2015 Morel Sightings at Omaha Restaurants

Morel mushrooms have been sighted! These unique, honeycombed-cap beauties have a more woodsy flavor than the common button mushrooms. Morel mushrooms are only available once a year by mother nature.

There are a handful of Omaha restaurants that have morel mushrooms. Get them while they last!


Taita Restaurant

Taita Restaurant is FoodMeOmaha’s top favorite restaurant in town! I continually rave about their sushi and other yummy offerings. I am thrilled that they have morel mushroom specials!

Mushroom Morels at Taita Restaurant

Mushroom Morels at Taita Restaurant

Homemade Pasta w/ Scallops, Scallions, and Morel Mushrooms

Homemade Pasta w/ Cream Sauce, Scallops, and Morel Mushrooms

Homemade Pasta w/ Cream Sauce, Scallops, and Morel Mushrooms
  • Description: Weekend special – Homemade pasta with cream sauce, scallops, and morel mushrooms.
  • Price: $25.00
  • FoodMe YUM Rating: 9 out of 10
  • FoodMe Value Rating: 9 out of 10

I had this special yesterday evening. I was wooed with each bite. The cream sauce was divine, the homemade pasta smooth and comforting, the scallops nicely seared, and the morel mushrooms was woodsy love! I wanted more and almost ordered this dish again!

Morel Mushrooms Broth and Miso Ramen at Taita

Morel Mushroom Broth and Miso Ramen at Taita

Taita serves up ramen on Sunday only (12pm-4pm only). Today, they have morel mushroom and miso ramen!

Taita on Urbanspoon


Dante Ristorante Pizzeria

Dante Ristorante Pizzeria is another favorite restaurant. They have wood-roasted, grass fed NE rib-eye w/ wood roasted morels, nishnabotna spinach & gnocchi and a nettle & ceci bean tortellini w/ wood-roasted morels, squeaky green organics radish, nettle pesto & fried ceci beans. Based on a recent phone call, their supply of morel mushrooms are almost gone!

Morel Mushrooms at Dante Pizzeria

Morel Mushrooms at Dante Pizzeria

Dante Ristorante Pizzeria on Urbanspoon


La Buvette Wine & Grocery

4/26/2015 Update: Morel mushrooms have been sighted at La Buvette in the Old Market! Omaha food writer, Sarah Baker Hansen, recently posted on the Omavore Facebook page: “What I’m eating: an incredibly delicious morel mushroom pizza” at La Buvette.

La Buvette serves up good food in a charming, quaint European-like cafe with exposed brick and walls of wine. Based on a recent call, La Buvette likes to have fun and try different dishes with morel mushrooms. Note based on several past visits, expect slow-paced service.

La Buvette Wine Bar & Delicatessen on Urbanspoon


Block 16

4/27/2015 Update: Block 16 has joined the list of Omaha restaurants with morel mushrooms!

Block 16 is one BIG reason I wished I stilled worked downtown!!! Last year, during the morel mushroom season, they had a different morel lunch special every day. Today, Block 16 has this morel mushroom special…

Miso Morel Burger at Block 16

Miso Morel Burger at Block 16

Hello, beautiful!!! The Miso Morel Burger is composed of the house patty, miso glazed MORELS, cheese, grilled onion, arugula, aioli and sriracha on a brioche bun. I want.

Check out Block 16’s Facebook page for their lunch specials. I wonder what other morel mushroom specials Block 16 will serve. I recommend getting their early. It gets crowded fast since Block 16 is that good.

5/2/2015 Update: Block 16’s special tonight is “MOREL AND LOBSTER RISOTTO. WITH A DUCK EGG AND GRANA PODANA. This is dine in only friends and we’ve only got a couple dozen left. They’ll go quickly and they don’t start until 5 p.m. but its worth it.”

Block 16 on Urbanspoon


V. Mertz

5/2/2015 Update: V. Mertz has posted an Instagram pic of a morel mushroom!

