ANTHONY’S.. 72nd and F streets. 331-7575. Closed Sunday. One of the old-line steakhouses, big and friendly. A good family spot. Huge menu.
BROTHER SEBASTIAN’S STEAKHOUSE AND WINERY. 1350 S. 119th St. 330-0300. Seven days. Not old and not new, this 1980s steakhouse that resembles a California monastery has a great salad bar, romantic little rooms with fireplaces and a great party room. Prices remain reasonable.
CASCIO’S. 1620 S. 10th St. 345-8313. Seven days. Been here forever and still cookin.’ This venerable steak emporium has been a mainstay of the College World Series crowd.
CHARLESTON’S. Just north of West Dodge Road at the Boys Town exit. 431-0023. Open seven days. Don’t let the chain ID fool you – this is a top notch restaurant – casual, with an eclectic menu that includes upscale burgers, lots of salads, fish entrees, steaks, sandwiches, soups, ribs, crisp veggies and rich desserts – including a knockout bread pudding. Management is the key to success here. The ambience is gaslamp hideaway with a bar area popular on weekends.
THE DROVER. 2121 S. 73rd St. 391-7440. Open seven days. Tucked away on a side street, this longtime steakhouse favorite draws customers from the medical neighborhood at 72nd and Mercy Road. Cozy fireplace, good service.
801 CHOP HOUSE (in the Paxton House). 1403 Farnam. 341-1222. Open seven days. Formerly the Paxton Chop House, this beautiful, masculine spot is a twin to one in Des Moines and a major draw for elegant service and classic steakhouse fare. Perfect for memorable occasions, but Sunday night specials are affordable for anyone.
FLEMING’S. Next to Regency Court Shopping Center (south side). 393-0811. Open seven days. Big deal wine offerings here from climate controlled wine closets. Very attractive main dining room with some extra nooks and bar-side service, too. Char-grilled steaks are reasonably priced, with huge sides, and some major seafood offerings. Excellent service and a very nice ambience for a special evening out.
GENJI STEAK HOUSE. 14505 W Center Road. 333-8338. Popular Japanese, group-style “teppanyaki” cooking with items sliced and diced on a hot metal surface, then tossed about in entertaining ways. Very healthful meals, with lots of protein (several kinds of beef, plus shrimp) and delicious chopped vegetables. Reasonably priced and fun for kids and adults alike.
GORAT’S. 4917 Center St. 551-3733. Closed Sunday. Oldtime Omaha steakhouse with veteran women waitresses, no frills, but good steaks and trimmings that bring regulars – including Warren Buffett, back again and again. The Gorat family keeps prices friendly.
JERICO’S. 11732 West Dodge Road. 496-0222. Open seven days. Longtime family-run steakhouse known for its prime rib.
JOHNNY’S CAFÈ. 4702 S. 27th St. 731-4774. Closed Sunday. One of Omaha’s most famous steakhouses, it was opened in 1922 by the Kawa family at the stockyards, where the family still operates it. Many loyal customers love the place for lunch or dinner.
JOHNNY’S ITALIAN STEAKHOUSE. 305 N. 170th St. in Village Pointe. 289-9210. Open seven days. Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Dean Martin would have loved this place – tricked out like a Hollywood 1940s supper club, Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse is one of an Iowa-based chain offering Italian pasta favorites along with steaks and chops. Desserts, made on the premises, are popular.
KOBE STEAKHOUSE OF JAPAN. Regency Court Shopping Center. 391-1755. Seven days. Long-running Japanese steak house offers healthy cuisine, entertaining chefs, reasonable prices and an attractive Regency location.
KONA GRILL. 295 N 170th St. 779-2900. Kona Grill is a sushi restaurant with lots more, including very imaginative appetizers and entrees with Hawaiian, Chinese, japanese and American touches (macadamia nut chicken, satay, potstickers, steamed soybeans, saki-marinated bass, sweet chili-glazed salmon and even a meatloaf made with sweet Italian and Louisiana sausage!). Loads of interesting dipping sauces, too, plus full sushi offerings
LONE STAR STEAKHOUSE & SALOON. 3040 S. 143rd Plaza. 333-1553. Open seven days. Last of a chain here, they do a good job with burgers and sandwiches, homemade soups and chili, sirloin and ribeye, their own salad dressings, and good service.
