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.


Miss Mary said...

Regarding the old Sam Nisi's Sparetime Cafe it became a Nightclub owned by a Mr. Rocha from Co. Bluffs. He sold it to a man and his wife named Willie and Lena Nuno. It was called La Tropicana and operated from 1968 to 1978 when it closed. A band called The Don Juans performed there every Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights for dances during the ten years.

Anonymous said...

I've been to Bohemian Cafe already,and to be honest..Their service is good,their foods are truly yummy and most of all the ambiance is nice!!Not just nice but very nice,I kept on coming back to this place before!!

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Sheri said...

Is there any way you could put feedburner or feedblitz on your blog so that updates would automatically be in my mailbox? I LOVE your blog! And am a Bunny too!

Anonymous said...

Love the blog - as a former Omahan (I really think that "once an Omahan, always an Omahan") I wanted to mention that the Reuben was invented by a woman who participated in, and won, a "new sandwich" contest run by the Blackstone Hotel, owned by the Schimmel family (their son, Mark Schimmel was in the CHS class of '57). This was in the local news about 1953-55 and the World Herald should be able to find it. Jim Herbert, CHS '58.

Anonymous said...

I like the blog a lot..!!I'll make that Italian salad dressing,I really love salad cos I am a vegetarian..!Know what I enjoy your blog and I want to visit Omaha restaurant very soon..Thanks for sharing.!

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Samantha said...

First of all I want to say that your blog is very cool!!I visited Bishop's Cafeteria already when I was 25 years old.There foods are good and we really had fun when we visit that place together with my friends..

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Debbie said...

Actually in reguards to the sparetime building on 5th and pierce. My father and 3 other men went in together and started the La Tropicanna Latin American Club. The house band was the Don Juans (John Hernandez, Paul Marquez, Joe Cabral, and Mario and bill). After the first couple years, it was ran by mY father William Nuno and ruben perales. Mr rebarsh( i think) and mr valdez made up the original 4. Unfortunately, the building was leased, and after Old man Nisi passed the son "requested" the building be turned back over to him. I remember many fun times at the tropicana. Helping my mom in the kitchen, the listening to the band practice and on the weekends, birthday parties, receptions, we were all one big family. The perales's always sat by the juke box, my parents had a table next to the bar off the dance floor. Grandpa Paulie always sat at the end of the bar. Helen and Diane were waitress up front. Linda watched the door. Teri had the hat check. on sunday my aunt Paula and Uncle John could be seen ballroom dancing, when we could convine the band to play it, we would get a treat and be allowed to dance to "wipe out" . "What a difference a days makes" would be the band was starting or ending. And to this day people relate that song to my mom and dad. We had our regulars. Once you walked into the place and had been there a couple times, your weren't customers, you were part of our big extended family. Mom made sure of it. On Saturday afternoon during Nebraska games, you could find all the guys there, they would cook feather bones and watch the games. If you were tehre during the week or before the band started it wasnt odd to see a couple grandkids being treated to a pop and chips. It was always festive with the christmas lights strung around the wals and the mirrored ball on the dance floor. It wasn't all happy times.. but now even the few off nights give us a smile and fond memories. After closing we were head to casios for a late night dinner.
It seems like yesturday .. thanks for the walk down memory lane.

Debbie said...

If yuo remember cafe de paris on 6th... that man was rude and i never liked it in the neighborhood. before it came it was the Italina Gardens... mmmmmm now that was good.. ther eis one place still down there that is awesome Orsi's bakery .. best italian break around..

Omababe said...

>If yuo remember cafe de paris on
>6th... that man was rude

LOL! You mean Ivan? :) He could be a character! :) To set him off, just pronounce his name "eye-van", as "eee-von" was what he preferred. He was not French, but a very good chef.

Anonymous said...

My mother was diagnosed with Celiac Disease and told to eat no white bread. We frequented the Golden Spur at the Blackstone and Harry Neisman's Key Club, I think on Farnam, for our weekly outing to teach us "table manners". She requested her corn beef sandwich be made with Rye bread. I can remember her telling them how to prepare it. My memory is she did this first at the Key Club,

Also during that time we had just bought a freezer. My mother was a full time "working woman". She suggested to my father, who was a sales manager at the time, his company should figure out a way to sell frozen meals like she made for us to save her time preparing our meals after work. Soon he started to bring home aluminum trays of frozen food: turkey or meatloaf/hamburger, peas and mashed potatoes for us to taste test. Before they were marketed anywhere. The man who claimed he started the first TV dinners worked for my Dad, Whoalla! The TV dinner was born!

Lastly, I did not see any mention of the Steak House (can't remember the name) on 72nd street that had name big name performers on a regular basis. I remember a group that had a popular jungle sound record out at the time (some trio. I went to see Sophie Tucker because she had been so famous and I did want to hear her sing. I am sure there were others that came.

Love your blog! Maybe you could write about Johnny Carson (He had been on Channel 3) coming for the Centennial celebration and the parade. Our school had a float or at least some of us sang songs of 1854 on a float with a real old time fiddler. Lots of fun and something for your blog.

suewa71 said...

