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Friday, December 10, 2010

The Press Box

It's been quite a while since I've had the opportunity to sit down and punch out a blog.  We have tried several excellent wineries in the last few months, but I will get to those another day.  Last week we tried a brand new sports bar I couldn't wait to write about.
The Press Box
56th and Hwy 2 - Lincoln, NE
We used to love going to this place back when it was Bleachers, but lost interest once it changed to The Element.  It just recently opened again as a sports bar; you can still smell the fresh paint.  We were disappointed that they did not have any happy hour specials, but they were running a $2 domestic draw special all day, so we quickly got over it.  We ordered the most unique thing on the menu: Wing Fries.  This is an amazing creation that I am sad I didn't think of.  They take french fries and cover them with cheese and boneless wings with the sauce of your choice.  We ordered ours with the sweet chili sauce, which gave it a wonderful oriental flavor.  I highly recommend stopping in just for the wing fries.  We didn't have time to order supper, but will be back to The Press Box soon.


Read the review from The Lincoln Journal Star

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

North Platte

I had a conference in North Platte a couple of weeks ago and was pleasantly surprised with the dining establishments my colleagues and I encountered.  I'm not sure what I was expecting, but I was not disappointed. 

The Depot
We were told we had to go to the Depot by a couple of friends who lived in North Platte years ago.  When we pulled up, I was excited to see so many motorcycles in the parking lot.  (My dad rides a Harley and I have found those who travel this way always eat good food).  The bar was pretty busy for a Thursday night, but we found a seat right away.
The menu for the Depot was outstanding.  They had everything from traditional bar food to treats like crab cakes.  I decided on the Trainstopper burger, which had caramelized onions, cheese, and bbq sauce.  My colleagues ordered the french dip and an avocado burger.  We all ordered sweet potato fries.  The food was everything I wanted it to be.  I can see why we were told we HAD to try the Depot.

Roger's Fine Foods
On Friday we decided to wander down the main drag to find a spot for lunch.  We happened upon Roger's and decided to stop because it looked like a local diner.  All I have to say is, it's a good thing I don't live in North Platte, or I would be at Roger's every day.  This is the perfect example of what a diner should be, great specials and an excellent menu.  I had the hot beef sandwich special, which was good, though it needed a little salt and my friend had the BLT.
Roger's was so good, that we stopped there the next day for lunch on our way out of town.  I asked the waitress what she would order and she suggested the bacon breakfast quesadilla, so that's what I ordered.  It was perfect!  I almost wanted to stay in North Platte another day so I could experience another lunch at Roger's.

Feather River Winery
Although it was a long, winding trip to Feather River, it was worth it.  The wines tended to be on the dry side, which was fine with me.  They also all had this beautiful berry essence to them.  We had a wonderful time talking with the woman working in the tasting room and even got a chance to meet the vintner.  I purchased a bottle of the Marquette for a friend and a bottle of Frontenac for myself.  However I did not try the Frontenac before I left the winery and was a little disappointed in it when I got home.  It was not quite what I was expecting and I kind of wish I had just picked up two bottles of the Marquette.

Margie's
The ladies at the winery told us we had to try Margie's at the old country club.  We got excellent directions and found it easily, though it was a little out of the way.  The menu was beautiful; with amazing dishes I have  not seen at some nicer places in Lincoln. My colleague and I shared the baked brie, which was made with a raspberry sauce and served with garlic toast.  I had the almond-crusted walleye with vegetables and my friend had the shrimp risotto. The fish was good, but the vegetables were fabulous. 

I think I often forget about the wonderful places to eat in the western part of our state.  My trip to North Platte left a delicious taste on my palate and I am anxious to go back for seconds.
-Autumn

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Trifecta: Food, Beer, and Sports.

 It is not a secret that we love sports bars.  The food is usually pretty good, the beer is always cold and the atmosphere is comfortable.  There are so many sports bars around, it was hard to choose which to put on the top 5 this week.

