Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Club 64 remembered ...

One of the restaurants mentioned a few times in the comments was Club 64, which stood for years on the east side of Council Bluffs. I only remember dining there twice, but I remember enjoying it both times. I know it was there as early as the mid 1970s, and from evidence, it lasted well into the 1990s.

An original Club 64 menu has surfaced, and I hope those of you who remember Club 64 (and those who don't as well) will enjoy it.

So, courtesy of a friend of mine, who we will refer to as "BBTBABE" (LOL!) :), here is a set of scans from a ca. 1995 Club 64 menu.

First, the cover:

"Mobile [sic] Award Winner?" :)

Inside, the main menu section:

And the rear, sandwiches and libations and such:

"Mad Dog?" Hmmmmmm. :)

It's kinda fun to reflect on the style and the comments they used ...

"Prepared in our kitchen."

Well, uh, where else would it be prepared? The cellar? The restroom? :)

I guess they really mean that it's prepared in OUR kitchen, instead of THEIR kitchen down the street, right? :)

"All meat ..."

What else would it be? (Yes, I know what a Veggieburger is.) :)

"Help Wanted: Proofreader. Apply in person, Club 64. Experence not necesary." :) :)

Yeah, yeah, I know ... they were in the restaurant business, not the typography business! :)

Oh well ... :)

Thanks again, Bbtbabe! :)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Following up again ...

A second follow-up to the Forgotten Cuisine item ...

The one thing that this recent flurry of activity has taught me is that there are many places that I don't know, have never known, or have missed or overlooked.

Here are the ones mentioned which I know almost or absolutely nothing about. I'm very sure I missed some great dining opportunities.

(In order of first appearance in the comments ...)

  • Comento's
  • Virginia
  • Harry's Steak House
  • Harkerts Holsum Hamburgers
  • Reed's Ice Cream
  • Royal Dairy Ice Cream Bar
  • Marshall's Drive-In
  • The Ritz
  • Saddle Creek Drive In
  • Henry's Hamburgers
  • Charlie's Blue Room
  • Lou Caniglia's Steakhouse on 88th & Maple
  • Luigi's Restaurant on 114th & W. Dodge Road.
  • Brown Cow
  • Wimpy's
  • Italian Gardens
  • Ceasar's Garden
  • Toms
  • Chik n burger
  • Slim Jim
  • Netties
  • Tomahawk
  • Riveria Club
  • Romanoff's
  • Long and Slims
  • Chops Cafe
  • Barnes
  • Pizza Oven
  • The Mayflower
  • Hollywood ice cream
  • Benny Davis
  • Dixon's
  • Garden Cafeteria
  • Club Cafe
  • Black Angus
  • Whip-a-Dip
  • (restaurant in the shopping center at 42nd and Center)

That's quite a list! I'm feeling humbled. I'm sure I really missed some great food and great times!

However, there are quite a few I do know and remember ...


I know the Nifty Bar. I think it's still there, but I don't get to that area very often. Don't know about Saddle Creek Drive In, but I did find some references to another drive-in at the junction of Saddle Creek and Cuming, name of Shada's. I wonder if this is the same one.

>So many memories...........how about Lay's Arbor
>Inn (90th and Arbor),

I don't know that one, but a friend of mine sure does, and she tells me that it was tres elegante in its time!

>Brother Sebastians (120th and Pacific),

It's still there, going strong as far as I know, recovered from a fairly significant fire a number of years ago.

>Caniglia's Venice Inn (69th and Pacific, with
>Davey Boldnose on the Piano),

I don't know Davey, but I sure know Venice Inn. :) The sole survivor of the family, and one I admit that we need to visit more frequently.

>The Dundee Dell,

The Dundee Dell I remember was on Dodge between 49th. and 50th., just west of the Dundee Theater.

They moved a few years ago (why???) to Underwood, just west of 50th.

The old location is open and apparently thriving under a different name.

I have some photos of the old and new locations on this page:



>Wasn't Nasser's spelled Nasr's???

Uh-huh, it sure was. Ames, maybe 66th. or so, south side of the street.

>the various cafeterias at the Brandeis stores,

The one I remember was out at the Crossroads, upper level. I used to work in the area and we would occasionally do lunch there.

>I think Frank of Frankie and Phyls died last year.
>Never got there, until we read about it in the paper
>we didn't know it was there but it sounded good.

