This isn't always a bad thing, in fact, this means there are plenty of great places to grab a bite. So I, Donovan Beery (Eleven19), sat down with Steve Gordon (RDQLUS) and Brandon Herbel (Make Believe) at the River City Social Club to discuss our top places to grab a burger, partake in a drink, and where we prefer to acquire music.
Let's start with burgers. Because truly beef must be number 1 in all cities located in Nebraska, right?
DB: I feel burger joints need to have a slightly beaten down appearance, serve great beef, and allow for enough options to not have to order the same burger every time. Honestly, I'm a big fan of Danny's Bar & Grill just off of 72nd and Blondo. I hate the fact I'm actually admitting to liking a Packer's Bar, but I guess good food rules over sports when it comes down to it. Plus, 1/2 Price burgers on Monday, how can you lose?
BH: My pick for a good burger would have to be Dinker's off the interstate on 29th. The menu even claims to be home to the best burger in Omaha! It's a fairly small place that is broken up into your typical midwest dive bar and then the back is where you get the burgers! They have a daily burger, and over 15 on the menu to choose from.
SG: I fully agree with the idea that a burger joint has to have a bit if a sketchy nature to it, well lived-in or like you might not want to touch much else other than your burger. My favorite burger joint in "The ONE" is also Dinker's. You feel a tad bit out of place at first because it's a total neighborhood bar and grill and they know immediately that you don't live around there. Complete with the seemingly shady ATM that none of us like to use (but we must), the chalkboard "specials" menu, and the old school push-letter main menu, this place is setting the right tone for me. But let's be real… great burgers are all that matter and this place has that. Perfectly cooked, well apportioned toppings, and solid fries & rings to accompany the meal. It's a can't miss.
DB: Everyone knows I'm picking The Homy, right? Even Esquire Magazine will agree with me there. Champaign on tap (I do not do this btw), someone always playing Journey on the jukebox, and a mere blocks from my house. How can you go wrong?
SG: Oh, it can go wrong. Have you looked at the ceiling in that place? ha ha!
BH: Brothers Bar off 38th and Farnam is my bar of choice. Not only do they pour their drinks heavy, but they have the best punk rock jukebox in town! I highly recommend their Moscow Mule or Whiskey Sour. They also serve pitchers of PBR which any hipster on a budget can enjoy. Make sure to bring cash! They don't take credit cards.
SG: My favorite bar is a toss-up between the little boy in me and the grown man who wants a nice chill place to get my chillmode on. In both cases, Benson, a suburb of Omaha, is holding it down in this category. First Beercade; yes it is exactly what the name suggests—20% bar, 80% arcade. Need I say more?
DB: Beercade is awesome! Once they serve peanuts in dog dishes like The Homy, we'll talk.
SG: Secondly would be the amazing Krug Park. It's a Prohibition-style bar with amazing atmosphere and an impressive tap of beers and a Bloody Mary list to die for. The back deck is small but cozy, and the interior of the bar plays off of the history of the Benson neighborhood and the rich & sorted history of the Omaha-area.
DB: Omaha does represent the beer and burger scene well, now what about shopping? Do people still buy music? I say, when I do, Kanesville (even if it is just across the river in Council Bluffs) is tops. Nothing but old vinyl. A ton of it—and cheap. Be warned though, you may think this place is abandoned and closed when driving by, but it's happening on the inside. I mean check out the soundtrack to Superman II I bought there—laser etched logos!
SG: I have to admit, I'm a digital music guy now, and fully in love with Spotify, so does my iPhone count as a great music spot in Omaha? I think so. However, back in my production/DJ days, Homer's was the spot.
BH: I'm going to go with Antiquarium Records downtown on 13th St. in the Old Market. The selection is constantly changing and has everything from the classics, new releases, and section made up of local artists. This is the go-to place if you are looking to add some vinyl to your collection.
DB: And let's talk other shopping. Other than this incredible place we are in (blatant plug) for buying cool men's fashion.
SG: Omaha has a great vintage shopping scene too—whether newly minted "old" or legitimately antique, there are a lot of good places to get your hands on some goodness. Lucky's Vintage on 13th just south of Martha, has great antiques and vintage clothing. You can spend a whole day there—and perhaps a few bucks. I really dig Scout Dry Goods & Trade in the Dundee hood, too!
DB: Thanks guys, I'm off to the long trek back to my office—all 100 yards of it or so. Maybe we can all hit this Dinker's place next time – you convinced me.