Nebraska is well known for steaks and corn but there are many chefs creating dishes which include much more.
The most famous food to originate in the state is the Reuben Sandwich. Nebraska legend has it that the iconic sandwich came to be during a poker game in Omaha’s historic Blackstone Hotel. The sandwich’s namesake, Reuben Kulakofsky, was playing and asked the hotel owner, Charles Schimmel, who first made the sandwich, then added it to his menu. Diners can still find juicy corned beef, melted Emmental cheese and sauerkraut mixed with Russian dressing on menus all over the state.
Another popular sandwich is the Runza which is a true Nebraska original via a specific group of immigrants —Germans who emigrated from Russia. Technically, it is a bierock which is a meat pocket with soft, just-sweet bread and filled with a mixture of cabbage, onions and ground beef; cheese. They’ve been made famous under another name, Runza which are served in the Midwest thanks to a restaurant chain of the same name.
Butter Brickle Ice Cream was also created at the Blackstone Hotel in the 1920s and can now be found at Coneflower Creamery in the neighboring district. The Fenn Bros. Ice Cream and Candy Company in Sioux Falls, South Dakota was a manufacturer that sold sweet treats as early as 1918. The brand is recognized for the invention of Butter Brickle candy.
Chili and a Cinnamon Rolls sounds like a strange combination is actually incredibly common in Nebraska — and, is actually surprisingly delicious. Many Nebraskans first encounter a bowl of chili served with a warm cinnamon roll as a school lunch.
Omaha-Style Pizza is not as common and you’ll find it at La Casa Pizzeria, an old-school shop with a classic neon sign. The crust is rich and sort of flaky, a buttery biscuit-like concoction served in a giant rectangle and cut into squares.
Omaha is of course famous for Steaks. Family owned Omaha Steaks is nationally known for quality steak since 1917 including the flavorful Bone-In Ribeye and Filet Mignons. When travelers arrive in Nebraska, they often have one question: “Where do I get some steak?” The answer is both simple and complex because it is served nearly everywhere.
Join a Nebraska Tour Company Culinary Tour to discover the newest chef creations in Omaha and Lincoln.
All images courtesy of Food Network