restaurant in Manhattan, where he said a sushi restaurant sits on almost every corner. A friend living in Omaha […]

Review: Revisiting Bellevue’s Umami, which is still just great


January 15, 2020

One of the city’s only Chicago-style pizza spots announced it plans to close later this month. Pudgy’s Pizzeria, which is near 168th and Harrison Streets, will close Feb 22. The restaurant’s owner, Jeff Salakar, is in poor health, and can’t continue to run the restaurant. “The owner faces significant health issues that prevents him from continuing to operate in the capacity as he would like,” a Facebook post announcing the closing reads in part. Pudgy’s […]

Pudgy’s Pizzeria announces it’s closing

Block 16 »

January 14, 2020

Today on the blog: @block16.jessnpaul made my dream burger. Read more at the link in my profile on my new website!

Instagram: Jan. 14

Block 16 »

January 13, 2020

This week has been pretty cool. My new website launched Thursday – you’re here, so you know – and on Friday my friends Paul and Jessica Urban made me the lunch special of my dreams. Seriously. The backstory: I asked the Urbans to come up with something spectacular, as they do daily, to help me announce my new website. They graciously agreed, and asked me a few simple questions: did I like thick burgers or smashed? […]

When Block 16 makes your dream burger


January 9, 2020

Today is the day! My new website is live! After many months of work and amazing help from my friends @hanscompark, my vision is a reality. You can find my favorites of 2019, Matthew’s annual cocktail list, food news and a new neighborhood search, all at the link in my profile.

Instagram: Jan. 9


I was lucky enough to spend some time with my friend Mike’l Severe and my new friend Damon Benning on 1620 the Zone Wednesday morning to talk about the new site, my top list of 2019, Valentine’s Day and poke bowls. Check out the clip below.

Listen to SBH on 1620 with Severe & Benning

Favorite restaurants of 2019 »

January 8, 2020

I’m doing the annual year-end wrap up a bit differently this year. Instead of focusing on just what I wrote about in 2019 I’m instead focusing on the entire city. (Side note: Click here to see a couple hundred stories I wrote before I left the Omaha World-Herald in 2019.) I came up with fun categories and brainstormed my favorites in each one; they’re also all based on dining experiences I had in 2019. Some […]

TBH, these are my favorites of 2019

Mercury »

Hello friends, citizens of the nearly one million person metropolitan area known as Omaha and treasured guests who found this on after panicking upon remembering they are gonna be with their lame co-workers on an Omaha business trip in 24 hours and have no idea where to drink. It’s Ol’ Man Drinker, risen from his boozewater grave, at your service. If it helps my cocktail credibility, please pretend I’m a gentleman wearing a three-piece […]

Old Man Drinker’s absolute best places to get a cocktail in 2019


North Omaha is getting its own food hall of sorts in the new 75 North Project at 30th and Parker Streets, whose first tenant – Big Mama’s Kitchen and Catering – opened its doors Tuesday.  Two more restaurants are slated to open in the space this spring: Pico, a street taco restaurant, and the Highlander Bar & Grill, a classic American spot, both from restaurateurs Lance and Natalie Wang. Lance Wang ran O Casual Dining at […]

Big Mama’s Kitchen is the first restaurant to open in the new 75 North food hall


Let’s do some Old Man Drinker awards, since it’s awards season and there is so much more cocktail love to go around in Omaha Town. Best West Omaha restaurant to get a legit drink: Dante, 16901 Wright Plaza. You my have noticed that my Top 5 bars in Omaha list is East Omaha focused. Sorries, but that’s the truth. Inkwell comes closest for me, and it’s not even really in West Omaha! I travelled out […]

Old Man Drinker’s cocktail awards


Dry January has me cooking up a storm. Tonight I made white beans with sage, garlic and fennel from @177milkstreet “Milk Street Tuesday Nights” cookbook and @alisoneroman ‘s perfect salad. ️ For last week, when I made @nytcooking roasted chicken thighs and winter squash. By the way, those are @seedlipdrinks spirit-free cocktails.

Instagram: Jan. 8


January 7, 2020

 → Au Courant has added brunch to its menu for good. The Benson restaurant will serve Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Check out its Instagram for the full list of new hours. (I can’t wait to see what’s on that brunch menu, by the way.) Au Courant is at 6064 Maple St. → V. Mertz is also serving Sundays. The classic downtown restaurant is adding Sunday dinner service starting at 5 p.m. Check out […]

Brunch at Au Courant, square doughnuts and Sundays at V. Mertz


January 2, 2020

Happy New Year! I’m back this week in my newsletter with both a spirited and spirit-free cocktail suggestion for the new year. Also, High Peak Asian and Nebraska Brewing Company close, plus a peek at the return of an Old Market underground bar. As always, find it at the link in my profile.