MAHOGANY PRIME STEAKHOUSE. 13665 California St. 445-4380. Boasting the top two per cent of Nebraska prime beef, this once very expensive spot also offers Australian lobster, grilled salmon filet with capers, shrimp and crabmeat; plus lots of salads, lamb, porkchops, bacon-wrapped scallops, king crab legs and a famous house martini. Prices have moderated recently.
OMAHA CHOPHOUSE. Omaha Marriot, 10220 Regency Circle. 399-9000. This is the latest entry at Regency, which once had Allie’s and the fabulous Chardonnay fine dining restaurant. Now it’s a steak place with the usual cuts, plus seafood, fancy sandwiches, various chicken entrees, salads and a pretty extensive wine list.
OMAHA PRIME. 415 S. 11th St. in the Old Market. 341-7040. Closed Sunday. Mo Tajvar’s beautiful Old Market spot has a lovely bar area and a handsome room for his prime cuts of beef in this second floor Old Market beauty, complete with rear views of the Old Market Passageway and a smoking room behind glass. A la carte and expensive, like other “prime” beef establishments, but offering a lot of visual charm.
OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE. 7605 Cass St. 392-2212; 2414 S. 132 Street. 697-1199; 10408 S. 15th Street. 991-9275. Open seven days. From the opening of the Cass Street original, this Florida-based chain has been one of the most successful chains here. Basically an American steakhouse, it puts up an Australian façade, but the menu offers steaks, ribs and chicken plus baked potatoes, slab fries and barbecued chicken. You can toss a shrimp or two on the Barbie, too. Omahans love them all.
PICCOLO PETE’S. 2202 S 20th St., 342-9038. In South Omaha since 1933, Picolo Pete’s is a classic Omaha Italian steakhouse, with Italian pastas to augment the steaks – plus big salads, burgers, hot roast beef, many breaded items, many fish, kids menu and even pizza. Try the chicken gizzards – folks love them. Prices are low to moderate.
PINK POODLE. 633 Old Lincoln Highway in Crescent, Iowa, just east of I-680. 545-3744. Closed Monday. The famous doll collection is gone, but lots of folks think this rustic-style atmosphere and the steak and prime rib specialties are worth the short drive. Steaks, chops, lots of seafood, gizzards and livers, and an inexpensive children’s menu.
SULLIVAN’S STEAKHOUSE, 222 S. 15th St. 342-0077. Seven days. Across from the Public Library and very near the Holland Performing Arts Center, Sullivan’s is a handsome, friendly ’40s-style steakhouse downtown featuring fine steaks and seafood, top-of-the-line martinis, and an enormous wine choice from its 15,000-bottle cellar with an hand-cut Italian stone floor. Jazz music fulfills the restaurant’s slogan, “Steaks, martinis…and jazz.” Noisy, crowded and fun.
360 STEAKHOUSE at Harrah’s, One Harrah’s Blvd., Council Bluffs, (712) 329-6000. This upscale steakhouse sits at the top of Harrah’s Hotel, on the 12th floor, offering a unique view of the Omaha skyline. The menu offers elegant beef entrees, seafood (lobster, tiger shrimp, scallops), lots of interesting sides and salads. Private dining room available.
BOURBON BBQ & STEAK at Ameristar Casino, 2200 River Road, Council Bluffs, (712) 328-8888, has replaced the Waterfront Grill there with a menu chock with barbecued pork and chicken items, plus some steaks, salads, sandwiches, seafood in an eclectic mix. Less high hat than its predecessor, it aims for a more regular crowd, including kids.
BISTRO 121. 12129 West Center Road. 697-5107. Former location of Claudia’s, this handsome spot is now Walter Hecht’s new version of his Old Vienna Restaurant, a south Omaha fixture for decades. This Swiss chef offers European fare, including liver dumpling soup, escargot, mussels, Provencal shrimp, duck, lamb and veal entrees, plus risotto with grilled chicken and even Oysters Rockefeller – and you can get a New York strip steak, too. Some of the same plus excellent sandwiches, salads and soups at bargain lunch prices. Lots of California wines. Hecht is a real veteran of the Omaha dining scene.
