Tag Archives: Modern Love

Reubenesque

October 29, 2018 by
Photography by provided

Of all the flavors of Omaha, one of our most famous is the Reuben. First served at the Blackstone Hotel in the 1920s (and named after local grocer Reuben Kulakofsky), the sandwich can now be found on restaurant menus worldwide. Omaha’s love for the sandwich is apparent in all the ways we recreate it. For decades, Omaha chefs have been pulling apart the historical combo of corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and rye bread, and reassembling the ingredients to create new ways of celebrating the dish. The result is a range of fare, from those that closely resemble their breaded ancestor, to others more deserving of the title “Reubenesque.”

Here are just a few of the places you can grab a fresh taste of an Omaha classic remixed, right in the city where it all began.

REUBENFEST AT CRESCENT MOON
Located just across the street from the old Blackstone Hotel, Crescent Moon (3578 Farnam St.) dedicates an entire week every November to the Reuben sandwich and its many variations: Reubenfest. Last year, Reubenfest brought in an estimated 500-600 visitors per day, with more than 4,000 Reuben-themed dishes served by the end of the week. Reubenfest 2018 runs from Nov. 5-10 and will see the return of many crowd favorites, including Reuben pizzas, burritos, egg rolls, and calzones, as well as new Reubenesque offerings. If you hope to catch a bite of the action, plan your visit to avoid peak meal times when the restaurant is packed and tables are hard to come by.

Crescent Moon Reuben Sandwich

TEX-MEX
Ever in the mood for Tex-Mex and a Reuben, and you simply can’t decide? Omaha’s got your back—and your taste buds. You can head on over to Dundee’s Place (7024 Maple St.) for that Reuben flavor stuffed inside a shell with their tasty Reuben tacos. Or drop by Two Fine Irishmen (18101 R Plaza) and ask for a plate of their Reuben nachos.

Two Fine Irishmen Reuben Nachos

SAUSAGES / HOT DOGS
Is a hot dog a sandwich? What about a Reuben sandwich/hot dog mashup? Find out for yourself with this tribute to a tribute, the Kansas City Reuben at B&B Classic Dogs (1020 Lincoln Road in Bellevue). The Bellevue dog was inspired by a concessions item at Kauffman Stadium. Stoysich House of Sausage (multiple locations) offers the Round Reuben, a fully cooked sausage made with corned beef, Swiss cheese, and sauerkraut for those looking to take the Reubenesque home. Chicago Dawg House’s food truck, the Weenie Wagon, also offers the Stoysich Round Reuben on St. Patrick’s Day.

DEEP-FRIED
Aside from Crescent Moon’s Reubenfest, you can find Reuben egg rolls at a variety of restaurants around town, including Paddy McGown’s Pub & Grill (4503 Center St.), Dundee Dell (5007 Underwood Ave.), or further west at Clancy’s Pub (2905 S. 168th St). For those reminiscing over Localmotive Food Truck’s famous Reuben rounders, stop by Over Easy (16859 Q St.) on a weekend night, where the food truck’s menu is served seasonally.

Dundee Dell Egg Roll Reuben

PIZZA
You might know that March is National Reuben Month, but did you know that Omaha declared a Reuben Sandwich Day? March 14, 2013, was the inaugural Reuben Day. If you missed the holiday this year, you can always join the fun in March at Mama’s Pizza, where they serve a Reuben pizza all month long at all of their three Omaha locations.

Mama’s Reuben Pizza

VEGGIES
Veggie lovers can celebrate Rueben pride, too. At Wilson & Washburn (1407 Harney St.), order a traditional-style Reuben sandwich with their original beet dressing added. For more animal-friendly takes on the Reuben, Modern Love (which recently moved to 3157 Farnam St.) has offered Reuben Mac & Shews (a variation of their vegan Mac & Shews) and recently added the Seitan Beet Reuben to their permanent menu.

