OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — It is sometimes appropriate to eat dessert first. Being Faturday Omaha we judge not on the order of operations as far as food is concerned, though I have not yet signed on for crust-first pizza. That said, let’s start with Cake.
In your experience is Cake quotable? Well I would say that cake is well known for the following, “The sun has gone down and the moon has come up and long ago somebody left with the cup.”
So what if this is indeed the case? The moon is up, all the other places serving food have closed the doors and you cannot get the aforementioned cup or other tasty vittles to satiate your moon-inspired hunger? No problem, that is where I, Dave Zorko, your food writer will help you go the distance after 10 p.m.
Our criteria for this article: the eatery must be open after 10 p.m.
In the spirit of our introductory paragraph, we will indeed proceed to start with dessert. Not cake, but cookies, and more so a cinnamon roll. Not just any cinnamon roll, but a huge, delicious, soft, frosting topped, spiral of goodness available to you until 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturdays from Baked After Dark at 2740 N 61st St.
Ya know, I love this roll. I will go out on a very thick, Faturday weight-proof, branch and say that this is a Top Five cinnamon roll in the city...easily. Just so you know a bit about your writer, I’m not typically a fan of cream cheese frosting and no shame to those that are, rather that is my preference. This cinnamon roll has a wonderful whipped whitecap of frosting, that you should promptly knock off the top of the roll. “Whoa, that’s harsh!” you say. Wait….wait...don’t get rid of the frosting as it’s delicious.
Here’s the secret to this roll: you pop open the box because Baked After Dark is a take-out bakery, you scrape the frosting to the side and place the roll on a microwave-safe conveyance, then heat for 20 to 30 seconds. Upon removing the now heated roll, you then place the frosting back on top of the roll aaannnd….success! Begin eating and enjoy the roll in full deliciousness. The slight amount of frosting left when you've knocked off the larger cap of fluff will have melted into the roll, then the now replaced frosting will retain its fluffy consistency. Cinnamon rolls: not just for breakfast anymore.
Ok, dessert accomplished, what about dinner? Hmm, you know what's relatively close to Baked After Dark? It's Burrito Envy at 6113 Maple Street (there's also a location on 120th and Maple St.) for Margaritas, tacos and, of course, burritos 'til 11 p.m. every day and even as late as 2 a.m. on select days.
Now, some may remark that burritos are an obvious late-night choice as we have three 24x7 spots with Abelardo’s, De Leon’s, and Lina’s. I’m not discounting those spots as you can find them in various locations and a bacon or steak burrito is a delicious win, but what about a Sushi Burrito? Oh yeah, I said it.
Sam, my Faturday co-host, knows this burrito quite well. You may instantly drop the device you are reading this on, throw open a window and yell, “RAW FISH IN A FLOUR TORTILLA, ICK.” You could do that, but the fine folks at Burrito Envy would look at you slightly confused because of your talking in CAPS, first of all, but they may gently correct you because this burrito has nary a flour tortilla.
Oh no reader, this is a giant maki with a properly wrapped nori blanket. Inside you will find tuna, avocado, cucumber, cream cheese, wasabi, sriracha, eel sauce, and rice. That is indeed a late-night treat. This amazing creation along with the Cuban with its pork and fried plantains or the PBJ, pork, bacon, and jalapenos with zippy warm Envy Sauce will diversify your burrito palate. You can get these as a taco too, but as some of my fellow foodies may mention...'Why, it’s Burrito Envy, just get a burrito.'
I would also mention that the chips and queso or chips and guac might pair nicely with those burritos and an ice-cold, Envy-made margarita would be really refreshing.
What about...what about, a burger? Not a drive-thru salt lick. Oh no! A double stack of smashed patties, topped with (salivates), shaved short rib, fried onion strings, “kicking bourbon sauce,” sharp cheddar...(should I keep going?)...jalapenos, pickles on brioche. This is the Boss Burger from Muncheese 402 and you can get this in the 712 in Council Bluffs or delivered until 12:30 am.
Would you care for fries with that? You might, but you could also pair it with the Italian-inspired Mamma Mia egg roll! This roll is a big one, stuffed with meat and marinara all wrapped up as an egg roll dusted with parmesan.
Owner Gary Todd is slammin' patties and wrapping rolls for you all with flavor and fun till the early morn. At the moment, as many restaurants are, they are a bit short-staffed and are running from 10 p.m. till 12:30 a.m., so a short window for a tasty, big handmade, not-fast-food burger or wings or fries or egg roll. Find them at 1001 S. 6th St. Council Bluffs, but call 402-403-9227 or contact them on Facebook as they are to-go pre-order only...but worth the wait.