THE FRENCH CAfÈ. 1017 Howard Street in the Old Market. 341-3547. Six days, dinner only, plus Sunday brunch. Tony Abbott’s original Old Market fine dining operation is the closest thing to a real French brasserie in Omaha. With an industrial, 19th century look and giant wall photos of people enjoying sidewalk café ambience, it is a real charmer. Unfortunately, it’s now closed for lunch. Expect French onion soup, mussels in five preparations, escargot, baked brie, plus a full line of steaks and seafood and a separate bar/bistro menu. Good wine, too.
THE FLATIRON CAFÈ. 17th and Howard streets. 344-3040. Closed Sunday; dinner only six days. Steve and Kathleen Jamrozy have established the gold standard for Omaha restaurants in a lovely room in a triangle-shaped building reminiscent of old New York, complete with huge window walls and a tree-shaded patio. James Beard-nominated chef Jennifer Coco maintains a seasonally changing New American menu that never omits Nebraska beef. Great service, great food, very popular with Orpheum-going crowds all year.
LE VOLTAIRE. 155th Plaza at West Dodge Road (north side). 934-9374. Closed Sunday, Monday. French owner-chef Cedric Fichepain has combined Paris with Alsace in his unpretentious suburban bistro, where the menu offers what you’d expect: French onion soup, bouillabaisse, escargot, duck liver, duck confit, coq au vin, filet mignon and even crepes suzette. Nice wine choices, good service, intimate, very reasonably priced.
LIBERTY TAVERN. In the Hilton Hotel, at 1001 Cass St., across from the Qwest Center. 998-4321. Open seven days. This fine dining restaurant now has a unique and appealing outdoor dining area, California style, that seats 80 – it’s centered on a modernist fireplace and you can order from the indoors restaurant menu or the less expensive bar menu. The indoors area is attractively modern and has a menu reflecting the “farm to table” movement, with an emphasis on locally provided items, including Iowa pork and Nebraska chicken. Chef Michael Rhodes is doing upscale comfort foods: corn chowder, corn fritters, sweet potato and duck hash, seafood pot pie, flatiron steak, meatloaf, mac and cheese, but also elegant steak and fish entrees. The big deal dish is the imperial Wagyu beef strip steak from Blair, Neb., with Iowa Maytag blue cheese butter. Creative desserts add to the fun.
MARKS BISTRO. 4916 Underwood Ave (up one flight). 502-2203. Closed Sunday. A hidden gem in Dundee opened by Mark Pluhacek and Molly Romero and located in a multi-level house that has a wonderful outdoor deck (itself on more than one level). The main dining room has a bar and a window-wall overlooking the Dundee neighborhood. Huge wine list (over 100) and a menu that favors small plates: tarts, dips, cheese plates, antipasto, hummus, flat breads, wonderful sandwiches (including crab cake or apple-ham-cheese), fish tacos, really elegant salads and lots of them, plus such entrees as fennel-dusted salmon or tilapia with mango salsa or smoked chicken lasagna or even a beef filet. It’s a real find.
NICOLA’S in the Market. 13th and Jackson streets in the Old Market. 345-8466. Lunch Monday-Friday; dinner Tuesday-Sunday. Italian meets Mediterranean at Nicola Nick’s Old Market trattoria where you can browse through a menu sporting authentic country Italian favorites: eggplant, cheeses, Italian sausage and ham ingredients, a wonderful lasagna Mediterranean, grilled chicken, stuffed pastas. But the star of the menu is ravioli in many tempting, delicious combinations. Sauces here are important and the long pasta menu will intrigue. Excellent little spot with bargain prices considering the care taken in preparation.
PASSPORT. 11th and Jackson streets in the Old Market. 330-7980. Open seven days (after 5 p.m.). A beautiful room with a handsome bar area, Mo Tajvar’s dinner-only beef and seafood restaurant is remindful of the elegance of the now-closed Cafe de Paris in that you can get Dover sole here, and pastry-wrapped Beef Wellington, and such Antoine’s style desserts as Peach Melba and Bananas Foster. The menu is extensive, with elaborate appetizers and salads plus a full line of prime steaks and seafood choices – plus, if you can believe it, Nebraska-raised Ostrich!