That's too bad! :(

F&P's was not the nicest looking place there was, but the food was very good and had some dishes that I never saw elsewhere. It was a true "dive" and I think it would have been an excellent choice for Guy Whatshisname to visit on DD&D.

>Took them to the old Cascios

An excellent choice. Again, one we need to patronize and support.

>Tiner's Drive In was at 44th & Dodge

>And Tiner's had the best curly-cue fries I ever ate.

Tiner's has to be one of the most frequently-mentioned place in this thread.

It appears that Tiner's, the original Todd's, and Oddo's were the prime hang-outs in the heyday of the drive-in era.

On the site of Tiner's is another to-be-legendary Omaha eatery, King Kong. This has now expanded to at least 3 locations. They feature enormous hamburgers, a very good weekly steak special, and various Greek specialties. ("No jy-ro, geeeeeear-o!") :)

>Ross's steakhouse, I seem to remember that
>restaurant did not allow black people back
>in the 50's. So, as far as I'm concerned,
>they don't deserve any praise.

I don't know how to answer that one.

I would hope that segregation and racism in general, and any other cases where we treat others as unequal, would be a sad part of our past, and a lesson learned as to how not to live in the future.

However, I know that vestiges of racism and other forms of discrimination still exist today. We are still a very unequal society.

That comment got me thinking, and doing some checking. I've always thought that Omaha, being in the "nawth", would have been more progressive. However, it appears that defacto segregation was alive in Omaha into the 1960s. :(

A factoid I learned was that the old Peony Park had a whites only policy until the early 1960s, and even tried some legal sleight of hand tricks to keep it that way! :(

I found two stories regarding the integration of Peony Park. From what I heard it was not until one of the area's major employers threatened to pull some significant business that they officially changed the policy. I know that it was integrated, with no obvious reminders of its past, when I went there in the 1970s and 1980s.

Another story had to do with some demonstrations and activism, which pressured the park's management to integrate. If you Google, you'll find several references to the park being fined $50 for one case of discriminatory admission.

>About Rose Lodge...It is long gone but not
>forgotten,, The cool (Judy) has had a place in
>Traynor Iowa that sserves the same menu.....Mrs
>Rose retired and passed away in Fla years ago.
>My mother worked there for 45 years

The trek to Treynor is a trip to be taken! Of all of the chicken I've ever eaten, I think Rose Lodge was the best. Several others were close. Jonesy's is one. Dixie Kitchen was another, but since it was a stone's throw from Rose Lodge ...

One of the more memorable comments in this thread comes from about as close to the source as we can get, from "LouCan":

>I am one of the third generation of the Caniglia
>family and I was practically born in one of our
>restaurants. I worked with my family at the
>original Caniglia's on 7th, Mr. C's, Caniglia's
>World (top of the Woodmen),

And we probably crossed paths several times. All of those were excellent!

>Lou Caniglia's Steakhouse on 88th & Maple and
>Luigi's Restaurant on 114th & W. Dodge Road.

Try as I might, I do not remember either of these. The only one I remember on Maple in about that vicinity (other than Denny's of course) was Jonesy's, another great chicken place.

>I also remember the Palazzo Italiano from when I
>was a very young boy. The reason that restaurant
>closed was that the city decided to close and
>widen both Center St. and 84th St. at the same

Thanks for the update on this. I was wondering what the story was.

>I really miss all of my family's restaurants but
>I am proud of my cousins at the Venice Inn and
>Piccolo's for continuing the tradition!

(I didn't know that Piccolo's was part of your family!) :)

You and your family do have something to be proud of!

>Does anyone remember the Old English Inn that
>was on or around 5oth and Dodge---not sure about

The story I got on this one was that it was originally in Dundee, and then either moved or opened up a second restaurant in Countryside Village, the shopping center by Westside High. That one also closed decades ago. As per a previous comment, I understand that the ownership and/or management was common with Northrup-Jones, the diner downtown.

>There was also a restaurant on Dodge that served
>prime rib that was great! Oh---I just thought of
>it's name--Hilltop House!

Uh-huh, been there, done that, once. :)

>Evans ice cream was a big favorite of my family.

>& Evans Ice Cream for its "goop" sundaes.

Evans is another with multiple fans on this thread.

