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Friday, January 08, 2010

Best-ter-est of Omaha Restaurants Award Winners - 2009

posted by snekse
Best-ter-est of Omaha 2009
We've closed the polls and tallied the votes. Once again a lot of great local restaurants took many top spots, while national and regional chains didn't fare as well in most categories. Several categories had big changes, several where very dispersed in votes and the new categories this year, especially the broad categories towards the end, were fascinating to see (I love the Most Overrated category).

Voter turn out was not what we were hoping it would be, but that's a bit of a dilemma. We don't publicize much beyond our readers in order to keep the results of a higher quality. Finding really good food requires us to lean on those who are really passionate about food. We figure if you heard about this poll through our limited promotion and felt moved enough to vote, then you were a true foodie. This was always meant to be a poll for foodies, by foodies, so thank you to all the foodies who voted. We hope you enjoy the results as much as we did.

Some quick notes about our notes. By some categories, you might see a [NOTE] in brackets that gives you some insight into that category beyond the winners ranks. For those, we urge you to take a look at the raw data to get a peek at all the votes. You'll also see the same kind of notes by individual restaurants. This is to give you an idea of how things have changed since last year and/or key you into decisive wins.

Best-ter-est of Omaha 2009TM

Best American Bistro in Omaha [All Local]

Best Appetizers in Omaha [Big Changes]

Best Bagels in Omaha

Best Bar-B-Que in Omaha

Best Breakfast in Omaha [Big Changes; All Local]

Best Buffet in Omaha

Best Burrito in Omaha

Best Chinese Restaurant in Omaha [Big Changes; All Local]

Best Coffee Shop in Omaha

Best Desserts in Omaha

Best Family Restaurant in Omaha

Best French Fries in Omaha [All Local?]

Best French Restaurant in Omaha [All Local]

Best Fried Chicken in Omaha [Big Changes; All Local]

  • Jack & Mary's
  • Chi Town Chicken (Tie ~ 2nd) [NEW]
  • Millard Roadhouse(Tie ~ 2nd)
  • Time Out Foods (Tie ~ 2nd) [NEW]

Best Greek Restaurant in Omaha [All Local]

  • The Greek Islands
  • Katie's
  • Jim & Jennie's Greek Village

Best Hamburgers in Omaha [All Local]

  • Dinker's
  • Stella's
  • Louie M's Burger Lust [NEW]

Best Hot Wings in Omaha

Best Indian Restaurant in Omaha [Contentious Category; All Local]

  • Jaipur
  • Mother India [NEW]
  • India Garden
  • NOTE: Though there were clear vote winners, this was still a highly divided category.

Best Italian Restaurant in Omaha [Big Changes; All Local]

Best Japanese Restaurant in Omaha [All Local]

Best Korean in Omaha [Low Vote Count; All Local]

  • Han Kuk Kwan
  • Korea King
  • Korean Food Restaurant

Best Mexican Restaurant in Omaha [Contentious Category; Big Changes; All Local]

Best Onion Rings in Omaha [No Clear Winner]

Best Pasta in Omaha [Big Changes; All Local]

Best Pizza in Omaha [Contentious Category; All Local]

Best Sandwiches in Omaha

Best Seafood in Omaha

Best Soup in Omaha

Best Steak House in Omaha [Contentious Category]

Best Sunday Brunch in Omaha

Best Sushi Restaurant in Omaha [All Local]

Best Thai Restaurant in Omaha [Contentious Category; All Local]

Best Restaurant in Omaha for a Business Lunch

Best Restaurant in Omaha for a First Date [All Local]

Most Romantic Restaurant in Omaha [All Local]

Most Overrated Restaurant in Omaha

Most Underrated Restaurant in Omaha [All Local]

Best New Restaurant in Omaha [All Local]

Best Chef in Omaha [Low Vote Count]

Best Restaurant in Omaha

NOTES AND COMMENTS: Since the form fields were free form, we tried to interpret the results as best we could (e.g. We might count Radial Cafe towards Lisa's Radial Cafe). If you'd like to double check our work, feel free to look at the raw data. No member of the GFC team voted. Since this was such a small sample size and some of the categories were so close, some of the results would be different if our votes were counted.

Best-ter-est of Omaha 2010TM

Of course we plan to do this again next year, so please leave comments below with your thoughts about what you like and don't like about the categories, results, promotion, etc.... We would like to include some "Best Dish" categories, but I think the votes would be so unique that we wouldn't have a clear winner for any category. I'm very open to ideas around this. Here are a couple of examples that came out in the voting.
  • Big Horn Mountain BBQ: Beef Brisket
  • Upstream: Smoked Gouda & Blonde Ale Soup (x3)
  • Upstream: Tomato Basil
  • Mai Thai: Tom Yum Gai Soup
  • McFoster's Natural Kind: Roast Tomato Soup
  • Jaipur: Mulligatawny Soup
  • Grisanti's: Tomato Tortellini Soup
  • McFoster's Natural Kind: Sweet Potato Fries
  • Taste: Sweet Potato Fries
  • Smashburger: Smashfries (w/ Garlic and Rosemary)
  • Barrett's Barleycorn: Kitchen Sink Burger
  • Dinker's: Haystack Burger
  • Ethnic Sandwich Shop: The Irish Coned Beef Sandwich
  • Hiro: Husker Roll
  • Chinatown: Veggie Fried Rice
  • Whole Foods: Creme Brulee French Toast
  • Dixie Quick's: Oatmeal & Ice Cream
  • Mark's Bistro: Bread Pudding
  • Dario's: Banana and Brown Sugar Ice Cream

Closing Thoughts

For the most part, I'm very pleased with the results and I think they are a good representation of the Omaha food scene and the spots that foodies tend to favor. Next year we might try to clean up some of the categories, or at least define them better. I'd like to find a way to get restaurants like Peru, Mucho Gusto nominated for something, but it, like many other restaurants, don't fit well into any of our current categories really. One thing that I noticed while looking at the results is that there are some great opportunities for restaurants to step up and fill some voids. Categories that were dominated by chains or just plain didn't have many votes would be a good place to start. So if you had been planing on opening a Korean soup-and-sandwich shop or a breakfast spot offering a burrito-on-a-bagel, you might have something going for you.

On a personal note, while looking at the results, I realized the need for us to cover the Omaha restaurant scene more. Though I've been to well over half of the places on this list, we've reviewed just a fraction of them. Maybe you can help us with that problem.

On a related note, we'd like to send out window clings to all of the restaurants you see above. If you make window clings or know someone who does, contact us. If you're a person who would like to help us design our decal, contact us. If you are a business owner who would like to offer something to the winners (such as Joe Frost from Elify who will be offering free online strategy consultations), contact us. If you just want to contact us, contact us :-)


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