Tag Archives: spaetzle

Obviously Omaha

August 26, 2016 by and
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

As the air turns crisp, and leaves begin to fall, mugs of cold beer start flowing for Oktoberfest. Actually, those mugs of Oktoberfest beer will flow throughout September. The event began as a public wedding celebration for Germany royalty on Oct 12, 1810. Subsequent celebrations have traditionally begun on the third weekend of September and concluded on the first Sunday of October. In Omaha, however, you can find festivities all month.

1GerdasGerda’s German Restaurant and Bakery
5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday, Sept. 9;
4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 10
5180 Leavenworth St.

One of Omaha’s largest Oktoberfests, this event has been going for more than 20 years. The celebration runs late into the night with music from the Dave Salmons Polka Band. Wash down a variety of German beers with Bavarian-style baked chicken, schweinshaxe (ham shank), or spaetzle, the German-style noodles made by the German-born Gerda herself. No admission.

2LuckyBucketLucky Bucket Brewing Co.
6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9
11941 Centennial Road, Suite 1

The beer is brewed on site. There are also sausages, pretzels, cocktails from Cut Spike Distillery (which shares a building with the brewery), and live music by Barry Boyce Band. Walk-in admission is $5 per person. Ticket bundles are selling on Groupon for $12 dollars (admission for two with two commemorative glasses) or $22 (admission for four with four glasses). Commemorative glasses do not come filled with beer.

3GermanAmericanSociety132nd German Day Celebration and Oktoberfest at the German-American Society
5 p.m. to midnight Friday, Sept. 16;
11:30 a.m. to midnight Saturday, Sept. 17
3717 S. 120th St.

The German-American Society of Omaha was founded in 1884 as the “Omaha Plattdeutscher Verein.” Ever since, the organization has held a Deutsche Tag, or German Day, every year. Deutsche Tag is now celebrated in conjunction with their Oktoberfest. This event for the whole family (not just the 21-and-up crowd) features games and face painting. The food menu features roast pig, schnitzel, and German potato salad. Admission is $5 each day for adults, which does not include beer or food. 402-333-6615

4HuberHausCrescentMoonCrescent Moon and Huber-Haus Oktoberfest
4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday, Sept. 23;
noon to 2 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 24
3578 Farnam St.

The Huber-Haus, adjoining the Crescent Moon, celebrates Oktoberfest for the 15th time this year. They serve Hofbrau, Spaten, Warsteiner, Paulaner, Hacker-Pschorr, and Weihenstephaner beers on tap along with plenty of favorite German foods. Admission is $5 for adults ages 12 and older and does not include food or beer.

5BensonGardensBenson Oktoberfest
6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30
1302 North 60th St.
The annual fundraiser for the Benson Community Garden gives new meaning to term “beer garden.” Grilled brats and live music—with performances by the Polka Police—will entertain the whole family. Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Admission is $5 per person.
bensongardens.org Omaha Magazine

Sisterly Grub

July 15, 2016 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Sisters Cafe is your typical small-town eatery—with a delightful globe-trotting twist.

Sisters2As diners approach the restaurant on historic downtown Plattsmouth’s Main Street, they’re greeted with whimsical signage featuring a pair of flitting butterflies, one decorated like the national flag of Thailand and the other mimicking the German flag.       

Inside, sisters Jit Kunkel and Noopin Hammerich flutter about, seamlessly combining the cuisine of Thailand and Deutschland on one diverse, delectable menu. Sisters does not create Thai-German fusion, rather, the restaurant offers Thai and German dishes side by side—just as the sisterly duo stands together in the kitchen.     

“The Thai side evolves from Jit’s background and experience owning Jit’s Thai Cafe in Omaha,” says Greg Kunkel, Jit’s husband and a third owner alongside the sisters. “Noopin brings the German component from her training and work experience in Hamburg, Germany—so the combination is natural for us.”

Sisters3The sisters grew up in Northeast Thailand before Jit immigrated to the U.S. and Noopin immigrated to Germany. After 40 years, during which time Noopin attended culinary school and worked in catering, she joined Jit stateside to launch their joint endeavor.

Jit creates amazing housemade Thai sauces, perfecting the flavors of their homeland, while Noopin oversees the German side. Noopin also contributes the standout baked goods, including homemade bread and desserts: apple strudel, special cakes, and tortes. Sisters’ homegrown vibe is partially provided by fresh organic vegetables and herbs that come from the garden at Greg and Jit’s Bellevue home. Greg’s part in this venture is tending
that garden.

Between my German last name and a pronounced penchant for pad thai, I felt completely in my element at Sisters. However, neither characteristic is necessary to appreciate Sisters’ emphasis on freshness and friendly service. From wienerschnitzel and sauerbraten to panang curry and drunken noodles, Sisters’ commitment to authenticity and homemade provisions makes this place special.   

Sisters4On a recent visit, the pad thai was, predictably, a favorite. Sisters’ solid version of the classic dish boasts a homemade sauce so well-balanced between sour, salty, spicy, and sweet that Buddha himself would be pleased. The dish achieved a harmonious texture through expertly cooked rice noodles and egg mingled with garden-fresh green onion and bean sprouts, a crushed-peanut finish, shredded carrot, and a juicy lime wedge. We opted for chicken, but the dish is also available with beef, pork, tofu, or langostino.       

Sisters’ take on the German classic rinderrouladen presented a tender beef filet stuffed with bacon, pickle, and onion, then topped with a rich, savory gravy. Soft, eggy spaetzle with a crisp exterior and pickled red cabbage, sweet with apple flavor, accompanied the dish. German dishes are served with a small salad and Noopin’s noticeably homemade bread.   

The cafe’s ambiance is cozy and unassuming, with a front door beset by two large windows that allow a pleasant supply of natural light. A small front patio provides a nice perch from which to experience quaint, downtown Plattsmouth while dining. Sisters offers beer and wine alongside Thai tea to quench
your thirst.

Sisters bustles with business and is clearly popular with local regulars, but Omahans and those from other nearby communities will find it worthwhile to make the short trip to Plattsmouth, and, from there, be transported to far-off Thailand and Germany. 

Visit sisterscafe.biz for more information.