Instagram: Jan. 2


Dry January is officially on but I thought it would be fun to take a quick look back at the cocktail we made to ring in 2020 earlier this week. Because we had dinner plans — more on those in a bit! — we wanted something relatively low-alcohol but festive and bright. Enter the new America’s Test Kitchen “How to Cocktail” book. The drink we settled on turned out to be a festive mix of muddled berries, vodka, rich […]

A spirited and a spirit-free cocktail suggestion for the new year


→ A new Thai spot is open near 156th and West Maple. Khao Niao Thai-Lao restaurant has a copy of its menu online. → Masarap Philippine Cuisine is closing its brick-and-mortar location at the end of January and plans to look for a new, more central location. It is at 168th and Harrision Streets. In the meantime, the restaurant will pop up at several summer events around town. → In sad news, High Peak Asian, […]

High Peak Asian closed, Detroit-style pizza headed to Aksarben, new West Omaha Thai


December 24, 2019

I cooked @alisoneroman’s tangy brisket with this massive 9 1/2 lb. piece of meat this week for family Christmas and it is a fantastic recipe. This was the dish before six hours of braising and an hour and a half roast. No newsletter this week, I’m taking a holiday break. See you in 2020!

Instagram: Dec. 24


December 20, 2019

Matthew and I have more time off this year than we’ve ever had around the holidays, which is pretty great. We had a celebratory lunch this afternoon @jgilbertsomaha and ate their seasonal lunch menu. One of the best crab cake melts in Omaha right here, my friends. They’re serving lunch one last time this holiday season on Monday. #treatyoself

Instagram: Dec. 20


December 19, 2019

Omaha’s first Brazilian steakhouse plans to open in the Capitol District. Rumor is a Texas de Brazil is coming to the development off 10th and Capitol; no timeline has been announced yet. I’ll keep you posted.→ A new food hall is part of the ongoing development in the Blackstone District. Here’s the scoop via my former OWH Money colleagues.→ Sickie’s Garage Burgers & Beer plans to open in Bellevue in January. The location will be […]

A rumored Brazilian steakhouse, new takeout curry and Omaha’s Topgolf

Farine & Four »

December 18, 2019

When I met Bloomberg food writer Kate Krader for coffee in downtown Omaha earlier this year, little did I know two experiences she’d soon have in our fair city would make her list of the best this year. Not only that, they’re bookended in her recent piece, about the 19 best dishes she ate in 2019, by meals she had in Paris, Las Vegas, New York, Mexico City and Chicago.  Welcome to the big time.  […]

Omaha food made national news this week


I like cooking, so its natural that I get a lot of food-related gifts. I also buy a lot of food-related gifts for myself. Here, in no specific order, are the things I think the foodie in your life might love this holiday season.  The New Joy of Cooking. I have this book, and I haven’t had time to dig into it. But I’m going to do it on my holiday break, and you can […]

My Favorite Foodie Gifts

Forno »

December 15, 2019

Did you know @forno.omaha has wings? They do. And they’re great, sweet-spicy with super tender meat and a lovely char.

Instagram: Dec. 15


December 14, 2019

Still working my way through Omaha chili. The full rundown will be live on my site in January.

Instagram: Dec. 14


December 13, 2019

When I accepted owner Jose Dionico’s invitation to check out JoJo’s in Benson, his new high-end, late night diner, I was already looking forward to writing this email. Because I had a feeling it was going to be just what Omaha can use right now: a well executed, breakfasty option as good in the morning as it’d be at 2 a.m. And thankfully, for all of us, I was right.  I’ve had an interesting relationship […]

Sneak peek: Benson’s new high-end, late night diner


December 12, 2019

This week’s SBH newsletter: A look at Omaha’s new late night, high-end diner, @jojosbenson, plus a whole gang of restaurant openings and my take on a high-end cheese plate. Find it, as always, at the link in my profile.