Top 5 Nebraska Sports Bars

Dustin's List
  1. Sportscaster's, Lincoln:  I love the free fried food on Friday afternoons.
  2. Brewsky's, 27th and Cornhusker, Lincoln:  I love all the Brewsky's, but this is my favorite location.  The food is excellent and the service has always been great.
  3. Cappy's, Lincoln:  Our favorite place to stop for a brew after work.  They also have wonderful pizza and wings.
  4. Chicken Coop, Kearney:  This was one of my favorite places to hang out in college.  They have really great food and it's a fun place to watch any sporting event.
  5. The Cage, St. Paul:  My favorite thing about this bar, is the entrance.  It has two giant wooden doors which is just the beginning of the cool atmosphere. 
Note:  Dustin all-time favorite sports bar was Slapshots, which is now Fox Neighborhood Bar and Grill in Lincoln

    Autumn's List:
    1. Sportscaster's, Lincoln:  This place tops my list because I feel the most comfortable here.  I think we probably hang out here too much, but it is nice when you know your waitress by her first name and she knows you by your beer.
    2. Spikers, Gretna:  We stopped here on one of our "tour de Nebraska" trips.  It has a volleyball theme and seemed to be really popular.  I was surprisingly pleased with the pizza and the entire establishment.
    3. Brewsky's, 16th and South, Lincoln:  I remember going to this Brewsky's with my dad when I was younger.  I like how it seems almost hidden among the strip mall.
    4. Bullwinkle's, Grand Island:  We stop here about every other time we are in Grand Island.  The food is pretty good, but what I really like is the wooden floor, bar, and booths.
    5. Spikes, Lincoln:  Also a volleyball themed bar.  This place gets rocking on the weekends.  I can't get enough of their buffalo chicken pizza.  It's amazing!
    From the Lincoln Journal Star:  Jeff's Top Five Sports Bars

      Tuesday, September 21, 2010

      Jasper's Bar and Grill

      This weekend we had dinner with a couple of friends at Jasper's Bar and Grill east of Lincoln on highway 34.  Our friends have been raving about this place since it opened about a month ago.
      We were frequent patrons of this establishment when it was Ron's Pub and La Paloma.  The owner's of Jasper's have knocked down the wall between the two spaces to create a large dining area.  We were pleased to see the bar looked the same and the decor was similar to the previous establishment. However, it seems the clientele has changed to a more family-friendly crowd.
      For a place outside of the city, the menu was decent.  We started the meal with spinach and artichoke wontons.  Those are going to top the Top 5 Nebraska Appetizers list for sure!  They were perfectly crispy and unlike anything we have tried before.
      I had the special for the night which was the New York strip with baked sweet potato, salad, and garlic bread for $12.99!  I ordered the steak medium rare and it turned out to be a little more on the rare side, but was still pretty good.  The potato was done perfectly and made for an excellent side dish.
      Dustin had the patty melt with sweet potato fries and was very  happy with his order.
      The dining area filled up very fast shortly after we arrived and it seemed like we had to wait quite a bit longer than normal for our food to arrive.  However, the wait staff was working as quick as possible and did an excellent job handling the large crowd.
      If you are looking for a good meal not to far from Lincoln, check out Jasper's.
      On a side note, this would be a really fun place to watch a Husker game!


      Read the review from The Lincoln Journal Star

      Tuesday, September 14, 2010

      It was a Grand Affair!

      After a week of reflection, it's now time for a special state fair Top 5!   All in all we had an excellent time at the state fair.  The weather was perfect, the parking was free and the food was fried!

      Top 5 Nebraska State Fair Highlights

      Autumn's List
      1. The Kid's Zone:  It was nice to have a whole area full of fun stuff for kids.  The petting zoo was the highlight even though the zebra wasn't cooperating.
      2. The new buildings:  They were spectacular!  Beautiful on the outside and spacious on the inside.  The numerous bathrooms didn't hurt either.
      3. Fried PB & J:  Enough said.
      4. The Nebraska Wheat Exhibit:  Fun activities for the kids, free cinnamon roll samples, and interesting displays, this was my favorite exhibit at the fair.
      5. Free Parking:  Even though it took us nearly half an hour to find our car, at least we didn't have to pay to do it.

      Dustin's List
      1. Free Parking:  We had more money to spend on the important things, like foot-long Italian sausages.
      2. In-door plumbing:  Each building had a bathroom so there weren't those disgusting port-a-potties all over the place.
      3. The Shows:  The free concert line-up was outstanding this year.  The Heartland Event Center is pretty impressive as well.
      4. Very Nebraskan:  It was great to see a return to the strong agricultural environment a state fair in Nebraska should have.
      5. Vendors:  There was a great variety of food vendors this year.  Or maybe it was simply because they were all close together so there were plenty to choose from. 