Morel Mushroom at V. Mertz

Morel Mushroom at V. Mertz

V. Mertz is a fine-dining restaurant with fine-tasting food. They have a great ambiance set in the Old Market Passageway. V. Mertz have unique dishes that merge traditional and contemporary styles and different cultural influences. I wonder what they will do with morel mushrooms…

5/4/2015 Update: Check out the goose eggs and morels Instagram pic from V. Mertz!

Goose Eggs and Morels at V. Mertz

Goose Eggs and Morels at V. Mertz

V. Mertz Restaurant on Urbanspoon


Lot 2 Restaurant and Wine Bar

5/3/2015 Update: Lot 2 posted that they have morel mushrooms this weekend!

Morel Mushrooms at Lot 2

Morel Mushrooms at Lot 2

Lot 2 Restaurant & Wine Bar is another favorite restaurant. There is a lot to love at Lot 2 including the charcuterie board and bone marrow. Thus, I had a “woot woot” reaction when I saw Lot 2 has morel mushrooms!

Lot 2 Restaurant and Wine Bar on Urbanspoon


5/6/2015 Update: 
There are more morels sighted at Omaha restaurants including J. Coco, M’s Pub, Dolce, and Kitchen Table!

FoodMeOmaha loves morel mushrooms! I will update this post if there are other morel mushroom sightings at Omaha restaurants. Hopefully, mother nature will be generous this year.

I recommend contacting the restaurant beforehand, if you want to make sure they have morel mushrooms. They go fast!

The Fries and Sides at Stella’s Bar & Grill

On March 10th 2015, FoodMeOmaha and work friends, Ryan and Eric, went to lunch at Stella’s Bar & Grill.

Stella's Bar & Grill Inside View

Our objective: Stella’s famous hamburgers. Oh yeah… Stella’s continues to be FoodMeOmaha’s top favorite burger joint in the Omaha area.

Custom Cheeseburger at Stella's Bar & Grill

Teaser: Salivate over this cheeseburger with bacon, fried egg, sauteed mushroom, grilled onion, and melted pepper jack served on a napkin. I happily gobbled up my customized burger masterpiece. Drool…

No brainer! When you are at Stella’s, enjoy a hamburger! How about the sides?

On this visit, we each ordered a different side and shared them among the table. I tried the onion rings for the first time and tasted the Stella fries and sweet potato waffle fries again.

StellasSides

The Fries and Sides menu section.

While the hamburgers are the reason to eat at Stella’s, this post is about the fries and sides at Stella’s Bar & Grill. Here are my rankings of the sides at Stella’s based on recent and past visits:

#4: Stella Fries
Stella's Fries

These fries don’t do anything for me. I know others who like them. Consistently, they are too soft, greasy, and bland for my taste.

Stella Fries
  • Description: Hand-cut, fresh Idaho potatoes
  • Price: $2.50
  • FoodMe YUM Rating: 5 out of 10
  • FoodMe Value Rating: 5 out of 10

9/5/2015 Update: Based on a recent visit, the fries have improved. They are crispier.


#3: Sweet Potato Waffle Fries
Stella's Sweet Potato Waffle Fries

The Sweet Potato Waffle Fries has a nice sweet potato taste but I want more salt and texture.

Sweet Potato Waffle Fries
  • Description: Sweet potato waffle fries
  • Price: $3.00
  • FoodMe YUM Rating: 7 out of 10
  • FoodMe Value Rating: 7 out of 10


#2: Potato chips – Home-Cooked, Kettle-Style
Stella's Potato Chips

The home-cooked, kettle potato chips are much tastier than the Stella fries and sweet potato waffle fries. The potato crunch is a great complement to the savory burger.

Potato Chips
  • Description: Home-cooked kettle-style potato chips
  • Price: $2.50
  • FoodMe YUM Rating: 8 out of 10
  • FoodMe Value Rating: 8 out of 10


#1: Onion Rings
Stella's Onion Rings

The onion rings are now my preferred side at Stella’s! Ryan and Eric favored this side as well. Yummy, textured breading and sweet cooked onion.

