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Omaha for the College World Series

c
clutj May 23, 2007 02:44 PM

Well, I'm hoping my team makes it and I get to go watch them, and so I'm doing some planning. Who can recommend places to eat at for the "true Omaha experience"? (I'd also like some things to see/do when not watching baseball.) Thanks in advance.

  1. b
    bigchow Jun 13, 2007 01:21 PM

    I recommend Johnny's Cafe for steaks. They have the most amazing 'old school' decor, age and butcher their own meat and have a killer wine list.

    In the old market area I second the rec for V Mertz. Great food and excellent service.

    For Mexican in Omaha I swear by El Aguila on Vinton. The potato enchilada is dynamite.

    Malara's is great for that old homestyle Italian/red check tablecloth style. My first job was bussing tables their at 14. The tortolini on Saturdays were my favorite.

    3 Replies
    1. re: bigchow
      c
      clutj Jun 13, 2007 02:18 PM

      I'm from Houston and gets lots of Tex-Mex. Never heard of a potato enchilada, so I'm pretty suspicious...

      Thanks to all for the recommendations.

      I have seen elsewhere that there is confusion over places called Johnny's -- is this the 4702 South 27th place?

      And can anyone vouch for the Surfside Club on the river? Fried catfish and chicken?

      1. re: clutj
        marthadumptruck Jun 13, 2007 03:40 PM

        I went to the Surfside many times as a kid (15-20 years ago!). I loved it at the time. The corn fritters & fried chicken rocked.

        Recently (last summer?), I haven't liked it nearly as much. The food's really, really greasy. And the, um, ambience, leaves a lot to be desired. I have never been there, as a kid or adult, and not been "mooned" by a boat person.

      2. re: bigchow
        s
        sladeums Jun 15, 2007 06:40 AM

        it always disappoints me to see herds of people flocking to El Aguila from West Omaha - there are so many better places around that area that will never see any of these people's business.

        all my meals there have been pretty average.
        however, the potato enchiladas are the best thing they serve.
        - besides the gallon margaritas.

      3. s
        sladeums Jun 13, 2007 11:43 AM

        Downtown:

        V Mertz Restaurant
        (402) 345-8980
        1022 Howard St
        www.vmertz.com
        - Probably the best high-end spot in the area.

        Flatiron Cafe
        (402) 344-3040
        1722 Saint Marys Ave
        www.theflatironcafe.com
        - The other best high-end spot in town.

        Ahmad's Persian Cuisine
        (402) 341-9616
        1006 Howard St
        - Probably the most unique dining experience in the Old Market. I think it's a little pricy for what you get - but the food is always, always great.

        Indian Oven
        (402) 342-4856
        1010 Howard St
        - One of the best Indian spots in town. Make reservations if going for dinner. Small selection of some nice single-malt scotches, too.

        Liberty Tavern at the Hilton - Omaha
        (402) 998-4321
        1001 Cass St
        www.libertytavern.com
        - Contemporary American by one of Omaha's better chefs. Definitely not what I'd expect to find in a hotel in Omaha, of all places.

        and outside of downtown:

        Malara's Italian Restaurant
        (402) 346-8001
        www.malaras.com
        2123 Pierce St
        - Great home-style Italian food. Everything is homemade - sauce, sausage, meatballs and fresh pasta. Just like nonna used to make.

        El Alamo
        (402) 731-8969
        4917 S 24th St
        - One of the better Mexican restaurants in town that is still highly authentic, but habla Espanol is optional.

        1. m
          moniqueh Jun 13, 2007 08:17 AM

          Good recommendations!. Sticking with the downtown theme... totally agree on M's, also great French at La Buvette on 11th St., and my favorite breakfast at Louis M's Burger Lust on 16th and Vinton. Best steak in Omaha right now is at the Drover on 73rd and Mercy Rd. Ted and Wally's in the Old Market has fantastic, unique ice cream too!
          Hope you enjoy Omaha!

          1. c
            clutj Jun 12, 2007 02:26 PM

            I am staying downtown. Thanks for the replies thus far. More would be appreciated...

            1 Reply
            1. re: clutj
              bbqboy Jun 13, 2007 07:43 AM

              Bohenian Cafe is a traditional choice, and a neat experience for visitors. We hit it once a visit back to the big O.
              Not far from the CWS either.
              You've also got Joe Tess' Fish Place for local color.

              http://www.bohemiancafe.net/
              Omaha loves the CWS, so be prepared for fun.
              here's my friend Steve's blog from last year....
              http://styok.blogspot.com/2006/06/greatest-show-on-dirt.html
              http://styok.blogspot.com/2006/07/tri...

            2. s
              smarsh May 24, 2007 06:21 PM

              Where are you staying? For now I'll focus on places near the stadium, I can give more specific recco's later if you need. Try Dinker's for a great burger in a local neighborhood bar. The Donut Stop on 13th street is open from 9 pm to 9am if you find your self in need of a donut at 3am. The elderly couple that run it are a hoot--well worth the visit! As RW said, the Old Market district will have just about any kind of food you're looking for...

              1. r
                roadwarrior May 23, 2007 07:37 PM

                Well you could go to Gorat's, Warren Buffet's place, but word is they don't age their own steaks anymore and buy from Omaha Steaks. For aged steaks I 'd go for Anthony's on 72nd, for prime rib go to Piccolo Petes or steaks at Cascios; many of the good italian-owned steak houses have closed the last couple years. The best place to eat in the Old market remains M's Pub and the Upstream Brewing Co, and there are scores of dive/ethnic places that have excellent food. THE party headquarters remains Pauli's on 41st and Leavenworth for the CWS.

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