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Monday, January 2, 2012

pop-we Dinner Club 2011 Year In Review

The Matt earned No. 1 Spot in first-ever pop-we Year In Review
With the stroke of midnight population-we™ (pop-we) celebrates its first year in business. To commemorate the occasion fellow foodies as well as close friends and family gathered around as our first pop-we Dinner Club restaurants of 2011 rankings were unveiled. The list is a culmination of reviews cast by pop-we Dinner Club members in 2011. Throughout the year the dinner club visited various establishments in the Omaha Metropolitan area. Each month a member picked a restaurant to visit. The dinner club did put on some miles in 2011 and traveled beyond Omaha to South Bend, Valley, Elkhorn and Waterloo Nebraska. Here’s our 1-11 ranking with No. 1 being the highest:

#1:  The Old Mattress Factory Bar & Grill
"The Matt" near CenturyLink. The Old Mattress Factory Bar & Grill offers fresh seafood in a rustic brick building. Tip: Sit outside for a true downtown experience. Earned 5.65 star average on a pop-we scale of 1-5. Read more.

#2:  Omaha Press Club Restaurant 
Enjoy fine dining 22 floors up. At the Omaha Press Club (OPC) Restaurant eat a gourmet meal from a high-rise view while overlooking Omaha's downtown skyline. Tip: Eat a signature OPC Thunderbird salad. Earned 4.16 star average on a pop-we scale of 1-5. Read more.

#3:  Shucks
It's Absolutely Fresh Seafood! Where to find the freshest seafood in the heart of beef nation -- Shucks. Dine in or buy and cook at home. Tip: Try happy hour; especially, the oyster in half shell specials. Earned 4.08 star average on a pop-we scale of 1-5. Read more.

#4:  Agave 
Mexican restaurant in the heart of Dundee. Agave offers Mexican cuisine with authentic tomato, jalapeno and habanero pepper-based sauces. Tip: Order off Joe’s menu section for free chips and salsa. Earned 4.1 star average on a pop-we scale of 1-5. Read more.

#5:  Carrabba's Italian Grill 
Taste of Sicily. There are more than 200 Carrabba's nationwide. This "Under the Nebraska Sun" location doesn't feel like chain with its savory food & Tuscan look. Tip: Remember to try the free olive oil, herb mixture & warm bread. Earned 4.03 star average on a pop-we scale of 1-5. Read more. 

Firecracker shrimp at The Matt
#6:  Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery 
Taps available at select tables. Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery is a microbrewery with a great menu in Downtown Omaha. Tip: Order the carrot cake for dessert. Earned star average on a pop-we scale of 1-5. Read more.

#7:  Round the Bend Steakhouse
No one ever makes it to dessert at Round the Bend Steakhouse. It is a true Nebraska Steakhouse that serves enormous portions of meat without the frills. Tip: Try the beef or turkey fries (testicles). Earned 3.9 star average on a pop-we scale of 1-5. Read more.

#8:  Tussy's Casual Grill
Eclectic menu. Tussy's Casual Grill offers true foodies a dining experience in its small eatery. It's a grill with a touch of fine dining. Tip: If you have a chance, try Tussy's Sunday brunch buffet. Earned 3.84 star average on a pop-we scale of 1-5. Read more.

#9:  Texas Roadhouse 
This place is always busy! The Texas Roadhouse has more than 340 locations in 46 states. Though a chain it is still a steakhouse favorite for Nebraska beef eaters. Tip: They serve free peanuts while you wait. Earned 3.8 star average on a pop-we scale of 1-5. Read more.

#10:  Fire Barn Sports Bar & Grill
Pays tribute to firefighters. Fire Barn Sports Bar & Grill menu is mainly bar food but does offer some down home cooking. Tip: Order fried chicken, which takes 25-30 minutes, but is well worth the wait. Earned 3.7 star average on a pop-we scale of 1-5. Read more.

#11:  Outer Limits Bar & Grill
Sports bar located in small town Americana. Outer Limits Bar & Grill proves you can find good food & have fun with good friends in the most unlikely places. Tip: Play horseshoes. Earned 3 star average on a scale of 1-5. Read more.

Thanks for reading pop-we Dinner Club's year-in review. If you want to do this yourself? To learn how to start your own dinner club, visit last January's post about doing just that. Remember it is a template; tweak it to fit you and your friends’ tastes. pop-we Dinner Club: good food…good friends…good times.

Best wishes for a new year full of great food, health and happiness from all of us at population-we™.
-population-we™ blog post by Brian Brown & Becky Bohan Brown
© 2012 population-we, LLC 
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