FOOD PROWL

Victors in the epic battle of Omaha dining.

March.2014

The Best Beer

Winner: Zipline


We found beers that were tasty, creative and, above all, not intimidating. The beers we drank blew some of the team's closest-held ideas out of the water.

December.2013

The Best Pizza

Winner: (Tie) Dante, Frank's Pizzeria and La Casa


It might be impossible — even for a food critic, a chef and a director who has traveled the world — to pick the one single best pizza in Omaha. There's too much to like.

November.2013

The Best Coffee Shop

Winner: Beansmith


“Everyone should come out here. Just to see what coffee can be like.”

October.2013

The Best Chicken-Fried Steak

Winner: Gorat's Steakhouse


With its chicken-fried steak, Gorat's hits all the right notes, from the beef to the crunch to the gravy, for folksy dish.

September.2013

The Best Sweet and Sour Pork

Winner: (Tie) Canton House and P.F. Chang's


It's rare to have a chain restaurant, P.F. Chang's, and a local restaurant, Canton House, both elevate Chinese cuisine and introduce people to something authentic.

August.2013

The Best Bloody Mary

Winner: The Trap Room


This bloody mary earns points for its pretty presentation, its salted rim, creative spice, and its pleasant, dark, rosy-red hue.

July.2013

The Best French Fries

Winner: (Tie) Bronco's and Dario's Brasserie


The throwback fry that doesn't come out of a freezer bag. We found it twice, and our search ended in a tie, with choices on the opposite ends of the dining spectrum.

June.2013

The Best Gourmet Burger

Winner: The Grey Plume


The experience of the Plume burger left me breathless. It elevated the lowly sandwich to something else: a real dish.

May.2013

The Best French Toast

Winner: Louie M's Burger Lust


A spread of butter topped with powdered sugar made a sort of glaze on the toast. The texture was dense though not soggy and the edges were crunchy.

April.2013

The Best Crab Cakes

Winner: M's Pub


It's spicy and sweet. It comes with flavorful pickled vegetables, and it's cooked to a soft outside crunch with a hot, not-too-smooth center.

March.2013

The Best Buffalo Wings

Winner: Buffalo Company


In a close race, our team went with the wing they thought tasted most like the original — and the most like the ones they create in their Midwest kitchens.

Feb.2013

The Best Mac and Cheese

Winner: Marks Bistro


Cavatappi is the pasta served at Marks Bistro in Dundee, which calls mac and cheese its "signature dish."

Jan.2013

The Best Steak

Winner: Brother Sebastian's


Omaha is still a town where it's OK to eat a large piece of perfectly cooked corn-fed meat at noon.

Directions

Nov.2012

The Best Eggs Benedict

Winner: Dixie Quicks Public House


A sauce with just three ingredients and a dish with just four resulted in the tightest race we've had.

Directions

Oct.2012

The Best Chicken Tikka Korma

Winner: India Garden


This month's winning restaurant is a dimly lit, delicious dark horse that you've probably never heard of.

Directions

Sept.2012

The Best Old-Fashioned

Winner: The Boiler Room


It's a delicate balance between booze and sweet, between fruity and bitter. It takes a bit of art to make a perfect version.

Directions

Aug.2012

The Best Fried Chicken

Winner: Time Out Chicken


If there's one thing that makes good fried chicken, it's that crispy, savory skin.

Directions

July.2012

The Best Burger

Winner: (Tie) Block 16 and Dinker's


It turns out cheeseburgers can be controversial.

Directions

June.2012

The Best Taco

Winner: Tacos el Peligro


We named the South Omaha hole-in-the-wall our favorite taco shop.

Directions

May.2012

The Best Cupcake

Winner: Bliss Old Market Bakery


Though the two components of a cupcake seem simple — just frosting and cake — it turns out they're much more complex. Complex enough, and so easy to mess up.

Directions

April.2012

The Best Falafel

Winner: Amsterdam Falafel and Kabob


A cool slaw of minced garlic, bright purple cabbage, carrots, whole chickpeas, cucumber and tomato sits on top of the sandwich and below are three sauces: spicy, green herb and creamy garlic.

Directions

March.2012

The Best Spaghetti

Winner: Dante Pizzeria Napoletana


And after eating boatloads of sauce and heaps of pasta in Italian restaurants old and new, the thing we ended up liking the best — the restaurant we're choosing as the best spot to eat spaghetti in Omaha — isn't what Omahans might expect.

Directions

Feb.2012

The Best Pho

Winner: (Tie) Saigon Restaurant and New Gold Mountain


The second in the Food Prowl series ended in a tie between two diners who like the more modern interpretation of pho and two diners who prefer the classic interpretation.

Directions

Jan.2012

The Best Reuben

Winner: Crescent Moon


It came to us neatly arranged in two halves on a plate next to a pile of French fries. The Blackstone Reuben, as it's called on the Moon's menu, is a feat of engineering. It doesn't fall apart when you eat it and it doesn't leak dressing or kraut.

Directions