Now that you mention Evans, I also vaguely recall, in the 1970s, kind of hole in the wall greaso-spoono restaurant to the east of Evans which had surprisingly good ribs.

>What aboutr Goldberg's

>I don't know what Goldbergs is----

Goldbergs is a small chain of what I would call burger bars. The original, IIRC, is the one at 132nd. and Center. They have another in Dundee, and had one out on 156th. for a while.

>Anybody remember Club 89?

/me waves hand. :)

>The same owner had another place, Club 64
>in Council Bluffs

I remember both. However, I was not aware that they were connected. I also remember a short-lived club and restaurant right by Club 64 known as "The Other Place", an appropriate name. :)

>but I think both places closed when the casinos
>came in. What a shame.

Ya know, I really question whether the casinos are truly at fault when a business, such as a long-standing restaurant, closes and cites competition from the casinos as the reason for the failure.

The reason I don't think this passes the "smell test" is the plethora of very successful restaurants right in the vicinity of the three casinos. Granted, these are mostly highly formulaic places, but they obviously do compete for disposable dollars with the casinos, and are all apparently thriving right in their shadows.

I think the answer may be along the line of the businesses being "on the edge" at the time, and the casino openings being either a convenient excuse to close, or the proverbial last straw.

Hey, restaurants are often times short-lived. For an independent place to make it a year, it has to be great, and for it to make it for a few decades it must be exceptional! One slip in the quality or service and word spreads quickly, and it takes an awful long time to recover, if it ever does.

It's a business I would never want to be in. I have a great deal of respect for those who run the restaurants, particularly those independent places we've been talking about. I also have a great deal of respect for those who work in them, who cook for us, and who serve us. Those are often times thankless jobs and they deserve far more respect (and con$ideration) than they get.

>And, as far as I remember, Club 89 burned down.

I seem to recall this too.

>How about Bishop's Buffet?

>We both miss the original King's & Bishop's cafeteria.

I really can't remember when or why Bishop's closed. I know they priced their selections ala carte, and in the 1980s we had a number of AYCE buffets, such as Duff's, The Choice, and eventually Golden Corral invade the area. It may be that the business model of Bishop's did not survive the competition.

As for King's, I considered Kings to be several notches up on the quality scale when compared to other hamburger places. Kings is the only place I remember, ever, where you ordered by telephone.

>Gorat's is definitely the best steak house in
>town - LOVE it!!

I love it too, and so does Warren B. :)

>Thank you for this trip down memory lane. I
>thoroughly enjoyed it!

You're very welcome! I am positively astounded by the amount of traffic I've seen over the past week or so, most of it hitting the "Forgotten Cuisine" article directly. I have a feeling that this has "gone viral", as the hits seem to increase more and more long since the original item hit Bunny Net. ("And the hits just keep on comin'!) :)

>And how did you forget the Cafe de Paris.
>That was real class.

Oh, I didn't forget it, it just wasn't an Italian steak house. I don't think that particular type of cuisine was Ivan's style. :)

>On West Maple, there was also a restaurant called
>The Tommahawk which I thought was a Caniglia
>restaurant. Also a restaurant called Jonesy's.

I don't remember anything named Tomahawk, but I sure remember Jonesy's Dinner Den, which lasted until into the 2000s, IIRC.

>On Dodge Street at about 44th +/- there was a
>restaurant called The Mediterranian.

The place I remember called the Mediterranean was a short-lived place in the food court in the short-lived "new" mall in and across from the old main Brandeis store downtown. Maybe they had a second location (or even a first) on Dodge.

>On 44th & Center Street, there was North's
>Chuckwagon Buffet and at 45th & Center there was

Oh yes, I remember both of them. Paltani's was great! North's was, well, uh, very unmemorable. Sorry, I thought it was tres ordinaire.

>El Charro and Howard's El Charro.

I don't really know what happened to El Charro.

>Howard's El Charro, is the one who operates out
>of the Marchio's building.

I seem to recall hearing that they closed. I'm not really sure, don't quote me on that.

>Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

You're very welcome, I've enjoyed this. :)

>but didn't see any reference to the Fireside
>& Pirate's Den near 38th & Leavenworth. Great
>prime rib and fabulous buffet (all you can eat
>for $2.39) back in the early 70's.

Was the Fireside in the building that I know as the Marylebone?

