Tag Archives: Florence neighborhood

It’s Festival (and Lights!) Season

November 29, 2018 by

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Pick of the Week—Sunday, Dec. 2: Need some good holiday hair and makeup ideas? Head to Christmas at Capitol 2018. This student-produced hair, makeup, and fashion show will have a little of everything. From Gatsby to Glamazon, you’ll be sure to find some inspiration for your next event that will make you the number-one stunner. It’s the 30th anniversary of the Christmas at Capitol Fashion Show, so trust that it will be a big one, and be sure not to miss the hair battle. See the full list of themes here, and get your tickets here.

Thursday, Nov. 29: Get in the Christmas spirit by checking out the nearly 300 gingerbread houses on display at the 33rd Annual Gingerbread Festival. During the entire month of December, you can head to the Mormon Trail Center at Historic Winter Quarters in Florence to check out these non-witch-inhabited candy homes. The Mormon Trail Center is also hosting scavenger hunts, providing live music, and playing Christmas movies. These tasty creations were made by more than 250 people, including some families, and are on display until Dec. 31. Learn more here.

Friday, Nov. 30: Ever wonder how cultures around the world celebrate this time of year? The Holiday Cultural Festival at Durham Museum is ready to show you. More than 40 local cultural organizations will display their crafts and traditional dress this Friday evening. Musicians and dancers representing different countries from around the world will perform throughout the evening, and difficult-to-find foods and gifts from far-reaching regions will be available for purchase. Check out the full list of what groups will be represented here.

Friday, Nov. 30: Dark winters need bright lights—the Lights of Aksarben celebration has that covered. It’s already in full swing, so check it out soon. This Friday’s activities include face painting, food, drinks, and free horse and carriage rides, with a heated tent to keep you warm. Christmas tunes will be playing to keep you in the mood. This year, the folks at Aksarben are supporting the U.S. Marines’ Toys for Tots Program, so be sure to bring a toy for a child in need. Can’t make it this Friday? Put next week’s “Cocoa with a Cop” event in your calendar now. You can learn about all their upcoming holiday events here.

Sunday, Dec. 2: Experience more free, family fun at the KETV Family Festival, part of the series of events comprising the annual Holiday Lights Festival. You can help “Shine the Light on Hunger” by donating nonperishable foods and household goods to be distributed to families in need through Food Bank for the Heartland. Attendees will be able to visit attractions and special programs taking place at a number of downtown locations, thanks to free heated trolley service provided by Ollie the Trolley, connecting the sites. Find out what’s in store for the afternoon here.

Decisions, Decisions

March 3, 2016 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

In the last few years, southern food, including barbecue and Cajun, has been enjoying increased popularity nationwide. Here in Omaha the genre has remained relatively scarce. A little over a year ago, Ryan Ernst opened Mouth of the South: Southern Grub Bar & Grill. I had been hearing lots of great things about this restaurant and had been meaning to make it over there, but never found the time until recently. Now I can share my experience with you.

The restaurant is located in the heart of the historic Florence neighborhood on North 30th Street. It has a nicely decorated fuchsia-colored facade, and once you get inside you see it has a warm, folksy feel with unpolished wood floors, brick walls, and wood table tops. There is also a large counter/bar where guests may enjoy their meals, listen to the blues on the stereo, and watch sports on the TV.

Paying homage to Dixie, drinks are served in jars and the silverware and napkins are in a simple paper bag wrapped in twine. The restaurant has a really comfortable vibe, and on the night I was there it was packed with what I assumed were local people from the neighborhood.

The menu at Mouth of the South has a nice selection of appetizers, soups and salads, sandwiches, burgers, and entrees, and all are nice mixtures of Cajun, Creole, barbecue and soul food. They also offer a soup of the day and several tantalizing specials. The full bar features a very interesting list of southern-themed craft cocktails, an impressive beer list, and a nice selection of wines.

Just like the ambiance, the service is very casual and friendly.

Let me start by admitting my bias toward Cajun food in particular and a love for southern barbecue. I have eaten a lot of these types of foods and my bar is set pretty high for what I consider to be good. On this particular night my dining partner and I started off with gizzards ($7) and the boudin balls ($8). The gizzards were fried cajun-style and coated with a pepper jelly glaze and this yummy combination melted in our mouths. If you’re not familiar with boudin, it is a southern rice and meat sausage. The Mouth of the South’s rendition was formed into balls, breaded, deep fried, and served with an authentic remoulade sauce. It was perhaps the best boudin I have ever had.

Next we shared a bowl of gumbo ($5), and it would be no exaggeration to say that this is the best gumbo I’ve found in Omaha.

For entrees I tried the smoke pit sandwich ($12). This gut-buster of a meal had moist smoked brisket, tangy smoked pork, crisp coleslaw, barbecue sauce, and melted cheddar cheese served grilled on sourdough bread. I can describe this sandwich with
one word—“delicious!”

My partner tried the jambalaya ($13), which was loaded with Andouille sausage and chicken. There was no skimping on the meat with this memorably tasty, hearty plate.

I had no room left for dessert, but sacrificed myself for you, the reader, and ordered the bourbon pecan pie ($7). This homemade pie was crammed with pecans and had a lovely bourbon-flavored custard in a perfect crust. It was served with some very rich vanilla ice cream. Like everything else I tried that night, it also deserves top marks.

If you are getting the impression that I liked the Mouth of the South, you would be correct. Now sufficiently recovered, I’m already daydreaming about going back for more. Maybe the catfish poboy or the smoke stack burger?

Decisions, decisions.