You’re going to notice a common thread in my posts. Sarcasm? Yes. Foul language? Certainly. Makeup? Fucking, duh. But my undying passion for FOOD surpasses all of those things.
So let’s talk about it. Let’s talk about me going to Omaha, Nebraska to visit an old friend of mine, L, and how I rediscovered a deep and passionate affinity for food. L and I have known each other for the better part of a decade. We met when I first started to play around with blogging, circa 2007. It doesn’t seem that long because I don’t feel like I could possibly have this much experience being an adult. But there you have it. L is from the Omaha area and asked me to come up for a girl’s weekend. Aside from wanting to see her something bad, I told her I wanted to experience her city.
Show me your city, I said. Show me what you love. So she did.
When I thought about what the food in Omaha might be like, I figured there would be a lot of meat. And a lot of corn. I mean, like, LOTS OF FUCKING CORN. I’m no snob, though. A bitch likes corn and red meat so bring it the fuck on.
But what if I told you Omaha is home to a very pronounced hipster population. We’re talking beards, ear plugs, miles of tattoos and women with colorful hair or completely shaved heads. But unlike my stint in California, there was a marked lack of patchouli. Shocked the shit out of me, too. And thanks to these hipsters, Omaha is a veritable paradise for local fare serving meat, cheese, and veggies from the area. This is exactly what I was looking for. I feel like food defines a place. The food of a region shows the heart of it’s people. I thought I might find one or two restaurants like this, but I was surprised that there were dozens. And they’re all damned impressive. These restaurateurs are showcasing the best of their home on each well-crafted plate.
When I told L that I wanted an adventure and to see her city, the conversation went a little something like this:
Here’s what you need to know about me and food. I love meat. I love all kinds of meat. I love red meat, and white meat, and dark meat. This is starting to sound like one long, “That’s what she said” joke. I also love cheese. Man, do I ever love cheese. And if you put meat and cheese together on some beautiful fucking artisanal cracker, maybe with some prosecco, I’m a happy bitch. I also don’t consider salad a meal, mainly because it doesn’t fill me up. Unless, of course, it has meat. I like vegetables, but, again, not as a meal. As an accoutrement. As I’m writing this, I have a bowl of scrambled eggs and 4 (yes, 4. Judgy much?) strips of bacon. L, knows this. I thought she was fucking with me. She wasn’t.
Spoiler alert, we didn’t go to this vegan restaurant. But we have plans to still give it a go. I’m nothing if not adventurous and pretty open minded.
Our first restaurant was a small place downtown called Block 16. They describe themselves as “farm to table street food”. Done. I’m done. That’s pretty much describes my happy place.
To give you a bit more insight into the quality of the food here, this is one of Alton Brown’s (of Food Network) favorite places to eat. He calls the “Croque Garcon” the best burger in America. I almost ordered that, too. I wanted to stay away from my comfort zone and try something a little different. The Croque Garcon is described as “a 1/3-pound DRR burger with cheese, ham, a sunny-side-up Pin Oak egg, mustard, and truffle mayo on a ciabatta roll.”
While I didn’t end up ordering this burger, its totally worth mentioning. Am I right?
Here’s what we ordered:
- Duck Duck Goose fries: I want you to really pay attention when you read this description because this is the standard. Nothing on a loaded fry will ever be better than this. From the website: “Duck confit, crispy skin, cheese, duck-fat mayo, and gooseberry gastrique–yeah, you read that right–over a basket of fries”. I can die now.
- Bacon and Brie Sandwhich: Thick, fried bacon, sliced brie cheese, arugula and apple butter on culprit bread. I’ve never heard of culprit bread but it was toasty, herby, and buttery. Reminded me of an herbed twist on Texas Toast. Y’all. I mean, Y’all.
- Dragon Wrap: “Grilled naan wrapped around pickled veggies, slaw, fries, and dragon sauce. For a little extra, add Plum Creek Farms chicken, tempeh, or wild sockeye salmon”.
- Grilled Cheese of the Day – I don’t remember precisely which cheeses were on this amazing, grown up, grilled cheese but I know there was peach jam incorporated. In fact, it’s what I remember most about it.
Are you drooling yet? Better, yet. Are you surprised yet? I hope I have your attention. I hope Omaha has your attention. And y’all this wasn’t even the best meal we had.