      Now, this is not to say there aren't a few things that can't be changed for next year. 

      Top 5 Nebraska State Fair Mistakes
      1. The Annual Bill Seymour Marathon:  The marathon crossed Stolley Park Road, which is one of the main roads leading to the state fairgrounds.  We were stuck for nearly half an hour waiting for the runners to cross the road.  Perhaps picking a different weekend or route is something the planners of this marathon should consider next year.
      2. Need more signs:  A big sign saying "Turn Here" on South Locust would have saved us from driving around the entire park.
      3. Free Parking:  Yes this was one of the great things about the fair, but finding it was the tough part.  Several "Free Parking" signs pointing in the right direction would have been helpful.
      4. Open at 8 a.m.:  The park opens at 8 a.m., but the buildings and most vendors don't open until 10 a.m.  We spend several hours wandering around trying to find something to do because we got there early.  It wouldn't hurt if a few more vendors and the buildings opened at 8 a.m. as well.
      5. Little seating for eating:  It was great that the food vendors were all close, but there needed to be more picnic tables nearby.  There were plenty of benches, but it is difficult to eat a grater tater without a table to put it on.

      Sunday, September 5, 2010

      More fun than a PB and J!

      Just ate a deep fried PB and J at the state fair and decided it was time for the sandwich list.  We argued quite a while about the next list.  Do we just include cold sandwiches?  What constitutes a sandwich?  If we include reubens and phillies, can we still do each of those as their own top 5?
      Here's how these sandwiches made the list:  it is located on the "sandwich" section of the menu OR includes some kind of protein between two pieces of carbohydrate.  No burgers were allowed on this list (though we certainly don't discriminate against them).

      Top 5 Nebraska Sandwiches

      Dustin's List
      1. Reuben or Whoever - 9 South Char Grill, Lincoln:  There a lot of really great sandwiches at the Char Grill, but the reuben tops my list every time we go there.
      2. Philly  - 5th Quarter Tavern, Palmyra:  Made with chunks of real steak, not thin slices like most other phillies, this is hands-down the best philly around.
      3. Kielbasa and Kraut - Chicken Coop*, Grand Island or Kearney:  Kielbasa, kraut, beer . . .what more do you need?
      4. Pulled Chicken - Paul's BBQ, Lincoln:  Everything at Paul's is delicious, but if you only get to try one thing, get the Pulled Chicken Sandwich.
      5. Club -The Bar, Unadilla:  Made with is croissant, this is my favorite place to get a club.  Plus, they'll add jalapenos if I ask nicely.
      Autumn's List
      1. Turkey - Bread and Cup, Lincoln:  Yum!  One of the most delicious sandwiches I've ever had.  It was everything I wanted; creamy, crunchy and full of flavor.
      2. Jalapeno Chicken Melt - Sportscasters, Lincoln:  I try to order something different every time I got to Sportscasters, but since I tried the Jalapeno Chicken, I can't bring myself to order anything else.  It has two of my favorite things; cream cheese and pepperjack!
      3. Club on Croissant - The French Cafe, Kearney:  This sandwich was a staple of my diet when I was in college.  It is served on the flakiest croissant I've ever tried and goes great with their homemade cheesecake.
      4. Chicken Salad on Croissant - Uptown Brewery, Stanton:  I ordered this sandwich because it was the lunch special the day we stopped.  This sandwich restored my faith that you can make chicken salad with celery instead of celery salad with chicken.
      5. Philly - Sidelines Steak and Sports Bar, Cook:  The steak is seasoned perfectly, with just enough pepper to keep the beer flowing.  They will also make it without mushrooms, which is important for those of us with Mycophobia.
      *The Chicken Coop has a location in West Des Moines, IA, but it originated in Kearney, NE 

      Jeff's Top Ten Sandwich Shops from the Lincoln Journal Star

      Wednesday, September 1, 2010

      Two New Wineries!

       Prairie Creek Vineyards, Central City
      Recently we had the pleasure of visiting two Nebraska wineries for the first time.  While visiting family in the central part of the state, we stopped by the Prairie Creek Winery.  The winery is only open on weekends, but owner Nick Ryan made an exception and opened for a tasting on a Thursday afternoon.  The building is beautifully decorated and we were more than impressed with the wine.  Nick opened a new bottle for each wine we tried, which shows he has great pride in his product.  We tried all of the wines that were offered and were not disappointed by any of them.  We left that day with a bottle and a new winery to add to our Top 5 Nebraska Wineries list.

