Day 3 in Omaha is a wrap!
Today was our last full day onsite; tomorrow is only a half day and then we all head to the airport. Personally, I made the most of my time in Omaha today. 🙂
I grabbed breakfast at First Watch in an attempt to start the day a little healthier after the large portion of moo cow I ate for dinner last night. I know we have a First Watch in Pittsburgh, but I’ve never been there… and honestly, for what it is, I found it to be a bit on the expensive side. But that’s the benefit of business trips – you get to go to places you normally wouldn’t.
I got the kale juice + coffee + the fig & prosciutto toast. Despite whining about the price, it was actually really good. The service was a bit slow (slower than I would have liked; I had to break some land speed records to get to the client site on time), but the food itself was good.
Lunch was at a place just down the street called Voodoo Taco. One of my coworkers raved about it from the last time he was in Omaha, so we had to try it. It was pretty good. Not the best I’ve ever had, but very decent. I got a barbacoa taco and a carnitas taco. The carnitas was really good, but the barbacoa was just meh. If I ever end up in Omaha again, I’ll stick with carnitas and maybe grilled shrimp.
We wrapped up our day a little early and met in the hotel lobby for a drink. To everyone’s surprise, I stuck with soda water. I had big plans for the evening and I didn’t want to get weighed down. 😉
I made my intentions very clear at the beginning of the day, and I invited the team to go with me. They were all on-board until I mentioned the vegan restaurant I was planning on for dinner. Once they realized vegan meant neither meat nor cheese, they all bailed pretty quickly. Even when I mentioned whiskey, I couldn’t get them back on my side. Sigh. It’s okay, though; I was kind of craving some solo time to explore.
My first post-work spot was a place that came highly recommended by one of our client people – Grane. Grane has a ridiculous menu of liquor, most of it scotch/bourbon/rye.
Yes, the drink is blurry, but that’s because I was really trying to get a little part of the enormous wall of spirits. That drink right there is the house old fashioned, which was on tap. It was a little sweeter than I’m used to, but it was great. And strong. SOOOO strong. The kind of strong where I was emailing inappropriate things to people after about 3 sips and I’d barely made a dent in it. (<– For real. I just re-read some of the things I wrote and WHOA.)
When I wasn’t emailing lewd things to people, I was checking out the rest of the bar menu. This was probably my only opportunity to ever have a drink that costs 4 full days of my per diem for work. Yes, that’s $350 for 2 ounces of scotch. Crazy.
Needless to say, since I could barely handle myself through one drink, I did not go for a strong pour of the Ladyburn 41 Year.
Dinner was perhaps the most exciting part of my entire trip to Omaha – I went to a place called Modern Love, which is run by famous vegan cookbook author Isa Chandra Moskovitz. I’ve read a bajillion blogs where people rave about her most famous cookbook, Veganomicon, but I didn’t know she had a restaurant until I did some research on Omaha. Once I realized she’s the chef at Modern Love, I knew I had to try it – despite the fact that I’m visiting the land of cattle.
I ordered a blueberry ginger sangria (because that insanely strong old fashioned apparently wasn’t enough), and then went with the Mac & ‘Shews – macaroni and cheese made with cashew “cheese” (see the first picture for a grainy photo of the plate). I wasn’t sure what to think before it came to the table, and honestly I didn’t realize it came with sides. To my surprise and delight, the mac & ‘shews was served with garlicky kale, cornmeal-crusted tofu, and BBQ cauliflower. I ate every single bite of it and it was absolutely the highlight of my trip. It was beyond incredible – one of the best meals I’ve had in a very very long time. It didn’t taste exactly like mac & cheese, but it was darn close… and I think I may have liked it even more than regular mac & cheese because it wasn’t so heavy. The tofu was ridiculous and tasted like comfort food. The kale and cauliflower were also amazing. Since no one had taken my phone away from me, I was still emailing crazyballs things to people. I think one email just read “OMGWTFBBQTHISISINCREDIBLE” and then I included the picture above. I don’t think I got a response back from that one, now that I think about it…
I was pleasantly full (but not too full) when I left Modern Love, but I still had time to hit up a dessert place. Gerda’s was on the way home, and I’d read amazing things about their German chocolate cake. I had to grab a slice to go, but unfortunately it didn’t photograph well. Not that that’s stopped me before, but it really looks gross. It does not taste gross in the slightest, but it’s not pretty.
I took a few bites in the hotel room and then laced up my sneaks for a walk. Last night I walked along a busy highway for a couple hours (around midnight – 2 am); tonight I’d planned the same. I ended up walking through the University of Nebraska – Omaha, and then walked to Warren Buffet’s house (he still lives there, and it’s a moderately normal-looking house – not huge by any means),. From there, I walked back to the hotel, and then back out to a cemetery a mile or so away. I roamed around inside a Hy-Vee (my first Hy-Vee), and then walked through the cemetery. The cemeteries in Omaha are much darker than the ones in Pittsburgh – I could hardly see my hand in front of my face. All told, I walked for two hours or so tonight. I only came back to my room because I need to pack.
Tomorrow is our last day, and while it’s supposed to be an easy day, it’s going to be very busy. I have to be at the client site at 8:30 am with my luggage packed away, and then I’m leaving at around 11 to go to the airport. I don’t think I land in Pittsburgh until around 7:30 pm. Thank goodness volleyball was canceled for tomorrow night.
Off to pack!