Nebraska’s Best Burger Contest, U.S. gives France sour grapes

*The Nebraska beef council has announced five finalists for the 2011 Nebraska’s Best Burger Contest. The contest, sponsored by the Nebraska Beef Council, resulted in over 3,000 votes for a staggering 364 establishments across the entire state. The top nominated restaurants are Stella’s in Bellevue, Dinker’s Bar and Grill in Omaha, The Cellar Bar and Grill in Kearney, Chute #3 in Scottsbluff and Ole’s Big Game Steakhouse and Lounge in Paxton. Over the next few weeks, a panel of judges will anonymously visit each restaurant to “score” the nominated burger, and a winner will be announced in mid-April. *Blue Agave Restaurant, which will take over the building left behind from...

entered on 04/13/11 at 03:04 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 02:30 PM | read more »

Crumbs: Beerfest and the Return of Ronald McDonald

* Beer lovers, take note: this year’s Omaha Beer Fest will take place Friday and Saturday, May 20 and 21, at Lewis and Clark Landing on the Riverfront. The two-day event will feature unlimited beer samples (!) from over 25 breweries, Beer Academy classes and live music. You’ll learn which glass is the most appropriate for which beer, get tips on pairing food with beer, and the benefits of barrel-aged beer. Presenters include Goose Island and Boulevard as well as Zac Triemert, Lucky Bucket’s Brewmaster. There are two ticket options: Taster, which gives you access to the samples and general admission to the event, are $30 in advance and $35 at the door. The Connoiseur Combo ($60) gives...

entered on 04/06/11 at 09:29 AM | read more »

Hard Times for Soft Drinks

* There’s a new chef behind the stoves at Marks Bistro in Dundee, as Jon Seymour recently took over for the departed Steve Bolen. While this is Seymour’s first executive chef gig, it’s not his first time in the kitchen: he’s spent time at V. Mertz, Spencer’s and the Grey Plume as well. Interestingly, Seymour also spent some time earlier this year working with Chef Rene Redzepi at his restaurant NOMA. That’s big news — NOMA was recently named the best restaurant in the world, and Redzepi’s doorstop of a cookbook showcasing his unique approach to molecular gastronomy, if that term even applies to his unusual cuisine, is up for a James Beard Award. What all this means for...

entered on 03/30/11 at 01:31 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 12:31 PM | read more »

Urban Homesteading

*Spring is traditionally a time of planting — getting the herbs and vegetables arranged and settled in so you can begin reaping rewards by the time summer really hits its stride. But for others, “planting” takes on a whole new meaning. Homesteading has been around since, well, the country began; but it’s undergoing something of a renaissance. Whether that’s due to tea partiers, agribusiness, the economy or all those things, publishers are responding in kind. This spring we’ll see a deluge of books devoted to becoming self-reliant when it comes to food. Even if all you have is just a window planter, you’ll find plenty of ideas. The two words city dwellers will want to look...

entered on 03/23/11 at 02:53 PM | read more »

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Mediterranean Bistro and Wine Bar : Hummus is Yummus

Living on the southern coast of Turkey for a couple years made me a bit of a snob when it comes to Mediterranean food back here in ... more »

Food Focus: Movie Theater Food

Years ago, before movie theaters began to realize that people like to eat real food while they watch movies, I was the world champion ... more »

Fine Dining Done Right: A Review of Salt

Everyone can be a critic. From food bloggers to Yelp-ers, people everywhere have taken it upon themselves to publicly judge a new ... more »

Sinful Burger

I knew exactly what I was getting myself into when I visited Sinful Burger. I had heard rumors from my friends that this place wasn’t ... more »