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Omaha - Gorat's or Johnny's Cafe or...

Striver Jun 15, 2007 07:19 AM

We're East Coasters who will be in Omaha/Council Bluffs for an one night in July, and would love a great Nebraska steakhouse experience. We're thinking about either Gorat's or Johnny's Cafe, based on their history and general rep (and previous postings here), and would like appreciate some guidance - also, if there's any place there that locals or regular visitors prefer (Drover? Anthony's?) we'd like to here about it. Since we're looking for local experience, please don't recommend national chains - thanks!

  1. gargantua Jun 27, 2007 06:19 AM

    I was also in Omaha during the College World Series. I had an excellent meal (although expensive, almost $150 for one person including a $50 split of wine) including a memorable ribeye (they call it a Delmonico) at Paxton's Chop House.

    I also had a great meal at M's, lamb spare ribs, these are all the rage in Manhattan these days and quite uncommon elsewhere..

    Great service and related items at both.

    1. u
      ubob Jun 20, 2007 01:39 PM

      I'm an East Coaster who was just in Omaha this past weekend for the College World Series. We visited Johnny's Cafe based on the comments on this board. Our visit had both high and low points. I'll touch on the low first: The atmosphere in the restaurant was a bit dingy but at the same time soemwhat interesting. The sides that came with our meal were rather forgettable: My son's baked potato was awful and my hash browns were okay.

      Now for the high points: My son and I both ordered staeks - he had the Omaha strip and I had the filet. Both of us commented on how terrific they were prepared and how flavorful they were. Both steaks were phenomenal!! The mixed house salad that we had was large and very fresh and our chicken filets appetizer was juicy and tasty.

      can't speak for Gorats but can tell you that we had a tremendous steak at Johnny's.

      We also ate at Lo Sole Mio and M's Pub - both of which I would highly recommend.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ubob
        rugbyboy Jun 26, 2007 05:33 AM

        I live here and avoid both johnny's and gorats..both are overrated.

        I would try the drover or Picollo Pete's if you have to have a steak. Both are kind of dive old school type places. If you want more high end try Paxton Chop house in the old market or Mahogany grill in west omaha near boys town both are very expensive but have great steaks, the pursuit of steaks in omaha is way over rated.

        The list above is good except for Liberty Tavern, would not recomend that.

        One small hole in the wall is Dixie Quicks on Leavenworth...call for reservations, bring your own wine (they do not sell wine, beer, etc) and check hours...they have some odd hours.

      2. m
        moniqueh Jun 19, 2007 06:12 AM

        I am a big Drover fan, great whiskey-filet Also the tenderloin specials at either M's (Old Market), or Jams (80th Dodge), always a great choice... You will also find pork options at both, depending on the daily specials. Have a great trip!

        1. s
          sodagirl Jun 15, 2007 09:26 AM

          I ate at Gorat's on Tuesday...see my other post from yesterday...it may be something you like but I really thought the reputation was stretched based on the fact that one rather rich man eats there once in a while...the steak was good (b-plus) but thin...it is not charred...it is fried on a griddle...the rest of the food was pedestrian at best...stale rolls, frozen green beans in water in a monkey dish, blah baked potato and I was opening up so many packets of butter and sour cream the table was littered with wrappers...the atmosphere was 1962...dingy...friendly waitresses made up for some of it though...they seem to know the customers,..the bar area looked alittle better.

          Sorry Omaha...just being honest...and I only eat at local places.

          1. s
            sladeums Jun 15, 2007 09:23 AM

            I'd vote Johnny's over Gorat's.
            Just about anything over Gorat's.

            I'm partial to Picollo Pete's myself.

            And I still feel sad whenever I think of all the great food people miss out on in pursuit of the mythical Omaha steak experience.

            2 Replies
            1. re: sladeums
              Striver Jun 15, 2007 10:04 AM

              Well, we're not wedded to steak - but we've got plenty of high-end nouveau American and European restaurants back home (and steakhouses, too, for that matter), so we're really looking for local specialities (actually, I was hoping for a place that specialized in pork chops!). If there's an Omaha or Council Bluffs restaurant you really think is worth a detour, I'd appreciate any recommendations!

              In fact, we've heard good things about the non-steakhouse Bohemian Cafe - any thoughts?

              1. re: Striver
                s
                sladeums Jun 15, 2007 02:28 PM

                the places i go for just meat are mostly in the realm of small, smoky greasy spoons.
                great eating, but not exactly the types of places most people are too excited about driving into town for.

                Bohemian Cafe is really good for their style of food (Czech/East European).
                I tend to go for spicier fare so it's not a place I frequent regularly.
                Definitely recommended, though...i like the Svikova, and for sides be sure to get the dumpling and sweet and sour cabbage.

                Bohemian Cafe
                1406 S 13th St
                (402) 342-9838
                bohemiancafe.net

                other options:

                Marks Bistro
                4916 Underwood Ave
                (402) 502-2203
                www.marksindundee.com

                Ahmad's Persian Cuisine
                1006 Howard St
                (402) 341-9616

                Espana
                (402) 505-9917
                6064 Maple St
                local paper's review:
                http://www.omaha.com/index.php?u_np=0&u_pg=1458&u_sid=832830

                Flatiron Cafe
                1722 Saint Marys Ave
                (402) 344-3040
                http://www.theflatironcafe.com/

                Liberty Tavern
                1001 Cass St (Hilton hotel
                )(402) 998-4321
                http://www.libertytavern.com/omaha/

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