>The Fireside Restaurant (with the Pirates
>Den in the lower level) on 38th and Leavenworth
>closed in 1975

Now you kind of jogged my rusty memory. I vaguely remember a stairwell with a facade in the form of a ship, leading down into the cellar of that building.

>Before that it was the 11-Worth Grill and catered
>to hockey fans from the Omaha Knights.

>Dan and Ralph Cohen were the original owners. My
>name is Alan Cohen and Dan Cohen was my father.

Welcome, Alan. I'm glad to have restaurateur families represented here. :) That makes two who have come forward and spoken up.

Do we have any others here?

>Does anybody remember the B&G Drive-In and
>Romanoff's near Varly drug store?

I don't remember Romanoff's, but I do remember B&G, although it's no longer a drive-in. It's one I need to get back to, because the times I've been in there I've most definitely enjoyed it. I think I prefer the B&G version of the Tavern to that of Maid-Rite.

>Don't you wish that we could go back and eat
>at some of these places?

Hello? Dr. Brown? May I borrow your DeLorean? :)

Please? :)

I promise I won't give Biff the keys! :)

I would even settle for the steam engine model if I could take another trip back to Cantoni's! :)

>Ah yes Oddo's, and Fat Man's Hamburgers.

I never remember either of them, but Oddo's (I now understand that it's pronounced with a long "O") is one that fascinates me.

>The greatest burger name, however is from Oddo's-- the
>Pookeesnackinburger. thanks for the nostalgia!!

ROFL! Somebody on the staff there had an incredible sense of humor, and I'm sure that in the 50s and 60s that place was a major hit, right out of American Graffiti!

When I was researching the original item I wrote, I looked over old phone books and newspaper ads and stumbled upon that one. I think I laughed so loud that I attracted the attention of the staff at the downtown libe.

>thanks for the nostalgia!!

Oh, you're very welcome. :)

>the precursor of the Bohemian Cafe ... was
>Chops Cafe...just a block east of the current
>Bohemian cafe.

I wonder if that's of the same ownership as Chops Bowling, which is still operating.

>Love your Blog, brings back so many childhood memories.
>Can remember so many of those places and the great food
>in Omaha.

Thanks for the comments. They are appreciated, and the original article has garnered far more comments than anything else I've done here. I'm really glad that everyone finds this of interest! :) Please keep those cards and letters coming, gang! :)

>What about Shoney's on 73/75 and Shakee's same area.

I think of both as chains.

Shoney's being a spin-off of the Big Boy group, and Shakee's (Shakey's?) being a pizza chain that I don't think has been around for some time.

Shoney's vacated the Omaha area sometime in the 1990s. They were in Kansas City after they left Omaha, but soon pulled out of there as well. On my last trip to Jaw-Ja, a few years ago, they were alive and well there.

>Barnes famous drive with the foot long chili
>dogs and curly cue fries! Great food! I think
>they were on 10th street or in that area, maybe
>down from Chops Bowling Alley.

The drive-in that was down from Chops Bowling was Oddo's, and I stumbled on the site as I was doing a photo walk-through of the 13th. St. area about a year ago. This item is on line here:


>How about Pizza Oven where lansky's is now located/

I remember Lansky's, but not Pizza Oven. I think I've seen another Lansky's location quite recently.

>Kenny's Steak House on the corner of 72 and Dodge

I remember Kenny's, I remember eating there, and enjoying it.

I seem to recall that it closed during a construction project at the intersection, which either interrupted their traffic flow, encroached on their property, or both.

>Beaton Drug's fountain counter.

The soda fountain is another genre which I used to enjoy. When I was growing up, almost every drug store had one. Most of the neighborhood ones served mostly treats such as malteds, sodas, egg creams, sundaes and the like, while others served more hot food, burgers, sandwiches, even Blue Plate Specials.

The ones I remember around Omaha are (were) Powers, downtown, which served fountain fare and hot food, the Rexall at 40th. and Farnam which had a similar menu, and Cris, at 50th. and Dodge which IIRC was fountain specialties only.

Today, the closest ones I know of are in Springfield, Ne, and a place in Hamburg, Iowa named, and no, I am not making name this up, Stoner Drugs. :)

I have a couple photos of the latter in this item here:


>Also, fondue was good at the Golden Apple, near 88th & W. Dodge.