Instagram: Dec. 12


Another busy week in the restaurant news game.  Before I get to openings and closings, a couple events to note.  → If you find it challenging to get to Omaha’s “fancy restaurants” on a regular basis, two very nice spots (that I know of) open for a limited run of holiday lunches. V. Mertz will serve its annual holiday lunches Dec. 17 through Dec. 28, though they’re closed on Christmas Day. The lunches run from 11 a.m. […]

Holiday lunches, the return of Austin’s Steakhouse and Petrow’s plans to close


December 7, 2019

Still pretty into the cheese plate I made last night.

Instagram: Dec. 7


December 5, 2019

This week’s SBH newsletter: Some thoughts on restaurant closings and nostalgia, plus 24 hours in Lincoln, including this delicious paella @sebastianstable. Read it, as always, at the link in my profile.

Instagram: Dec. 5


This week: Lots more openings on my radar this week and fewer closings.  I’m sure many of you know by now that Mouth of the South closed its location near 72nd and Ames Avenue. I exchanged a few messages with owner Ryan Ernst, who said yes, he does have plans to reopen. But right now, he’s just not sure where or when. I asked him to keep us posted as the situation develops. Mouth of the South […]

New Mexican in Papillion, Alice brings craft drinks to West Omaha, Mouth of the South closes

Eleanora »

Matthew and I headed to Lincoln last weekend, post-Thanksgiving feast (which was delicious) to hang out with some family and go to the Nebraska-Iowa football game. Downer of a game but hey, the food and drinks were pretty great.  I just love everything about Goldenrod Pastries: Its neighborhood; its absolutely scrumptious baked goods, many of which are vegan and gluten-free; its adorable atmosphere and its owner, Angela Garbacz, who has a cookbook coming soon that I can’t […]

A handful of Lincoln favorites

Block 16 »

December 3, 2019

does it show now?

Happy Thanksgiving Eve! (Yes, it’s a thing now.)

Baela Rose »

Here you see two examples of how I love to eat. How I would eat all the time if I had my way about it. In fact, I had a third cheese and meat plate Monday night, at La Buvette, and just didn’t take a photo of it. If you get the chance, check out the meat and cheese at Baela Rose, in Dundee. We stopped in last week after a screening of “The Irishman” at […]

What I’ve been eating (cheese plates, basically)


November 29, 2019

I’m still eating chili at every restaurant that has it. I’m not reporting my results until my site launches, so there’s much chili to be consumed. Good thing I like chili.

Instagram: Nov. 29


November 27, 2019

This week’s SBH newsletter: Things I’m thankful for (including food, my husband, my cats, you, gentle reader and cheese) plus recipes for a favorite holiday cocktail and appetizer. Follow the link in my profile for more.

Instagram: Nov. 27

Mercury »

November 22, 2019

Speaking of cheese, I don’t know what it is, but I love a cheese ball around the holidays. They are simple to make, almost always delicious, appeal to everyone and look great with a side of Ritz. For Thursday, I got assigned an appetizer, and I’ll be making this Gruyere and Thyme Cheese Ball coated with toasted pumpkin seeds.  Now I’ll turn things over to Matthew for the cocktail portion of the afternoon.  Bad in the kitchen? […]

A simple appetizer and a simple cocktail for the holidays

Block 16 »

November 21, 2019

In this week’s SBH newsletter it’s all about our new NYC favorites, including this incredible and unusual Thai dish, plus Matthew’s favorite cocktail spots (for now.) Oh! And there’s a cool event you should know about from @howardstreetwine and @block16.jessnpaul this weekend. I’ll be there and so should you. Read at the link in my profile.

Instagram: Nov. 21


— Mayne St. Market closed its Benson location. It’s last day was Oct. 18. It was at 6207 Maple St. — Jazz, the Lousiana-focused restaurant downtown, closed. The restaurant opened in 2006 at 1421 Farnam St. It has several other locations around the Midwest and one in Texas.— Copps Pizza took over the former SmashBurger location at 7204 Jones St. The locally owned pizza place has several signature items, including a cream cheese pie.— Jukes Ale Works, a tap room serving the […]

Mayne St. Market says goodbye, Copps Pizza and Jukes Ale Works are open


It’s damn near a tragedy when out-of-towners visit New York City and end up having a beer at some fake Irish pub that looks like the first bar Tom Cruise worked at in “Cocktail.” It’s NYC, friends. Many of the best watering holes in the entire world are clustered in neighborhoods in eastern and lower Manhattan.  Alexander Hamilton drank ‘round here. Teddy Freaking Roosevelt drank ‘round here. So let’s not throw away our shots, shall […]

Matthew’s top three NYC cocktail experiences (for now)


