News of the Week: Friday, July 13th 2007A crazy busy past couple of weeks. I apologize for the lack of posts, though I imagine this pace will continue for the next couple of months, so bare with me.
The restaurant critic for the Philadelphia Inquirer may be out of a job. Not because he's a hack, but because a frivolous lawsuit might reveal his true identity. The best part is the fact that the case hinges on what type of cut of steak he was served. I know my anonymity is pretty much blown by this point, but the other aspects of this case are a little disconcerting. I would hate to think I could be sued because I misidentified exactly what I ate.
Congrats to McFoster's Natural Kind Cafe, one of Omaha's (few/only?) vegetarian centric restaurant(s), for getting a brief mention in the May/June issue of National Geographic Traveler. They specifically liked the date shakes, tempeh Reubens and falafel salads.
Openings, Closings, Changes and Birthdays
A quick closing/opening turn around brought to my attention by the Mai Thai review in the OWH. A drive by confirmed that a new restaurant, Mai Thai, is indeed located where the old Chopstix was. Say goodbye to one of the few Dim Sum options in Omaha.
Tanduri Fusion has new owners with 35 years of experience cooking Indian food. All three have also worked at Jaipur, so I'm very interested to go back and see what they have, however, I am disappointed that they will be abandoning their lunch buffet in August. In my opinion, that's one of the best ways to learn about and enjoy Indian food.
And in what seems like an extended amount of time needed to open a restaurant, Quaker Steak and Lube is finally opening this August in Council Bluffs near Star Cinema and the Mid-America Center.
Julio's turned 30 this year. I tried Julio's when I first came to Omaha and thought their food was so bad that it couldn't have been open for more than 3 years. However, I recently went back for lunch (with a BOGO from our Omaha Originals Dining Club Card) and was pleasantly surprised. It's not Frontera Grill, but the food was above average and a decent value. I probably won't be going back soon, but I'll no longer make a disapproving face when I hear the name.
And finally, a reminder that Mr. C's will be closing for good this September. If you haven't been, I highly recommend going before this Omaha institution disappears. When you're there, make sure to check out the beautiful back patio. I'll try to get a review up in August, but no guarantees.
And speaking of discount cards, we're going to be holding a contest to give away an Omaha Prime Card. The basic premise will be based on the $40 a Day - Omaha Edition that the OWH did a couple of weeks ago. So start thinking about where you'd spend your $40 and keep an eye on GFC for the official announcement.
Paul Urban of Darwin Bistro was featured in this week's Chef Chat. He talked a bit about the Slow Food movement we mentioned a couple of weeks back as well as his interests in charcuterie. That last part happens to lead into my next announcement. Paul was agreed to give us a look at how he cures the products they serve including bacon, pancetta, pate en croute, duck prosciutto and more, so we should hopefully have a write up with tons of pictures by mid-August. Also, if you missed it, check out our interview with Darwin's executive chef this past March.
And finally, one last announcement that I'm really excited about. Paul Kavulak, proprietor of the soon to be open Nebraska Brewing Co., has agreed to grant us a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to open a restaurant. This will be a short series of articles from now through late October when they open. We'll be conducting interviews with Mr. Kavulak over this period about the trials and tribulations encountered during the process and posting pictures as the building develops. From the discussions we've had so far, it should be a very interesting glimpse at the headaches and highlights of starting a new business in a notoriously difficult industry. If you're like most foodies and you've always wondered what it would be like to open your own restaurant, this series is just for you.