      Glacial Till Vineyard, Palmyra
      Driving home from Lincoln last Saturday, we decided to take a detour to the Glacial Till Winery.  This winery is only open for tastings by reservation, so we made a call.  We were in luck, Mike Murman and his son, John, were working at the winery that day.  This was by far the most impressive winery tour we have ever received.  Mike took us around every inch of the winery and showed us exactly how the wine was made, from vine to bottle storage.  After the tour, we sat outside and enjoyed a wonderful tasting, complete with a "champaign" that the winery made by accident.  We took home a bottle of the unique Frontenac Rose and have made plans to go back to the winery for one  of their many events.

      Monday, August 30, 2010

      Summer 2010

      Wow!  The summer sure went fast.  After months of swimming, traveling, eating and drinking, I am finally getting back to the blog.  We tried a number of new restaurants this summer and met some wonderful people along the way.  This blog is going to be dedicated to the new establishments we tried while on vacation.

      Gottberg Brew Pub/Duster’s Restaurant, Columbus
      With some good advice from Dad, we headed out early on our tour of Northeast/Eastern Nebraska.  We were told we had to stop in Columbus at Duster's Restaurant.
      We got there in the early afternoon, too late for lunch and too early for dinner, but just in time for beer.  The restaurant itself was beautiful and we were disappointed we would not be dining there.  We found our seats at the bar in the Gottberg Brew Pub.  The pub was outstanding!  The decor was exactly what a brew pub should look like; metal and wood sophistication.  We tried every beverage the pub created and even had the bartender calling the brewmaster to answer some of our tougher questions.  The brews were comparable to other breweries we have tried, but the real treat was the root beer.  This was the first time we had left a brewery with a growler of soda instead of beer!
      If you are heading towards Columbus, we would suggest you stop at Duster's Restaurant/Gottberg Brew Pub.  We will be back to try the food that comes highly recommend from Dad; who is picky when it comes to restaurants.

      The Veranda at Divots Conference Center, Norfolk
      The first night of our trip, we met some friends at The Veranda, which is located in the impressive Divots Conference Center in Norfolk.  We were told this was the nicest restaurant in Norfolk and we were not disappointed.  The menu was simply amazing, with dishes one would expect only to find in larger cities.
      The soups and salads were exquisite and though we had heard others rave about the duck, we both went with something a little more traditional.  Dustin had the BBQ ribs and I ordered the "Award-Winning Maryland Crab Cakes."  The ribs were done to perfection and if I was more fond of horseradish, I would have enjoyed the crab cakes.  Horseradish is one of those flavors I think should be included in the description of the dish.  All in all, it was a beautiful meal and worth the money to try The Veranda.

      Tuscan Villa Bed and Breakfast, Pierce
      That night we stayed at the Tuscan Villa Bed and Breakfast located a few miles to the west of Pierce.  Dane and Pam Halsey have built a beautiful house to share their hospitality.  We were the only couple staying there that night, so we got to choose which room we wanted.  We chose the Venetian, though any of the rooms would have been acceptable.
      Pam went above and beyond and served us breakfast the next morning on the balcony.  The waffles, sausage, fresh peaches, and coffee were a great start to the day.  Tuscan Villa is definitely going on our Top 5 Bed and Breakfast list. 

      Cuthills Vineyards, Pierce
      It was a quick trip from Tuscan Villa to the winery as they are literally next door.  This was one of the most educational trips to any winery we've been to.  We had an excellent time talking with Ed and Holly and learning all about the different grapes Ed was working on.  The wine was good, even though Dustin was disappointed because they quit making many of the wines he wanted to try.  Wish we could have stayed longer, but a group of wine newbies came in and needed more attention that we did.  If you are looking for a nice weekend away, head on up to Pierce.  You won't be disappointed.

      Uptown Brewery, Stanton
      Ed and Holly recommended we stop in Stanton for lunch and our travel book agreed.  This restaurant was once located in Norfolk and was moved to Stanton in 2001.  We ate in the pub area, as this is what we seem to be more comfortable with.  I had the special which was the chicken salad on a croissant and Dustin had the beef noodle soup.  Wow!  They were not kidding when they said the food here was amazing.  The service was top-notch and the beer selection rivaled that of any restaurant in Lincoln.  They even had my favorite beer, the Brown Brunette from the Nebraska Brewing Company.
      The Uptown Brewery also boasts a large wine selection available for off-sale.  It was quite impressive for a small town pub.

