OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Be honest. How many times do you ask yourself, what should I make for dinner?
3 News Now Anchor Serese Cole shows us how a restaurant owner, who closed shop during the pandemic, is now helping customers spice up their own meals.
For 17 years, Mark Pluhacek owned a restaurant in Dundee.
When the pandemic hit, he knew his fine dining establishment wouldn't survive.
"So, we pivoted," said Pluhacek.
Marks Restaurant is now home to Marks Pantry and Bottle Shop.
"We help people up their game in cooking," Pluhacek explained.
Now he's using his restaurant expertise to help customers create their own delicious dinners.
"We know that people kind of get into these ruts at home in their cooking, and we have gone searching for products that chefs tend to keep in their private stash," he added.
The goal is to help you spice up your meals with ease.
"We appeal to people at home who just don't have a whole lot of time, but want to cook something that might be more on the level of what they were having in restaurants pre-COVID. We also appeal to that group of real foodies who, they're looking for stuff that you can't get that anywhere in town," he said.
Marks Pantry and Bottle Shop has more than 1,000 unique products from all over the world.
They also have more than 90 different pastas from Italy and the sauce to go with it.
"We carry a ton of different sauces, not really the ones you'd find in a grocery store," he explained. "They truly are like homemade sauces, you can just tell by looking at them, it's like something you'd make in your own house," Pluhacek said.
He gives his customers recipes and advice.
"Don't be afraid to buy something you keep in your pantry something that's maybe 5 or 10 dollars more than you'd normally spend. First of all, you're going to get more than one dinner out of that special item. It's about stocking your pantry with special ingredients," he shared.
Mark's Pantry doesn't just sell grocery items. They also specialize in wine. In fact, it's one of their best sellers.
"We want people to share wine in a way that they do food, where they try something new and fall in love with all the time," Pluhacek said.
That's what Mark's Pantry is all about: adding a little excitement to your kitchen.
"I think the neighborhood is really enjoying it so we hope to continue this regardless of what happens in the future," he said with a smile.
Marks Pantry and Bottle Shop has recipes online to feature some of their favorite products.
They've also put together some Valentine's Day gift boxes.
To check them out go to www.marksindundee.com.
If you see something you like, you can order online and pick it up inside the store or curbside.
The store is located at 4919 Underwood Avenue.
They also offer contactless delivery and shipping.