Onion Rings
  • Description: Onion Rings
  • Price: $2.50
  • FoodMe YUM Rating: 8.25 out of 10
  • FoodMe Value Rating: 8.25 out of 10

Overall, some sides are good and others are just okay. In the future, I will order the potato chips and/or onion rings with my awesome Stella’s burger masterpiece.

For more on Stella’s Bar & Grill, check out the past FoodMeOmaha post, Stella’s Hamburgers: A Burger Affair to Remember.

Stella's Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

CakeMeOmaha Series #8: The Deadpool Cake

My boyfriend’s son, Cade, turns fourTEEN! (He used to be shorter than me…) In honor of his birthday, we continued the custom cake tradition with a Deadpool cake from Bliss Old Market Bakery. They did not disappoint.

Custom Deadpool Cake from Bliss Bakery

Custom Deadpool Cake from Bliss Bakery

As expected, Bliss Old Market Bakery created a cake that looks good and tastes good.

IMG_20140921_151300627_HDR

I enjoyed the yummy, moist chocolate cake. On a minor note, I wish I had ordered the chocolate buttercream. The red-dyed white buttercream was sweeter than I prefer. Note that I am not a big frosting fan.

On a practical note, I also wished Bliss Old Market Bakery packed their cake more securely for transportation. We ordered the non-standard 10″ cake. The box was much larger then the cake and the top cover did not fit the box. Despite cautious, slow driving, the cake was slightly damaged. The cake slid in the box and the box cover scratched the cake.

Regardless of a few “cuts and bruises”, the custom Deadpool cake was a hit! Another awesome cake for awesome Cade, the teenager!

Custom Deadpool Chocolate Cake

  • Description: 10-inch round chocolate cake and white buttercream with Deadpool custom design.
  • Price: $60.00
  • FoodMe YUM Rating: 7.75 out of 10
  • FoodMe Value Rating: 7.75 out of 10

Bliss Old Market Bakery on Urbanspoon

Local Omaha Restaurants Supports ALS

I love the community among local Omaha restaurants. As an avid foodie, I have seen the camaraderie and collaboration between different chefs, restaurants, and organizations through different events (chef swaps, fundraisers, etc.) and social media interaction. This is also seen with the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge!

Here are some ALS Ice Bucket challenges videos from Omaha Restaurants.

Dolce’s Ice Bucket Challenge:

The Dolce crew challenges Chef Jon Seymour and crew from V. Mertz, Owner Chef Paul Kulik and crew from Le Bouillon and Chef Tim Nicholson and crew from The Boiler Room Restaurant.

V. Mertz’s Ice Bucket Challenge:

Sommelier Matthew E. Brown and Chef Jon Seymour of V. Mertz accepts the challenge from Dolce and then challenges Dante Ristorante Pizzeria, Block 16, and The Berry & Rye.

Le Bouillon’s Ice Bucket Challenge:

Owner Chef Paul Kulik of Le Bouillon challenges Owner Charlie Yin of Hiro 88 and Chef Clayton Chapman of The Grey Plume.

Hiro 88’s Ice Bucket Challenge:

Owner Charlie Yin of Hiro 88 and Pana 88 accepts the challenge from Owner Chef Paul Kulik of Le Bouillon.  In turn, Yin challenges Owner Ethan Bondelid of The Berry & Rye and House of Loom, Owner Isaiah Sheese of Archetype Coffee.

Kudos to the participating local Omaha restaurants!

Note: If there are any other ALS Ice Bucket Challenges from Omaha restaurants, please comment with the link and I will update the post. Thanks!

Firehouse Subs, Part 3: Giveaway Winners!

The Firehouse Subs series concludes with an announcement of the giveaway winners!

