Polish immigrant Frank Kawa founded Johnny’s Cafe in 1922, improving upon an existing saloon with an expansion, the addition of electricity, and a rule that forbade ketchup fights. However, despite its renovations, the restaurant still surrounds guests with old-fashioned saloon decor, including moose heads and slick leather chairs, and sates guests with hearty steakhouse fare. Hewn from corn-fed, USDA-choice beef, hand-cut and aged steaks include options such as porterhouses, rib eyes, and prime rib, served with salads, freshly baked rolls, and potatoes. Broiled lobster tails and half chickens round out the menu paired with wines and classic cocktails such as the old-fashioned, the Manhattan, and the martini.
Omaha magazine's Best of Omaha named Omaha Prime a winner for Best Steak House in 2010. Some reviewers are mixed on the fare, but many praise the service. TripAdvisors give the restaurant an average of 3.5 owl eyes. Forty-five percent of more than 80 Urbanspooners recommended the restaurant and Yelpers give Omaha Prime an average of 2 stars:
Anthony’s offers a range of cuts, all hand-selected, Certified Premium Black Angus slabs of beef. Anthony’s dry-aged steaks are aged for at least 21 days to offer a superior concentration of flavor as well as a tender beef that’s succulent enough to cut through with a dull spoon. The meticulous meat preparation is a tradition that reflects the restaurant’s 42-year history. The welcoming setting emanates the elegance and casual comfort of a tuxedo T-shirt and encourages all meat-lover and meatless-lover friends to unite.
When it comes to steak, Glenn Wheeler is devout. The executive chef behind the mouthwatering cuts at Spencer's for Steaks and Chops, Wheeler exclusively stocks his kitchen with the choicest cuts of well-marbled, USDA prime beef—a distinction bestowed on only the top 2% of the country's beef—from the Chicago stockyards. Each cut spends at least 21 days in Wheeler's aging room before being cooked on a 1600-degree, infrared broiler that sears the juices inside, resulting in a tender steak plump with flavor. His scrupulous selection and preparation delivers a menu of consistently exceptional meat, including the 14-ounce new york strip and the 16-ounce, bone-in kansas city cut. Though known for its steaks, Spencer's also offers seafood entrees including Australian lobster and pan-seared Scottish salmon. With dark wood paneling, white tablecloths, and burgundy upholstery, Spencer's dining room fosters formal occasions, while those looking for a casual experience can sip premium scotches and cocktails prepared by a mixologist at its airy, soft-lit bar. Though the steaks may command the lion's share of attention, Spencer's far-reaching wine list has won four consecutive Awards of Excellence from Wine Spectator, as well as the grudging respect of the kitchen's less-celebrated soda machine.
801 Chophouse establishes itself as a special-occasion restaurant, where every table might well hold a ring in a hidden box or a couple celebrating an anniversary. There are the white tablecloths popping against dark leather booths, the racks of wine tended by a certified sommelier, and, of course, the chops and steaks, all USDA Prime. On the other hand, it's quite conceivable that someone might gladly eat at 801 Chophouse every week and for any occasion—the menu, drink selection, and Wine Spectator-awarded wine list could accommodate months of exploration, and an ever-changing "fresh sheet" overflows with the jet-fresh seafood selections of the day.
On any given night, the wait staff moves across wooden floors beneath high ceilings and 1920s-inspired decor, trays loaded with nine creative potato preparations, filet mignon, and dry-aged pork chops. Meanwhile, the cattle of a pastoral mural gaze out over the dining room's cherry-wood finishes, waiting patiently to graze on uneaten garnishes.
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.