RICK’S CAFÈ BOATYARD. 345 Riverfront Drive (6th Street). 345-4545. Open seven days. They keep changing the name – is it Rick’s Café Boatyard or Rick’s Boatyard Café? Either way, the huge place offers a view of the Missouri River and seats as many outside as inside. This is a place for drinks, the view and lots and lots of seafood: fresh, fried, every which way. Huge menu with something for everyone.
V. MERTZ. 1022 Howard St., 345-8980. V. Mertz has to be one of the two or three best restaurants in Nebraska. Irresistibly attractive at the grotto level of the Old Market Passageway, it provides a womb of old brick, wine racks, sprays of flowers and an ancient Roman style wall fountain, it is perfectly romantic, half- hidden and mysteriously likeable. Executive Chef John Engler oversees a menu that makes the best of organic produce from nearby Crescent, Iowa, lamb, beef and seafood. Artisan cheeses are available after dinner along with some sumptuous desserts. The wine selection is extensive and sophisticated (a semi-finalist for wine service in the James Beard awards). V. Mertz is one of the city’s most expensive restaurants but is worth it (the tasting menu is $100).
BAILEY’S. 1259 S. 120th St. 932-5577. Seven days. Great breakfast spot supervised by chef Jon Dye, of Shucks Oyster Bar nearby. Simple and classic egg dishes, quiche, waffles, pancakes, maple bacon, and lunch fare, too.
BARRETT’S BARLEYCORN. 4322 Leavenworth, 558-5520. A neighborhood place with burgers, phillies and other sandwiches. Daily specials and a sports bar ambience.
BENE PIZZA AND PASTA. 12301 West Maple Road. 498-0700. Open seven days a week. Retro pizza spot with ‘70s look – sandwiches, too.
BIG FRED’S PIZZA GARDEN. 119th and Pacific streets. 333-4414. Open seven days. Hugely popular pizza joint that attracts crowds all the time, especially on weekends. Sports bar atmosphere with lots of noise.
BILLY MAC’S BBQ. 5010 S. 108th St. Billy and Ann McKenna (formerly of McKenna’s Blues, Booze & BBQ ) have a place of their own now – usual BBQ fare which they know how to prepare.
BILLY FROGGS. 1120 Howard St. in the Old Market. 341-4427. 8724 Dodge St. (397-5719; 84th and Giles. Open Seven days. The original on Howard Street has a very nice tree-shaded outdoor dining area and all three pull in a younger crowd for burgers, hot dogs, pub fare and a broad selection of domestic and imported beers. Good hang-out spots.
BOB MONKEY’S NOODLE ZOO. 4950 Dodge Street. 932-9971. Offbeat lunch place with soups, salads and sandwiches.
BRAZEN HEAD IRISH PUB. 319 N. 78th St., just off West Dodge. 393-3731. Seven days. Irish pub, close to the real thing (the owners imported some parts of it from Ireland). Mixes Irish/English fare with American pub favorites. Huge beer list.
BREWBURGERS. 4629 S. 108th St. 614-7644. Lots of TVs – lives up to its name.
CUNNINGHAM’S PUB & GRILL. 120th and Blondo streets. 934-4385. Cunningham’s promises to have “the atmosphere to keep you here.” It’s not just the low-key ambiance with big screen TVs and a large outdoor patio that make you feel at home – is the family that runs it.he sandwiches and burgers on Cunningham’s menu are anything but ordinary when the burgers are hand-made, half-pound patties topped with sautéed mushrooms, bleu cheese, and onions grilled in lager from Omaha’s own brewery, Lucky Bucket.
BUFFALO WILD WINGS. 48th and L streets (734-8088); 76th and Dodge streets (343-9464); 10525 S. 15th St. (991-9464); 146th Street and West Maple Road (492-9464); 4287 S. 144th St. (861-9464). Popular wing spot with lots of beer.
CAFFEINE DREAMS. 4524 Farnam St. 932-2803. Multi-level outdoor seating, under the trees, is a dream here, in this ‘60s kind of coffee house. Great brew plus pastries, sandwiches, granola, smoothies and the like. Mid-town grad student kind of place.
