FOOD PROWLS
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Our team of four judges sampled sandwiches from 11 locations. We quickly realized that texture was a key factor.

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In the first Food Prowl of 2018, our team found gyros and kebabs with expertly cut meat sizzled until crisp on a flattop grill. These are Omaha’s best gyros, culminating with the team’s favorite of the 11 spots we visited.

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With a team of rock star doughnut lovers and bakers, we toured a dozen — no, it wasn’t coincidental — metro-area bakeries looking for our city’s finest examples.

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This is the first time in Omaha’s recent history that a cocktail enthusiast can find enough bars and restaurants that have adopted craft programs to make a prowl like this one possible. Omaha has some seriously talented bartenders who are willing to give you an experience, if you want it.

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We were off, our quest being simple but, as always, a bit more complex than it seems on the surface. What makes a good — the best — pork tenderloin sandwich?

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“It’s so simple,” one of the judges said of the winning sandwich. “No one who orders a grilled cheese would be disappointed when this grilled cheese came out.”

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After making 13 stops around the metro area and tasting close to 30 variations of the drink, our Food Prowl team confidently can say which margarita is the best in Omaha.

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Our Food Prowl panelists get schooled on the dish’s subtleties, then cast a wide net for the city’s tastiest.

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The website Thrillist has created a list of "the best burger in every state," and in Nebraska, the prize goes to Dinker's Bar and Grill. (Coincidentally, Dinker's also tied for our favorite burger in one of our two Burger Food Prowls.)

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The answer to the question "Is there good barbecue in Omaha?" is yes. You can find it in a grocery store, at a food truck, in a gas station and in a restaurant tucked in a southern suburb.

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Almost every menu at every Thai restaurant we visited on the third Food Prowl this year reminded us of one simple fact: Pad thai — the dish we sought — is America’s favorite Thai dish. Maybe the world’s favorite.

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Meeting very cool people at bars and breweries all over town to sip on beers and opine on their flavor, like I did for the first Food Prowl of 2014, is an enviable job. It’s a ton of fun. But it’s not always that easy (I know, I know, that seems like a lie.) But as evidence to the challenges…

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In search of the best Omaha pizza pie, we drove to the Old Market, Benson, Ralston, midtown, Little Italy and the farthest reaches of the western suburbs.

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On this month's prowl, we found talented baristas, locally roasted beans and a handful of well-composed, balanced drinks. We found atmospheres we liked, but, ultimately, this prowl was about one thing: the brew.

Sarah Baker Hansen

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