A friend of mine sent over a whole host of NYC restaurant recommendations, many high-end and delicious looking. But the one that really stood out to me was this one: Wondee Siam, a tiny Thai spot off 53rd Street and 9th Avenue in Hell’s Kitchen. Most of the best dishes on the menu are in Thai, my friend told me, so he provided me with pictures of his favorite dishes and the name of each dish. […]

A can’t miss NYC Thai spot


This week, allow us to wax poetic about the food of New York City. We just returned from New York on Monday, so the experience is top of mind, including the dish above, the chilled spicy noodles from Momofuku Noodle Bar. I dream about these noodles when I’m not in New York, and they’re generally the first thing I get upon arrival (it’s either these noodles or a Shake Shack burger, depending on my mood.) These […]

Our newest New York food recommendations


November 17, 2019

Instagram: Nov. 17


November 14, 2019

This week’s SBH newsletter: The wonderfully creative new menu at Mercury, the search for good chili and brunch at Modern Love, among other restaurant news. Check it out at the link in my profile.

Instagram: Nov. 14


— Modern Love plans to add a regular brunch service to its menu, starting Sunday. The service will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and the new menu is online now. Highlights: a full English-style breakfast, a portobello ranch steak salad and Nutella French toast, among many other tasty dishes.  — Skeet’s, a North Omaha barbecue institution, has closed for good. A story on Noise Omaha said the restaurant, which has been around for 67 years, closed after […]

Modern Love adds brunch, North Omaha loses Skeet’s and Enzo’s


I’m on the hunt for Omaha’s best chili. No team this time around, just me, taking people’s recommendations and heading to different restaurants around the city to try what’s out there. I’ve tried two chilis so far (and have several more on the horizon.) This one was from last weekend, when Matthew and I ventured over to Vinton Street and had lunch at Louie M’s. Their chili has a thin texture, with plenty of beans and hunks of […]

What’s the best chili in Omaha?

Mercury »

Hello! The new menu at Mercury — featuring a new theme, all new cocktails and many new food items — has been on my list of “things to write about” for a few weeks now. Matthew and I checked it out again last night and left wowed with the bar’s seemingly endless creativity when it comes to making original cocktails. The same goes for their gussied up food menu, which features several new sandwiches and a couple […]

Mercury’s new menus are wildly creative


This fortune comes true daily.


November 9, 2019

Is there a fruit more beautiful than the blood orange? I’m taking this lovely bowl of citrus along with @alisoneroman’s sweet and salty cream cheese tart to a dinner party tonight.

Instagram: Nov. 9


November 7, 2019

Dining in is my new dining out. Read more at the link to my latest SBH newsletter, which is a meditation on my current love of cooking in my own kitchen.

Instagram: Nov. 7


For one glorious moment — ok, two weeks — Au Courant brought its ham back to the menu. I happened in on the ham’s last night of its cameo, and was reminded of my review where I gushed about an earlier version of chef Ben Maides’ ham. (If you can’t read that review, to summarize: It was the best, most modern take on ham I’ve ever eaten, and remains so now.) You can’t get the ham any more, which is pictured […]

Au Courant’s ham and Block 16’s ninth anniversary


November 1, 2019

The best jack-o-lanterns by @bvankat.

Instagram: Nov. 1


October 31, 2019

Hey friends! My latest SBH newsletter is here, wherein I tell you about a hot pocket pop-up I went to last weekend, and give you the scoop on a new Dundee restaurant. Plus, what I’ve been eating and drinking. Follow the link in my profile for more.

Instagram: Oct. 31


October 29, 2019

First PSL of the season! The @hardycoffeeco PSL legitimately tastes just like pumpkin pie scented with nutmeg and cinnamon.

Instagram: Oct. 29


October 24, 2019

I am so excited to share the inaugural SBH newsletter. I hope you read, enjoy and, if you like what you see, subscribe; check out the link in my profile for more. (P.S. pictured is the amazing soup and cheese scone from Grateful Bread in Lincoln. It’s among the recent eats featured in this week’s newsletter.)

Instagram: Oct. 24


October 20, 2019

Homemade mulled apple cider with spices from @themillcoffeeandtea bourbon 🥃 lemon 🍋 and my favorite vintage Halloween decoration

Instagram: Oct. 20


I held this incredibly heavy, giant plate of sea salt chocolate chip cookies and I did it only for the gram. (Also get a @hubcafelincoln cookie already.)

Instagram: Oct. 20