THE CHEESECAKE FACTORY. 10120 California St. at Westroads. 393-1166. Seven days. Enormous chain restaurant done up in exotic architecture and interiors that resemble a British officers’ club in Egypt in the 19th century. Big operation with a huge menu: glamburgers, white chicken chili, Asian fare, fish ‘n chips, all kinds of sandwiches, soups, salads; imaginative items mixing culinary styles – crabcake sandwich, Cuban sandwich, stuffed mushrooms, pizza, fried zucchini, mini corndogs, steaks, beef ribs, pork chops, salmon, tuna, shrimp scampi and, of course, lots of different cheesecakes. It would take months to work your way through this menu. Good family spot.
CHEESEBURGER IN PARADISE. 168th and West Dodge Road (Village Pointe). 289-4210. Outrageous Caribbean/island décor frames a restaurant with all kinds of exotic burgers and sweet-flavored specialties and tropical drinks.
DOC & EDDIE’S BBQ. 168th and Harrison (on west side of 168th, a block north of Harrison). 895-7427. Bare bones spot where the food is everything. Established by Dr. Jeffrey DeMare, a pediatric physician, and his late partner, Eddie Vacek. Tasty, slow-cooked meats – does a lot of take-out via drive-through.
DON CARMELO’S. 2647 S. 159th Plaza (333-5256) In Rockbrook at 108th and Center Streets (933-3190); 3113 N. 120th St. (333-5256); 1024 N. 204th Ave (289-9800) New York-style pizzerias offering pizza, calzones and similar fare.
THE DUNDEE DELL. 5007 Underwood Ave. 553-9501. Seven days. Dundee classic known for its fish and chips, hot sandwiches and burgers. A neighborhood spot with a big following (especially at lunch), its bar has well over 100 imported beers plus some superb Scotch offerings.
FAMOUS DAVE’S. Several Omaha metro locations, including a new one at Eagle Run on West Maple Road. This chain BBQ spot has good basic BBQ fare, plus lots of sides, generous portions, nice atmosphere and good service.
FIREWATER GRILLE. 7007 Grover Street, in the Comfort Inn. 452-FIRE (3473). Live music and offbeat island cuisine in this Hawaiian-themed bar/restaurant attached to a motel.
FUDDRUCKERS. 7059 Dodge St., 556-0504. 16920 Wright Plaza #118, 932-7790. Fuddruckers boasts the “World’s Greatest Hamburgers,” and they have a big variety of them. Good spot for kids.
GOLDBERG’S GRILL & BAR. 2936 S. 132nd St., 333-1086 and GOLDBERG’S IN DUNDEE, 5008 Dodge St., 556-2006. Especially popular at lunch with sandwiches, soups, burgers, salads.
HARKERT’S BBQ. 4865 Center St., 554-0102. Old time and small BBQ spot favored by insiders. Hickor-smoked meats and sides. Does a lot of take-out.
JAMS. 7814 Dodge St. 399-8300. Closed Sunday. One of Omaha’s best restaurants and one of the most popular. Mark Hoch’s long room with a bar is still a cool place, with an eclectic, inventive menu that changes often but always offers a two-tier selection ranging from inexpensive burgers, sandwiches and meatloaf to very original, often Southwest-inspired entrees. Great bar is a watering hole for thirtyish and fortyish singles. Not easy to get a table on weekend nights, but worth the wait.
JAZZ: A LOUISIANA KITCHEN. 1421 Farnam St. 342-3662. Now that Butsy Ledoux’s is closed there aren’t many Louisiana-style places around here, but Jazz offers a version of Cajun and Creole fare that resembles a place you might stumble into just off Bourbon Street.
JIMI’S D’s. 6303 Center St. 391-2011. New in Aksarben Village, Jimi D’s is a family run place with an eclectic menu that favors Italian: meatball sandwiches, pastas, gnocchi, and one of the few places around here with the classic New Orleans Italian sandwich, the muffaletta. But there are fish and steak options, even vegetarian possibilities. Basically a tavern-cum-restaurant.
