Monday, November 11, 2013

Omelet & Viet Cuisine

16808 Audrey Street (168th and Harrison) 
(402) 657-3269
Open 8am to 7:30pm daily, Sundays 'til 5:30pm, I'd call to confirm before driving way the hell out there
Omelet & Viet Cuisine on Urbanspoon-OR-Omelet & Viet Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Just look at that cute logo, woudja?

All right, I've had it. This is me, throwing my hands up in exasperation, because this is not effing fair. Listen, I'm not a West Omaha hater. I have never once uttered that line about not wanting to go west of 72nd Street. Westies are people, too; who are we to judge? They eat, work, and live just like the rest of us, except their existence takes place inside the hastily planned celebration of sameness we know as the McMansion. Regardless of what your stance is, I think we can all admit it's a great place to raise (sheltered) children. 

Clearly, I have a beef with the concept of urban sprawl, and would implore those in "power" to focus on strengthening our core neighborhoods, preferably in such a way that doesn't reflect wildly misplaced sub-suburban sensibilities (I'm looking at you, Midtown Crossing). 

Egg rolls

When Vietnamese and breakfast collide:
Sausage fried rice, complete with large bits of fried egg, charred corn,
and forgettable specs of peas and green beans,
provide a cheery dish to grease you up any time of day.

The point I'm bemoaning is that some of the absolute best, most adventurous, and most reasonably priced food in Omaha can be found only in the far corners of our city limits, suffocating in an unbecoming strip mall, while meanwhile, famished urban dwellers get to rely on the likes of Jimmy John's when jonesing for something quick, cheap, and fast. 

What I wouldn't give to have Omelet & Viet Cuisine in my backyard. 

Sharing a parking lot with a gas station in the bustling neighborhood of Chalco HIlls, this restaurant used to be called The Omelet Factory, a mostly takeout breakfast place that, up until it changed hands three months ago, garnered some flagrantly mediocre reviews. Do not be confused. While the new guys have mostly preserved the standard egg-centric menu for now -- with routine items like French toast and even a meat lovers omelet dominating its pages -- they've also made a major move in the direction of Vietnamese cuisine.

Beef pho and its typical vegetable accompaniments

The result is a slightly strange and yet delicious new addition to our small collection of go-to places for Vietnamese. Though admittedly I am not a diehard expert on the topic, the pho broth certainly seemed more flavorful and somewhat thicker than most. We didn't leave until every drop had been drank, every noodle slurped. One bite into the banh mi, when the slightly sweet earthiness of the pate -- which had nearly melted into each crevice of the toasted, crusty baguette -- hit my taste buds, I attained a sense of well-being only akin to the serotonin boost of a thousand psychedelics. Wild spurts of A Very Jazzy Christmas from the stereo only heightened the mood. 

BBQ Pork Banh Mi:
If you look closely, you can spot
a crumb of pate resting atop the elongated cucumber slice,
and a chunk of crispy pork in the foreground,
elegantly reposed amongst the julienned carrots.

I'll continue to lament the half-hour travel time and gallons of precious gasoline involved in experiencing such quality in comfort food. I believe this type of place belongs just a stroll down the block from people who are willing to stand in a line that circles that block just to get it. In my dreams I'll frequent this clumsily named ethnic food gem, but in reality I will only get to go twice a year or so. I can only hope Chalco Hillsians know how good they've got it. I think they do.  

The three entrees, appetizer, and three soft drinks came to about $26 pre-tip,
a value that may offset travel costs for many of us. 

1 comment:

  1. Food econ 101 says that you'll find the best authentic ethnic cuisine in strip malls in the suburbs -- where the rent's cheap -- and there's not really much you can do to change that...

    ...aside from giving first generation immigrants a generous cash grant to rent an expensive location in whatever trendy neighborhood you prefer.