About Steve

Hello, I am Steve of Steve's Gastronomic Home Page, which was started as a hobby to let others know about some of my favorite restaurants. This blog is an update and expansion of the original web site, and a chance for readers to leave their comments and suggestions. The most up-to-date restaurant reviews are at OKGourmet.com. For now I am including links to the reviews rather than try to move everything to Steve's Food Blog all at once. I am not a professional food person and I do not have a connection to any restaurant. As a geography major in college (Texas Christian University and the University of Texas at Austin) I am interested in different countries and cultures. This has now expanded to food in not only focusing on ethnic, national, and regional foods, but also in trying to determine what constitutes authentic ethnic food. My academic training and profession also inspired me to try to make a "master list" of restaurants, which I have included in the Blog as "Steve's List". I have included a box for comments on the list so that others can help me compile the list and keep it updated. At the very least, though, I hope it will serve as a list of interesting restaurants to try when traveling to different geographic areas.

Restaurant Guide

Restaurant Guide Index:

(List of Recommended Restaurants from Various Sources)

Arizona: Phoenix | Tucson

Arkansas

California: Los Angeles | Orange County | San Bernardino/Riverside | San Diego | San Francisco/Bay Area

Colorado: Denver

Idaho

Kansas: Kansas City

Louisiana: New Orleans

Missouri: Kansas City | St. Louis

Montana

Nebraska

Nevada

New Mexico: Albuquerque | Las Cruces

Oklahoma: Oklahoma City | Tulsa

Oregon: Portland

Texas: Austin | Dallas/Fort Worth | El Paso | Houston | San Antonio

Utah

Washington: Seattle

Wyoming


This is a “master list” of restaurants that I have seen on the Internet or other sources and would like to try, or that I think would be of interest to others. I do not mean for this to be an exhaustive list of every good place to eat, but it should represent a good sample of the most interesting or unique restaurants, along with a few that best represent an area’s regional cuisine.


Note: Steve’s Restaurant Reviews (the ones I have personally visited) are found  Here

Restaurant Guide–Nebraska

Restaurant Guide Main Index


  • Date indicates the most recent update of the restaurants listed
  • Bold indicates my recommendations; others come from what I consider to be good sources (see bottom of page for further explanation)

Bellevue

Adana’s–3604 Twin Creek Dr. (Turkish) Open Daily.  Reviewers say it is authentic Turkish food. It is served fast food style, though, with meals served in styrofoam containers. (5-30-17)

IPho #1–2403 Towne Center Dr. (Vietnamese) Open Daily.  Some say it is excellent, and some say the quality and menu choices are excellent but some items are lacking in the Vietnamese herbs and flavoring they should have. Still, though, it is inexpensive and good. (5-30-17)

Korean Grill–1408 Harlan Dr. (Korean) Closed Sun.  Reviewers say it has a true Korean taste. (5-30-17)

Quick Bites Soul Food–105 W. Mission Ave. (Soul Food) Closed Sun.  Reviewers say the food has very good flavor and maintains a consistent quality. (5-30-17)

Columbus

Restaurant Vallarta–1153 23rd Ave. (Mexican) Closed Mon & Tue.  This seems to be the most authentic Mexican restaurant in town, but it only serves tacos, tortas, etc. (not plate or combination dinners). (5-30-17)

Fremont

Huey’s Smokehouse BBQ–2204 N. Bell St. (BBQ) Open daily 11 am to 9 pm.  One of the best barbecue restaurants in Nebraska–a good place to experience Nebraska style BBQ (which I think is close to Kansas City style). Brisket, turkey, ribs, and pulled pork all get excellent reviews. (6-1-17)

Savannakhet–507 N. D St. (Lao).  This is not strictly a Lao restaurant (it has several types of Asian cuisine). However, Lao food is the specialty, and it gets very good reviews (pad thai, lap chicken, curry chicken, and spicy Thai chicken are recommended). (5-30-17)

Gering

Tea Garden–3485 N. 10th St. (Thai).  Reviewers say the Thai food is authentic, and the other food is very good (Chinese, Japanese, even an American breakfast with biscuits and gravy). (6-1-17)