Yes, thanks for reminding me of this. Late 1970s, IIRC. A very nice Saturday "date night" place.

>New Tower (78th & Dodge) and the Prom Town
>House (70th & Dodge).

Yes, the Crystal Tree and the Fish Pier West. (Their logo had the "S" in "fish" backwards.)

The Crystal Tree had a very good lunch buffet for a while.

>Kaufmann's had the best (and most expensive)
>pastries in town (about 39th & Farnam).

Bakeries are another yummy topic! I agree that the best in the city was Kaufmann's, with Martin's being a close second. Martin's lasted until last year in the new location out on west Maple.

>Dixie Kitchen -- where was it?

Dixie Kitchen was on Dodge, in the shadow of Rose Lodge, in one of the strip malls nearby. I think their proximity to the former was a major handicap in their success.

>Also, where was the Blue Ox?

I never ate at the Blue Ox. (Bleu Ox?) I remember the building and sign, closed, on north 30th. a few blocks north of Dodge. I also remember another Blue Ox or Bleu Ox in Council Bluffs near the Mall Of The Bluffs, but I think that was short-lived.

>And the Ground Cow?

The Ground Cow (my vote for the absolute WORST name for a restaurant) that I remember was just off Fort (maybe Maple?) out just west of route 680. They were originally on south 72nd. either in the same building or very close to the old Boston Sea Party.

>What was the restaurant on the southwest
>corner of 72nd & Pacific a few decades ago?

I knew this briefly as the Aquarius Lounge, a disco type club, then Pogo's Electric Cowboy, trying to cash in on the Urban Cowboy craze, and then an appliance shop.

However, when I researched the 72nd. Street "Strip" for the original article I saw some ads for something like "Angelo's Studio Inn" (name may not be exact) in the same building. This was well before my time and I didn't include it in the original item.

Anyway, gang, I am enjoying this! Please continue to comment and share your thoughts and feelings! :)

Thanks again, gang! :)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Forgotten Cuisine - a follow-up ...

Sorry, no photos in this one. :)

I would like to, if I may, take the opportunity to respond to some of the comments left in response to the Forgotten Cuisine article, from the past and several quite recently. What brought this on was, well, to make a long story long ...

Welcome to the members of Bunny Net! :)

Thanks to Lyle for spilling the beans on where all of these recent hits -- hundreds of them -- several times the usual daily average -- have been coming from!

I will say that one thing on my do-it list is to do a photo walk-through of the Benson neighborhood. I did a recent one on Dundee, and I'll be sure to put Benson on the top of the list.

I'm going to respond mostly to the comments on the places I remember, or at least have some kind of knowledge of. For those who don't see their fave here, I'm not ignoring you, I just don't know of it or remember it.

I want to thank all of you for your comments and kind words. It's very good to know that I am doing something right. :)

Comments are what a blogger lives for, or rather blogs for. Those of us who do the "photo and trivia" blogs typically report one comment for every thousand hits or so. Comments are appreciated, particularly those which support the efforts.

For those of you who enjoyed the article on Omaha restaurants, please browse a bit on this site, as I have a number of things that resident and displaced Omahans may enjoy, covering various thing about how Omaha is, was, and could have been.

Thanks again, gang, and keep those cards and letters coming! :)

Anyway ...

Let's talk about Omaha restaurants ...

>One family restaurant that also survives is the
>Bohemian Cafe... dono if it's a good fit for the
>list but they definitely have good food.

Bohemian Cafe is indeed very good. I don't get there very often, but I've had good meals every time I've been there.

I did a photo walk-through of the 13th. St. area maybe a year ago, there are a few photos of the Bohemian Cafe and the surrounding neighborhood on the page.


>What a shame to see so many places gone.

Oh! So true! It's a shame to see well-run unique local places struggle and close while cookie-cutter formula restaurants thrive. :( I just don't understand it. :(

Please, gang, if you have any favorite well-run local eateries, patronize them, support them, enjoy them, tell them that you're glad they are there, urge your friends to do likewise, and value them for what they add to the quality of our lives.

>The one's I miss are the three Greek-American
>places used to be downtown. Ambassador, Olympic,
>and Virginia. Ambassador was at 25 and Farnam and
>was oonce the only full service 24 hour restaurant
>in Omaha.