JOE TESS’ PLACE. 5424 S. 24th St. 731-7278. Closed Monday. Oldtime neighborhood place famous for fish, fish, fish (trout, walleye, tilapia) and all fresh, plus shrimp, oysters – many fried items, with the catfish renowned, but they do steaks, chicken and other entrées on their huge menu. Chicken and fish sandwiches galore, plus seafood stews and chowders. Lots of sides, kids’ menu. The “famous fish” is served on rye bread for $6.50. Pitchers of beer, cream cheese cakes. Big Friday night crowds. Prices are low, but cash preferred. Live fish market, lots of carryout business.
KING KONG. 4409 Dodge St., 553-3326. 5250 S. 72nd St., 932-6420. 3362 S. 13th St., 934-8988. Don’t let the name fool you – this is basically a Greek restaurant, with excellent gyro’s, but they do burgers and phillie sandwiches and lots more.
LA BUVETTE WINE BAR AND DELI. 511 S. 11th St. in the Old Market. 344-8627. Open seven days. Despite the limited offerings, La Buvette is one of the city’s better restaurants. Technically (in France) a bistro is a wine shop that also offers food – that’s La Buvette. It is crammed with bottles of wine and you can have a terrific dinner consisting of only wine, fine cheeses and baguette French bread – and that’s the truth. But they do have appetizers and entrees, too: foi gras, pate’, mussels, salmon, chicken, lamb shanks, veal cheeks and other bistro fare. French doors open to make the whole place a sidewalk café.
LANSKY’S PIZZA, Pasta and Philly, 4601 S. 50th St., 731-1919; 3909 Twin Creek Dr., Bellevue, 502-0555; 1131 N. Broadway, Council Bluffs, (712) 329-5400. Philly steak sandwiches and pizza – they dominate here.
LE PEEP, 2012 N. 117th Ave. 991-8222; (other locations in Pepperwood Village at 156th and West Dodge, and at 177th and West Center Road). Aneel and Hope Taj oversee three locations where everything is fresh and the huge pancakes rival those at the Market Basket (ask for pecans and bananas in yours); eggs Benedict and other egg creations are ambrosial, bacon and sausages lean and substantial, huge list of omelets, but also lunch items, too, as they are open until 2 p.m. Great table service and high quality food.
LISA’S RADIAL CAFÈ. 817 N. 40th St. 551-2176. Open seven days for breakfast, Friday only for dinner. Lisa Schembri and family run a very special place here – a neighborhood breakfast spot that brings a touch of California to Omaha (Lisa did culinary studies there). In a very old building they offer one hundred different kinds of French toast, elegant egg dishes, every kind of pancake, a vast number of omelets, Farmer Brothers coffee and downhome cooking on Friday nights.
THE MARKET BASKET. 87th and Pacific streets in the Countryside Village Shopping Center. 397-1100. Breakfast and lunch seven days; no dinner on Monday. One of Omaha’s little wonder restaurants, long a favorite with the carriage trade, especially for breakfast and lunch. Liz Liakos’ place is also a bakery, with two dining rooms and she has waxed on the breakfast lunch business while also endeavoring to build up the dinner business with a succession of top notch chefs. Coffees and teas here are wunderbar, as are the pancakes, quiches, French toast, egg dishes, potato dishes, muffins, pastries and everything breakfast. Liz has homemade ice cream, elegant luncheon sandwiches – some longtime favorites such as the Custer and the herb roast beef; marvelous salads, all kinds of sophisticated touches in soups, burgers, sides, desserts. Chef Justen Beller does a fusion Euro-American dinner menu at bargain prices. Great Sunday brunch, too. This restful, tasteful little place would be right at home in the Fine Dining section of this publication.
MCFOSTER’S. 302 S 38th St. 345-7477. Lots of organic offerings at this popular vegetarian restaurant (but free-range chicken dishes and some seafood, too). Attractive and well run operation.
MCKENNA’S BLUES, BOOZE AND BBQ. 7425 Pacific Street. 393-7427. Seven days. Opened almost twenty years ago with a Texas/Louisiana road house look and menu, McKenna’s has popular BBQ offerings that are less sweet and drippy than most (brisket, pulled chicken and pork, ribs), plus New Orleans gumbo, and great side dishes, including baked beans, a creamy red potato salad, Louisiana red beans and rice, melt-in-your-mouth cornbread and more. Good desserts, too.