Grand Island

Farmer’s Daughter–105 N. Walnut St. (American).  Described as food that a person’s grandmother would have made. Popular for breakfast, but lunch is said to be equally good (I don’t know if it’s open for dinner). Hot beef sandwich is especially recommended. (5-30-17)

Royal Indian Cuisine–3337 W. State St. (Indian) Closed Mon.  This is the restaurant in Grand Island with the best reviews on Yelp. Reviewers say it is big city quality. Serves Indian and Nepali food. Has a lunch buffet, as well as lunch specials. (5-30-17)

Hastings

Odyssey–521 W. 2nd St. (American) Closed Sun.  Has the best reviews in Hastings on Yelp. Steaks and hamburgers seem to be the most popular items, but menu has a lot of other choices. (5-30-17)

Kearney

Suwannee Thai–1420 W. 24th St. (Thai) Closed Sun & Mon, and closed Sat lunch.  Good food with fresh vegetables. Most don’t seem to want food spicy or order it that way, so I don’t know if those who want it Thai spicy can get it that way. The problem here seems to be one person in the kitchen turning out orders when there are often more customers than the kitchen can handle. (5-30-17)

The Flippin’ Sweet–203 E. 25th St. (Pizza) Open Daily.  This seems to be the most popular restaurant in town with locals, because they say it actually has flavor (as opposed to what passes too often for good food in Nebraska). The Flippin’ Sweet Burger Joint is also very popular in town. (5-30-17)

Lincoln

Ajora Falls–313 N. 27th St. (Ethiopian) Open daily except Sat lunch.  This is a one man operation who serves the food as if you were visiting his home (you can customize your order and if there is one item you particularly like he’ll give you more of it). Some people seem to think the flavor is so good it really doesn’t matter what you order. (5-30-17)

Amu Manu Ramen Bar–121 Centennial Mall S. (Japanese) Closed Sun.  I am not quoting the reviewers exactly, but what I understand is that this is probably not great ramen by west coast standards, but on a cold day on the Nebraska plains this soup makes an excellent meal. (5-30-17)

Daffodil Mediterranean–5500 Old Cheney Rd. (Persian) Closed Mon & closed Sun evening.  Serves Persian food, and not just kabobs (the plate dinners look very good from the photos). (5-30-17)

Hub Cafe–250 N. 21st St. (New American) Open 7:30 am to 2:30 pm (closed Mon).  This is a “fresh and local” restaurant with both higher prices and higher quality than most other places. Has some interesting items such as Moroccan mint tea, avocado and preserved lemon toast for breakfast, gyro, huevos rancheros. Breakfast is served all day; lunch available after 11 am; brunch on Sat & Sun. (5-30-17)

Imperial Palace–701 N. 27th St. (Chinese) Open daily except Sat lunch.  Has a “secret” menu with authentic Chinese food (just ask for the Chinese menu). Seems to specialize in spicy food (northern Chinese and Sichuan style). (5-30-17)

The Oven–201 N. 8th St. (Indian) Open daily (dinner only).  This is not a buffet restaurant–you order from the menu, and they emphasize quality over quantity. Has specialties from Bhutan as well as Indian food. Malai kofta has good reviews. Several reviewers recommend the vegetarian Thali (sampler plate). (5-30-17)

Vung Tau–2708 Y St. (Vietnamese) Open 10 am to 7 pm (6 pm on Sun)–closed Mon.  Reviewers say the pho is better than in Omaha. Also serves vermicelli bowls, and apparently has other items (but I could not find a menu on line to verify this). (5-30-17)

Norfolk

El Rodeo–107 W. Norfolk Ave. (Mexican).  Serves authentic Mexican street tacos. This and burritos are the most popular items. (6-1-17)

North Platte

Tempura–221 E. 6th St. (Japanese) Closed Mon.  Sushi restaurant that also serves Bento boxes and Chinese food. All have good reviews, but the Chinese food is made to American tastes. (6-1-17)

Ogallala

Golden Village–105 E. 1st St. (Chinese) Open daily except Mon evening.  Probably Peking is the restaurant that serves off-the-menu authentic Chinese food, but I am not sure (so I’m including the name and address of this restaurant in case it is the right one). (6-1-17)