Modern Love Veggie Reuben

ALTERNATIVES & VARIATIONS
Still want more Reuben? Try the gluten-free California Reuben at Big Green Q (6023 Maple St.), a sweeter take on the original recipe. If you’re looking for a slightly leaner version of the sandwich, try the Rachel, a variation made with turkey instead of corned beef. The Rachel can be found at a variety of restaurants around Omaha, including Brazen Head Irish Pub (319 N. 78th St.). Or if you’re looking for a little extra on your plate, head on over to Gorat’s Steakhouse (4917 Center St.), where you can order a triple-decker Reuben. 


This article was printed in the November/December 2018 edition of Omaha Magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Dundee’s Place Reuben Taco

Modern Love

December 3, 2014 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann
If there’s any question about whether Omaha is ready for a new all-vegan restaurant, the first couple month’s of Modern Love’s dinner service seems like a definitive answer.

“We are packed nightly,” says co-owner Isa Chandra Moskowitz. “For the first month we were basically booked every night. So yes, apparently Omaha is receptive to vegan food. It’s awesome.”

The city has been buzzing about vegan food since Moskowitz announced last year she’d be opening a restaurant somewhere in the city—the biggest local news in vegan food since popular lunch spot Daily Grub closed in 2011.

Moskowitz, a Brooklyn native, co-creator of the Post-Punk Kitchen web series and website (with frequent collaborator Terry Hope Romero), and author of eight vegan cookbooks—her most recent, Isa Does It, was released in October 2013—relocated to Omaha a few years ago to be with her boyfriend. After consulting in Omaha’s dining scene, she engineered a meatless Monday menu at the Benson Brewery last year.

A venture of her own seemed inevitable.

“There isn’t a vegan restaurant here, or even really a vegetable-focused restaurant,” Moskowitz adds, “and it feels important to create something like that right in the middle of the country.”

Moskowitz leased the space on South 50th Street next to O’Leaver’s Pub in August 2013. She partnered with Krug Park owners Jim Johnson, Dustin Bushon, Marc Leibowitz, and Jonathan Tvrdik. She then brought on chef Michaela Maxwell, and started renovating.

“I’m still working on the décor,” Moskowitz said after her first month in operation. “I thought it would be better to start with simplicity and build on things when we saw how the restaurant actually looked and functioned once filled with people.”

And the name “Modern Love?”

“The plain truth behind the name was that I couldn’t decide on a name,” Moskowitz says. “As I drove to scout out a restaurant location a few years ago, the song “Modern Romance” by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs came on. And I was like, ‘That’s a great name!’ But friends thought that was a bit much, and it became Modern Love.”

And with Modern Love’s menu of “swanky vegan comfort food,” it makes sense, Moskowitz says.

“It’s comfort food with a modern twist, made with love.”

Some of those modern takes on familiar fare include—for now, as the menu will change every few months—stuffed and fried zucchini blossoms with a zucchini slaw and grilled summer squashes; a modern nicoise salad with chickpea salad and devilled potatoes standing in for the traditional eggs alongside green beans, tomatoes, and olives; a marsala entrée that puts seitan (aka wheat gluten) at the forefront with a root vegetable mash, herbs, and greens; and desserts including pies and non-dairy ice creams.

“The Mac & Shews is far and away the most popular menu item,” Moskowitz said. “It’s our cashew-based mac and cheese sauce, pecan-crusted tofu, barbecue cauliflower and the most amazing sautéed garlicky kale and okra in the world in a tomato vinaigrette. Michaela did a really bang-up job
with that dish.”

For the first month, seating at the restaurant was by-reservation-only, Nice problem for a business owner to have. In order to encourage walk-ins, Moskowitz recently updated her online reservation system so the restaurant is only half-booked on any given day.

“I am not the type of person who’s going to give a speech to convince anyone that vegetables are delicious—which is good,” she says, “because people are just coming in and finding out for themselves.”

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