Thursday June 16
I started out the day by visiting an old fave, Blue Line Coffee Roasters
in Warren Buffet’s Dundee neighborhood. The place hasn’t changed a bit since I last visited 3 years ago, it still serves a fine cup of java and it is still one of the dumpiest looking coffee houses I ever visited.
Since I’ve been to Omaha on three prior occasions, I was concentrating on stuff off the beaten path this time around.
Since my first Lunch stop would be in Sarpy County, I decided to stop first at the Sarpy County Museum
With some cool historical artifacts from pioneer days
and an adjacent historical train depot,
what caught my attention was of course this stuffed Buffalo Head. If you remember my Rocky Mountain Highs and Big Skies trip report from 2 years ago you will recall that I’m obsessed with these things
Also I’m wondering how today’s teachers would fare with these set of rules circa 1872.
After enjoying the museum, I stopped by this old log cabin which apparently was built back in 1835.
I was now getting hungry for lunch (Atkins bars can do that to you)
Of course since I was in Bellevue, I had to visit an old standby. Stella’s Hamburgers
Stella’s now has a sign, they didn't when they had just completed renovations when Travelin Man
and I visited 3 years ago.
I looked at the limited menu (and having a limited menu here is just oh so appropriate!)
I ordered my burger with cheddar and grilled onions I also asked for a half order of their home made potato chips, they forgot and gave me a full order but still only charged me a buck.
All I can say is wow, Stella’s
is even better than I remembered. The burger was absolutely spectacular, juicy, and flavorful without having to fight for competition with it’s accompaniements.
The home made potato chips were also just as good as they looked.
has reaffirmed my position that Omaha is definitely the burger capital of the nation.
No visit to Stella’s
would be complete without a return visit to Ted and Wally’
s in the Old Market in Omaha.
You can even watch how the ice cream being made
Hoping that their famous “French Toast Ice Cream would be on the menu (it wasn’t) I had to "settle"
for Cranberries and Cream (poor me!!) Although it’s not as funky as french toast, or for that matter Sesame Peanut, it was still a fine choice- pure cream and real fruit-
After my snack, I drove up to the Mormon Trail Center
A museum and cemetery. Apparently the mormons briefly stayed in Omaha prior to settling in Salt Lake City
(I wonder if they took I-80?)
My final historical stop of the day was Boy’s Town
. For those who were around for the movie (I wouldn’t even be a thought for nearly another 20 years) when it first came out, Father Flannagan, a priest and Irish Immigrant, established an orphanage for wayward youths in the 19teens.
Their hall of history provides a very detailed history of Boys Town.
As it turned out Boys Town is also the only time on this trip that I got proverbially “Travelin Manned”
. Hoping to visit Father Flanagan’s home, when I arrived it was closed.
Oh well, it was bound to happen sooner or later.
Hoping to find some sour cream raisin pie
right here in Omaha, I ended up at the Farmhouse Café and Bakery
, just about a mile from my hotel. As I entered I observed a plethora of pies in the display case, unfortunately they did not
have sour cream raisin pie. The caramel apple pie looked good, however I really had my heart set on sour cream raisin.
I opted for a burger instead. Finding rave reviews on yelp and urbanspoon about Burger Star
a relative newcomer to Omaha’s burger culture scene, I was wondering if this was the real deal or just hype.. In a strip mall, the decor was actually kind of cool.
Somewhat “chainish” in a “Hard Rock Café” kind of way, I can assure you that this is no chain. I did get a kick out of the cow hide booths though.
Upon entering, you fill out this score card with the options you want on your burger, you hand it in, get a number and take a seat.
As you can see by my score card, I ordered the “star style burger”
It actually delivered quite well, it was a superior“fast food” style burger, probably one of the better ones that I've ever had, but overall, although the burger may be a "Star"- it fell short of Stella’s
, she still reigns as the burger queen here in Omaha.
After relaxing for a few hours back at my hotel (I did a lot of walking today) I ended up at my dinner stop.
Any visit to Omaha would not be complete without a visit to Johnny’s Café
, a classic steakhouse and Roadfood favorite right in the center of Omaha’s old stockyards.
This was my opportunity to order a Gin Martini- Beefeater of course!
The meal begins with Johnny’s complimentary cottage cheese spread. Like my previous visit I ordered my salad with blue cheese dressing and blue cheese crumbles.
As much as I enjoy blue cheese, I realized after I ordered that it’s probably going to be overkill and I probably should have asked for the house dressing with blue cheese crumbles instead- it was still a good salad.
One thing I realized is that when something is good you stick with it. Well, I ordered the Omaha Strip, however this time I asked for Au Gratin Potatoes since I wanted to try something a little different.
My steak, served medium as requested, was absolutely impeccable. Unfortunately the Au Gratin Potatoes were not, they tasted “watery” and worse the complimentary onion ring was cold, stale and as hard as a rock. Ok I should have ordered the Hash Browns instead, however there was no excuse for the poor quality of the onion rings. Overall I should still be satisfied with Johnny’s
. Although the steak was nothing short of perfect, the accompanyments this time around were disappointing (save the salad).
After dinner, I headed back to my hotel for the evening. I have a big travel day to look forward too.
The final chapter, tomorrow.