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.
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.
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 local 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. Ragazzi's also showcases freshly baked pastries and a signature cinnamon roll. On the liquid side of the menu, a variety of beers and wine pair well with signature plates. Ragazzi's catering is also available for special events and features a 100-person banquet facility onsite.
For its part in doling out authentic Mexican food, Abelardo's has collected its fair share of accolades?including an award for Best Burrito from readers of Omaha magazine in 2014. Across multiple locations in Nebraska and Iowa, Abelardo's enlivens mealtime with those award-winning burritos, as well as tacos, quesadillas, and Mexican sandwiches stacked with diced steak, shredded pork, and chorizo.
But Abelardo's also excels at the intangibles. It serves hefty portions in a swift fashion, and its drive-thru remains open around the clock, making it the ideal stop for diners with late-night cravings and storks who get hungry while delivering babies around town.
Whipping up tasty bites made fresh from itch with all-natural ingredients, 84th Street Café provides a neighborhood spot for home-style meals without serving vinyl siding with a side of roof shingles. A welcoming ambience soothes hungry nerves and allows 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 menu options 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), Luis’s famous spicy pork chili with a dish of rainbow sherbet ($4.25, lunch; $5.25, dinner), or beef pot pie topped with crispy cheddar ($8.50, $12.50). Drinks such as wine and desserts like the cheesecake of the day ($4.25) pair with each meal much better than a clingy barnacle.