Firehouse Subs Logo

The winners of a $10 Firehouse Subs gift cards are… Drumrolll…

  • Katie Manganaro
  • Antonio Soto
  • Gene Klosner
  • Mikie Todd
  • Sara McCarty

Winners, please email foodmeomaha@gmail.com by Monday, January 20, 2014 to claim your gift card!

Thanks to all giveaway participants. Keep feeding me your comments!

Note: Winners were selected by an online randomizer.

Firehouse Subs, Part 2: Dinner with the Co-Founder

I was delighted to be one of the bloggers invited to the Firehouse Subs dinner with the co-founder. I was already fond of Firehouse Subs based on past visits. (See the FoodMeOmaha post, “Firehouse Subs, Part 1: Hot Subs Done Right”).

On October 14th, my best friend, Zoe, and I went to the dinner event at Firehouse Subs (72nd Street) Omaha location. We were treated to subs and the Firehouse story told by the co-founder, Robin Sorensen. My fondness for Firehouse Subs was fired up!

Firehouse Subs dinner with the co-founder and other local bloggers.

Firehouse Subs co-founder, Robin Sorensen, talking about Firehouse Subs.

Firehouse Subs was founded by firefighting brothers Robin and Chris Sorensen in 1994. They started out with one shop in Jacksonville, Florida and successfully expanded to a franchise of more than 660 shops. I am glad they did and have two locations in Omaha!

Firehouse Subs’ mission.

As mentioned in a previous post, Firehouse Subs stands out for their hearty and flavorful hot subs. I learned the following from Robin:

  • The meat and cheeses are uniquely steamed to lock in moisture and flavor.
  • They use quality ingredients including premium meat and Sargento cheeses.
  • Their meats are sliced fresh daily.
  • The large specialty subs have a half pound of meat!

We enjoyed four different Firehouse subs (each a third portion of the large).

Hook and Ladder.

Hook and Ladder

  • Description: Smoked turkey breast and honey ham smothered with Monterey Jack and Fully loaded (lettuce, tomato, onion, mayo, spicy mustard) and a dill spear on the side.
  • Price: $5.69 medium, $7.69 large
  • FoodMe YUM Rating: 8.5 out of 10
  • FoodMe Value Rating: 8.5 out of 10

The Hook and Ladder is the most popular sub and I understood why after my first bite. This is a delicious combination of steamed turkey and ham, melted cheese, a good dose of mayo, lettuce, tomato, and onion on toasted bread. I am hooked on this sub!

New York Steamer.

New York Steamer

  • Description: Corned beef brisket and pastrami with Provolone, mayo, mustard, Italian dressing and a dill spear on the side.
  • Price: $5.69 medium, $7.69 large
  • FoodMe YUM Rating: 7.5 out of 10
  • FoodMe Value Rating: 7.5 out of 10

The New York Steamer is packed with flavorful corned beef and pastrami. The meat duo is the star complemented by melted provolone, creaminess of the mayo, a little spice of the mustard and the zest of the Italian dressing. This is recommended for the corned beef and pastrami lovers.

The Italian.

The Italian.

The Italian

  • Description: Genoa salami, pepperoni, ham, Provolone, Italian dressing and Italian seasonings, served Fully Involved.
  • Price: $5.69 medium, $7.69 large
  • FoodMe YUM Rating: 7.5 out of 10
  • FoodMe Value Rating: 7.5 out of 10

You can smell the Italian in The Italian. This is a tasty meat trio and melted provolone combo heightened with the Italian seasoning and dressing. I can see my dude, Brian, loving this sub.    

Smokehouse Beef and Cheddar Brisket.

IMG_5678

Smokehouse Beef and Cheddar Brisket.

Smokehouse Brisket and Smoked Cheddar

  • Description: USDA Choice beef brisket smoked for 16+ hours, cheddar, mayo, Sweet Baby Ray’s® BBQ Sauce.
  • Price: $5.99 medium, $7.99 large
  • FoodMe YUM Rating: 8.5 out of 10
  • FoodMe Value Rating: 8.5 out of 10

The Smokehouse Brisket and Smoked Cheddar is smokin’ awesome! This is a rich, flavorful, decadent sub. Oh yeah. Zoe (barbecue lover) and I really liked this sub. Warning: I can see this being too rich for some palettes.

