Editing the articles in this issue is making me hungry.
Welcome to Omaha Magazine’s annual food issue. Many of the articles in this issue are certain to stop readers in their tracks. Our main feature, “Where to Eat Now,” is 14 pages of amazing new options to eat around the city. The article was written by noted food writer Sara Locke, who writes about food for several publications around town. We also highlighted a few places that are expanding or revamping, such as Modern Love, who can now feed three times as many people their vegan dishes. Freezing Thai Rolled Ice Cream opened with a bang in 2018, and has fast become a new favorite among ice-cream lovers in Omaha. The new places cover a wide range of restaurants—from Ansel’s Pastrami and Bagels to Taco Co.
Taco Thursday at the GI Forum is the place to be. The inclusive restaurant has been around since the late 1950s, and serves those who have served the country as well as the South Omaha community.
Omaha in June means baseball. The sports feature this issue is about someone who certainly gets a workout during baseball season, but not in the way one might expect. Local baseball fans might not know Adam Backora’s name, but they certainly know his wares. The Candyman walks the stands during each game, selling snow cones and cotton candy to sweet-toothed fans.
Obviously Omaha highlights six different places in Omaha to eat, drink, or play. This month’s Obviously Omaha is a favorite of mine—we spotlight fried pickles, from the unusual idea of fried pickles on a pizza to a treat that many would describe as Obviously Omaha, the spicy fried pickle spears at Dundee Dell. It certainly did not break my heart to go around the city eating this salty, crunchy treat.
Speaking of pickles, Carol “Pickle Barrel” RedWing is also featured in this issue. She is a member of ska band Flavortown Mafia. This band (whose name is inspired by Guy Fieri, the “Mayor of Flavortown”), plays fun sets around town that include contests such as “weiner chugging.”
And in another food-related arts and culture article, Caitlin Little tells the story of the Pancake Man, a truly avant-garde piece of performance art. You’ll have to trust us, and read the story.
We bring you a great food review of Korea Gardens. Niz Proskocil ate her way through traditional Korean dishes such as bibimbap and beef bulgogi only to proclaim everything there so delicious she would even be happy with a bowl of white rice and kimchi.
Our profile of Chef Kane Adkisson shows that Omaha’s chef scene is thriving. Adkisson has worked in restaurants from Omaha’s Boiler Room to Michelin-star establishments in Tokyo, but Nebraska food always brings him home.
Not so for Tim Maides, who has spent the last year traveling and working abroad. The Swiss-born Omaha chef detailed his travels in Southeast Asia in an essay featured in this magazine. He and a close friend traveled through Vietnam during their New Year’s festival, then Maides continued his adventure in Thailand.
Food has not always been plentiful in the Midwest. The great Depression of the 1930s saw many people going hungry, and the prices of food depressed to an unsustainable level. The result was the Farmer’s Holiday, held late in the summer of 1932.
While food is plentiful for many of us living in 21st-century America, it is not the case for all. Dodji Salifou is the operations manager of Heartland Hope Mission, and he sees the effects of hunger, and the hope that comes from feeding the hungry, on a daily basis.
Summer, for many, invokes memories of sticky, saucy barbecued ribs and fatty smoked briskets. It certainly does for Lowell Wilhite, a certified master judge with the Kansas City Barbeque Society. Lowell spends his summer tasting and discerning the best barbecue on the region among its aficionados.
Our own Otis Twelve is someone who knows barbecue…or is that barbeque? The Kansas-City-raised columnist tackles his loves and loathes of smoked-meat eateries.
Although low-and-slow is the way to think about summertime food, sometimes life dictates going through the fast lane—or rather, the fast-food drive-through lane. King’s Food Host invented the cheese Frenchee, a fast-food item that is dear to many people’s hearts (at least until their cholesterol levels rise too much).
You can find it all in this issue—from cutting-edge to traditional. Yet as much as we are talking about delicious food from incredible restaurants around the city, we also need to be aware of our health. Diabetes rates have been on the rise for several years, particularly among the overweight and elderly. Nutritionist Meghan McLarney gives us insight on why people get diabetes and how to treat it.
One way to treat the disease is to eat lots of fruits and vegetables, and gardening is a good way to get those fruits and vegetables during the summer (and engage in some physical activity at the same time). Taylor Keen is a member of the Omaha Tribe and has been actively gardening in the traditional Omaha way, inter-planting the “three sisters”—corn, beans, and squash—because these crops can thrive together. His project, Sacred Seeds, focuses on cultivating traditional Native farming methods.
Food brings us together, and this issue always brings the team together in creative ways. This issue was cultivated by editor Doug Meigs. Doug left the company in mid-April to pursue other opportunities, and we wish him well. I hope the issue brings you and your family entertainment and education.
This letter was printed in the June 2019 edition of Omaha Magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.