M’S PUB. 422 S. 11th St. in the Old Market. 342-2550. Seven days. With La Buvette, M’s is one of the Old Market’s top neighborhood restaurants and pubs – and one of the city’s better dining spots. The bar has been hugely popular since the place was opened in 1972 (it is now run by Ron Samuelson of Vivace, with Anne Mellen). Pub fair shares the menu with exciting dinner specials. The Iowa grilled pork sandwich is famous as is the Omaha grilled beef sandwich. The salad, appetizer and sandwich lists go on forever and the sophisticated evening fare includes ribeye, halibut, pastas, salmon, halibut, and duck breast, but the burger/sandwich/salads are available all day, too. This is a great place with wonderful ambience and tends to be jammed at lunch and dinner.
MILLARD ROADHOUSE. 13325 Millard Ave. 891-9292. Seven days (brunch on Sunday, too, plus lunch buffet other days). Karen Menard’s family-style restaurant favors downhome cooking (broasted chicken, chicken-fried steaks, French dip and other hot sandwiches, roast beef Phillies, grilled cheese, liver and onions, prime rib, pork chops). Great for kids and reasonable on the pocket book.
MIMI’S CAFE. 301 N. 175th Plaza, 289-9610. A wide array of appetizers, homemade soups, unique salads and seasonal features are waiting just for you at Mimi’s. Signature sandwiches and burgers include an excellent Meatloaf Ciabatta sandwich and a succulent patty melt. A fish market, great steaks and chops as well. Don’t forget the espresso bar and wine menu.
NEWMAN’S PASTA CAFE. 2559 S. 171st St., near West Center Road (Lakeside Plaza). 884-2420. Open seven days. Another “oodles of noodles” spot in the fast-service mode. In addition to lots of noodle dishes, you can get Thai lettuce wraps, fresh mozzarella drizzled with olive oil, Thai curry beef, chicken Florentine, spicy Thai peanut noodles and cranberry spinach salad with almonds. Pastas are Asian, Southwest, stroganoff, Japanese. Desserts include key lime pie, cotton candy and pastry tubes.
NOODLES & COMPANY. 203 S. 72nd St. 393-0586 and 16920 Wright Plaza, 330-1012. Open seven days. Like Newman’s, it’s an “oodles of noodles” spot in fast-service mode (no servers). There are at least a dozen noodle dishes, plus chicken/vegetable pot stickers in a mostly Asian style but with Wisconsin macaroni and cheese, too, and some Italian pastas. Flat Tire beer is available, but few desserts.
OZONE. 7220 F St. 331-7575. Ozone offers hand-cut steaks, slow-cooked prime rib, baby back ribs, classic salads, Southwest-inspired appetizers, steak and pork tenderloin sandwiches, rosemary chicken, plus live entertainment.
PETROW’S. 5914 Center St. 551-0552. Closed Sunday. Diner style restaurant in older Omaha neighborhood, Petrow’s is a legend. They offer soda fountain goodies (old-fashioned malts and sundaes), hot sandwiches: pork tenderloin, French dip; their own chili, liver and onions, chopped beef steak, onion rings, waffle fries, footlong hot dogs, reuben, smoked turkey melt, chicken fried steak, classic Nebraska burger; homemade pies, floats and freezes and lots more. Forget about calories here and dream your way back to the ‘60s, when it opened.
PIZZA KING. 1101 N. Broadway, Council Bluffs, (712) 323-9228; Longtime family-run spot has T-bones, a filet mignon, a NY strip and a Rib Eye, plus Alaskan King Crab – and, of course, plenty of pizzas. Big place, reasonable prices.
PIZZA SHOPPE. 6056 Maple St. 556-9090. The mission of the Pizza Shoppe Collective is to provide a unified vehicle of expression to artists and a positive atmosphere of performance within the community. The Collective will host a combination of local/national concerts, gallery shows, theater performances, dance, poetry, comedy, and ethnic cuisine in an effort to support the restoration of spirit within all art forms, so that we may encourage all to support each individual perspective of the human condition. And their pizza is pretty darn good, too!
QUAKER STEAK & LUBE. 3320 Mid-America Drive, Council Bluffs. 322-0101. Quaker Steak & Lube markets itself as “America’s No. 1 motor sports family restaurant.” Buckets of chicken wings with nearly 20 different sauces – some tongue-tingling hot.