Let us move back over to Omaha and Little Bohemia to Fizzy’s Fountain and Liquors at 1408 S. 13th St.
Now we, Faturday Omaha, did a whole podcast and radio show on Fizzy’s and my goodness is this food good. I’ll put their double patty burger up against just about anything in a tasty contest. This burger helped me coin “The Focus” as a term to describe a dish so delicious that you just stare at it like, ”Why are you so good?”
Not only is this burger good, but they also have epic gravy fries, craft cocktails, and a battle-ready bologna sandwich all in one of the most fun retro environments anywhere around. If you’ve been there you know, and if you’ve been there tell a friend to go and experience what was the Bohemian Cafe and now retains a respectful nod to that restaurant by keeping the Vitame Vas sign and a throwback interior.
Oh, and you get to order by phone. Not that browsing device you’re holding or keeping in your pocket; no, fine reader, a hardline Matrix approved phone attached to the wall at each booth. Pick up that phone, and a friendly voice will answer, and then whichever delicious menu item you request will arrive at your table after its preparation is complete.
Oh, maybe try the Smoking Monkey. No, I’m not going to describe it, just go see the fine folk found at Fizzy’s! Those drinks at Fizzy’s (ya know, the Fountain and Liquors part of the names?) contain Coneflower Ice Cream and that is always a win. See Coneflower closes at 10 p.m., so if you didn’t get your fix, you can get the boozy version at Fizzy’s.
Ooh..oh yes, ice cream, how about another top ice cream spot, Ted and Wally’s! Two locations, one in the Old Market and one at 6023 Maple Street and you can get creamy cold goodness till 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
What flavor will you pick? Dutch Chocolate and Vanilla Bean are always there, but other than that the menu changes daily so follow them on Twitter or Facebook to keep an eye on things. The menu also differs in each location so take a look in advance to find a favorite.
I have a weakness for their Mint Oreo with a deep green color and those tasty sandwich cookies or the rare appearance of Vanilla Malt. Sister and brother Jeanne and Joe Pittack have been keeping things going in their Iron Mountain old school ice cream churns and a book of thousands of flavors for decades and you will reap the tasty benefits of their experience.
We had Jeanne and Joe on our Food Recognize Food series and found out about some interesting happenings in the ice cream biz such as the origin story of the curiously named Chartreuse Edsel resulting from a curious car accident. Sweet indeed.
How about salty? Staying dirty 'til Midnight on Friday and Saturday is Dirty Birds in the Switch Dining Hall at 3618 Farnam St. and soon to be in the Flatiron building downtown.
Chicken sandwiches are hot right now and you can get one of, if not the best chicken sandwiches your mitts will ever hold from Dirty Birds. From the regular pickle to my favorite the Debo, to the deep red OmaHAWT sandwich you can have your hunger crushed with this heavyweight crispy breaded sandwich.
I weighed one once…over a pound. That is not for the faint of heart. The non-sandwich-based chicken is also wonderful and for a normal human the smallest order of one-fourth chicken will satisfy; especially with the thick-sliced, dill sprinkled house pickles and a large biscuit that would make many biscuits crumble with envy.
Dirty Birds is a destination. There’s some book out there about winning friends and influencing people…forget that, just get them to Dirty Birds and blow their minds with chicken! (There’s a sentence, eh?)
I think my nickel might be running out in the writing meter [editor's note: Yep!], but I want to sneak a few more spots in, so I will do so quickly.
One — this is a favorite of TJ's and mine — is Dragon Cafe at 8078 S. 84th St, in La Vista. It is open 'til 10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 9:30 most other nights. There is something about the always affordable and delicious Yam Yam Chicken or Amazing Chicken that just does it for me. They also have tasty sushi as well. Go see Johnny and tell’em Dave Zorko sent you.
Additionally, we need to get a wedge of pizza in this article and for that, I will submit Copp’s Pizza at 7204 Jones or in Shadow lake and the Pork Master pizza with its gochujang sauce that you can get 'til 2 a.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday or you might want to get a pepperoni pie with their signature cream cheese AND red sauce.
Then we have Varsity Roman Coin at 9735 Q St., this pizza and its deeply flavored sauce can be found until 11 p.m. or Midnight depending on the day, but what you really want is their buttery cheesy garlic mozzarella bread. Just...just get it.
Readers, it’s time to feed the meter and thank you for going the distance with me on these late-night eats around Omaha. Please find Faturday Omaha on 91.5 FM, on your podcast provider and at FaturdayOmaha.com, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Until we eat again, stay hungry!
Read more from Faturday Food Finds here.