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.
Like the organizer of an eternal neighborhood picnic, 9 South Chargrill mixes together a bounty of Southern-style barbecue and comfort food with a homey ambiance created by red-painted brick walls and deep-navy tablecloths to draw friends together. This combination has worked on such devotees as Jeff Korbelik of the Lincoln Journal Star, prompting him to place the eatery atop his 2010 list of the Top 5 Neighborhood Restaurants, where he called it his "favorite out-of-the-way place." Although the chefs embrace homespun cooking by churning their signature barbecue sauce and chipotle aioli in-house, many of their entrees look beyond regional and national borders. Texas-size loaded potatoes, certified Angus steaks, and Memphis-style pulled-pork sandwiches feature a range of distinctively American flavors, but lighter continental alternatives, such as an Italian-inspired spinach fettuccine dish, spotlight the chopped tomatoes and fresh basil found in Old-World favorites and inventive toddlers' Easy Bake Ovens.
There's a dish to satisfy every taste at Spaghetti Works, where diners can customize meals to their hearts’ and mouths’ content. Plates of fettuccini or whole-wheat mostaccioli can be enjoyed with sweet italian sausage, beer-cheese sauce, and a wide variety of other toppings. Meanwhile, the restaurant's cooks also prepare classic Italian dishes, such as homemade lasagna and shrimp scampi, and craft gluten-free pizzas and pasta bowls. Diners can cap meals with beer, wine, a cocktail, or more than 20 flavors of Italian sodas.
Known as a family-friendly establishment, Spaghetti Works delights both children and adults with its quirky decor. All three locations feature red-checkered tablecloths and vintage model T trucks, the backs of which hold salad bars with all the fixings. And at all three locations, guests can admire the setting sun from an outdoor patio—a sight almost as beautiful as that of a kitten hatching from its shell.
Nestled in the historic Haymarket area, JTK Cuisine & Cocktails works to preserve the traditions of American cooking. Chefs keep their menus short, using only fresh ingredients that are in season. As they follow the cooling or warming of the air throughout the year, they change up the menu three or four times to introduce new weather-appropriate dishes and plot twists in the story of Appetizer and Entree. Their menus have focused on elements of modern American cuisine from both land and sea, while accommodating vegetarian, gluten-free, and other diets. Culinary teams shape burgers from American Wagyu beef, marinate cuts of New York strip and flatiron steak, and sear duck and chicken breasts. They also drizzle glazes and seasonings atop scallops, Atlantic salmon, and shrimp. These dishes pair with the restaurant's wines, which include bottles from around the world that represent a range of grape varietals and regions.
For 25 years the owners of Brewsky?s Food & Spirits have known that the best way to get friends and family together is to create a vibrant space filled with all the best sporting events on TV, frosty brews, and a menu of comfort foods. While taking pride in being the spot to gather for Husker games, as well as all other major sporting events, the owners also take immense satisfaction in serving a selection of juicy steaks, flame-broiled burgers, and wings that their chef concocted exclusively for the restaurant. The team also entertains patrons with trivia nights and shows such as dueling pianos or quarreling xylophones at the Haymarket location.
Since 1964, Misty's has served a hearty combination of USDA premium beef and house-brewed beer, dubbed the Modern Monks Forbidden Ales. The menu lists a slew of quality steaks and chops, plus seafood, pastas, and sandwiches that satisfy even the most ravenous mad-griffin appetite. Spend your lunch hour cozied up to a smokey blues burger (topped with blue cheese, hickory-smoked bacon, and chipotle mayo; $8.95) and a pint of preservative-free Kolsch, a dry and crispy ale with fruity aromas ($4–$4.20). Hearty dinners heaped with aged Angus prime-rib, soup, salad, and a potato ($15.95–$29.95), along with a pint of Robust Porter ($4–$4.20), leave stomachs stuffed and pitched forward as their operators blissfully mosey home on chestnut mares. Seated amid warm décor with dark wood furnishings and trompe de l'oeil stone walls, you'll feel as comfortable as a snake in a luxury-sized can. Floor-to-ceiling windows let in streams of natural light and provide ample opportunities for people watching. In the warmer months, take advantage of al fresco dining.