Named after a Canadian non-profit dedicated to rescuing small-breed canines, The Orange Dog Bar and Grill packs patrons' bellies with hearty pub eats six days a week. Dining duos can kick-start their meal by thumb-warring over an order of the popular wings, which come in internationally inspired flavors such as American buffalo, Jamaican jerk, and Brazilian passion fruit guava. Then, tongue dive into a heftier main course, such as three fish tacos brimming with beer-battered filets—accompanied by a side of wasabi aioli—that hail directly from Poseidon’s neighborhood taqueria. Other entrees include the carefully grilled steak, which has the power to shape shift into the rib eye or New York varieties upon customer preference, and classic burgers prepared with beef, turkey, salmon, or veggie patties. During the meal, patrons can celebrate masterfully executed swallows by clinking together glasses of Coors Light, Blue Moon, Budweiser, or New Castle.
The newly remodeled and reincarnated Goldeez invites patrons to sample an array of ales and lagers at one of its Monday-night beer tastings. The Goldeez brewmeisters cull an ever-changing eight-dram cross-section for connoisseurs to connoisseur on as the knowledgeable bar staff takes tongues on a thirst-quenching journey. Palate pilgrimages start with a light beer, such as a Corona, travel down the spectrum from Agave Wheat to ales including Hazed & Infused and Fat Tire, and finally traverse into the darkness of porters and extra stouts. Groupon redeemers can keep the party going well into Tuesday morning with a take-home six-pack built from their favorite brew of the eight tasted that night.
Patrons demonstrate support for sports teams with The Dugout's collection of MLB and NCAA caps and College World Series apparel and flaunt their school pride with Nebraska, Creighton, and Iowa team merchandise. Fans can outfit noggins with a Nebraska Cornhusker fitted cap ($19.99), which is equipped with a fly swatter to protect precious hotdogs at ballgames. A New York Yankees garment-washed visor ($19.95) shades brows in sunny stadiums, and a Husker car flag ($14.99) informs passing pedestrians of a driver's team preferences. A Florida Commodores 2011 College World Series Omaha T-shirt ($19.99) blankets torsos in the soft blend of cotton and team spirit.
The extensive menu at Clancy’s offers filling pub fare for lunch and dinner. Start with an order of chicken wings ($7.99 for 10), available in five levels of spiciness, or opt for a basket of breaded cauliflower ($5.99) and dunk the crispy-fried treat into a creamy cheese sauce. Entrees at the eatery include a bountiful selection of hearty hand-held burgers ($7.49 and up), pizzas (starting at $4.50 for a six-inch individual pizza), and specialty sandwiches. Try the jumbo tenderloin sandwich ($7.99), with a deep-fried pork loin slumbering in a bun bed, or Clancy’s classic corned-beef sandwich ($6.99), sure to evoke memories of long days in the kiting fields of Kilkenny. Plated portions of the beer-battered fish and chips ($9.49) or the classic chicken-fried steak ($7.99) promise to please even the most discerning diner, while a meal-concluding slice of Clancy’s Bailey’s Irish Cream cheesecake ($4.99) offers a stomach-warming conclusion to the meal.
Grilled over a wood fire, baked with buttered breadcrumbs, served raw with a touch of horseradish—when it comes to oysters, the chefs at Plank Seafood Provisions have nearly every preparation covered. Updated daily, their oyster bar's menu sports catches flown in from the Pacific and Atlantic coasts several times a week. And Omahans have taken notice. One busy weekend, Plank Seafood Provisions had to order 2,000 oysters to meet demands, reports The Reader.
But beyond oysters, the eatery—named 2013's Best New Restaurant by Omaha Magazine—celebrates all kinds of seafood delicacies, from potato-crusted calamari to pan-seared diver scallops served with creamy farro and braised kale. It even steps on land with smoked beef short ribs and Angus burgers topped with fried oysters. And to complement such feasts, bartenders pour plenty of beer, wine, and cocktails as well as six varieties of spiked lemonade.
The interior of Plank's dining space derives its inspiration from some of the cooking methods in the adjoining kitchen—namely the wood-fire grill. With nautical accents, retro-style booths, and stools, hard wood furnishes dominate. The tables are hard wood, as well as the stools, the door, and a massive boat frame hanging overhead to remind diners of the sea's bounty and sunken boat skeletons.
"No cookbooks. No measuring cups. No measuring spoons. No scales. I know from experience," Be Lam—the executive chef of Saigon Surface—responded when Jane Palmer of the Omaha World-Herald asked if she uses a cookbook. Lam, who runs the restaurant with the help of her daughter and son, Ngoc and Tu Nguyen, told Palmer that she learned her culinary and artistic techniques from a group of elders in her native Saigon. She creates her signature grilled pork dish, for example, not from a written-down formula but from a memorized marinade that developed over years of practice and bestows flavor to the meat over several days.
Though steeped in the food wisdom of several generations, the restaurant's overall vibe is decidedly modern. The Omaha World-Herald, which had already named it one of the Top 8 restaurants in 2011, said that it "mixes the traditional with the technological to great effect. It's a welcome addition to the downtown dining scene." There's an iPad at every table, which guests can use to order a lychee martini from the lime-green-backlit bar or fiddle with when their dates decide to show their ventriloquism skills. The walls, meanwhile, are covered with dark wood paneling, which provides a pleasingly stark contrast to the sleek white booths and tables.