OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Hey….hey you out there, you um got five bucks?
Dave Zorko from Faturday Omaha here. It’s after the New Year and you might have some resolutions that you’re working to keep. Maybe you’re pinching a few pennies, but let’s say you don’t want to pinch on taste. As an aside, has anyone ever uttered the phrase "pinch on taste?" If not, I think you know what I mean.
What I mean is you’ve got a fin, a fiver, a Lincoln, crumpled in the corner of your money-holding device and you want something good to eat. That is why we are here in this article. Now, I’m going to assume that you have some change rolling around the floorboards of your favorite automo-buggy or hidden in the crevice of the duvet so our rule will stand that the items mentioned here are $5, or less, on the menu.
How about you start with one of Omaha’s premier and consistently recommended locations, Block 16 at 1611 Farnam St. How do you arrive at some legit food for 500 pennies at a place recommended by everybody and their mother? (That was an informal data analysis of the populace and their matriarchal persona.) No, no, you don’t have to have water with a side of ice. No reader, you instead get some of the best fried chicken in the tri-county area. The Faturday strategy here, get one Nashville Hot and one Original.
This tasty combo will give you two perfectly crisp chicken thighs for $5. One will be a saucy sweet, minimal heat piece of chickeny wonder. The other thigh scratches the classic chicken flavor itch with its salty, crispy skin coming off in one delicious piece. The skin is good enough by itself or with a bite of juicy meat. Thighs are the name of the game and you can get them in groups of 2, 3, or 4. These are a daily menu item and fried to order.
Let’s then remain in the poultry arena. That sounds perilous and full of feathers, but I digress.
Keeping with another top chicken spot in our tri-state: an Omaha classic, closed for a bit and reopened to lines across their parking lot, as it should be, is Time Out Foods at 3518 N 30th St, colloquially known as Timeout Chicken. That cinco you have in your wallet is going to deliver for you here as you can get two pieces of chicken AND a roll for what….$3.89. Yeah, that’s a four-buck lunch. This chicken is wonderful, you don’t need to specify Nashville hot, you just need to specify chicken. The skin on this chicken contains heat within its own essence provided by Time Out Foods’ seasoning. It’s not crazy hot in any way, but if you fly on the no-spice radar this is a heads up.
Time Out has the expertise and experience to bring you masterful chicken, time and time again, all for less than a four spot. If your couch cushions were feeling generous, you can up that combo to a three-piece at $5.46. Rumor has it you can get hot sauce to add to the pizzazz. This is the part of the article where you ask yourself, “Why did I go to that chain drive-thru?”
Let’s see what goes well with chicken? Waffles. Waffles go with chicken. What about a purple waffle? What about a waffle that is good enough to just be a small lunch by itself? Welcome then to Yumchaa at 1018 S 74th Plaza. These waffles are so fun and they are made HOT and fresh after you order. The presentation is one of the best dichotomies of food around. These hot and fresh $4 beauties are served in a brown paper bag, yup that it and it sets you up for the magic when you open the bag.
When you open that drab bag you reach in and your choice of a vivid purple Ube Waffle or bright green Pandan Waffle is in your mitts. Both choices are sweet and delicious and if you think vanilla then you will recognize this flavor. It will take you over the $5 mark, but you can add an M1 Bubble Tea to your lunch and make it great.
See, where we are going, we are going for flavor. We are going for interest, we are going to the islands and specifically Caribbean Delights at 2304 N 72nd St for a flakey-filled, handheld that will knock a hot pocket into next week. I give you the Beef Patty. This flakey gem is packed with flavor and a ground beef mixture with mild spice that is so dang good that I have gone to Caribbean Delights just for this to go.
You can also grab a chicken version of this as well that has a curry hit to it. $3.25, um...yeah! All Day! Heck, you could get wild and get the Beef and Cheese version for $3.99. I could get into the Oxtail and the Jerk Chicken — that’ll cost more than that half-a-ten, though.
How about a food foundation for $3.99? That is a base slice of NY Pizza from Frank’s Pizzeria at 711 N 132nd St. I’ve known a few New York natives that have expressed their love of Frank’s as the closest slice to home, now with two locations. The original is at 132nd and Dodge and the new location is in Ralston on 72nd St close to the arena. This is where you get this under-five gem, but we need to get some toppings on this tasty triangle and those can be had for $.35 each.
You can squeak two of those in and keep that five-dollar price point. Myself, I like a good slice of Pepperoni and Mushroom or maybe a salty hit of Pepperoni and Bacon. Keep an eye out for well-priced lunch specials at this local gem and if you have a few more duckets and a sweet tooth, order the powdered sugar-dusted Zeppolis.
As my writing time is short, I will sneak in a couple honorable mentions that are just a hair over that $5 mark. Tasty Pizza at 1418 S 60th St, has a personal pizza special for $5.75 and one of those is the Bacon Gouda and it’s really good. The other is Winchester's Bar and Grill at 7002 Q St and they do a $5.99 burger and fries special on Tuesdays and it’s a delicious burger at better than fast food prices.
That’s it for this Faturday Food Finds article, please find/follow Faturday Omaha on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Locate our podcast on your podcast provider, and our radio show on 91.5 KIOS FM Saturdays at 2 p.m.
Thank you so much, have a happy new year, get those $5 eats and enjoy our local food!
Until we eat again, stay hungry!