I really don't remember the other two, but in the mid 1970s, the Ambassador was to me and my friends kind of the equivalent of Monk's for the Seinfeld gang. We lived in the area at the time and were in there at least a couple times a week.

What I most remember, however, was the night of a very tragic incident.

One of the owners, the nicest guy there ever was ... often worked the desk by the register, and when you paid he greeted you as if you were the most important customer they had. I don't remember his name.

Anyway, one night, after our gang had eaten and left, he was shot and killed while trying to break up a fight. Incredibly tragic! :(

The remaining partner kept the place open for a while, but after a fire they never recovered. :(

This surviving partner did open a very short-lived "New Ambassador" on north 90th, but it never caught on.

>Also for lunch you had Bishop's Cafeteria and
>Northrup Jones.

I do remember Bishop's.

I think the one downtown lasted until about 1980 or so. It was a cafeteria, but priced ala carte, as opposed to prix fixes for All You Can Gorge, as is the trend today. They either moved or opened up another one at Westroads, and that lasted -- wow, can't really remember, but most likely to around 1990 or so. I don't remember Bishops as being outstanding in any way, but I recall that the food was of a much higher quality overall than Old Country Buffet or Golden Corral.

>Also the Hilltop House in Dundee.

I did a photo walk-through of the Dundee area not too long ago, and I have a few shots of the building (still called Hilltop House) in that item.


I only remember eating at Hilltop House once. The food was, well, not memorable, as I can't remember what I had, so I guess it was neither outstandingly good nor outstandingly bad. :)

What I >>DO<< remember about Hilltop House was the age of the clientele!

We were both 20-something at the time, and we were by far the youngest couple in there. Decades younger than any of the others! I would have estimated the average age of the other diners to be 60 or so.

>Sorry to ramble on but I did enjoy this and it
>brought back all kinds of memories.

Please, ramble on! :) I'm glad you enjoyed it! :)

>Lucky's is still open at times for the bar and for
>special events. They may try to reopen fully.

I was recently told that one of the (former?) owners of Lucky's has now taken over the management of Rick's Boatyard, a fairly new and wannabe-trendy eatery with a somewhat shaky reputation on the bank of the Great Grey-Green Greasy Missouri river. (All set about with fever trees?) :)

>Other great ice cream was Evan's at 35 and Center,

Evans was around shortly after I arrived in these parts, and I do remember them. Their specialty was a very cold and extremely thick malted which you ate with a spoon. Almost as thick as ice cream, but incredibly smooth and creamy. It was served in a large fancy glass which was very cold to the touch.

It morphed into a Goodrich, which is not bad, but a step downward in my not so humble opinion. It then morphed into a Valentinos Take-out, and I'm not really sure what's there now, if anything. I don't get to that area very often.

>Don't forget Goodrich malts. Still the best I have
>ever had.

Goodrich is (or rather was, I think it's slipped in recent years) very good, I must admit, but once you had Evans, you would never go back. Goodrich is not nearly as common as it used to be. Mostly it's now bundled in with other eateries, such as Little Kings.

>Not mentioned on the menu from Oddo's was the
>"Henpecked Henry". Hamburger, cheese, hot dog,
>bacon, and a shredded lettuce, mayonnaise, pickle
>relish sauce.

ROFL! Never heard of that one. The staff there must have had an incredible sense of humor! In the walk-through of 13th (link above), I stumbled upon the site of Oddo's (I'm really not sure if it was pronounced "Odd-Oh" or "Oh-Doe", I've heard both) and if you look at the sign and use your imagination, you can envision rollerskating car hops and loudspeakers blaring out doo-wop! :)

>Also King's with their Cheese Frenchee. Deep fried
>cheese sandwich. There was still a restaurant in
>the 90's that made them. Don't know what the name is.

Kings was around, and quite ubiquitous, when I moved here. For almost-fast food they were very good. They kind of seemed to self-destruct all of a sudden. I understand that one was open in Lincoln long after the chain's demise, but that eventually closed.

The chain which acquired some of the Kings recipes is Don And Millie's, a small local chain with maybe 5-6 locations in the area. D&M's, like Kings, is very good. Plus, they serve beer! :) Nope, you don't order by phone, you step up to the counter. :)

>1. Roses Lodge - great chicken, now closed.

