Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Vida Southwest Happy Hour Review

Vida Southwest Grill is located inside Double Tree South Hotel on 3650 S 72nd Street in Omaha, NE. Happy Hour is every day from 4:00PM-6:00PM. Happy Hour consist of 30% off Appetizers, $4 Wells, and discounted Draft Beers.

Upon arrival to Vida I was amazed of the beautiful décor. It automatically gave me a warm and comforting vibe that most hotel lounges provides. I did like that my guest and I had the option to choose our own table. It was also a plus that Happy Hour is anywhere in the lounge, not just secluded to the bar like most places. I first ordered a Cranberry, Pineapple, and Vodka Cocktail ($4). I simply adore the combination of tart cranberry with sweet pineapple, but not with this drink. My drink was absolutely watered down and taste like bland kool-aid with just a splash of Vodka.

For appetizers I tried the poppers (grilled jalapeno, bacon, tricolor peppers cream cheese). I had high expectations of this dish since the waitress said this dish is popular. Well…my taste buds didn’t think it deserved popularity. The poppers came out luke warm and didn’t taste grilled at all. The bacon didn’t have any flavor to it neither did the cream cheese. Just a blah piece of pepper.

Next I had the boneless wings and I chose the honey chipotle flavor. These wings was okay. The ranch that was provided was bland and runny. Along with the wings we also sampled the Guacamole. Guacamole is a hit or miss. Sometimes if you miss all you need to do is add an ingredient. Unfortunately they missed a couple of ingredients. This guac was in DESPERATE need of salt and maybe a pinch of cumin. Just a complete fail.

Overall I give Vida 2 smiles. Customer service was great, but the food and drinks was just bland. Bland doesn’t work well with my happy taste buds. If you go to Vida please let me know what you think! Happy Eats! 

Sunday, July 17, 2016

LeadBelly Happy Hour Review

 LeadBelly is Midtown Crossing new restaurant located at 3201 Farman Street in Omaha, NE.  Happy Hour is everyday starting Monday through Thursday from 3:00PM-6:00PM, Tuesday through Saturday from 10:30PM-12:00AM, and Sunday Funday 11:00AM-5:00PM. Happy Hour seating is throughout the whole restaurant, so you won’t have to worry about limited seating. Happy Hour consist of $1 off Apps, wells, wine and Draft Beers. $2 off Scotch, Irish & American Whiskeys. All Taller Boys $2. $3 Shot O’ Day, Fireball, Goldschlager, Jagermeister, Rumple Mintze, $4 Guinness, Jameson, and $5 Martinis, Craft Cocktails, Sparklings, and $5 off bottles of wine.

LeadBelly had me hooked from their customer service. Upon entering the establishment I was greeted with a hello, and had the pleasure of sitting anywhere where I wanted. Once seated the waiter greeted me as well, and asked what I wanted to drink. I first started with a water and I was amazed that they used an old fashion jar, I’m a sucker for mason jars! For libations I had the Caucasian cocktail (Smirnoff 21, Kahlua, and Cream). I believe the Caucasian is my new favorite drink ladies and gentlemen. Imagine finishing off a caramel sundae and you have the liquid at the bottom that is what this drink remind me off. It was smooth, sweet, delicious, and a little bit strong.

For appetizer I started with Canada’s famous dish Poutine (waffle fries, red wine gravy, aged white cheddar cheese curd, smoked candied bacon). FYI this dish is big enough to feed two maybe three people! The star of this dish was the candied bacon! Sweet and salty bacon on waffle fries is literally everything and I also enjoyed the red wine gravy even though I couldn’t really taste the wine. For my true foodies out here you would love this dish. For my people that needs carbs to get them over a drunken night, you would love this dish!

Next I had their tacos!! If you’re a taco lover like myself LeadBelly won’t disappoint! I first started with the Ahi Taco (marinated raw tuna, romaine, fresh jalapeno, avocado, cilantro and lime) The Ahi is marinated to perfection and adding the romaine lettuce instead of a slaw was the perfect combo. FYI this taco does have a kick but it is not too spicy. The other taco I had was the Jerk Shrimp Taco (citrus slaw, red onion, fresh jalapeno, white cheddar, and lime). This taco was my favorite! The jerk flavor of the shrimp with the sweet slaw was absolutely delicious!

LeadBelly is that place where you can come relax, be with friends and just enjoy good food and libations! Because of the customer service and of course the food I give LeadBelly 5 Smiles!! 

Monday, February 29, 2016

Firebirds Happy Hour Review

Firebirds Wood Fire Grill is located in Omaha’s Village Point on 1745 Chicago Street. Firebirds Happy Hour is Monday-Friday from 4:00pm-6:30 pm. Happy Hour includes bar bites and drink specials in the FIREBAR and on the patio.

