Fried Brain

You know how much my brain is exhausted? I can't even remember where we have gone to eat! How sad is that? Oh I remember one now

UDon (UDistrict)
Now that we have moved to a city with a very large Asian population, we have decided that we need to branch out in our cuisine. We aren't picky eaters. We aren't afraid of different foods. It is just that in Omaha, you had: sushi and "Chinese" basically. Maybe a pho place or two. But that was it. Nothing in between. Nothing "authentic" I am sure (much like Mexican food though, I don't know if I know what authentic Japanese or Chinese is). This first little branch was a training wheel branch. While up near UW, we found ourselves hungry (weird, I know), so we decided to bop in here. I am going to call this "Udon noodles, Chipotle style" - choose a base, choose your toppings. See, training wheels!

Matt had me pick for him, so I picked something that looked very basic. For myself, I picked the curry one (don't even ask me names). We both picked various tempura'd items. And then we ate. Or we ate as best we could. Having never had udon, I had no clue how to eat it. I spied on our neighbors. I still wasn't good at it. My food, however, was delicious. The curry was not spicey (I would say a 1 on a 5 star scale) but was incredibly flavorful. If I had to give it a flavor group, it was totally 'umami' or whatever that new group is. Matt's was very basic, nothing to write home about. All the tempura'd items were okay. Unlike most American fried items, the salt and seasoning are minimal. I think that is because they are supposed to compliment the udon (I think? Maybe?). 

AMBIANCE: modern clean lines, not too bright; order at the counter type place obvs
TASTE: I found it delicious, but this was my first time eating udon
MENU: good variety...if you are going for udon that is
SERVICE: very friendly, they didn't rush us at all (or make fun of us) as we stumbled through the menu
OVERALL: in terms of quick casual type joints, I would def go back if in the udistrict. I wouldn't say I would drive out of my way though, so -> 4

U:Don - Fresh Japanese Noodle Station on Urbanspoon



At my lack of entries. Yes, I have a million excuses: new residency, new house, new puppy (!!!!!!!). You know what I also have? Plenty of time in the evening to update. Sigh. Maybe later tonight? Maybe? We will see, I might bake something.

We moved into our new place on Aug 16th. The storage pods were delivered at 9am; Matt had them empty by 11am. Amazing. All while I was at work :D. His parents came up from Olympia to help him as well. We will have a few boxes left to unpack and several pieces of furniture to buy, but it is finally starting to feel like home (getting the internet helps too). On the 18th we brought our little man Winston home. Trust me, I have plenty of pictures for you. He is a Shih Tzu/Maltese mix born on June 17th. He is frickin adorable. And we love him.

More on that later. Off to work (on my bike).


So you're telling me there's a chance

That I have returned??? Well...not quite yet. Life has been super crazy. Not "busy" busy, just busy. And stressful. Things I will tell you all about once I am back in action:

-Our trip up here
-The hoopfest awesome-ness
-Uh...(almost) our new place

That is all. Cooking and eating have been limited. Well...eating out I mean. I am always eating. Dueces



Okay, time to get a little sentimental. As much as a quip about Omaha and make fun of it, I have been here for 5 amazing, wonderful, productive years. I have learned more than I thought possible, grown in ways I never imagined I would, and made great friends.

I vividly remember leaving Spokane, Subaru packed up, bike strapped to the back, mom in the passengar seat. Hugging Matt (who thought he would never see me again). Hugging Dad. Hugging the dogs. Through Idaho. Through the never ending Montana. Then Wyoming, South Dakota, Iowa, and finally Nebraska. It is safe to say that I never though, even in my wildest dreams, that I would ever live in Nebraska. Check that off my bucket list. :D

Every year here (okay, maybe not 4th year) has been tough, but those first few weeks were rough. Learning how to study and fight through mounds of new material. Trying to stay sane. Wanting to be in Washington with my family. Yep, rough.

I am beyond thankful that I pushed through. While I see so many people working fewer hours, taking fun vacations, not rounding on the weekends, I don't regret my choice. I cannot think of any profession I would rather do.

So, I leave Omaha married, with a nice size house in debt, 25 pounds lighter, with too many books, with plenty of friends, with an appreciation of the human body, confirmed in my faith that God does exist, knowing that I can in fact stay up for 24hours straight, and excited for the next chapter.

You stay classy Omaha.



There are many reasons I enjoy newspapers. One reason is for restaraunt reviews that are usually fairly consistent. Blogs are great and all (mine included :D), but sometimes it is nice to have someone who is paid to do this stuff write about new places. 

In Omaha, they usually "feature" one place in the Friday paper. And pretty much no matter what type of food, that place will be busy the next few weeks, even if it doesn't get the best review. Shortly after that, you can see the place hit the "Talk of the Town" on Urbanspoon (I am a slight addict). Somethine interesting happened a few weeks ago though.

The writer featured a BBQ joint in north Omaha that finally hit the spot (he was from KC originally). He had a few negatives but overwhelmingly showered the place with praise. Now, had we been hanging in Omaha longer, we would have gone here for sure, regardless of the location. It doesn't appear as if the rest of Omaha felt that way at all - I have yet to see a review on it on Urbanspoon; no Talk of the Town for this place. Now, this could honestly just be a coincidence. Maybe Omaha wasn't in the mood for BBQ that week? Maybe people didn't feel like reviewing the place? My suspicion, however, is on the negative side. I feel that the readers of the Omaha World Herald don't venture to north Omaha regardless of how good a place sounds, which is too bad. Sigh. I will stop there because I don't want to get on a soap box again


Winding down

I have one week left. Simply amazing. Who would have thought this time would ever come? Becky in July? Nope. Def not her. Of course I am scared of starting the next phase, but just like last year, I know it will be crazy at first with so much to learn and see. Eventually, however, I know I will become more confident and capable. Just give me 12 more months :)

As with many places east of 72nd in Omaha, I always feel nervous expressing my opinion openly about them to the citizen's of this fine city simply because so many people have grown up going to these places. Like D'Lish back in Spokane (yes, I know it isn't that old), if you didn't grow up going there, you would probably never go back. Alas, that is not the case with Goldbergs.