I will never forget the sign on their marquee. "If the Colonel had our recipe, he would be General." :)

Rose Lodge was some of the best fried chicken I can remember. There were several other excellent chicken places in Omaha in days past, all of them I believe now defunct. Just across Dodge and down the block was Dixie Kitchen. Didn't go there much (reason: Rose Lodge was there) but I remember it as being very good as well. Jonesy's on Maple lasted until quite recently. Also Short Stop, mentioned below. Jack And Mary's was another one.

In response to another comment, Rose Lodge was on 78th., just south of Dodge. There was some kind of a reason giving for them closing instead of relocating, and I am at a loss to remember the details.

But wait! There's more!

I have been told, but I personally have not ventured there -- yet, that a small restaurant in Treynor, Iowa, just east of Council Bluffs, has acquired the Rose Lodge chicken recipe and is serving it in a small local B&G, named ... yes, you guessed it, Rose Lodge! It merits a road trip, but that just hasn't happened yet.

>2. Irvington Ice Cream - Best ice cream ever. Now closed.

I have been told -- I don't remember by whom or any more of the story -- that the bloodline of Wells Blue Bunny ice cream, produced nearby in Iowa, shares the heritage with the former Irvington ice cream plant. I'm not aware of any further details.

>4. Tiner's Drive In - long since gone. The "In" Place
>to gather for Burgers, fries and malts. I can drive
>to the old location but don't remember the address.

Tiner's was on Dodge, maybe 44th. or so, south side of the street. It lasted well into the 1970s at least. I remember the drive-in portion was showing age and in disrepair, but what I remember most of it was the delivery service for BBQ rib dinners when we lived in the area. This was, of course, before we discovered the Smoke Pit! :)

>hamburgers at a place at 30th and Fort Sts. called
>"Marshall's." This was the forerunner of "Mr. C's"
>and it remained "Marshal's" or "Marshall's Drive-In"
>until at least 1952.

Hmmmm ... very interesting. I had assumed that the drive-in was built by the Caniglias sometime in the 1950s.

In an unrelated article, another blog comment shares the following:

>The original location was also a drive in that
>the locals called "Horse Meat Harrys". I forget
>the true name.

Marshall's? :) :)

>My understanding is that "Mr. C's," like so
>many family businesses, ultimately closed
>because a younger generation was not inclined,
>or in a position,to continue the business.

That is my understanding too. I do know that the one son was involved with the business, but I'm not really sure of the details. Some say that they blamed the casinos, but I keep hearing that it was really an issue of nobody to assume the lead in the business.

That was the tackiest decor I ever loved! :)

>There was a small brick house between Caniglia's
>and Little Franks and the woman who lived there
>had the right to live there till her death aprx
>1990. She was the wife of "Frank". There was a
>tunnel that led from Little Franks to her house
>convenience for the family to travel back and
>forth to work! Story goes that the tunnel was
>originally built for bootleggin purposes - make
>the booze in the house and transport it sight
>unseen thru the tunnel.

Interesting trivia!

Legend has it that several of the places I've cited in the Forgotten Cuisine article had descended from speakeasies in the days of prohibition, either at their current locations or from former locations.

>It is hard to forget Short Stop in So. Omaha on
>42nd St. They had the best fried chicken around.

Again, one of the dearly-missed South Omaha institutions.

However, you are in for a real treat!

I hold in my hand, a faded stained card, kept in a mayonnaise jar on Funk And Wagnall's porch since noon today, a pirated copy of the recipe for the Short Stop Italian salad dressing. This was handed down from a former employee who transcribed it shortly before they closed, to a friend of mine, and a few minutes ago, to me.

So (sim sallah bim), I hold in my hand ...

(Well, I did actually have it in my hand, but then she remembered that she had it in machine-readable form, so therefore I cut and paste.) :)

Short Stop Italian salad dressing:

1 Cup Sugar
2 T Salt
2/3 Cup Water
1 1/2 Cup Cider Vinegar
1 T Parsley
2 Cloves Garlic (minced)
Capers (I use a couple of Tablespoons)
Mix the above and let sit at least 1/2 hour.

Then add:

1 Cup oil
Stir and refrigerate. If oil gets thick let set out 1/2 hour before using.

>Current place is Joe Tess which was on Diner's,
>Dive etc.

