Grand Island Eateries

Grand Island, Hastings, Kearney, DesMoines, and the rest of Nebraska and Iowa

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Candleshoe
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Grand Island Eateries

Postby Candleshoe » Tue Mar 24, 2015 11:19 am

I mentioned in an earlier post that my wife and I decided to start visiting restaurants in Grand Island that we'd never visited before. We are creatures of habit and have our dozen or so regular haunts, but how do we know if we're missing out on something that could be our new fave?

Our rules are simple. Never eaten there? It counts. National chain that we've visited before... if we haven't been in a particular location in GI, it counts. We started this a couple of months ago and I recently learned there are an estimated 300 restaurants in Grand Island alone, so this could take a while.

Feel free to add your own reviews of establishments, new and old, favorites or not. What do you recommend on the menu?

Here's what we've sampled so far on our discovery tour. Reviews of others we know and love or loathe will follow.

The Noodle House, 2004 N Broadwell Ave. Vietnamese. We had the beef pho on the recommendation of the owner. It was heavenly! Never eaten Vietnamese before, so it was all new to us. The owners were extremely friendly and helpful. Especially since we were the only customers there! A cold Saturday night around 7pm. A lot of school events that night, so maybe that contributed to the lack of a crowd. Owners said weekends are always pretty slow though. Bill came to less than $25 for the two of us.

LaMexicana, 111 E 4th, Mexican. It's been there forever and we've just never thought to go there. Authentic and confusing. You walk in, place your order and then wait for them to call you. Well, the menu was predominantly things we'd never heard of before, so it took some time to decide. The cashier couldn't have been nicer though. She knew what we were going through and talked us through it in a really thick accent. It's made Queretaro style and I settled in for the Enchiladas Rojas and my wife had the Chuletas encebolladas. Loaded with flavor, it was all a real treat. I was disappointed they don't offer horchata drinks, but that's ok. It's quaint, it's noisy (it's also a 24 hour bakery) and it's popular. One side note, in the table next to ours sat three Hispanic adults who spoke in English the whole time.

Olive Garden 1010 Allen Dr. Yes, we've been to Olive Gardens before, but never bothered with the one that opened here in GI a few short years ago. Always a line and we prefer Napoli's for our Italian. But, in the spirit of our quest, we met up with some friends there. I was never very impressed with the size of the building, which shares space with Panera Bread. Surprise! It's VERY roomy inside. The wait was about 20 minutes on a Saturday around 7ish. Nice atmosphere, a little more refined than the others we've been to, yet still pretty simple. I had the Tour of Italy. It was fine, nothing amazing, but nothing to complain about. The drinks were constantly refilled, the breadsticks were abundant and the free glass of wine was a surprise. Of course, not a full glass mind you...

Sprockets Famous Freedom Dogs,
various. It's a cart that moves around from GI to Aurora to Wood River to Kearney. Watch his FAcebook page for his daily schedule. Waaaaaay good dog slathered in whatever you want! https://www.facebook.com/sprocketsfamousfreedomdogs" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Taco Bell, 2211 S Locust. It's funny, but we've never had any desire to go into Taco Bell. Been to other ones in other places when on the road for some variety. So, the new location on South Locust beckoned to us to try out during our quest. It was spanky clean, colorful and cute. I had a Super Burrito and it was wonderful. Plus, the cashier gave us a fistful of hot sauce packets that we took home and will make use of for the rest of the Spring, probably.

Barista's Coffeehouse, 940 N Webb Rd. Who knew Barista's served deli sandwiches??!! We stopped for a cuppa while coming back to town from birding late one Saturday morning and were surprised by the sandwich menu. Around five or six bucks gets you a simple deli sandwich with pickle. It was surprisingly filling and pretty well done. The separate dining room is kind of odd, but it's cozy with the fireplace going.

Casey's
, various. We always see Casey's Pizza advertised on TV and never gave it serious thought. We tried a Casey's breakfast pizza. Pretty good actually. Not convenience store tasting, but on par I'd say with the regular chains.

Denny's, 3333 Ramada Road. Yes, we've eaten at plenty of Denny's over the years, and always knew it go be a great place in the 70's to go out with friends for an after midnight supper or morning coffee, but the last three times we stopped (Bellevue, Las Vegas and Gretna) were all pretty sad, so we never stopped at the one that opened in GI a couple years ago. Well, it's our quest to see them all, so we met up with some friends there and gave them a try. It's ok as far as decor, clean and not terribly busy. A Friday evening around 6 and it was maybe half full. They had run out of broccoli for some reason, so that was out as a side. They also don't serve French salad dressing and didn't offer up Dorothy Lynch as an alternative. The food was fine though, no complaints. Pretty standard Pegler Sysco food, I'd say. When we went to pay, the cashier was talking down an irate customer who had just the worst experience ever. I got the impression though, that the customer was a pro at complaining and the cashier took pretty good care of her. Then gave her the skunk eye when she turned to leave, LOL. I don't expect we'll go back though.

OK, that's a catch up of our tour of new places to try. Time to talk about other places around town. Feel free to share your reviews and suggestions.

nativeomahan
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Re: Grand Island Eateries

Postby nativeomahan » Sat Apr 25, 2015 8:03 am

I ate at the Noodle House earlier this week, and would agree that the owners and staff are all very, very friendly. Service was very quick, and the food is very good.