Todd's - not for the food, but the one of the original crusing scenes in the 60s. The line up on Dodge went for blocks, just to turn into the drive-in to see and be seen. Cops watched and if you did not find a spot and actually order something they booted you for the night. Definitely an American Graffiti era - my kids don't believe me when I tell them I lived AG.
Loved the reference to Irvington Ice Cream, and Bohemian Cafe. Best ice cream in the universe, and we still go to Bohemian Cafe whenever we land back in Omaha.
Thanks for the memories.

Debbie said...

OMG You are right! and we did call him that! he hated us.. use to shush us away like the street was his private property! I guess we weren't so nice!! Sooo are you from the old neighborhood.

Omababe said...

>Sooo are you from the old

Oh, I'm most definitely from The Old Neighborhood, but from nowhere around South 6th. :) :) :) (LOL!)

Anonymous said...

The thing I remember about Tiner's was the sign. A neon arrow rising like a sky rocket and then a BIG flash when it reached the top. Once you passed the crest of the hill at 49th you couldn't miss it. When it was foggy, you could see the flash in the fog as far west as 52nd.

Does anyone else remember the Weather Tower? Weather forecast by coded lights on one of the big TV towers. You could see this when you passed the crest of the hill at 49th.

The Tiner's sign and the Weather Tower was what I remember when passing the hill.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone remember "Big Cheese Pizza" in Council Bluffs. Was right on broadway.

HuSkErToM said...

The Steakhouse on 72nd Street with the headliners was ROSS's, one of the best in town. I have to laugh, I use to work at Rose Lodge when I was in high school and it was some great chicken! Triple breaded, with livers and gizzards, chicken and noodles and cole slaw so sour it took your breath away.

Anonymous said...

Recall Sam Nisi's Sparetime Cafe. Best steaks since Johnney's Cafe at the stockyards. At Sams, you would walk through the kitchen and pick out your steak from a large display, and tell the chef exactly how you wanted it grilled. I remember they served steak, fresh Italian bread and pasta with an Italian salad. Potatoes were extra.
Think Sam's son Rossi opened the good steak house on 72nd street, Rossi's.

Jim Tobin

Anonymous said...

Pronunciation for Oddo's - is OH-Doh's. Their most famous hamburger was the PookieSnackenburger, Just sayin'.
. . . came complete with t-shirts. Loved the steaks and onion rings at Ross' with Betty B at the piano . . . Josephine Lorrello always put her regs on the balcony in the main room. . .
and dressed for the Red Carpet every night. Thanks for the Blog -
brings back great memories.

Shane said...

Loved your blog. My dad grew up in south Omaha and we used to visit my grandma there every year. She worked at the Dixie Kitchen for over 20 years. Mr. Fisher, the owner closed it out of boredom and reopened it as a mexican restaurant that didn't end up making it more than a couple of years. I remember going to Caniglia's and Mr. C's and going to Peony Park (sp)when we visited Omaha. Lots of good memories. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the wonderful memories. Our family is from Nebraska, our father, an uncle, grandfather and I all played football for NU. Our father went on to a successful career in the NFL as well. We lived in Omaha until the mid-sixties and the Rose Lodge was one of our favorites! We all remember being children and given the privilege of dining out with our parents at great restaurants.

There were, and still are, great restaurants in Omaha. We predicate the need for, "cultural diversity" in our society when it has been there all along in the tremendous establishments, American to the core, reflecting just that diversity. Much of our appreciation for different cultures came from the interaction with the business owners, many who became as familiar as family, who operated those businesses. We grew to know the people by patronizing their businesses. It was no magic formula. Caniglia's, Chu's Chop Suey, Joe Tess's, The Dixie Kitchen, the Bohemian Café all exposed us to culture via the food, and ultimately the owners and families.

When I returned to Nebraska in the late seventies for my stretch at NU, I was pleased some of those establishments were still operational and thriving. Several others have opened to fill voids and I support, wholeheartedly, your perception of the need to support these local families and their businesses.

We can expand the horizons of our children culturally, and expose them to the true American heritage. All cultures melding together, but maintaining their distinction and flavor. Maybe, just maybe, different cultures won't be as suspect or unfamiliar.

Go Big Red!

William Gilinsky said...

