Alotta Brownies is a true-blue neighborhood bakery where glass cases reveal sweet morsels of handmade decadence. The inviting confectionery is owned by New York native Michelle, whose former stomping grounds had her baking cakes for the sweet-toothed likes of Madonna, Mary Tyler Moore, and Yoko Ono. She and her lovingly prepared sweets migrated to the Midwest, where a 100-year-old sugar-cookie recipe mingles with more than 20 varieties of brownies and bars and a full menu of edible rewards. If you don't see your consummate confection, opt to customize a cake. Choose the filling, layer-count, frosting, and decoration, such as an eight-inch, three-layered creation smothered in cream-cheese frosting for $29.
The aroma of fresh-baked bread and muffins draws diners into the cozy Rumor Mill Cafe and Coffee for breakfast and lunch. Deli sandwiches, paninis, and wraps form the backbone of the menu, crafted with slow roasted meats and seasonal produce. Diners can eat alfresco or snuggle up on microsuede armchairs to catch up on work with free WiFi and a cup of coffee. The café's 42-inch flat-screen television communicates the latest news, sports scores, and values of Beanie Babies.
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.
Taco John's swiftly serves an assortment of tangy Mexican fare and bold-flavored innovative snacks. The edible oeuvre includes the eatery's signature super potato olés®: black olives, beef, sour cream, and melted cheese smothering a helping of golden-brown tater nuggets ($4.59). Those who create Venn diagrams to decide between soft or crunchy tortillas can choose the middle ground and get both with the taco bravo® ($1.99). Taste another victory for American and Mexican relations with the taco burger, featuring tacos' usual contents nestled between two fresh buns ($1.59). The chicken quesadilla ($3.79) awakens groggy taste buds with its strong chipotle cream sauce and fresh pico de gallo.
Founded by twin sisters Denise and Kim, TwoTwins Café satisfies both of the body's stomachs with a menu of fresh, homemade recipes cooked from scratch and a tasty selection of European-style bakery goods. Break fasts with a three-egg omelet with Swiss cheese and smoked ham ($7.95), sidekicked by your choice of breakfast potatoes or signature breakfast rice and a biscuit or toast. Or traverse the towering heights of three fluffy buttermilk pancakes ($5.95), served with TwoTwins' tasty maple syrup. Exhausted existentialists can stir awake soul-searching with a mocha ($4.25) made from fresh-ground coffee beans while also pondering the absurdity that is the universe over a four-inch pecan roll ($2.99). TwoTwins Café also satisfies midday cravings with a lunch menu featuring items such as a Caesar salad ($5.95), moistened by drops of homemade Caesar dressing dew. Or try the Big Red Reuben ($8.25), a marble-rye-sandwiched collection of homemade corned beef, grilled sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, classic Russian dressing, and Husker pride. Beverages anxiously awaiting deglutition include Lipton iced tea ($2), specialty beers ($3.95), and various red and white house wines ($4.50–$5 per glass).
Bruegger's bagels are created using fresh, wholesome ingredients and then kettle-boiled in the New York tradition, resulting in chewy centers with crisp outer crusts. Awaken your taste buds with a savory combination such as the rosemary olive oil bagel smothered with onion and chive cream cheese ($2.39). Or, prove yourself to be a sweetie by adopting a family of 13 bagels and washing them up and behind the ears in the two tubs of garden-veggie cream cheese in the Big Bagel Bundle ($13.99). Bruegger's deli menu is flanked by an array of breakfast sandwiches and lunch fare. Bury thoughts of the snarky snooze button with the breakfast bagel bearing an egg, melted cheese, and a choice of bacon, sausage, or ham ($3.99), or wrap your mitts around the Leonardo da Veggie lunchtime sandwich and bite into tomatoes, roasted red peppers, red onions, and muenster cheese on an asiago Softwich ($5.49).