Friday, August 29, 2014

Serials and Scenarios ~ Restaurant Review. Omaha's Block 16

 I have been remiss. And I apologize. Somehow. I have not reviewed Block 16. That's going to change, now. 
Located on Farnam Street at the outskirts of the historic Old Market district in Omaha is a row of restaurants. Smack dab in the middle between 16th and 17th is Block 16. 

The restaurant is simple with a neighborhood bar/bistro feel. The line drawing art of a pig, butcher-style, bike with areas of interest noted, and a M or W written on waiter pad paper for the bathroom doors kind of says it all. What you see is what you get. 

I've been to Block 16, or been treated to their menu items a dozen or so times over the past 2 years. I have yet to be disappointed. 
Fries. PB Bean Burger and Vegan Reuben.

Simple decor. Local feel. 
Several times, as I've waited for take out I've had the opportunity to chat with staff members and have  enjoyed doing so. The chef owners are well traveled and have perfected some sweet skills with seitan and other vegan meat subs. The menu is not going to annoy any meat eaters in the group either. This isn't a hippie joint and there are many hearty animal flesh items on the menu. 

However, as a vegan I really appreciate the fact that the chefs can pull off very satisfying alternatives. 

I think the vegan Reuben served at Block 16 might just rival any Reuben on the planet. Seasoned strips of seitan, capers, thin slivers of beets, and slaw on rye. I am drawn to it every time I step foot through the door.       

Additionally, Block 16 is where I first tasted jack fruit. BBQ pulled pork style and dang, it made a fan out of me. A "fish" Tartine sandwich made with breaded tofu and smeared with mayo and lettuce is a delicious, satisfying meal. Other monthly specials have been buffalo "wings" and Mexican offerings. I attended 2 Vegan Omaha events there and one offered some delicious Thai food. The chefs know their stuff. 

Finally, Block 16 offers a peanut butter smeared bean burger that is off the charts. Pickles, peanut butter and a very satisfying burger that doesn't turn into mush when you bite into it or taste bland. 

Most sandwiches are under $9.00 and you can get fries and a drink for around $11.00, too. They use a local bakery for the sandwich bread and shop our local farmer's market. With influences from some of the best vegan communities in North America they know their vegan. 

If you are headed to Omaha and you are intrigued to have a taste of Omaha in all it's local, simple glory, give Block 16 a try. I don't think you'll be sorry.