      Big Cottonwood Vineyards and Winery, Tekamah
      After lunch we headed towards Tekamah to do a little more wine tasting.  We stopped at one of our favorites, Silver Hills, before making the short trip down the road to Big Cottonwood.  This winery is located on a beautiful farm.  We tried several wines and had a nice discussion about pelicans in Nebraska (they are native, in case you were wondering).  Overall the wine was good and we took home a bottle of their Blushing Pelican.

      OMAHA:
      We stayed the next night at the Magnolia in downtown Omaha.  This is a national chain of hotels, but it sure doesn't feel that way.  We love staying here and take advantage of all the amenities offered:  free wine & beer at happy hour, cookies and milk in the evening, breakfast buffet, and we even score free valet.

      We tried to go to Dixie Quicks on Sunday, but couldn't get a reservation for the time we wanted.  We tried to go to Rivera's but they are closed on Sunday.  So we went to the casinos and I won $400 on a slot machine.  Needless to say, we forgot all about our disappointing luck with the restaurants.

      Parker’s Smokehouse, Nebraska City
      Sunday night we dined at Parker's Smokehouse in Nebraska City.  We have been to Parker's in Lincoln many times and have always enjoyed the food.  We were sad to see the Nebraska City store so dead on a Sunday night.  Hopefully the good people of Nebraska City will figure out they have gem of a restaurant and frequent Parker's every night of the week.  We split the feast for two and could have shared it with another couple, there was so much food.

      Lied Lodge, Nebraska City

      Moral of the story:  if you have to stay in Nebraska City, the Lied Lodge is probably your best bet for a beautiful stay.  Just don't expect to get your money's worth, even with a great view.

      Wow. . .okay, now that was a long blog.  If you are still reading this; good for you!  We will probably head back to Northeast Nebraska in the near future.  There were so many places that we simply did not have time to try.  Post your suggestions for the next time we head up that direction.

      Autumn


      Monday, June 28, 2010

      Stella's

      I've been wanting to go to Stella's for quite some time.  This place is FAMOUS!  I've seen it on the Food Network, read about it in various magazines, and heard about it from numerous friends.
      It totally lived up to all of my expectations.  The burgers were greasy and delicious!  They serve them on napkins which makes for an easy clean up.  The homemade fries were also very good.  I would recommend if you get anywhere near Bellevue GET TO STELLA'S.
      This is the type of place we are always looking for; cheap, delicious, and totally local.

      -Autumn

      Note:  I loved this place so much I changed my top 5 burgers!

      Capital City Grill-Closed

      Can you imagine my excitement when LivingSocial offered a $30 for $15 deal to Capital City Grill.  My husband and I planned a date night.  But when we got to the restaurant it was closed.  Not like, closed for the night, but closed, closed.  Thankfully LivingSocial refunded my money, though I'm still disappointed this delightful dining establishment didn't make it.


      Original Post:
      We tried the Capital City Grill for our anniversary on Friday.  After reading a few reviews, I wasn't quite sure what to expect.  First impression was one of excitement.  This place looked great!  The woodwork was beautiful and the whole place had a very classic look to it.
      There were numerous empty tables so I didn't think we would be waiting very long.  However, there was no one at the host station.  When someone finally did come talk to us, we were asked to wait a few minutes.  We were there nearly 10 minutes before we were seated.
      The food was excellent.  I had the special, which was a chicken Florentine stuffed with crab and cream cheese with a red pepper sauce.  I also had the house salad, hash browns and vegetables.  I was very pleased with everything, except the hash browns, which were a little soggy.  Dustin had the Chicken Bourdeaux with a prime rib vegetable soup, rosemary and garlic mashed potatoes, and vegetables.  The mashed potatoes were amazing!
      Overall, I think this place is a little confused.  The atmosphere, food, and price were that of an upscale restaurant, while the service and music (B-52's) was a little more casual than I thought it should be.  Hopefully they will get the kinks worked out and this can become a Haymarket classic.

