OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Greetings and salutations via this text medium and welcome to the very first Faturday Food Finds here on KMTV!
I, your humble food writer, am Dave Zorko and I host the Faturday Omaha radio show found on 91.5 FM Saturdays at 2 p.m. as well as the Faturday Omaha podcast found on your podcast provider with my co-hosts Sam Rocha and TJ.
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With Faturday Food Finds I hope to provide you with, not only alliteration, but some places around the Omaha area that may spark your interest and taste buds.
I thought it would be fun to highlight some of the coolest things you can get to eat from a drive-thru here in our fair city. You see, there are the chains you all know and can find most anywhere in these United States, but here in our metro area, you can find eats that are both unique and delicious.
The rules for this article: the restaurant must have a drive-thru window.
Let’s start with something refreshing and layered like the smoothies and juices available at Ital Vital Living at 2323 North 24th Street.
Approaching the beautiful and bright paint on the exterior with its blue-green hues will refresh your eyes before you’ve had a chance to order. Imani Murray is the owner of this business and she, inspired by her Jamaican roots, is squeezing flavor and color out of a plant-based lifestyle.
Having had several different smoothies and Imani’s cold-pressed juice, I can tell you these are not boring or typical smoothies. Specifically not boring, specifically fun, exactly great to look at, and most importantly, tasty to drink is the Bob Marley. Its rasta-inspired colors start with a green base, transition to a yellow middle and are capped with red. The flavors within that color gradation are mango, pineapple, raspberry, and spirulina, which is a blue-green algae, and it’s all delicious! Pretty much any cup that is passed out of the window will delight your visual senses and similarly please the taste palate.
Let’s say that you just had a smoothie yesterday and you were out looking for some breakfast eats, but the usual dollar menu just won’t do it for you. That’s where Over Easy comes in for you to take out. You can find this above-average menu at 16859 Q St.
Two things here are a must to try when you first roll through. Certainly, their homemade version of the pop tart is a thing to be held, behold you say, and I say sure, but BE HELD — like get one and hold it! If you were to put about three of those boxed, pressed, items together you would get the rough size of this fresh, handmade, delicious sweet pastry.
Head Pastry Chef Sarah makes these and you should make one arrive through your car window. The last one I had was a blueberry frosted delight with fresh lemon zest on top and having had the cinnamon sugar version as well I can safely say this is a unique sweet treat.
The other thing that sparks the taste imagination is the Chicken and Bubble Waffle. This is an item to behold, “Be held” you say, I say...no...absolutely not because it’s covered in honey and that would be messy. Ok, the drive-thru window version has the honey in its own portable ramekin so you don’t make a huge mess, but here’s the thing, you pop open the box and what is waiting for you is a delicious inverse waffle. Inverse because it has no pockets, rather it has bubbles. The bubbles are eggy pancake pops and it’s served with fresh fruit, chicken strips, and you can drizzle the whole box with a lightly spiced honey. Everything on this menu has Over Easy’s touch of jazz.
“But Dave,” you say. “Where do I get comestibles in the evening while still remaining in the climate-controlled comfort of my coupe?”
To Sgt. Peffers you need to go then! Yes, there are two locations, but we are talking drive-thrus, therefore you must traverse to 1501 N Saddle Creek Rd. TJ, my fellow Faturday Omaha host, would tell you to get any of the baked pastas here and live life. You can get their homemade soups, usually Italian Wedding soup with its herbal notes and comforting broth and I might tell you to get a chewy crusted red sauced pizza because, well, they’re just good...filling...and did I mention good. If you were to be sipping a Champagne on tap at the Homy Inn next door they will even walk it to you, but walking is not what we’re about in this article.
Bouncing in a southeasterly direction from Sgt. Peffers in a corridor of Omaha with many delicious places to eat is a drive-thru of kings, Taqueria El Rey at 5201 S 24th St. Need a street taco? You’re in good hands. Even more so with a burrito due to its tasty seasoning, but I’d recommend you get a sope with carnitas. If you haven’t yet had one, a sope is a thick and chewy masa (corn) cake topped with your choice of meat, lettuce, beans, tomato, and sour cream. Carnitas, being fried pork, is going to give you a flavor pop to make your day or night because they are open till 10 p.m. or later every day.
How did we get this far into the article without getting a burger? Well, there are the Bronco’s of the world, but I’d like to call out a newer entry into the burger space, the aptly named Cheeseburgers. The original Blackstone location doesn’t have a drive-thru, it’s still tasty, but we will call out their newer location at 6610 S. 168th Street.
My co-host Sam would tell you to get the Americana, which is formatted like a Big Mac, but for me, the Benny is where it’s at. With its two beef patties, American cheese, and bacon, this thing hits all the right notes for me. This is a delicious burger any way you eat it and way more of a big burger with bigger flavor than pretty much any other drive-thru burger provider.
Of course, you may think that a burger is a natural choice for a drive-thru, and it is, but how about handmade pasta? That is precisely what you can find deftly handed out of the WD Cravings window at 7110 N 102nd Circle. They are making Chicken Parmigiana, Beef Bolognese, as well as Mac and Cheese. Keep an eye out for specials from Chef Piero Cotrina who crafted this pasta for you. Chef Wendy Delgado is the other part of the team and the namesake of WD Cravings. So not only can you get Peiro’s pasta, but you can get Chef Delgado’s delightful pastries using high-quality ingredients.
WD Cravings produces fun dishes from a location that is a bit hidden, but worth uncovering. Do review their hours as they are closed Saturday and keep a separate breakfast and dinner schedule.
Speaking of breakfast, WD has some of the best breakfast handhelds that you can hold in your hand. A bit of advice, prepare an eating location as these sandwiches are not light on mess factor and are not light on flavor, specifically the Short Rib Sando. My heavens people, it is tasty and consists of braised beef short rib, gruyere cheese, and a scrambled egg all on a toasted English muffin. The Meatball Sando is also very tasty, but I have to give it to the Short Rib as the way to go...make sure you have napkins.
An important note about Cheeseburgers and Sgt. Peffers as well, you need to order in advance. Take a look at their menu online, give them a call, use an app, whatever you find convenient and make that order in advance. Ital Vital, Taqueria El Rey, will be quite quick, and Over Easy has an ordering menu board and they’ll get you fixed up.
Before we get to the end of this first Faturday Food Finds, I’m going to throw in a brief yet important nod to Virtuoso Pizza. The nod is due to David Lo Sole’s pizza place not technically having a drive-thru, but rather a walk-up window. If you haven’t experienced the big NY style slice of pepperoni drizzled with Mike’s Hot Honey or a dipped Italian beef sandwich, well then you’re in for a treat at 6056 Maple St. Of course there are many coffee shops like The Beanery or Stories that have a drive-thru, but coffee is for another article.
Readers, thank you for your time and for joining me on this journey through drive-thrus. Please find Faturday Omaha, on 91.5 FM, on your podcast provider, at FaturdayOmaha.com, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Until we eat again, stay hungry!