Firebirds is a chain restaurant with local and cozy charm. The amazing customer service that you get right away gives its charm and the big fireplace makes it cozy. The first item that I started with was the Mango Mojito (Mt. Gay Eclipse Rum, fresh mango, lime, mint and splash of soda). This concoction was simply delish and well garnished with visual appeal. The bartender did not skimp out on the liquor which I highly appreciated. Overall it was worth my $6

Next was the Shrimp Tacos ($7). You can choose to have them grilled or crispy. I chose to have mine grilled. With these tacos they are bit spicy. If spicy isn’t your forte you can ask to have the spicy sauce put to the side. Firebirds version of Shrimp Tacos are garnished with avocado and pineapple salsa which cools down the spicy sauce. It’s absolutely delicious and full of flavor. Just one bite would make you want to dance.

I also devoured their Crispy Hand Spun Chicken Tenders ($7). Nothing really too fancy with this dish. The tenders are tossed in a buffalo sauce paired with blue cheese dip. The flavor was good to be expected.

Next, is the Smoked Salmon Dip ($5). The dip is paired with seasoned toast. You can really taste the smoke from the salmon. The dip overall was good first and second bites. After the third bite I was kind of over it. The dip did smell a bit fishy and gave that annoying aftertaste. 

Overall, Firebirds was amazing. The customer service alone was top notch and I appreciated that the fact the General Manager came to our table to ask how our experience was.  I do see myself coming back Firebirds more often! Firebirds Wood Fire Grill gets 5 Smiles. 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Jams American Grill Happy Hour

Jams an American Grill has two locations in Omaha. One in the Old Market (1101 Harney Street) and in Midtown. Jams Happy Hour is Monday through Friday from 3:30PM to 6:30PM. Happy Hour consist of $2 Off Craft, $1 off Glasses of Wine and discounted Tap. Unfortunately at the Old Market location Jams does not offer discounted small plates. Rumor has it that the Midtown location does however.

Upon entering Jams, I automatically fell in love with the atmosphere. Jams took over the old Rock Bottom Brewery location and from sight you couldn’t tell. Jams gives you the laid back, just want to drink a beer and watch soccer type feel which I enjoyed. I was very excited to try food and drinks, but was disappointed to find out that their happy hour only consisted of drinks. So I started off with a Texas Style Mules made with Tito’s Vodka. Tasty, smooth, with a kick at the end which I liked.

Because I’m not a recreational drinker, I decided to try an entrée instead of another drink. I ordered the Korean Short Rib Sandwich $13 (Provolone, sautéed onions, roasted peppers, and spicy fermented Red Soybean Paste). To be honest I wish I ordered another drink instead. Let’s just say that I had high expectations of this sandwich. This sandwich tasted like a bland cheesesteak. The meat itself was bland, and I really couldn’t taste the soybean paste. The only thing I really could taste was the cilantro that was piled high. With the sandwich I ordered the French fries and they tasted like they came from King Kong.

Overall, I give Jams 2 smiles. Amazing atmosphere and customer service. But the food lacked flavor and texture. I really wish that they offered discounted small plates...I mean food also makes a grand Happy Hour! 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Mantra Bar and Grill Happy Hour Review

Mantra Bar and Grill is located in the Benson Area on 6913 Maple Street. Happy Hour is Monday thru Friday from 4:30 to 6:00pm. Mantra Happy Hour offers discounted bar plates and cocktails. Happy Hour is offered inside and on the patio.

Ever since I noticed the neon orange and green leaf tree in front of Mantra I've been dying to try them out. I just happened to pick the perfect day after work to enjoy myself out on their patio. First I statared off with Bliss Kiss $6 (Trader Vics, Chocolate Liqeur, Vanilla Vodka, Baileys Cream, and Hersheys Kiss). This drink was like a chocolate cake in a glass. All liquor and just delightful. Unfortuntely I was not able to finish because I had to drive home! Bliss Kiss is a good after dinner drink!

Next I had the Turkey Lollipops $6( Grilled ground turkey, with cilantro shallot dipping sauce. The turkey had a Mediterranean flavor and the cilantro sauce was the perfect pair. The only thing is I wish the pops looked more presentable, but other than that it was delicious.  

Crab Cake Poppers( lump crab meat, shrimp, onions, and celery with thai chili sauce). These things were the bomb ok! It came out hot and fresh, and you can tell there was crab inside the poppers. I do wish however that the celery was cut smaller, or left out entirely. The chili sauce has the kick and I liked how they gave you a lemon for a more refreshing taste. Every thing combined was like a magic in your mouth. 

I fell in love with the Lavosh. This lavosh had chicken, herb cream cheese, artichoke, green onion, tomato, and Havarti cheese. This thinner than flat bread dish was so delicious. To me it was like a guilt free pizza! I loved how the artichoke wasn't strong but gave it the acid it need, the cheeses was smooth and the breading was just right.

