Each day, the kitchen magicians at 84th Street Cafe transform fresh, natural ingredients into home-style feasts. A warm and welcoming ambience complements the comforting cuisine by calming hungry nerves, allowing for laid-back taste-bud stimulation akin to licking batteries on a Tempur-Pedic bed. Amid a relaxing, window-wrapped atmosphere, patrons can sample a wide variety of big-portioned plates for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and every imaginary meal in between. Try a tongue-tantalizing breakfast burrito platter with chorizo, fruit, and hash browns ($7.25), a barbecue pork sandwich on a kaiser roll ($6), or a beef pot pie topped with crispy cheddar ($8.50, $12.50). Made-from-scratch desserts such as ice cream sundaes and pie du jour ($4.25 each) pair with each meal much better than a clingy barnacle.
Side Pockets is the perfect place for those who can only digest food while watching sports on the tube. The growing franchise boasts 16,000 square feet of space with multiple big-screen TVs, darts, tri-weekly poker, and a menu that's full of finger food for fingers stained blue with pool-cue chalk. Tiptoe these "hand-cues" to the toasty corners of toasted ravioli (stuffed with spicy beef, $6.99) or to the edge of a half-pound mushroom Swiss burger ($7.99). A hearty Reuben ($7.99) will improve your ability to second-guess the referees on the TVs, as will a chicken Caesar wrap ($8.29) or country-fried steak (with home-style mash, $9.29). And from Side Pockets' taps flow standards such as Miller Lite, Bud Light, and Boulevard Wheat, though you can also pop open a bottle of Blue Moon and many other domestic and imported beers.
Jerzes pairs its plentiful pours with simple, unpretentious bar fare replete with delicious house-made preparations. Warm up a stiff palate with a few pre-dinner stretches of dragon wings, which are 10 jumbo wings served au naturel or tossed with mild, hot, barbecue, Buff-a-Que, or Stupid Hot sauce ($7.75). Much to the delight of visiting herbivores and healthy eaters, an all-you-can-eat soup and salad bar ($6.50) delights a lighter appetite with fresh trimmings daily. Bread-and-meat specialists can partner tall, frosty drafts with hearty sandwiches and eight signature burgers, all served with hand-cut fries. The Big Party Burger is a monument to bovine splendor, its cow-meat patty swathed in shaved prime rib, melted provolone, and horsey sauce ($9.25), while the Patriots Ultimate BLT ($6.95) or the buffalo-style Chieftain Chicken sandwich ($7.25) are sure to please pundits of pork and poultry. Overeager eaters can unclog gullet pipes with one of six on-tap domestic and imported beers or a less-malty glass of wine.
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.
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.
Offering a wide range of casual and quality fare, The Pizza Gourmet Company serves up tasty eats with more verve than John McEnroe volleying a bucket of meatballs. Patrons can select a wide range of menu items anchored by Brooklyn-style pizza that’s made from scratch daily with the freshest possible ingredients. Munch on creative pizzas such as the chicken and artichoke ($16.95, 16”) or fajita ($17.95, 16”) while also sampling delectable appetizers like chicken wings ($8.45 for 12) in 27 flavor varieties that include Jamaican jerk, chipotle, and honey garlic. Avoid hand-fed fare with pasta dishes that pleasantly smother grumbling stomachs with a pillowcase of flavor, such as baked spaghetti ($9.95) and alfredo mia ($9.95).
Since opening for business in the summer of 2012, the chefs at Ragazzi's Pizza have developed their own signature pizza style. In the kitchen they mix a fresh batch of dough every 90 minutes to make thin, flaky crusts before sprinkling them with smoked provolone cheese instead of the more traditional mozzarella. Adding to the casual pizza joint’s robust signature flavors is a variety of fresh vegetables from Loffredo Fresh Produce, and a housemade tomato sauce more delicious than a deep-fried page from Joy of Cooking. Memorable flavor combinations can be found in housemade salad dressings and in specialty pies. New to the menu are fresh baked goods such as vanilla bean, chocolate cheesecake, strawberry lemonade, and carrot cake cupcakes along with peanut butter pie. On the liquid side of the menu, draft beers such as Shock Top, Leinenkugel Summer Shandy, and Luckey Bucket Flip Flop keep guests and thirst from ever crossing paths. Ragazzi's catering is also available for special events and features a 75 person banquet facility onsite.