There Goes My Gyro

El Basha Mediterranean Grill is an inconspicuous place, but those who find it will likely enjoy it. The small restaurant at 75th and Pacific serves expertly prepared Mediterranean food at reasonable prices in humble surroundings. I visited El Basha on a Saturday night with my family. We started with Baba Ghanuje appetizer ($5.50), featuring smoked eggplant pureed with sesame, garlic, and lemon juice, and served with pita bread. I’ve had this dish at a few other places, and this was my favorite version so far, with a strong lemon flavor. I ordered the Falafel Wrap ($5.99), with falafel patties, salad greens and tahini sauce in a pita. Falafel is sometimes overwhelmed by sauce, but this...

entered on 05/04/11 at 05:34 PM | read more »


<p>Manager Angela Reding and General Manager Martin Janica (pictured), both new to the Old Market restaurant at 10th and Jones, have kept Urban Wine Company’s focus on vino while incorporating a new cocktail menu, too. “We are forming a new identity,” Reding says.  </p> In Good Company

Urban Wine Company still has plenty of wine, but it’s getting into creative cocktails in a big way. According to manager Angela Reding, changes have been happening at the Old Market wine bar for the last year, but have been accelerated by the arrival of new general manager Martin Janica (who is also well-known in Omaha for his abilities as a flair bartender). “We are forming a new identity,” Reding says. “In the past, we maybe did too many different things at once. Now we are focusing on offering a comfortable place to enjoy a small plate and a glass of wine, or a beer or cocktail if you’re not a wine drinker.” Janica previously worked at the Old Market Tavern and Embassy...

entered on 04/21/11 at 10:29 PM | read more »


<p>Chef Matthew Taylor in Omaha at the Emerging Terrain facility south of the Field Club Trail. Taylor moved from Minnesota a year ago to take a job as chef at the Lied Lodge and Conference Center in Nebraska City. </p> Conference Call

Maybe the last thing chef Matthew Taylor expected a year ago was to be living in Nebraska City and working as the executive chef at the Lied Lodge and Conference Center. He was a co-owner of Rivers, an Italian restaurant in Grand Rapids, Minn., which was doing well. Then he got a recruiting call from the conference center and on a whim took a personality survey. “It took two hours to take it,” says Taylor, “and because I wasn’t looking for a job I was completely honest. I thought, if these people call me back after this, I will be amazed. They did and paid for a plane ticket to come down. I came and toured the place and I absolutely fell in love with the mission.” The Lied Lodge...

entered on 04/06/11 at 10:30 PM | read more »


<p>7M Grill owner Graeme Swain says the fish tacos (pictured above) are his restaurant’s most popular dish. </p> Magnificent Seven

7 Monkeys has become the 7M Grill, but much has changed beyond this minor name adjustment. 7M Grill is now more of a restaurant than a bar, thanks to a new menu and a different business approach. 7 Monkeys opened at 158th & Maple in 2006, and was one of the first restaurants I reviewed for Dish. It was an upscale lounge that offered a relatively adventurous menu for this chain-dominated part of Omaha. Graeme Swain purchased 7 Monkeys last year and reopened it as 7M Grill in November. My wife and I visited on a busy Saturday night. We started with the 7M Ceviche ($7.99), because the menu boldly declared, “We guarantee you’ll love this starter.” It offers tilapia, mangoes,...

entered on 03/30/11 at 08:31 PM | read more »


<p>Some of the options available at George Paul Vinegar in Cody, Neb. </p> Like Nothing Else

I woke after a few hours of sleep on the first Saturday in January to drive from Omaha six hours west to ranch country, to visit a man who makes artisanal vinegar. I was affectionately referring to it as the vinegar pilgrimage among friends, family and seven people from Metropolitan Community College’s Institute for Culinary Arts who accompanied me. Even that weekend’s dour weather forecast didn’t squelch our enthusiasm. We loaded into a sports utility vehicle and one of those oversized trucks with four doors and an extra-long bed, thankful in the end when it snowed eight inches. I had met George Johnson of George Paul Vinegar at the Emerging Terrain dinner for 500 in October. The...

entered on 03/16/11 at 10:28 PM | read more »


<p>A Reuben, shown here with a side of craisinberry mayonnaise, is featured on Tommy Colina’s menu along with 10 kinds of burgers, 10 chicken sandwiches, four hot dogs and 13 other sandwiches.  </p> ‘It’s All Good’

This is a good time to eat lunch in midtown Omaha. Midtown Crossing brought several restaurants to the area, and now Tommy Colina’s Kitchen has created a new midday choice just up the street. Tommy Colina’s Kitchen opened in October in the old Don Carmelo’s space at 35th and Farnam. It’s a locally owned, mostly-lunch restaurant offering a wide range of traditional favorites with some upscale twists. My wife and I visited on a Monday at 11:30 a.m. You first serve yourself from the beverage area, then seat yourself and order from a server. I tried the T.L.T. sandwich ($6.99), which offers thick-sliced turkey on griddled sourdough bread with craisinberry mayonnaise. The ingredients...

entered on 03/09/11 at 07:50 PM | read more »


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