When the Bluejays take the court, you can expect to see a sea of bright blue shirts at the Sam & Louie's at the corner of 24th and Cuming in Omaha. The location has been one of Creighton University's homes away from home since it opened in 1994, but its welcoming atmosphere is found at each of the eatery's 24 locations. There, friends and families bond over great conversation and an eclectic mix of casual cuisine from a menu inspired by traditional New York–style pizzerias. Eighteen specialty pizzas are hand tossed into thin-crust pies before being decorated with more than 35 toppings such as creamy alfredo sauce, sliced Italian meatballs, and canadian bacon. In deference to those with special dietary needs, almost all of these specialty pizzas are available in gluten-free pizzas.
In addition to pizzas, cooks also craft their daily-made dough into calzones and strombolis, which ooze with mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce. The menu culminates in five third-pound Black Angus burgers, Italian hoagies, and eight types of pastas. In addition to hosting guests inside their welcoming pizzerias for both lunch and dinner, the cooks at Sam and Louie's also take their food on the road, offering catering services for events both large and not-so-large.
Sugar Clay owners, vintners, and winemakers Frank and Amy Faust shake up palates with handcrafted pours and other treats during tastings. Visitors can choose from nearly a dozen releases for their two full pours (up to a $10 value) and discounted bottle, such as a clean, pineapple-kissed German-style edelweiss with a light caramel finish, Sugar Clay's most popular white ($16/bottle). The Faust Haus Rosa, a catawba grape nostril-wowwer, starts with a bouquet of strawberries and roses and ends with hints of spices and future honeymoons ($13/bottle). Bandana Red, the winery’s dark star, soothes mouths with a velvety mélange of deChaunac and marechal foch grapes and notes of dried cherries and blackberries ($15/bottle). A tray of gastro-intelligent bites, with ham, salami, cheeses, veggies, and french bread, complements the day’s toasts (an $11 value).
In a style fitting with their sword-and-shield emblem, the King’s Crossing Vineyard & Winery’s yearly renaissance festival harks back to ye olden days with a weekend of days-of-yore-style entertainment. A Scottish band toots the soundtrack to the festivities as visitors hoist flagons of beer and wine and belly dancers enchant viewers with sultry undulations. With multiple opportunities for guests to demonstrate their feats of strength, the fest hosts an archery tournament and dueling matches fought with swords, maces, and enormous turkey legs. The afternoons are filled with informative demonstrations on renaissance life, performed by actors in full period dress.
Smashburger's chefs cook each Smashburger ($4.99+) on the menu to order, in addition to crafting grilled and crispy Smashchicken sandwiches ($5.99+), Smashsalads ($4.99–6.99), and Smashsides such as rosemary and garlic-tossed Smashfries ($1.99–$2.99). The Smashburger pairs 100% Angus beef with veggies and cheeses on a toasted artisan bun, and Häagen-Dazs shakes keep mouths grounded, cool, and smiley ($3.99). This location also serves up an original Husker Smashburger, a fresh Angus patty topped with A1 steak sauce, swiss cheese, and sautéed mushrooms ($5.99+).
At Tobey Jack’s Steak House, seasoned grill masters dish up a menu of succulent, handmade fare and serve it in the newly remodeled dining room. Warm up jaw muscles with an order of hand-breaded onion rings ($6.99) fried to a golden brown to launch taste buds into a lightly battered planetary orbit. The hand-pattied double cheeseburger ($7.99) fills cavernous appetites and weighs down important tax documents with more than a full pound of beef blanketed in american cheese and served with a choice of potato or cup of soup. Meanwhile, the tenderloin ($6.99) pleases palates with a tenderized center-cut pork loin breaded, deep fried, and topped with bacon, sautéed onions, and american cheese. Tobey Jack’s also features prime rib on Friday and Saturday nights ($13.99–$24.99), providing a slow-roasted option for celebratory dinners, first dates, and reunions with long-lost imaginary friends.