Cantoni's meat sauce is still the best I've ever had in my life. I would pay a anything for the "original" recipe. Now this is where it gets interesting. While traveling on business, in Toronto Canada,in the 90's, our company stayed outside of Toronto in Hamilton Ontario (about 37 miles from downtown Toronto) in a small Best Western right next door to a small family owned EYEtalian restaurant (the name escapes me). I ordered Spaghetti and Meat Balls and I almost died when I tasted the meat sauce. It was Cantoni's!! I begged the owner for the recipe and he said no. For the entire week we stayed there he kept saying no. To this day I know there is someone out there that knows the recipe. Please share? Oh, and does anyone remember the Saddle Creek Bar and Grill on Saddle Creek Road, close to the Rose Bowl and the Radial Highway? I might have misspelled those words and for that I'm sorry, but the foot longs and the Tamale's were to die for. Actually my dad died at 40 years old and to this day I blame the damn foot longs and tamale's. They were seriously to die for. And you say Rose Lodge or Dixie Kitchen had the best Fried Chicken? Nope. Caniglia's on 7th street had the best fried chicken in Omaha. The best Chicken Kiev was at the airport. Does anyone Remember the name of the restaurant? Why hasn't anyone mentioned La Casa Pizza, or Big Fred's Pizza or Shakey's Pizza with the live music and the long family style wooden tables? How bout Roffman's Deli on Dodge Street for the best corned beef and tongue in the city. And finally, two places my Grandmother and Mother took us kids to lunch when we were good and being rewarded. There was Brandeis basement cafeteria and King Fongs 2nd floor restaurant, both downtown and very close to each other. Remember Yo, the older lady who was married to the owner of King Fongs? I believe she's still alive. Unfortunately, I've lived in a city for the past 40 years that doesn't have any good places to eat. Nothing special, nothing unique, nothing ethnic. I live in Gotham, or some call it Manhattan, or others call it New York City. But to have Omaha food again, from the 50's and 60's, I'd give up all of NYC for those tastes. Boy, did we have it good or what?

P dean said...

Hello from Texas ! Thanks for your work here. I'm 67 and grow up in south Omaha. I remember a lot of these places you've mentioned. Thanks for the warm good feelings. I have a question. Have you or any of your readers ever mentioned... I'm sure my spelling will be off. The poopkisnackinburger ! From odoos drive in restaurant. ( ottos ). I've Been hungry for one for 40 years��
Thanks again for your work. Send to expert7417@ Looking for what it had in it.
Thanks again

persol121 said...

Hello from Orange County California, Great memories from the 70's and 80's when I worked at LA VERSAILLES and CHURCHILS, SALVATORE 's, HAPPY HOLLOW COUNTRY CLUB and Many years at the FRENCH CAFE, then on the top floor of Red Lion Hotel MAXINEs restaurant . JACK CHURCHILL, TONY ABBOTT, MIKE HARRISON were the well respected owners in Omaha.

persol121 said...

Hello from Orange County California, Great memories from the 70's and 80's when I worked at LA VERSAILLES and CHURCHILS, SALVATORE 's, HAPPY HOLLOW COUNTRY CLUB and Many years at the FRENCH CAFE, then on the top floor of Red Lion Hotel MAXINEs restaurant . JACK CHURCHILL, TONY ABBOTT, MIKE HARRISON were the well respected owners in Omaha.

persol121 said...

Hello from Orange County California, Great memories from the 70's and 80's when I worked at LA VERSAILLES and CHURCHILS, SALVATORE 's, HAPPY HOLLOW COUNTRY CLUB and Many years at the FRENCH CAFE, then on the top floor of Red Lion Hotel MAXINEs restaurant . JACK CHURCHILL, TONY ABBOTT, MIKE HARRISON were the well respected owners in Omaha.

Howard Forsch said...

Wow talk about traveling down memory lane? Does anyone remember Steve's Grill in the middle of main street in Benson? As a kid I'd save up change to go into this dinner to order chocolate or lemon margarine pie! This would have been mid- 1955-1959. One my first jobs was a car hop at Todd's drive in, and as previously said if you were a teenager and had a car this was the place to cruise. I really liked there fried tacos (I haven't found any since 1960). I also worked at the B&K drive-in on maple street outside Benson. The owner Tracy Anglin kept the place open from early spring through late fall. Then in the winter months he would sell Christmas trees on the lot. The car hops would bring the tray out to your car and hook on the window sill. They made the best frosty glass mug of root beer. Tracy finally sold the property and moved to Florida, however not before collaborating with the owner of Rose's lodge she also sold him the recipe for her famous fried chicken (one of the secrets was it was pan fried in old shallow skillets!). He opened a restaurant down in Perrine Florida (just south of Miami) featuring the Rose's Lodge menu! After serving in Viet Nam I came home to Omaha, Tracy found out I was back and asked me to work in his new restaurant in Florida (warm weather I said heck yes and haven't been back in over forty years!) I was wondering does anyone remember a place on Saddle Creek blvd. that served as I recall the best footlongs? Any way great to read about the the places from back in the day! Maybe someone should do one on popular bars in Omaha over the years?
Howard Forsch (Tech High class of 1965).

Nannette Kidwell said...

you mention a neighborhood favorite on 48th Center The Ritz, as a young girl I crossed the overpass going to Beals school and I remember a bar/tavern being on the corner.Was it called The Ritz in the late 60's? Its a State farm now! Thank email is not @ gmail it is!

John Ryan said...

I grew up in Omaha. Live in Minneapolis now. 56 years old. I loved Cantoni's. Of course, I was a kid. The spaghetti sauce was amazing. I have never had anything like it since!