Located at 2202 South 20th Street, is Piccolo’s Italian Steak House. A family friendly restaurant, Piccolo’s has been an Omaha favorite for lunch and dinner since 1934. Piccolo’s menu items are reasonably priced and the service is prompt. And, because of its proximity to the downtown area, it is a frequent choice of Omaha business workers. Piccolo’s dining hall is spacious and quiet, but the lighting is somewhat dim. Piccolo’s has a large party room and competitive rates for wedding banquets and special occasions. During our last visit, members of our party had the pork tenderloin, meatloaf, and roast beef sandwiches as well as the mostaccioli with meatballs. All the portions were generous and the food satisfying.
Piccolo’s serves dinner daily, and lunch Monday through Friday. You typically do not have to call ahead for reservations. And, there is plenty of parking street side and on the north side of the building. Give it a try when you are in South Omaha and Happy Motoring!
Located at 1205 Howard Street in Omaha’s Old Market is Plank Seafood Provisions. Known for its fresh oysters, Plank provides a nice selection of southern seafood creations including blackened, Cajun and creole dishes on their menu. Formerly a Subway sandwich shop, the Plank has modernized the décor to include a massive seascape photo. The frame of a boat hangs from the ceiling and supports the lighting system. Wooden plank chairs and bright orange seat covers produce a pleasant atmosphere for your seafood dining experience.
The po’ boys (catfish, shrimp, alligator) are huge and flavorful. If the chef would go heavier on the spices and the mustard sauces it would be more to my liking. Irrespective, Plank is an Omaha dining experience you should not miss. Plank is open daily for lunch and dinner. Happy hour runs Monday through Saturday from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and all day Sunday. Check it out when you are downtown and Happy Motoring!
Located at 911 South 87th Avenue in the Countryside Village Shopping Center, is The Market Basket restaurant. We celebrated my birthday here, sharing lunch with our good friends the Finch’s.
A popular dining spot, The Market Basket is cozy, quiet and off-the-beaten-path. The dining room is bright and colorful. A bakery display case containing desserts and assorted baked goods (scones, breads, muffins and danish) tempts arriving and departing customers. The Market Basket serves full breakfast, lunch and dinner menus – while also offering extensive catering, delivery and carry out services.
Members of our group had soup and sandwich offerings for lunch. Others had the fish and chips. The baked patoto soup was a hit. And, so were the desserts!
After a leisurely meal, spend some time at the neighboring Starbucks or the Bookworm book store. Happy Motoring!
Located at 16909 Lakeside Hills Plaza is Harvest Cafe and Wine Bar. Opened by owner Tom Sawyer after his wife’s death in 2010, the Cafe in the fulfilment of the couple’s dream. Harvest Cafe serves California Cuisine style food, using locally-sourced organic and healthy ingredients. The soups and sandwiches at Harvest Cafe are very good.
During a recent luncheon stop, I had the gourmet macaroni and cheese meal from the menu. It was yummy. Others in our lunch group had the home made roasted chicken salad on a croissant, and the beef panini. The dining area was spacious, comfortable and clean.
The wait service was stellar. Executive Chef Robert Barr even took time to mingle with clients in the dining area, to make sure their meals were prepared to their liking. The Cafe is open for lunch (Monday through Saturday) and for dinner (Wednesday through Saturday); closed Sundays.
Give it a try when you are in West Omaha. Happy Motoring!
Located at 5203 Leavenworth Street, in the building that formerly housed Wolner’s neighborhood grocery, is J. Coco Restaurant. Opened in March 2012, and named for head chef and owner, Jennifer Coco, the restaurant serves traditional fare using fresh, natural ingredients from local growers. Although the menu is abbreviated, the entree’s are masterfully prepared and there is a robust wine selection. Food plates delivered from the kitchen are artfully organized, tempting diners to photograph their meals rather than disturb them with their forks. The restaurant gets my vote for Omaha’s ”most outstanding meal presentation”.
I especially enjoy the soups and salads at J. Coco. The grilled chicken antipasti salad is delightful. And, fresh french bread is served with the soup of the day.
For a pleasant dining experience, give J. Coco a try when you are in midtown Omaha. The restaurant is typically busy, so I recommend calling ahead for reservations. J. Coco is open for lunch on weekdays, and dinner (Monday through Saturday). Happy Motoring!
