Whole Foods Market's commitment to the interdependent network of sustainable farms and organic producers can be seen in its carefully selected product lines. The homegrown 365 Everyday Value brand makes it easy to eat naturally, organically, and economically. It features an array of items from all product categories, including groceries, vitamins, household items, and more—each manufactured to meet the rigorous quality standards woven into the fabric of Whole Foods Market, which itself is made from 100% alpaca wool.
The winner of Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence for three years running, Carmela's Bistro & Wine Bar unites its distinctive pours with a rotating menu of seasonally-inspired cuisine. Current and past favorites have included duck-stuffed quail with duck fat roasted fingerling potatoes and fig and prosciutto pizza with goat cheese, truffle oil, and parmesan cream sauce. These rich bites pair with the renowned wine list pairing as well as with craft brews and cocktails. On Sundays, brunch takes the stages with crab cake benedicts, bread pudding french toast, and other filling entrees.
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Order a BLT at Upstream Brewing Company, and chances are good you'll taste a tomato picked that morning. Every year, a nearby farmer—amiably known as Farmer Jerry—plants 700 heirloom-tomato plants reserved exclusively for the brewery’s kitchens. Executive chefs Gary Hoffman and Jonathan Draper covet such freshness, and it shows on their menus. Seafood arrives from both coasts at least two to three times a week—throughout the summer, the chefs get even wild salmon harvested during the runs in Alaska's Copper River. And of course there are the cuts straight from Omaha Steaks, which the chefs choose individually from choice-grade, 21-day wet-aged beef.
This dedication to quality echoes Upstream Brewing Company's name. Taken from the Native American word "Omaha"—meaning "upstream" or "against the current" in honor of the settling tribe that traveled up the Missouri River—it reflects the owners' intention to elevate the typical brewpub experience by taking unexpected approaches. The flagship Old Market location also mirrors this dedication to the unpredictable, residing in a converted 21,000-square-foot firehouse built in 1904 that surrounds guest with dining spaces including a patio, two floors with bars, and a rooftop deck. In between the exposed-brick walls, diners may spy charring on the timber beams, marks left by a fire in 1917 during an ill-conceived attempt to domesticate Roman candles.
The basement houses part of the brewery, where brew masters handcraft batches of house beers from the Flagship IPA to cask-conditioned ales. They also continually experiment with seasonal beers—one such creation, the "Johnny" Dortmunder Lager, placed on DRAFT Magazine's top 25 beers of 2010—as well as Bugeater Root Beer, named in honor of Omaha's sports teams before they became known as Cornhuskers. Both the Old Market and Legacy locations encompass billiard rooms, and the staffs encourage guests to linger out the hours by trying a new brew or ordering something off the late-night menu.
Colorful neon signs illuminate The Bar’s staff as they fill glasses with domestic brews, crack open imported bottles, and carefully infuse cocktails with premium liquors. A large outdoor beer garden shelters patrons who dine on free pizza on Fridays and drink in the sounds of occasional live music. Home to summer basketball and baggo leagues, The Bar also opens its doors to private events such as graduation parties and shuts them against pillaging Vikings.
The wine wizards at A World of Wine transport sophisticated sippers to distant ambrosial lands with libations from around the globe. Groups of grape aficionados can gather for a private tasting to sample six different wines, ripened to perfection and aged for the amount of time it takes the bottle to cross the ocean in a paddleboat. During the one-hour session, a vino connoisseur discusses each sample and offers as much tasting tutelage as desired by each group of drinkers. Duos, quartets, and octets can engage their taste buds with three red and three white wines in the comfortable confines of the wine shop's tasting area that allows for an intimate event in which to share opinions, observations, and embarrassing grape-stomping photos.
The brewers who keep Keg Creek Brewing Company afloat in fermented fare began as homebrewers. Though they now operate an entire company, their experimental, do-it-yourself philosophy remains the same. From mash tanks and fermentation vessels come the brewery's lifeblood, a lineup of expertly crafted beers that flow forth daily in the onsite tasting room. The brews include Wabash Wheat, a light-bodied wheat beer that honors the Wabash Trace Nature Trail, and Breakdown Brown Ale, a malty brew named after the communication breakdown that resulted in East Dakota’s statehood. As the seasons change, Keg Creek's brewmasters rotate their output with it, brewing beers both big and small to fit the weather.
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