FoodMeOmaha and hot sauces at Firehouse Subs.

Thumbs up for Firehouse Subs! This is the place to go for hearty and flavorful hot subs. Plus, there is a variety of hot sauces for more flavor!

FoodMeOmaha and Firehouse Subs co-founder, Robin Sorensen.

Thanks to Robin and the Firehouse Subs staff for the dinner event!

FoodMeOmaha and best friend, Zoe, at Firehouse Subs.

Thanks to my dear friend Zoe for being my plus one!

Here are posts from other local bloggers on the Firehouse dinner event:

Giveaway!

This is FoodMeOmaha’s first giveaway! Do you want a chance to win a Firehouse Subs gift card? If so, comment below on your thoughts about Firehouse Subs.

Note: One entry per person. The giveaway is open until Thursday, January 16, 2014 8:00pm Central Time. Winners will be announced on Friday, January 17, 2014 on a FoodMeOmaha post. The winners will need to contact me with their address at foodmeomaha@gmail.com within 72 hours to claim their prize. There will be another chance to win via FoodMeOmaha Facebook page. Stay tuned!

Firehouse Subs on Urbanspoon

Firehouse Subs, Part 1: Hot Subs Done Right

Firehouse Subs – 72 Crossing

Firehouse Subs stands out for their tasty hot subs, diverse hot sauces, and Firehouse theme. No question they are way better than the average sub sandwich chains including Subway, Little King, and Quiznos.

Firehouse Subs uniquely steams their meat and cheeses, toasts the bread separately, and loads up on ingredients for hearty, flavorful hot subs. Oh yeah.

Here are the hot specialty subs, my dude, Brian, and I had on a past visit in June.

Steak and Cheese

  • Description: Sautéed steak, melted provolone, sautéed onions and bell peppers, mayo, and mustard with dill spear.
  • Price: $5.89 medium, $7.89 large
  • FoodMe YUM Rating: 8.0 out of 10
  • FoodMe Value Rating: 8.0 out of 10

The classic steak and cheese had me simultaneously nodding and chewing in approval. I like the tasty combination of non-dry savory steak, sauteed onions and bell peppers, melted provolone, and nice layer of mayo on toasted bread.

Firehouse Meatball

  • Description: Italian meatballs, melted provolone, zesty marinara, and Italian seasonings with dill spear.
  • Price: $5.69 medium, $7.69 large
  • FoodMe YUM Rating: 8.25 out of 10
  • FoodMe Value Rating: 8.25 out of 10

If you love meatball subs, then don’t miss out on the Firehouse Meatball! This is a heavy-duty, flavorful mouthful of big meatballs, marinara with a kick, melted provolone, and toasted bread. I enjoyed a few bites with more nodding and chewing. Manly Brian conquered the large meatball sub and left full and satisfied.

Note that Firehouse Subs is meat-centric over veggies. I know some friends who wish they included more veggies to balance the meat and had more diverse veggie options besides lettuce, tomato, and onion.

FoodMeOmaha goes to Firehouse Subs for their hearty, flavorful hot subs. I’m glad to have them in Omaha! Hot subs are done right at Firehouse Subs.

Stay tuned for part 2 on the Firehouse Subs dinner with co-founder, Robin Sorensen, and other local bloggers!

Firehouse Subs

  • FoodMe YUM Rating: 8.0 out of 10
  • FoodMe Service Rating: 8.0 out of 10
  • FoodMe Value Rating: 8.0 out of 10
  • FoodMe Atmosphere Rating: 8.0 out of 10
  • FoodMe Overall Rating: 8.0 out of 10

Firehouse Subs on Urbanspoon