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 in South Omaha, just off the Kennedy Freeway at 7110 Railroad Avenue, is Nettie’s. Arguably, one of Omaha’s best Mexican restaurants, Nettie’s is well known for its spicy-hot and delicious chili. Nettie’s also serves soft-shell beef “toad” tacos that are enormous. The shells are light and airy. Nettie’s always brings the heat – the hot sauce, salsa and chili will all make you sweat. There is not alot of seating at Nettie’s and as a result there is sometimes a short wait. Brightly colored parrots and beer signs adorn the walls of the cozy dining hall. Open Tuesday through Saturday from 11:00 a.m. until 8:30 or 9:00 p.m.; Nettie’s is closed Sundays and Mondays. Give it a try and Happy Motoring!
Located inside the Mutual of Omaha Bank building at 3333 Farnam Street in the heart of Midtown Crossing is Chick-fil-A Express. In business since 1995, Chick-fil-A, is one of the most recognizable brands in the country – the cows in its commercials encouraging the public to “Eat Mor Chikin”. Now, at the midtown location, Omaha locals can enjoy the signature chicken sandwiches and waffle fries that have appealed to the restaurant’s patrons throughout the U.S. During my visit, I had the nuggets and they were terrific. Having a Starbucks in the same facility makes this place “dope”. There is parking on Farnam for a quick to go order, and plenty of seating if you decide to dine-in instead. Happy Motoring!
Located at 2620 North Main Street in downtown Elkhorn, is Bella Vita Ristorante. Bella Vita is a pleasant fine dining experience. We have enjoyed the comfort of the inside dining hall, but much prefer sitting at one of the patio tables out back at sunset when the weather suits. Choose from their large selection of Italian wines. Start with some antipasti/appetizers. We like the bruschetta and hard breads. Bella Vita has a large selection of authentic Italian dishes on their menu. The food is good but not great – but the ambiance and service is superior. Bella Vita serves dinner daily at 3:00 p.m. (4:00 p.m. on Saturdays). Give it a try when you are in Elkhorn. Happy Motoring!