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Aug 10, 2007 10:45 PM

Omaha - Michael's (Mexican) in Old Market, disappointing

A friend and I drove up from Lincoln Sunday to catch our first show at Slowdown. We wanted to eat at a Mexican place not too far away before the show, and went to Michael's. The service was OK in the beginning, not good or bad, but my combo burrito came with a cloyingly sweet sauce, that seemed like it should have been on an enchilada. My friend really disliked his cheese enchiladas, whose lousiness I didn't verify for myself. He fought his way through one enchilada and just ate the tortilla and sauce off the other. "Tough" isn't a word usually applied to cheese, and he said that the cheese had an odd stale taste once chewed. Our waiter got fairly distracted after bringing our orders, even though there were only a few other tables to serve, so we had to wait awhile for the check. Once we looked at the check we noticed a $4.95 charge for the salsa that came with our chips, which there was slightly more of than there usually is of chip salsa served free at most places, but not much more. The waiter called it "salsa fresca", but I'd call it basic chip salsa of the chunky/watery type. My friend was really annoyed at the charge, and I was a little less peeved. I can see paying that much or more for salsa, but only if it's much above the ordinary, which neither the salsa or the main dishes were.
We went to a Sokol show in February and ate at El Rancho at 20th and Martha, which was a lot better.

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  1. amen, i've definitely learned to avoid michael's. its always very mediocre.

    1. Agreed! Michael's is one of those places that seems to do well, or at least stay open, simply because of their location. They can lure in enough unsuspecting tourists that they don't need to worry about repeat customers.

      If you're looking for other good Mexican in Omaha, there are a lots of good places on 24th street between L&Q roughly

      1 Reply
      1. re: smarsh

        smarsh hit it completely. I think several places in the Old Market just get by because of tourists. It's really a shame. And if you want good Mexican food, go to places with owned by Mexican, not some LLP.

      2. But the question is, does Michaels still make the strongest margarita in Omaha? I remember back in the late 80's they had strong, strong margs by the pitcher. However, even back then, the food was questionable, with the exception of the tamales. Is Michaels still making completely from scratch tamales like they used to, or are they resting on their laurels there, too? I'm going back to the Big O in a few months, and wondering if I should stop by any of my old haunts like Michaels.

        1 Reply
        1. re: OrganicGal

          Laurels only.
          Watery Margaritas, gooey tamales.
          Proves that location trumps.
          Sigh.... I'd suggest setting out on a new culinary adventure as a means of protecting some fond memories.