You will notice that there are no Long John Silvers or Red Lobsters within a 5 mile radius or so of Joe Tess. There's a reason for this!

>Omaha has always had the best in eateries.

Yes, I think that could be one of the great tautologies of life, up there with the Pope being Catholic and bird doodoo falling from the sky. :)

>I also recall a place called the "Blackstone" had
>great fare.

When I arrived here, the Blackstone Hotel was probably the classiest hotel in Omaha, and they had several eateries, including the Orleans Room and the Golden Spur. I was acquainted with several Blackstone employees in days past, and they all told the legend of the Reuben Sandwich, which they say was first served at the Blackstone, and named after Reuben Kulakofsky, one of the founders of Central Market, a long-standing downtown grocer with short-lived branches in the 'burbs.

There was apparently a dispute, IIRC an employee jumping ship, and the Rose Bowl, a long-closed bowling alley in the Dundee area, challenged Blackstone, claiming that the Reuben was indeed first served there. I don't know. I didn't have a dog in that fight at the time. :)

>Also a great drive through like Mr. C's only in
>west Omaha at about 83rd and Dodge called Todd's.

The Todd's I remember was a short-lived reincarnation of the original on north 72nd. in the mid 1970s. "Todd's Is Back" with photos of the original, such as a block long line of cars waiting to get in! It must have been quite the place in its heyday.

>And B&G's, still operating at 78th and
>Dodge. Loose meat sandwiches to die for.

That particular sandwich has always been known to me as the "Tavern Sandwich", a delicacy indigenous to the Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin area. For those who don't know of this, it's often described as "a sloppy joe without the slop", basically loose ground beef, in natural juice with seasonings and maybe some LOSM thrown in.

Those from Iowa often know it as the Maid-Rite, after a chain of fast-food stands serving the sandwich. It appears that the sandwich is rarely seen on this side of the Missouri River with B&G's being one of the few places in Omaha which serves it. There is actually a Maid-Rite in Omaha. Finding it will be an exercise for the student. :) (Hint: Look in a gas station outside of a supermarket.) :)

The B&G variety has a bit more of an onion flavor than does the Maid-Rite.

For a few years, some DQ drive-ins served a Maid-Rite clone.

But seriously, B&G is one very unique place which I need to patronize and support more often. Once when I was in the one owner shared the story of how they began as a small DQ type drive-in at the confluence of Cass and Dodge. They had photos of the original at the time. They originally specialized in root beer and soft-serve ice cream, but their version of the Tavern became their best selling product. They then moved into the Beverly Hills Plaza shops and have been there for several decades.

>What about Kenny's on 72nd & Dodge. ... It was
>a great place to take the family.

That's one I had almost forgotten, I admit. I was only there a few times, but enjoyed it. I'm not sure why they closed, but I doubt if it was due to low patronage at that corner.

>It's too bad our children will not know good resturants.

They can, and they should, but only if we encourage them, and set the example by patronizing and supporting the well-run locally-owned independent joints!

The next time the family wants to go to Applebee's or Chili's or {fill in any of several}, why not suggest Gorat's or Anthony's or Piccolo's or La Casa?

>Ahh! Cantoni's! 70 cents for spaghetti and a
>salad--in the 50's. 90 cents if you wanted two

Cantoni's was one of my faves, but, LOL, I don't remember prices that low!

I was acquainted with the long-time hostess, the late Peggy Rossiter, and got to know the Marchello brothers, Gene, who was usually in the kitchen, and John, who usually acted as maitre d'.

I remember one night that they were saying that the booth immediately to the west of the main entrance was for many years the throne of the late Lou Cantoni, who continued to keep an eye on things long after he ceased actively working.

>The sauce was not to be topped! One could buy
>a quart of the sauce on the way home from work

The sauce was very tasty but very unusual, even for Omaha Italian places. It was a rare flavor, and I've only tasted a few others similar to it. The sauce at the Ambassador was somewhat similar. It was on the mild side, and not as sweet and not as tart as most Italian red sauces.

They admitted to me one night that one of the secrets to the sauce was that they ground up the last night's leftover prime rib to use as the meat in the sauce.

The only sauce I've tasted in recent years which is similar to Cantoni's sauce is the "ground beef meet sauce" served on pasta at Giordano's in Chicago. That's about the closest I can think of.