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CHEAP EATS: Salted Edge

Posted at 5:05 PM, Nov 09, 2023

WATERLOO, Neb. (KMTV) — Salted Edge has been open for six weeks. The view and the atmosphere is amazing. But as 3 News Now Anchor Serese Cole reports — it's the food that has customers driving the distance for the Salted Edge experience.

Life is better at the lake.

But if you can't live on the water, you can visit the water along Salted Edge.

"When you come here you don't expect this - right? You don't think you're in Omaha. The view, the patio, the lake - the restaurant. We get a lot of those comments, 'I don't feel like I'm in Omaha,' It's kind of like a getaway," said Chef Joel Hassanali.

"I think people come here for an experience and we deliver the whole package," added General Manager Mara Taylor-Mejstrik.

That package includes a wide selection of wines and even a self-service wine pour machine.

"Everyone is welcome. You can come in a suit and tie or shorts right off the lake and enjoy great service, great wine," Chef Joel smiled.

"And great food! The chef forgot about the amazing meals he's making," interjected Mara.

Chef Joel's open kitchen concept is part of the Salted Edge allure. Customers get an up-close view as he prepares their meals.

"If we're going to talk about giving them the experience, I want to give them the full experience," he shared.

He created every item on the menu.

"I wanted to have fun with it. I wanted to bring my background and places that I have traveled - especially my culture from the islands... so we have things that's French, things that are Italian, we have some things that are from the Caribbean. We have a fusion of flavors," Chef Joel explained. "It's really robust flavors."

Expect food and flavors you've never had before like the Crispy Shrimp Deviled Eggs.

"People are ordering like crazy. We go through probably five to six cases of eggs. Each case has 15 dozen," he revealed.

"You get the textures - you get different flavors. The creaminess from the deviled egg. The crispiness from the shrimp. You get some sweet and smokiness from the smoked tomato bacon jam and that secret heat from the jalapenos," Chef Joel detailed.

One item that everybody is talking about is the Bread Board. The bread platter features four different types of bread - two sweet and two savory and they each come with their complimentary butter. The breads are: Honey-dipped cornbread, Cayenne Parmesan Popovers, Orange Rosemary Biscuit, and Herb Butter Buns.

The best seller at Salted Edge is a surf and turf entree' featuring a seven-ounce bison filet.

"What I like to do with the bison filet - the fact that is lean and high in iron - I like to put in some fat," he demonstrated.

So he bastes the bison with butter along with rosemary and thyme. Once that goes in the oven - he prepares the Butter Poached Lobster.

"We're going to add some white wine, then we add some cream, we're going to add the secret ingredient ... the bacon herb butter. You have garlic shallots, fresh thyme, and lemon zest," he revealed.

The salmon is a healthy and popular choice. It's served with spinach, quinoa, and fresh veggies.

Each dish is like a work of art.

Serese: Do people sometimes say it looks too good to eat?
Chef Joel: I've heard that before.
Seree: And then they get over it?
Chef Joel: They get over it fairly quickly!

Satisfied customers are the norm here.

Last night we had two guests - it was their third time here. They drove 70 minutes away.

Serese: Is it worth the drive?
Chef Joel: It is worth the drive!

"It's just been amazing. We've been super busy - every single night," Mara smiled.

"It feels great just to walk around the dining room and see peoples' faces having a great time - enjoying the food loving it," the chef shared.

Serese: What is the one sign that they are loving it?
Chef Joel: Um clean plates!

Salted Edge is located at 243rd and Dodge. It's open Tuesday - Sunday. Dinner starts at 5:00 p.m. during the week and 4:00 p.m. on the weekends.

To see the full menu or make a reservation, go to

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