McKenna’s Pacific Street location provides a dining experience filled with soulful tunes and meats smoked silly. Opened in 1991, the joint has been whipping up down-home menu items that would make your grandma try harder. Start off with appetizers such as the black-eyed-pea dip with chips ($5.49) and a full pound of smoked chicken thighs ($6.79), or opt for an order of 12 McKenna’s wings ($8.79) that come in flavors such as Louisiana double dip, Jamaican jerk, and three others. Sandwiches include the Virginia smoked ham with pepper jack cheese ($7.39), smoked pork loin ($7.39), and barbecue smoked sausage ($7.29).
In many ways, Texas Roadhouse is a throwback—the tunes still play from a jukebox, and the steaks, chicken, and seafood are still prepared by hand in-house. Since founder Kent Taylor opened the first location two decades ago, the steak house has spread across the nation, bringing hand-cut steaks and made-from-scratch sides with it. The restaurant's signature steaks assume many shapes and sizes, from 12-ounce Kansas City strips and 10-ounce Fort Worth rib eyes to 20-ounce bone-in rib eyes and 23-ounce porterhouse T-bones. Diners can top steaks with sautéed onions or brown gravy, or pair them with shrimp, ribs, or 10-gallon hats. Cooks prepare skewers of grilled, seasoned shrimp as well as hand-battered country-fried sirloins slathered with housemade cream gravy. Behind the bar, the staff preps signature margaritas, blending different tequilas with triple sec and a sweet-and-sour mix.
BBQ4U provides savory barbecue through an assortment of slow-cooked meats and far-reaching sauces. Eager hunger-havers can peruse BBQ4U's menu of hickory-smoked meats, such as the "basket of brisket" ($7.75), consisting of a brisket sandwich and two of the joint's hearty side dishes, which include baked beans and corn bread. Grab a heap of wet wipes and dig into a half-slab of ribs ($8.99), or shield hands from the delicious mess by placing them on the bread of a pulled-pork sandwich ($5.95). If you put barbecue sauce on everything from hamburgers to toothbrushes, try the house-made signature spicy-tomato barbecue sauce. Alternatively, intrepid flavor explorers can top their pork sandwich with one of BBQ4U's more than 70 different gourmet sauces, such as Knackies' sweet fire sauce ($5.99) or the Texas Rib Rangers' jalapeño range relish ($5.99).
Inside a red-painted building built with a rustic design, Skeeter Barnes serves up a truly Nebraska experience with smoked pork, chicken, and beef brisket and grilled, hand-cut filets of high-quality corn-fed Nebraska steak. Cooks pull and chop the meats to stuff into baked potatoes with sour cream and cheese, layer over nachos, or pile onto sandwiches. Patrons can round out meals with sides such as bourbon mashed sweet potatoes or mushrooms sautéed in white wine, or opt for a salad topped with Nebraska-made Dorothy Lynch dressings.
Orange City may be located in Iowa, but its heart and soul belong to the Low Countries. Named after Prince William of Orange, the town was founded in the 1870s; in the decades since, it has retained its unique ties to the Netherlands. These ties are evident in the tulip fields, in the Dutch-inspired architecture, and especially in the food at Nederlander's Grill. The restaurant's menu combines Dutch and American influences in its fried steaks, pea soup, and seasoned pork and rice dishes. Of course, some of the dishes are Dutch in name only. Take, for example, the Big Dutch burger: this third-pound behemoth features 100% Angus beef smothered with pepper jack and american cheeses on a grilled ciabatta bun.
The owners of Brewsky?s Food & Spirits know that the best way to get friends and family together is to create a vibrant space filled with live music, 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 Huskers 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.