They have two locations in Omaha, and I have only ever been to the one on Dodge, which is actually not the original. They have a great patio out front, but they have the unfortunate luck of being right on one of the busiest streets in town. That's okay though since eating outside in Omaha is rarely possible. I am sure the building has some history, but I don't know it. You walk in the back, adjust your eyes, and seat yourself. Sometimes this is nice. Sometimes not so nice. The place isn't huge but happens to have a well stocked bar on the east side of the dinning room. High walled booths breakup the room, and the maroon paint makes the place just comfortably dim even on the brightest of days. 

We sat in a booth, and our waiter was with us quickly. I would classify the menu as "American." Not modern American. Just traditional kind but not quite comfort food. Their main selling point are their burgers, which they have at least 10 on the menu. I am sure if you wanted something other than what was listed, they could throw it together, for a price of course. Then they have 10+ sandwiches that are sure to suite anyone. Your standard side is potato chips. Want something else? Gonna cost you, which is probably my biggest issue with the place. I can see charging for soup or salad, but even subbing potato salad causes a charge. 

Matt ordered the Montana Rueben with fries; I gave in to my trying-to-be-healthy side and got the Craisin Pecan Chicken Spinach Salad. Yeah, it's a mouth full. Our food came out in an appropriate amount to time. The salad was delicious, and they put the dressing on the side without even asking! It had just the right ratio of all the toppings, and the chicken was incredibly tender and moist. I inhaled it. Matt's reuben was okay. I will admit I have had better reubens. I think this one lacked heaping mounds of butter :) The fries were okay but nothing special. I have had the sweet potato fries before though, and they are pretty amazing. Go with those. They are worth the extra $1.50 :D

AMBIANCE: cool old building, perfectly dim, can be a little loud though
TASTE: right in the middle, nothing to balk at in disgust but nothing keeping my filling my face
MENU: great burger and sandwich selection, your typical entrees are limited, which is okay. Stick with what you are good at
SERVICE: so-so. Water refills were quick, but passion to be there...lacking
OVERALL: 4. I wouldn't drive out of my way for it, but then again nothing is out of the way in Omaha really

Goldberg's on Urbanspoon


Memorial Day weekend

Over Memorial Day weekend (let us all note that this has been the ONLY HOLIDAY ALL INTERN YEAR that I haven't had to work...just saying), Matt and I ventured yet again into the land of "driving around the midwest" (flashbacks to our honeymoon). We rented a car - 2012 Buick Regal - and head to St. Louis for a Cardinals game. If done in one sitting, the drive is about 7 hours or so. We decided to drive to KC Friday night and then STL Saturday morning.

We stopped at Bandana's BBQ in St. Joseph, MO (just north of KC) for dinner. Turns out they are now putting calorie counts on the menu! See my rant. Ergo, this helped in our menu choices. We got to our lovely, cheap hotel, fell into bed, and woke early the next AM to continue our trek.

My biggest desire of the weekend was to go to Pappy's Smokehouse - long rumored (by Urbanspoon and the food award internet world) to be the best BBQ in STL and one of the top joints in the country. As I am a planner to the core, I saw they opened at 11am on Saturdays and usually have a huge line. My plan was...get there at 11am. And we did! In fact, we got there at 1045, and people were already eating! I never get this. Whatever. We ate. We ate. OMG. It was great. Yes, I wanted that to rhyme. We ventured around STL on foot until our hotel room was ready. 

Saturday night involved the game basically. In true midwest form, STL was hot and humid. It was free hat night! And the bonus of Busch Stadium? They let you out and in again! My friend is doing OB/GYN residency down there, so after we got our free hats, we met her for a drink at "Bar 360." Yes, it is a hotel bar, but it has AMAZING views. Simply amazing. You can see right down into the stadium. Their drink prices reflect this amazing view, but at least my sangria was delicious. The cardinals ended up losing that night, but we experienced St Louis style pizza for the first time at (will review here shortly)

Sunday involved being a tourist. We went down to the arch early in the AM (trying to avoid heat & humidity). Being the sized individuals we are, and given Matt's slight fear of heights) we opted to take photos OF the Arch rather than IN the arch. We wandered around the waterfront some more and touched the Mississippi River...with our shoes. It looked kinda dirty. Breakfast was found. The remainder of the day was supposed to involve the Budweiser Tour and the free zoo. Supposed to. In Matt fashion he said "Hey, let's walk to the Budweiser plant so that after our samples, neither of us has to drive." I say, "As long as you are okay getting all gross and sweating." He said, "Already done." The tourist map claimed it was 1.7 miles. Google later showed it to be 2.5. Huh. We got there eventually. Hot and sweaty. And ready for beer. Turns out when you sweat that much, 2 free samples gets you pretty happy pretty fast.

Obviously we were now stuck there without a car. Rather than just walk back the 2.5 miles, however, we decided to do our own little bar crawl. Basically, we stopped at a lot of bars on the way back to downtown. Grizzly Bears, 1860s Saloon, Carson's, Kelly's, Angry Beaver, Drunken Fish, and possibly one or two more. Obviously, the zoo didn't happen. On a positive note, a 2.5 mile walk isn't as hard when you stop and drink every now and then :D

Monday involved driving back to Omaha. We had a ton of fun but have realized that STL - at least the downtown - isn't the greatest place. Like many cities across the US, people are flocking out of downtown to the suburbs, which is sad to me :( That, however, is for another day