      -Autumn

      Monday, May 31, 2010

      Trying Something New

      With all the restaurants we are trying for the first time, we thought it would be fun to do a little review of each one.  We have tried several new places in the last couple of months.  Here's a quick look at each:

      BrewBurgers, Omaha
      Very cool sports bar.  They offer many different types of burgers.  This is one place that has something for everyone.  They also make their own fries and have a wonderful selection of beers.
      Autumn:  Inside Out Burger w/fries
      Dustin:  West Texas Burger w/fries

      5th Quarter Tavern, Palmyra
      So, this is not really a new joint for us, but it is under new ownership with a new menu.  We've heard that the new owner was once a cook at P.O. Pears, so you know the food's gonna be good.  The pub has that great small town bar feel with a menu worthy of a city establishment.
      Autumn:  The World Famous P.O. Pears "Jiffy" Burger w/fries
      Hot Ham and Cheese w/fries
      Dustin:  Steak Philly w/fries (both times we've visited)

      Ming's House, Lincoln
      We drive past this place nearly everyday and just got around to trying it.  Everyone we talked to about Ming's House has nothing but good things to say about it.  We couldn't agree more.  It was among the best Chinese food we've tried.  Huge portions!  Low prices!
      Autumn:  Chicken Lo Mein w/crab rangoon
      Dustin:  General Chicken w/rice

      Bread and Cup, Lincoln
      One of our colleagues suggested this restaurant and we were not disappointed.  The food was excellent and will be on a top 5 very soon.  However, the beer was pretty expensive; expect to pay about $6 for a draw.   
      Autumn:  Turkey Sandwich w/salad
      Dustin:  Pork Sandwich w/soup

      Papilon Grill, Lincoln
      Tried this place for lunch this week.  Wow, it exceeded all of my expectations.  I love gyros and these would definitely be on the top of my list. 
      Autumn:  Z Sandwich Wrap w/Grecian Fries


      Thursday, May 20, 2010

      Kearney Cuisine

      We lived in Kearney for several years while attending UNK.  Kearney has a wonderful selection of great restaurants.  If you want a good local place, you need to get away from the interstate.  Head North and go over the overpass.  Kearney has way more to offer than the chain restaurants you see in the South end of town.

      Top 5 Nebraska Local Restaurants - Kearney

      Dustin’s List:
      1. Thunderhead: I like their Grand Cru, Honey Wheat, and Expresso Stout.  It has a unique, clean atmosphere
      2. Luke and Jake’s BBQ:  It's close to campus.  Loaded potatoes and raspberry ice tea are awesome.
      3. Little MexicoThey have the best chips and salsa.  Their specials are reasonable and there is an authentic taste to the food.
      4. New China Express:  I love the General Chicken and General Beef...and don't forget "We Delivery"
      5. Hunan Chinese RestaurantIt's good because their buffet has a wide variety and everything tastes good if not great.

      Autumn’s List: 
      1. The Cellar:  They make the BEST onion rings
      2. The French Café:  Wonderful selection of muffins and desserts. 
      3. Thunderhead:  The Thunderpie and beer make this a must-stop
      4. Luke and Jake’s BBQ:  I always order the loaded baked potatoes
      5. Nick’s Gyros:  The food will stay with you for a while, but it is so worth it.
      For some finer dining in Kearney, try Grandpa's Steakhouse or The Alley Rose


       

      Tuesday, May 11, 2010

      The Most Important Meal of the Day!

      We have figured out exactly how to find a good breakfast; look for the place with the most pick-up trucks in the parking lot.  Truck stops and “dives” seem to make some really wonderful breakfast.  We have also encountered several great hotel breakfast buffets.  These are on the list, if the hotel/restaurant is not a chain. 

      Top 5 Nebraska Breakfasts:

      Dustin’s List
      1. Red Onion Grille, Lincoln
      2. Greenfields, Lincoln
      3. Cook’s Café, Lincoln
      4. Snack Shop Bakery, Loup City
      5. Engine House Café, Lincoln

      Autumn’s List:
      1. The Lodge, Kearney
      2. The French Café, Kearney
      3. Cook’s Café, Lincoln
      4. Grandma Max’s, Grand Island
      5. Shoemaker‘s Travel Center, Lincoln
      Lincoln Journal Star:  Jeff's Top Five Breakfast


      Wednesday, May 5, 2010

      Thursday, April 29, 2010

      Nos Gusta la Comida Mexicana

          Mexican food is a tricky thing.  We have definitely had our fair share of bad experiences, though we won‘t post those here.  It seems that our tastes are not necessarily for traditional Mexican food, but often Tex-Mex.
          If a Mexican restaurant can pull off amazing food and good service we will be back again and again.  There are several great Mexican restaurants we frequent that did not make the lists.  This could have easily been a top 10.
        Please let us know which Mexican restaurants you enjoy.  We are always up for trying a new one.