Peking–112 E. A St. (Chinese). A post on Chowhound indicated that there was a Chinese restaurant in town that served authentic Chinese food if you requested it (it may not be on the menu). There was no name given, but it is the one “on the east side of town” (both Chinese restaurants are actually on the east side of town). Reviews on Yelp seem to indicate it is Peking, but I’m not sure. (6-1-17)

Omaha

American GI Forum–2002 N St. (Mexican) Closed Mon. This is a non-profit veteran organization that serves either authentic Mexican food or very good Tex-Mex (according to different reviewers), but in any case they say it is very good, tastes homemade, and is cheap. Hours are erratic (apparently because of being a non-profit and being staffed by volunteers), but it is open much more often than it is closed. (6-1-17)

Canton House–4849 N. 90th St. (Chinese) Closed Mon.  Authentic Chinese restaurant with dim sum (Shanghai dumplings are included in the dim sum menu). Has a lot of menu options as well (this is a restaurant with hanging ducks and other traditional Chinese touches). (6-1-17)

Crystal Jade–7255 Cedar St. (Malaysian) Open Daily.  Serves several Asian cuisines, but Malaysian food is the specialty. Good dishes include amazing chicken and lemak. Has pad thai which sounds different from the Thai version, but it does not have great reviews. (6-1-17)

Gerda’s–5180 Leavenworth St. (German) Breakfast & lunch Tue-Sat; dinner Wed-Sat.  On many people’s list of the best restaurants in the city. The menu changes daily and they have specials every day. Has a bakery and these items are quite popular as well. (6-1-17)

Laos Thai–4520 S. 24th St. (Lao) Closed Sun.  Cash only, but has very low prices. Has several types of curry and has a few dishes not found in many Thai or Lao restaurants in the US. Reviewers say some of the curries are more like a thin soup (so ask about unfamiliar dishes before ordering). (6-1-17)

Lithuanian Bakery–7427 Pacific St. (Bakery) Open 8 am to 6 pm (4 pm on Sat); closed Sun.  Popular for their sweets, but also serves sandwiches and other lunch items. The Napoleonas torte is their specialty. (6-1-17)

Mother India–3572 Leavenworth St. (Indian) Closed Sun & Mon.  The favorite restaurant in town for many who appreciate the delicate herbs and spices of India. This is a no-frills restaurant which is very small and does not have a buffet (they have a large take-out business). The biggest downside for some is that it is cold in the winter and hot in the summer (but an outdoor patio is also available in the summer). (6-1-17)

The Drover–2121 S. 73rd St. (Steaks) Open daily except Sun lunch.  This is a popular old-school Omaha steakhouse with good reviews. Whiskey steak is the specialty (most people say it is very good, and enhances the flavor). Down sides for some people are the service, prices, and side dishes. The salad bar somewhat makes up for the side dishes, though. Steaks run about $45. (6-1-17)

Upstream Brewing–514 S. 11th St. (American) Open daily (open late night).  Some say that if there is such a thing as typical Nebraska food, this is the place to find it. Pot roast, meat loaf, beer cheese soup, burgers, and steak with mushroom sauce are popular. (6-1-17)

Scottsbluff

El Molcajete–1013 E. Overland (Mexican).  Reviewers say it has good food with red and green sauces (not Tex-Mex). I’m not sure it is completely authentic, but it certainly seems to be the closest you will find within a number of miles in NE and WY. (6-1-17)

 

Notes About This List:

This is a “master list” of restaurants that I have seen on the Internet or other sources and would like to try, or that I think would be of interest to others.  I do not mean for this to be an exhaustive list of every good place to eat, but it should represent a good sample of the most interesting or unique restaurants, along with a few that best represent an area’s regional cuisine.  My own recommendations are in Bold.

I am not looking to include:

  • Fine dining (unless they are unique because of regional specialties)
  • Low end restaurants that are popular with locals but may not be of much interest to travelers or people in general (everyone will have to use their judgment on this one)

Extra consideration for the following:

  • The food is organic, fresh, healthy, or farm to table
  • The restaurant serves a relatively hard to find type of ethnic food and reviews are good

In addition to the regular guidelines I try to include:

  • The best Asian restaurants in the area even if they are not totally authentic
  • Particularly good Mexican restaurants (this usually means the food is from a particular state in Mexico or it is one of the best examples of a U.S. regional style)

Please feel free to leave your own comments or suggestions.

