Omaha Downtown Dining

Last week JM’s designer, Dan Svoboda and I – Account Manager, Stephanie Effken – decided to go on a downtown/midtown Omaha restaurant tour. Since most of our day is spent critiquing websites, we figured we could channel that same energy toward food.

Our week consisted of the following stops:
Monday: Twisted Fork
Tuesday: Saigon Surface
Wednesday: Blanc Burger + Bottles
Thursday: Ingredient
Friday: M’s Pub

So, since we’re being critical, here’s the rundown on each stop.

Twisted Fork: I loved the atmosphere of this place. Exposed brick walls, chandeliers and vintage furniture put you in a real life “Pintrest” experience (sorry if you don’t know what pintrest.com is, but I’m obsessed). The service was ok and the food was probably a 3/5. While it tasted good, nothing really wowed us. I did, however, enjoy my stacked tomato salad, which was a beautifully arranged array of cheese, tomatoes and roasted poblano chili peppers with a vinaigrette dressing. Light, fresh and yummy!

Saigon Surface: This Vietnamese restaurant was Dan’s favorite stop of the week. Our idea of a “great atmosphere” differs greatly, and whereas I loved the vibe in Twisted Fork, Dan loved the modern, urban design of Saigon Surface. Upon walking in you might think “I probably can’t afford this place,” but I bet you can! Both Dan and I ordered a grilled chicken vermicelli bowl, which was huge, for only $9 each. The service was so-so; he just did his job – which I guess is always appreciated. But, the highlight of the entire lunch was that each table had their own iPad. Not sure how they afford to do this – but we enjoyed taking pictures of ourselves and changing the restaurant music with the iPad.

 

Blanc: Both Dan and I loved this place. The atmosphere was similar to Saigon’s with a modern, urban feel, lots of bright colors and steel accents. The server was friendly and extremely knowledgeable about the menu – and I would be willing to say she was the best server we had all week. The biggest downfall of Blanc was their prices. The lunch menu was great at $9 a plate, but for dinner the burgers alone (no side) run from $7 – $14. I will, however, say you get what you pay for, as the food was delicious. Dan enjoyed a turkey burger and I loved the curried lentil burger I ordered. Both came with sweet potato fries that were absolutely fabulous.  Blanc was definitely a 5/5 for all categories.

Ingredient: There was nothing too thrilling about Ingredient. The selection was very large, which is a plus, and the people were nice, but the prices were a little high and the food was typical gourmet deli food. My veggies hummus wrap was super salty and heavy on the olives, but not terrible. This is a great place to go for a faster-than-normal lunch since guests order at the cashier and have no server.

M’s Pub: I had always wanted to try this place, and I’m glad we did. It was the most “up-scale” place of the week, and most people were there in suits and ties for a business lunch. My two biggest gripes – the chairs have an oddly shaped back so my coat kept falling on the floor and it was extremely crowded. However, the service was great and the food was delicious. I enjoyed a veggie lavosh, which was like pizza meets cracker, meets veggie and hummus plate. Dan also enjoyed his club sandwich.

Overall, we had a fabulous time, ate fabulous food and had great conversation! And to wrap up our restaurant tour, we are giving away a $20 card to Blanc Burgers + Bottles in Midtown on Facebook. Go to our Facebook wall for more info!

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