      Top 5 Nebraska Mexican Restaurants:

      Dustin’s List:
      1. Rivera’s, Omaha
      2. Mazatlan, Lincoln
      3. La Paloma, Lincoln*
      4. Las Margaritas, Lincoln
      5. El Toro, Lincoln
      Autumn’s List:
      1. Rivera’s, Omaha
      2. El Toro, Lincoln
      3. Mamasitas, Bennet
      4. San Pedro, Kearney
      5. La Paz, Lincoln
      We also recommend Little Mexico in Kearney and El Tapatio in Grand Island.

      * La Paloma is moving to 84th and Holdrege!



      Friday, April 23, 2010

      Lincoln's Finest

      We love to go out to eat and love it even more when the restaurant is local.  We hope to do several Top 5 Local Restaurant lists in the future.  Today, we’ll start with the capital city. 
      Yes, we know we left Lazlo’s and Fireworks are not on the list!  These both were featured on the Brewpubs list, so to mix it up a bit, we disqualified them this time around.  Also, we know there are several House of Hunans around, but none compares to Vincent’s on 56th and Hwy 2.  If  you go, make sure you get a chance to meet Vincent. 
      Several of these places have made other lists for certain dishes.  We recommend you try those dishes, ‘cause they must be good to make a Top 5!

      Top 5 Nebraska Local Restaurants -  Lincoln

      Autumn’s List
      1. Brix and Stone Gastropub
      2. Vincent’s House of Hunan
      3. 9 South Chargrill
      4. jtk
      5. Misty’s
      Dustin’s List
      1. Blue Mountain Smokehouse Pizza
      2. Spikes Beach Bar and Grille
      3. Brewsky’s (27th and Cornhusker)
      4. Isles Pub and Pizza
      5. Dino's Eastside Grill 






      Friday, April 16, 2010

      Can you beer me now?

      We are heading to Omaha tomorrow to check out a new brewpub, Gold Medal Tap.  This is part of the Rock Bottom Brewery out of Colorado, so it can’t make the list, but Nebraska does have a great bunch of local brewpubs.  Criteria for this list is the establishment has to serve food and original microbrew.

      Top 5 Nebraska Brewpubs

      Dustin’s List:
      1. Platte Valley Brewery, Kearney*
      2. Thunderhead, Kearney
      3. Fireworks, Lincoln
      4. Upstream Brewery, Omaha
      5. Misty’s, Lincoln

      Autumn’s List:
      1. Thunderhead, Kearney
      2. Nebraska Brewing Company, Papillion
      3. Lazlo's, Lincoln
      4. Upstream Brewery, Omaha
      5. Platte Valley Brewery, Kearney*

      *This brewery cannot currently serve its own brew because the Feds have shut down production due to some improper licensing.  However, they still serve great pizza and a wide variety of microbrews.  We do hope that Adam gets to serve his beer again soon though.

       Dustin at the Nebraska Brewing Company in Papillion


      Saturday, April 10, 2010

      Mmmmmm. . .Steak.

      We grilled steaks last night.  Although they were good, there are some that make it better ‘round here.  Autumn’s list is simply prime ribs, while Dustin included a wide variety of steaks.  All steaks were ordered medium rare and we won’t guarantee the steak if you order it any other way.

      Top 5 Nebraska Steaks

      Dustin’s List:
      1. Steak for Two Sirloin - The Bar, Unadilla
      2. T-Bone - The Steakhouse, Lincoln
      3. Prime Rib - Misty’s, Lincoln
      4. House Sirloin - The Fox, Lincoln
      5. 9 oz Sirloin (still mooing) - Brewsky’s, Lincoln

      Autumn’s List: Prime Rib
      1. Misty’s, Lincoln
      2. The Steakhouse, Lincoln
      3. Chances R, York
      4. The Bar, Unadilla
      5. Tub’s Pub, Sumner




        Monday, April 5, 2010

        The Great Pizza Debate!

        This has been a highly debated list.  There were so many great places to choose from; this could have easily been a Top 10.  There was also a recent Jeff’s Top Five in the Lincoln Journal Star devoted to pizza.

