Chocre Blue!

When Chris Blue decided to pursue a career in the culinary field, his mother told him to focus on what he liked most to eat. We should all be thankful that it’s chocolate. After graduating from the French Pastry School in Chicago and working at the Windy City’s Charlie Trotter’s as chocolatier for several years, and as a pastry chef in Florida, Blue opened his first Chocolatier Blue in Utah. Soon after, he and his wife relocated to the Bay area and have opened two shops in Berkeley, Calif., with two more California locations on the way in 2011. In August 2010, Blue’s brother, Sean Blue, opened a Chocolatier Blue location in their hometown of Lincoln, at 41st and Pioneer Woods...

entered on 01/05/11 at 07:03 PM | read more »


Eaten in 2010

Things come and go in the food business just about as regularly as in fashion. That fondue sensation? Defunct. Asian fusion isn’t as enticing as it once was. And let’s not even start on which restaurants shuffled through which strip malls in Omaha’s suburbs. 2010 saw the same closings and openings (notably the near completion of the Midtown Crossing development and Metropolitan Community College’s new building for the Institute for Culinary Arts) but also signs of fads now nearly fully integrated into daily life. Some folks thought the green, local and organic movement would go the way of the 8-track, passed over by something more user friendly. But it looks like it may be here to...

entered on 12/29/10 at 07:31 PM | read more »


Rockin’ Moroccan

Almost as difficult to get to as its namesake, Marrakech Gourmet is a tidy restaurant tucked away in the corner of the Brandeis Food Court at 16th and Douglas. The cafeteria for downtown Omaha’s daytime employees (chiefly those at the First National Tower) has choices for a quick lunch: Subway, Mexican, pizza, gyros and now the only place to get Moroccan cuisine in Omaha. Co-owner and chef Moussa Drissi adjusts Moroccan ingredients, herbs and spices to fit inside grilled paninis to service busy business lunchers. The cost is $7-$8 or $8.50 for a sandwich, chips and drink. He sells two kinds of soup: saffron tomato and vegetable and red lentil and ginger puree ($3.95) and recently...

entered on 12/22/10 at 05:56 PM | read more »


Sampler Platters

Let's say it’s Friday, and the sun has gone down. A wearisome set of days and a skipped lunch have you communicating with words like “I don’t know, what sounds good to you?” If this has or will hit somewhere close to your gut, you might consider adding the eclectic CRAVE to your mental register of last-minute haunts. CRAVE is situated in the center of Midtown Crossing’s ambitious cul-de-sac of small chain and start-up eateries. The glass V-adorned door opens to pleasant gold and red hues that descend steeply off a chandelier into the lounge below. One brilliant booth, beneath the entry, and plenty of bar tables are situated about the center for libations. Lofty windows offer a...

entered on 12/15/10 at 08:23 PM | read more »


Feeding the Soul

I got a great assignment from this noble publication to write a first-hand story about how rewarding it is to volunteer in some of Omaha’s food pantries and soup kitchens around the holidays. There’s much to be gained from volunteering. You can meet new people, give your time to something not focused on the self and you can change the world just a little. But even in a few short volunteering sessions, I learned it’s not as simple as that. I should have known better. Right after college, I worked in Thailand teaching English in what was supposed to be my change-the-world experience. What I ended up discovering was that it wasn’t so much the world that needed changing, as it was me...

entered on 11/24/10 at 06:07 PM | read more »


Versatile Venture

When the world knows you for one thing, it takes a while to change your image. That’s the goal for Crane Coffee Café & Bar, the new concept from the people who brought you seven Crane Coffee locations around Omaha. It offers the familiar coffee bar, a full kitchen serving three meals a day, and even drinks in the evening. Crane Café opened in the Paxton Building downtown in August. I visited with my wife and son on a Saturday night in November. I tried the Wagyu Kobe Burger ($11), featuring a 6 oz. patty topped with onions, tomato and garlic aioli. Wagyu cattle produce beef that is densely marbled, with a smooth texture. This was one of my favorite burgers in recent years. It’s...

entered on 11/17/10 at 08:58 PM | read more »


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