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CHEAP EATS: Lemon Tree Cafe

Posted at 11:01 AM, Jul 27, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-27 12:01:35-04

RALSTON, Neb. (KMTV) — Three Metro women are behind one delicious, new venture in Ralston. One owns Lisa's Radial Cafe. The other owns the popular pop-up Gravy Train. And the third owns the space for the new place.

As 3 News Now Anchor Serese Cole reports, Lemon Tree Cafe combines two sisters' mouthwatering childhood memories with some of their own creative recipes.

The charming space is home to the Lemon Tree Cafe.

"It's the quintessential small-town cafe," said Deniz Botkin — who also owns Ralston Rentals.

It has a small-town feel.

"We know people's names what they like ... and so it's the cheers of the morning," Botkin's smiled.

It also has a big-town taste.

"It's like everything you love about brunch - but without reservations - and without having to dress up," said Meghan McClarney. "We're putting love on a plate and you guys are going to feel that" the Gravy Train owner added.

They serve all the basics.

"We also have a lot of fun options, too. We are kind of taking the classic American breakfast and elevated it," explained Jennifer Maguire. She also owns Lisa's Radial Cafe.

"I mean everything is heartfelt and comes from something that we love or someone that we love," Meghan smiled. "Then when you eat it - you kind of take a trip with us."

The journey starts with sisters Jennifer and Meghan's childhood.

A lot of dishes here are a nod to their mom.

"So, we have to serve amazing biscuits and gravy because that's what mom would do," Meghan shared.

Their mom is also the inspiration for the hash plates.

The grilled potatoes are combined with a handful of cheese. You can add bacon and ham, mushrooms, or both - which is called a Loaded Plate. The Hash Plates also come with two eggs.

"And then you can get it with your choice of toast or one of those delicious biscuits - and if you want to top it off - get a side of gravy," Jennifer chuckled.

The siblings say another Lemon Tree favorite is the Monte Cristo Sandwich.

"This is a French toast sandwich," Meghan explained.

"We've got some turkey, ham, and nice smoky gouda cheese," Jennifer pointed out.

Meghan: This is my absolute favorite sandwich.
Serese: What do you love about it?
Meghan: It's meaty, it's gooey. The bread is like such a treat.

It's topped with a little powdered sugar and their house jam.

The Savory Pancakes is one of the showstoppers at Lemon Tree Cafe.

"We like to add fun stuff to them," Meghan admitted.

So, they stuff the pancakes with ham, bacon, cheddar cheese and chives.

Serese: I have never seen this before.
Meghan: You haven't?
Serese: Well, no.
Meghan: Well, we might have invented it.
Serese: That could be why.

The final touch — a drizzle of hot honey.

Meghan: This is a small meal.
Serese: This is not a small meal.

Last but not least, the Horsey Roast Beef Sandwich.

"It's our unsung hero of the lunch menu .. it's everyone's favorite sandwich here," Meghan said.

"When we grew up, we would have a special prime rib dinner with horseradish and the leftovers was a sandwich like this," she recalled.

The bread can vary.

"We start with whatever bread we're feeling for the day - sometimes we use a sourdough roll. We've been really into brioche lately," Meghan explained.

"It's got smoked gouda cheese, and that horseradish mayo and sour cream... I'll put a little red onion on it and then it's done," she demonstrated.

She says their food is filling - but you feel good after you eat it.

The cozy cafe combines homemade meals and memories.

"We love food, but we love people - and it's about both," Meghan grinned.

Serese: What would mom think seeing you cook together here?
Jennifer: I think it would make her extremely happy.

Lemon Tree Cafe is at 7614 Main Street in Ralston. It's open Wednesday - Sunday from 7:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. They always have gluten-free biscuits and gravy and the potatoes are vegan. If you do have a special diet or food allergy - Meghan says they make everything from scratch - so they can always whip something special up for you.

For more details follow them on Facebook at LemonTreeNeb.

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