I go to Nebraska accepting the fact that I’m going to gain 5 pounds each trip. Of course I love seeing all my friends and family, but the food is what really keeps bringing me back 😉 Here are a few of my staples when I touch down in the land of the Cornhuskers:
Runza is and probably always will be my favorite. It was my 1st job, I’ve seen the in’s and out’s of the gourmet fast food chain, and I could still eat there every day. The burgers are never frozen, the onion rings are hand (double) dipped each morning, and the runzas are made and baked fresh every day. If you’re not from Nebraska, you’re probably wondering what a “runza” is. A runza a mixture of beef, cabbage and spices which is baked inside a homemade dough mixture, and then topped accordingly before served; in other words, a tiny slice of Midwestern heaven. Imitations have been attempted, but nothing will live up to the original runza. My pick there: a cheese runza with fries and a side of ranch. Boom.
2. Dos Margaritas
The small town in Nebraska where I’m from, Wahoo, has a limited number of restaurants in town. Restauranteurs have had a hard time keeping a sit-down eatery open in the town of 4,000, but lucky for us, it looks like Dos Margaritas is here to stay. They’re the staple meeting place in town, and you can’t go in without running into your best friend’s mom or your high school English teacher. Nevertheless, the food is fantastic. I’m usually good for 2 or 3 meals here each time I’m back, so I try to mix it up when ordering. One thing I always get at least once is their Jalisco Fajitas: chorizo, beef, chicken and shrimp piled high atop fresh cooked veggies with all the fajita fixin’s. How do you say “yum” in Spanish?
One may or may not have to enter a gravel road to reach Rezac’s, but anyone from Saunder’s county will attest to this home-cooked cafe (as evidence, try getting a seat on a Sunday after church). Rezac’s is that Czech grandma you never had, who never stops cooking & baking. Everything is made fresh and homemade, from the dumplings for the soup, to the rye bread, to the pies and kolaches (a Czech pastry). My must have: a cup of chicken dumpling soup. Just a fair warning though, no soup will live up to Rezac’s after having a taste.
4. Aimee’s kitchen
I can’t write a post on Nebraska eats without including my own mother’s kitchen. I’ve spent countless days re-creating dishes she cooked for me growing up, and followed recipes to the T, but there’s just nothing like mom’s cooking. She always does a big breakfast of cornbeef hash and eggs for me, and takes any of my dinner requests happily. What she does around the holidays though is really something else; she gives a whole new meaning to “holiday baking” – Case in point:
11 varieties of cookies and bars, and this was a slow year. There are always a few staples (peanut butter kisses, Mexican wedding cookies, etc. ) but she loves to try to new recipes as well. Everyone in town wants a cookie tray from my mom, and I don’t blame them.
You can understand my food dilemma when I’m back home, now. And this is just the tip of the iceberg!