When drinking from a traditional Spanish porrón, diners must precariously funnel a stream of wine into their open mouths through a spout. Fortunately, at Espana, gracious staffers provide the daring drinkers with a glass of soda water to clean any spills from their shirts.
Porrón wine is only one of the Spanish traditions visitors encounter at the authentic Mediterranean restaurant, where more than 40 varieties of hot and cold tapas pair with pitchers of sangria amid the strains of a guitar. In the kitchen, chefs assemble exotic spices, fine meats, seafood, and vegetables onto small plates, drawing inspiration from generations-old Spanish recipes. They also prepare paella, a family-style rice dish that typically includes veggies, saffron, and meats. In 2009, an Omaha World-Herald writer lauded their paella a la tierra for its "earthy and rich, yet light and delicate" snails and "perfectly cooked" rice.
Out in the dining room, tapas plates speckle colorful red and yellow tables beneath the vivid abstract paintings that hang from sea-green walls. Each month, the dining-room stage hosts live cultural performances, which allow guests to enjoy Spanish guitarists, Spanish dance shows, and Spanish renditions of popular scenes from Good Will Hunting.
At La Paz Mexican Fare & Cantina, your palate will be greeted by complimentary chips and fresh, homemade salsa while your hands are introduced to the menu of traditional Mexican favorites. Rev stomach engines with jalapeño poppers (5.95) or black-bean soup topped with cheese, sour cream, and chopped green onions ($2.95 for a cup). Then, fuel up on sizzling steak-and-chicken fajitas ($11.50), shredded-beef flautas ($9.75), a chimichanga ($9.25), a beef-and-pork burrito royal ($9.25), or nearly any other specialty invented south of the border. La Paz also offers more than 10 vegetarian entree choices, including the guacamole taco and cheese enchilada ($7.95), and creative plates such as cream-cheese chicken enchiladas, which are smothered in spicy green-chili and pork sauce ($9.75).
Salgado's menu brims with a bounty of bites to appease appetites on both sides of the border, with plenteous à la carte options to mix and match Mexican and American eats. A plate of camarones diablos ($11.99) finds bands of shrimp turning cartwheels through lagoons of peppery hot sauce, veggies, and rice and beans, whereas American tacos ($1.99) bundle a choice of meat, lettuce, cheese, and tomatoes into a floury shell that can be easily eaten with one hand while the other exercises its right to keep and bear fresh guacamole ($4.99). Picky palates can pick and choose from a number of combination platters ($8.99–$9.99), which harmoniously merge complementary items such as enchiladas, burritos, and tamales. Or, build your own meal by opting to combine several smaller servings of fresh, sandwich-like sopes ($3.99), authentic tacos ($2.29) served with fresh cilantro on corn tortillas, and a shrimp cocktail ($9.99) tossed with spicy jalapeños, smooth avocado, and tomato juice fresh from the tap.
Burgers and sandwiches are the crux of Randy’s Grill & Chill, where patrons can grab a flame-grilled handheld and relax amid the cozy spot’s comfortable atmosphere. The concise menu is made up of 11 kinds of 8-ounce burgers, 10 types of sandwiches, and 5 of Randy’s original Grillers. Customers can stick with what they know and order a classic burger—left completely naked—or enjoy several fully dressed options, such as the Western burger blanketed in applewood bacon, pepper-jack cheese, and barbecue sauce. As far as sandwiches go, Randy’s prepares french dips, clubs, and prime-melt toasters, and plates Grillers, such as the ultimate grilled chicken, which carries a load of bacon, onion rings, and housemade mustard sauce. As they dine, patrons can kick back with a chilled Rolling Rock beer and catch a Huskers game. Karaoke is available Wednesday through Saturday nights until 2 a.m., and Randy's Grill & Chill is also home to the Lincoln Comedy Tour, bringing in comedians from all around the country to perform.
At E’Z Place, big-screen TVs glow with action from college sports as diners peruse a menu brimming with classic American pub fare and bottles of domestic brews. A slew of appetizers, including fried pickles ($6.95) and warm mozzarella bread sticks coated with butter and garlic ($6.95), kicks off mealtimes better than a coin toss held inside a loaf of bread. The deep-dish Chicago-style Super pizza sends forks on a voyage through pepperoni, green peppers, and mushrooms ($14.95–$17.95), and the hand-tossed Aloha pie cradles pineapple, canadian bacon, and black olives like a refrigerator that moonlights as a hula dancer ($12.95–$17.95). Parmesan and mozzarella shield the meatball sub from a downpour of spaghetti sauce ($6.45).
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.