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Re: Grand Island Eateries

Postby MTO » Fri May 29, 2015 10:17 pm

Was in firehouse subs tonight and the manager was telling everyone that GI's been their biggest grand opening ever by far. As I sat there laughing I thought givin that we hear that all the time in Omaha made me realize how clever the marketing teams are or shall I say shameless.
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bbtran72
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Re: Grand Island Eateries

Postby bbtran72 » Sat May 30, 2015 8:05 am

MTO wrote:Was in firehouse subs tonight and the manager was telling everyone that GI's been their biggest grand opening ever by far. As I sat there laughing I thought givin that we hear that all the time in Omaha made me realize how clever the marketing teams are or shall I say shameless.


Don't be surprise, it will be jammed pack for a month or two because that always happen when new restaurants open, i didn't go to pepperjax/texas roadhouse..etc.. for months after they open.
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bbtran72
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Re: Grand Island Eateries

Postby bbtran72 » Sun May 31, 2015 6:57 pm

I was up in GI helping out the in-laws today and we went to firehouse, WOW it is SMALL! we got there about 11:30 waited for 10+mins and it was not even packed. The way the tables are laid out the seats are pretty close to each other, by the time we were almost done the lunch crowd was there and it was jammed packed, most people were using the back door to leave there the order line was.
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gisbuxfan
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Re: Grand Island Eateries

Postby gisbuxfan » Tue Jun 02, 2015 5:43 pm

bbtran72 wrote:I was up in GI helping out the in-laws today and we went to firehouse, WOW it is SMALL! we got there about 11:30 waited for 10+mins and it was not even packed. The way the tables are laid out the seats are pretty close to each other, by the time we were almost done the lunch crowd was there and it was jammed packed, most people were using the back door to leave there the order line was.


This is the problem with nearly every place in GI...It's too small. I had only ever been to the Firehouse in downtown Lincoln. The GI location feels like a closet compared to Lincoln's.

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Re: Grand Island Eateries

Postby MTO » Tue Jun 02, 2015 9:35 pm

Grand Island is small...
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Re: Grand Island Eateries

Postby nativeomahan » Mon Jun 15, 2015 10:37 pm

I had dinner up at the sushi bar at Wasabi Bistro tonight. Very tasty sushi, and the chef was fun to watch as he manufactured each of the rolls with the talent of an artist.
I will also note that they were very busy, even for a Monday night.

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Re: Grand Island Eateries

Postby Linkin5 » Wed Jun 17, 2015 9:51 am

nativeomahan wrote:I had dinner up at the sushi bar at Wasabi Bistro tonight. Very tasty sushi, and the chef was fun to watch as he manufactured each of the rolls with the talent of an artist.
I will also note that they were very busy, even for a Monday night.


Is that the same Wasabi owner that was open in Lincoln? Anyone know?

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bbtran72
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Re: Grand Island Eateries

Postby bbtran72 » Thu Jun 18, 2015 10:35 am

Linkin5 wrote:
nativeomahan wrote:I had dinner up at the sushi bar at Wasabi Bistro tonight. Very tasty sushi, and the chef was fun to watch as he manufactured each of the rolls with the talent of an artist.
I will also note that they were very busy, even for a Monday night.


Is that the same Wasabi owner that was open in Lincoln? Anyone know?


I am not sure who owns the one in Lincoln but the one in Grand Island is owned by Aaron Yang, by far it is probably the best sushi restaurant in the tri-cities, fuji is only good for the hibachi grill lol.
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Re: Grand Island Eateries

Postby nativeomahan » Sun Jun 21, 2015 7:33 am

I have had very good sushi at Fuji. I really enjoy sitting at the sushi bars and watching the meals being made.

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Re: Grand Island Eateries

Postby Candleshoe » Mon Jun 22, 2015 11:39 am

La Cocina in the old TAco Johns at Capital and Webb... wow!

https://www.facebook.com/lacocinagi?pnref=story

Atmosphere is nothing special... it's an old Taco Johns, so what can you really do?
Staff is really friendly and while they seem to struggle a bit with English, they're fun.
Food: a lot of original items I've never seen before. I had their Burritos Pueblo, a combo of one beef and one shredded chicken burritos. Way way too much food, but I enjoyed every morsel! Priced just a tiny bit high for a Mexican sit down place, but the quality and portions more than make up for it.
And if we could take home a bottle of their salsa, we would. The host says over 90% or everything they serve is made from scratch.
Yep, we'll go back again and again. Too many great looking entries on their well illustrated menu.
Locations also in McCook and York.
Note: It was 6pm on SAturday. They were just starting to get fairly busy and I noted that every single customer in there was white and aged 50+. (for what that's worth...)

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Re: Grand Island Eateries

Postby nativeomahan » Tue Jun 23, 2015 6:37 am

I ate at La Cocina a month or so ago. Not much to look at, but the food was pretty spot on delicious. I also like La Cabana, on Locust Street, which I ate at last night. $1.99 margaritas!

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Re: Grand Island Eateries

Postby Brad » Mon Mar 14, 2016 8:37 am

We had dinner at the Sin City Bar and Grill last night. A Vegas themed burger joint in downtown GI. Other than the server reading off a long list of items they were out of when we sat down, the place was good.
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