 

Sources:

Chowhound (Nebraska)

Urbanspoon.com (former web site which I used for preliminary research)

Yelp (Nebraska)

Zomato (Omaha)

 

Jim’s Diner–Oklahoma City, OK

Jim’s Diner
6317 N. Meridian Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK
(405) 702-9862
Jim's Diner OKC

Jim’s Diner in northwest Oklahoma City


Although many are familiar with Jim’s Diner on Route 66 in Bethany, there is now a second location in Oklahoma City at N.W. 63rd St. and Meridian Ave. There are a number of reasons people have continued to patronize Jim’s over the years, but I think two of the most important are that just about everything is on the menu and the prices are reasonable.

My visits to the Bethany location have been exclusively for breakfast or for a late night dinner and conversation with friends (both locations are open until 10:00 pm, but the Bethany restaurant used to be open through midnight–the latest time I can remember being there).

When I went to the Oklahoma City location it was not nearly as busy as the Bethany restaurant usually experiences, but I believe people are now discovering the new restaurant and that business has picked up. This restaurant is not on Route 66, but the food seems to be the same.

Salad

Salad

Salad at Jim’s Diner

Salad is not my idea of one of the restaurant’s big draws, but it is available for those who want it. I could find nothing either particularly good or particularly bad about the one I tried (except for the fact that the tomatoes were actually red and the lettuce was actually green).

Fried Chicken

Fried chicken

Fried chicken

I sampled the Fried Chicken, so I know how it tastes but not if this would be classified as a very filling meal or not. At least the pieces seemed to be as big as in most other restaurants.

The flavor of the dark meat was excellent, so I would have to say this was a big hit with me. The white meat was dry, though, and disappointing (but still not bad). For my taste the dark meat would be well worth ordering again.

The best item I tried, though, was the Mashed Potatoes that came on the side. These were excellent potatoes and excellent gravy. I really do not think very much about mashed potatoes until I try them at the numerous restaurants that do not do them quite the right way (in contrast, I think Jim’s shows how it should be done).

Banana Nut Pancakes

Banana nut pancakes

Banana nut pancakes

One good feature of Jim’s is that you can order breakfast all day. One drawback I discovered was that the cook at dinner was not very familiar with the breakfast menu, leading to the fact that I only got one pancake (the one pictured) when I wanted to make a meal of them (which comes with four pancakes). They cooked the other three for me, but there was a good wait because these pancakes are made from scratch and cannot be prepared quickly.

I gave them four stars because of the fact that at home I try to use a more healthy cooking oil, so I get somewhat of a rude awakening when I eat them in most restaurants. Still, though, I liked the bananas, the syrup, the flavor of the pancakes (other than the oil), and even the margarine spread they had. The pecans tasted stale, though (this was not a big factor in the overall meal).

Desserts

Pie display

The pie display at Jim’s

I am mentioning desserts only to show this photo of their pie display, but so far I have not tried any of the flavors.

Additional Comments
For diners, I think Olde Orchard in Bethany seems to have a better flavor for me. I think Jim’s has more menu options, though, particularly if you want to order breakfast at dinner time (something I believe Olde Orchard does not do).

The closing time of 10:00 pm at Jim’s is considered late night dining for Oklahoma City, so this is a good option for many people (I have not confirmed the hours of this location but they are the ones posted on Yelp). The posted hours also say they open at 6:00 am every day (probably not something I would ever desire to check out for myself).


RATING: 18

Cuisine: American
Cost: $$
Hours: Open Daily (breakfast, lunch, and dinner)
Accessible: Yes (but there was only one handicapped space)
Smoking: No smoking
Special Features: Serves Breakfast

Most Recent Visit: Jun. 29, 2016

Number of Visits: 1

Best Item: Mashed Potatoes

 

Special Ratings
star 4 Fried Chicken
star 5 Mashed Potatoes
star 3 Salad
star 4 Banana Nut Pancakes