Located at 2419 Leavenworth Street is Tony Caniglia’s 11 Worth Cafe. Now managed by Tony, Jr., the 11 Worth Cafe continues the tradition of Omaha restaurant excellence that is associated with the Caniglia name. The 11 Worth Cafe has been in this location since 1976. The reason… repeat business. Whenever you eat at the cafe, you will witness the down-home, friendly interactions between the management, wait staff, and patrons. But the restaurant delivers more than friendly service. The meal portions are plentiful, delivered hot and delicious. On my most recent breakfast visit, I had the number 11 menu item (just had to do that); hash-browns, scrambled eggs and toast and coffee. The waitress made sure that I had jelly, hot sauce and coffee refill offers at every sip. Without a doubt, this is one of the best managed restaurants I’ve visited in a while. The servers know their craft well and seem to enjoy their work. If you are looking for a great breakfast gathering place in Omaha, I highly recommend the 11 Worth Cafe. Open 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Happy Motoring!
Jimmy’s Egg is a restaurant franchise that started in Oklahoma in 1980. Known for its excellent breakfast menu, Jimmy’s now has 35 locations throughout the Midwest, including four stores right here in Omaha.
The Omaha locations are: 1) 17003 Evans Plaza; 2) 205 N. 80th St., Suite 119; 3) 2904 S 132nd Street; and, 4) 5106 S. 108th Street. Jimmy’s has traditional breakfast fare on their menu, but changes things up - serving breakfast sandwiches, breakfast tacos and burritos, and their specialty item… Jimmy’s Garbage Breakfast, a compilation of all your breakfast favorites tossed together into a huge meal. The dining areas are well lit with plenty of seating. The decor is understated, with emphasis on function. My wife and I like the waffles and pancakes at Jimmy’s. Give one of the Omaha locations a try! Happy Motoring!
Located at 7300 Q Street in Ralston, just west of 72nd & Q, is the Ralston Arena. Opened in October 2012, it is the Omaha metro’s newest and most modern such facility. The arena is home of the UNO men’s basketball team, the Omaha Lancer’s hockey team, the Omaha Beef football team, as well as the Omaha Rollergirls. On the day of my visit, a high school basketball tournament was being held. Ralston mayor Don Groesser was also present and offered to give me a quick tour. Don said that the main arena will seat 3,500 people. The facility can also support two concurrent events. Adjoining the main arena is a second venue (presently an ice arena that is available to the public for “open” ice skating). Skate rental is available, and there is additional seating for for up to 500 at the rink. A bar and lounge area provides seating for about 80 people, and can be rented for special occasions. I was very impressed by the service and hospitality at the arena. There are many concession choices, including Maria’s Mexican food, Domino’s pizza, Famous Dave’s BBQ, International fare, and Omaha Steaks… which seemed to be the fan favorite. This is an awesome entertainment facility you will enjoy visiting again and again. Happy Motoring!
located between Omaha and Lincoln off I-80 exit 432-south on Hwy 31 (1.3 miles) and west on Pflug Road (1 mile) is Holy Family Shrine. This lovely chapel has a fascinating architectural design and a scenic view of the Platte River Valley that beckons travelers to take the short jaunt required for a free tour. Maintained by the Catholic church, the chapel is open to the public and to persons of all faiths. Inspired by a dream, the fascinating story of the chapel’s construction is told in plaques and displays located inside the underground bunker that houses the chapel’s visitors center. A stream flows through the center of the structure adding to its peaceful, powerful, mystery. If you have the time, it is worth a detour at the Gretna exit. Happy Motoring!
Located at 10666 Sapp Brothers Drive, just off I-80 exit 440 in West Omaha, is The Brass Armadillo antique mall. A massive facility with over 30,000 square feet and featuring items from over 375 Nebraska dealers, the Brass Armadillo is Omaha’s top shopping spot for antiques and collectibles. Here, you can literally get “lost in time”, experiencing the history, nestalgia and fascination of the display case contents. The Armadillo is one of 6 locations in the midwest; with other stores in Iowa, Missouri, Colorado and Arizona. The Omaha store has thousands of Omaha aritifacts, jewalry, furniture and collectibles. Ask for it… and they have it. It is simply an incredible place to spend a morning or afternoon. Open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day, The Brass Armadillo is an absolute Omaha “must see” attraction. Check it out and Happy Motoring!