. I'll def be back to take my Granny and Mom! I loved how all their cocktails are discounted and not just certain ones. Overall, I'll give Mantra Grill 4 Smiles.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Little Espana (Rockbrook Village)

The little sister of Benson’s Espana tapas bar, Little Espana (11036 Elm Street, Omaha) brings some Spanish flair to Rockbrook Village. They offer a variety of tapas (small plates meant to be shared), light entrees (like the traditional paella), cocktails, wines and housemade sangrias. The Rockbrook location also offers brunch along with happy hour. Their $5 Spanish HH runs Monday through Friday from 4p to 6p. Tapas include cocas (Spanish flatbread), fried calamari rings, chicken empanadas with spicy aioli and more. House red and white wines along with their red and white sangria are also discounted to $5. Five days a week Little Espana offers $5 House Specialty Drink of the Day specials including Tuesday Rum Night with discounted Cuba Libres and Mojitos and Thursday Champagne Night with Spanish Fleurs and Spanish Mimosas.

I can never decide if Little Espana is actually bigger, smaller or the same size as the original in Benson. It definitely appears more spacious, with the bar in it’s own corner, albeit smaller than its sister version, and a great patio area. The decor is warm with less family photos, opting for stylized Spanish murals instead. Generally service is prompt with no huge crowds during HH. The day I visited I was the sole patron until about 10 minutes to 7 o’clock. Little Espana has a more condensed menu making selection a bit easier for novices to the tapas concept.

I always get the house red sangria ($5) that’s a nice mix of wine and juice. It’s never overpowering so you could definitely sip a glass or three in one sitting.

This visit I tried out the Spanish meatballs ($5: slow cooked in sherry tomato sauce, Montalban cheese and peas). You get a good amount for the price and the texture of the meatballs were perfect. I love the addition of peas in many of Espana’s dishes despite not being a pea fan. One miss was the sherry tomato sauce not being hot. When it arrived you could see some steam from the meatballs but upon taking a bite the tomato sauce was room temperature. Disappointing as they bring soft garlic bread to your table that’s perfect to dip in the sauce.

Last for today’s review is my absolute favorite item at Little Espana: the solomillo fries ($5: house cute paprika fries, marinated sirloin, chorizo oil, spicy aioli, manchego cheese). This dish is amazing-- super tender sirloin cooked just right, hot and crispy paprika fries and super melty Manchego. The garnish also has a vinegary dressing that plays nicely off the dish. Every time I order this I 1) defeat the purpose of tapas because I don’t want to share and 2) immediately want to order seconds or thirds once done. If you try nothing else at Little Espana EVER, try the solomillo fries.

I give Little Espana 3.5 smiles. I like the location and LOVE the solomillo fries. Unfortunately I don’t have many other favorites on this location's menu and some of the carry over items just aren't the same (the potato omelette here is totally different from Benson’s and doesn’t have the cream sauce option). The fact that they offer HH and brunch does bring them up half a smile.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Omaha Lounge

Located downtown, The Omaha Lounge (1505 Farnam Street) is a jazz and blues venue offering live music seven days a week alongside classic cocktails. Happy Hour is everyday from 4 pm to 7 pm and 10 pm to close. Specials include $2.50 domestic bottles, $3.50 import bottles, $4 well drinks and $5.75 glasses of house wine.

The interior is very intimate with cushy chairs throughout. The bar is located in the back with additional seating. A little dark which adds to the blues lounge vibe. On our visit both the waitress and bartender were new so I tried to overlook how long it took us to get a drink. The late night HH coincides with the last 30 minutes of the live music so there was a crowd when we arrived. The waitress didn’t actually come and id us or ask for our order until the last song of the set. It was another 10 minutes before she brought back my friend’s drink and verified what their well whiskey/bourbon was. Again as she was new I tried to be understanding, however by this point there were maybe six people in this lounge, four of which were already done drinking and didn’t actually need assistance.

Normally I stay away from well drinks but The Omaha Lounge’s wells aren’t the typical Barton’s you find at straight up bars. A whiskey sour with Jim Beam was worth the $4 even though I didn’t care for their sour mix.

The Omaha Lounge doesn't actually have food but you can "order in" from 801 Chophouse or Pickleman's. When we visited someone even had a Godfather's pizza. Would like to see them partner with Jazz Louisiana Kitchen as it seems like a perfect partnership.

Since the music was over and the crowd thinned out we only ended up staying for one drink. Didn’t really want to chance waiting another 10 minutes for another round in a near empty place. Overall I give The Omaha Lounge 4 smiles. Great after work stop for people and since the early HH doesn’t stop until 7 you don’t have to work downtown to catch it.

Also love that they offer live music seven days a week which makes it a great date night spot. Hopefully the service will get better as more of the staff adjust to the job.