        Top 5 Nebraska Pizza

        Dustin’s List:
        1. Supreme - Danish Bakery, Dannenbrog
        2. Pesto - Mangia Italiana, Omaha
        3. Philly Cheesesteak - Cappy’s, Lincoln
        4. Buffalo Chicken - Spikes, Lincoln
        5. Vegetarian with Sausage - Isles Pub and Pizza, Lincoln

        Autumn’s List:
        1. Philly Cheesesteak - Cappy’s, Lincoln
        2. The Leaning Tower of Pizza - Isles Pub and Pizza, Lincoln
        3. Thunder Pie - Thunderhead Brewing Company, Kearney
        4. White Pizza - Blue Mountain Smokehouse Pizza, Lincoln (The garlic bread is AMAZING)
        5. Anything! - Yia Yia’s, Lincoln
        Note:  Dustin's List was changed when he discovered that Grisanti's has a store in Denver.  Though we still recommend trying the Top 10 pizza..



        Saturday, March 27, 2010

        Conserve Water: Drink Wine!

        We are going wine tasting today to two of our favorite Nebraska wineries.  These lists look at the wineries holistically.  Although there are certain wines we enjoy at each of the Nebraska wineries, these have the most enjoyable wines overall.  The winery itself was also taken into consideration.

        Here are our
        Top 5 Nebraska Wineries:

        Autumn’s List:
        1 - SchillingBridge - Pawnee City
        2 - Silver Hills - Tekamah,
        3 - Soaring Wings - Springfield
        4 - Prairie Creek - Central City
        5 - Cuthills - Pierce

        Dustin’s List:
        1 - Soaring Wings- Springfield
        2 - SchillingBridge- Pawnee City
        3 - Silver Hills - Tekamah
        4 - Prairie Creek - Central City
        5 - Glacial Till - Palmyra


        Busy day at SchillingBridge Winery and MicroBrewery, Pawnee City


        Wednesday, March 24, 2010

        The Beef State

        As Nebraska is The Beef State, we decided our first top 5 would be BURGERS!
        We took different approaches when it came to our top 5 burger lists.  Dustin's list contains several different types of burgers and Autumn's list is simply cheeseburgers.

        Top 5 Nebraska Burgers

        Dustin's List:
        1. Cheeseburger: Family Pub, Burr*
        2. Cheeseburger: Get-A-Way Bar and Grill, Manley
        3. The Bender:  Round the Bend Steakhouse & Saloon, South Bend
        4. Black Jack Burger:  Brewsky's Sports Bar, Lincoln
        5. Cheeseburger:  Tam O'Shanter Lounge, Lincoln

        Autumn's List:
        1. Get-A-Way Bar and Grill, Manley
        2. Stella's, Bellevue
        3. Denton Daily Double Steakhouse, Denton
        4. Greg's Drive-In, Lincoln
        5. Tam O'Shanter Lounge, Lincoln

        *This establishment is under new ownership, so we cannot guarantee the burgers here.

        Dad's suggestion:  Peanut Butter, Bacon Cheeseburger:  5th Quarter Classic, Palmyra

        Welcome!

        Welcome to the first Top 5 Nebraska blog! 
        First, you need to know a little about us and why we are doing this.  We are a young couple from Southeast Nebraska.  In our free time, we enjoy trying new eating and drinking establishments. 
        Once on a long road-trip, we started playing a game we called "Top 5".  We would come up with a category and then give our top 5 list.  We would now like to share these top 5 lists with you.
        We have found that word-of-mouth suggestions are more powerful and accurate than any commercial.  That's where you come in.  We have not been doing this very long, so if you know of a place we need to try, please leave a comment or email us. 
        There are only a few rules to the top 5 lists:
        1 - All establishments must be in Nebraska.
        2 - All establishments must be local - No national chains allowed!
        3 - No bashing the top 5, only suggestions that haven't been tried yet.
        All lists are subject to change, and we hope they do, as we get suggestions to try new places.
        Most of our top 5 lists are located in Southeast Nebraska or Central Nebraska.  We have two small children, so travel time has been minimal lately.  But, please send us suggestions across the state, and we will do our best to try these out.
        More than anything, we would like you to try our suggestions and give us feedback.  But remember, we want to support local business, so don't downgrade any of the suggestions, just let us know what you like better.
        Enjoy!
        Autumn & Dustin