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Monday, March 25, 2013

pop-we Dinner Club Reviews Summer Kitchen Cafe

Sugar Cookies.
I had a game plan for this population-we™ (pop-we) Dinner Club outing. Knowing going in this cafe is all about comfort food, I had chosen to pick this Saturday night as my cheat night. At Summer Kitchen Cafe, temptation meets every patron at the door. The Omaha, Neb, restaurant has a full blown bakery counter. The smell of a bake shop engulfed us immediately. The counter had cakes, cookies, muffins, pecan rolls and pies. I snapped a picture of some sugar cookies and would decide later if that would be my dessert.

There are three locations in Nebraska: Omaha, Bellevue and LaVista. Each cafe offers catering and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Summer Kitchen is named after the gathering place where women would gather before the days of air-conditioning to: bake, cook and preserve produce. Having a separate building meant the women would not have to heat up the farmhouse. It also became the gathering place where family and guests would meet. The cafe website reads: "So, with that in mind, don't heat up the kitchen in your house tonight. Head out to the SUMMER KITCHEN. We'll be waiting for you with a big plate of something good to eat."

Most readers are aware that last year Brian and I joined LA Fitness (formerly known as Urban Active Fitness) and found a great personal trainer (Mike Good). As a result, we've turned a 180 in our lifestyle choices -- our exercising and eating habits have changed the most. When you've lost as much weight as we have you look at food in a much different way. That is why I decided this night, I deserved some down home cooking.

Waiting for the others to arrive in our party (one of those being my husband), I glanced over the menu. I immediately noticed a roast turkey & dressing meal. My mind was made up...or was it? I also noticed a southwest chicken quesadilla with a side taco salad. In all my days, I'd never seen a taco salad accompany a quesadilla. Now, I was torn, eat comfort food or a healthier alternative. Text messages went back and forth, and Brian finally announced he would not attend. He was clear across town at his friend's house for the guy's annual movie day/night. Later, he would tell me they watched '80s flicks until the wee hours. Now, I'm dateless, too! So, that turkey meal was looking very tempting.

Frustrated Mr. Brown stood me up, I was in even more a quandary. So, I borrowed a trick from my dad's eating out playbook and asked the waitress which she preferred: the turkey or quesadilla? The verdict was the southwest chicken quesadilla. She sat the dish in front of me and liked promised it came with a side taco salad. The chicken was tender, veggies still had a crunch to them; and the pepper jack cheese oozed out of the flour tortilla. It was tasty! The bonus was the side taco salad. Its crisp Romaine Lettuce, spicy meat, beans; and shredded cheese topped with a dollop of sour cream, was refreshing.

We had a small showing; there were seven of us in all. However, everyone was in agreement it made the evening nicer for visiting; since, they sat us at a round table. No gravy or sugar cookie for this gal tonight! I would indeed eat healthy and get to pick another cheat night. Thanks Caryn for a wonderful outing at Summer Kitchen! This evening, the Summer Kitchen is still a gathering place, which offers a big plate of something good to eat.

After compiling the surveys from the other foodies the pop-we Dinner Club gives Summer Kitchen: 4.42 star average on a scale of 1-5.

Atmosphere/Decor – 4.57
Southwest Chicken Quesadilla & Taco Salad.

Cleanliness – 4.42

Wait Staff – 4.42

Menu – 4.42

Food Presentation – 4.57

Food Portions – 4.42

Food Taste – 4.42

Cost (was the cost worth meal?) – 4.28

Noise Level – 4.28

Overall Experience – 4.42

For more information regarding directions or Summer Kitchen's menu, visit their website at

Fellow population-we™ readers, if you've been to the Summer Kitchen leave us a comment and tell us what you thought?

Want to do this yourself? To review how to start your own dinner club, visit our January 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.
Summer Kitchen Cafe & Bakery on Urbanspoon

-population-we™ blog post by Becky Bohan Brown
© 2013 population-we, LLC 
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