Welcome to Brown on the Towne, the illegitimate, bastard brain child of two friends who enjoy their eats and surroundings. We are Homer and Jordan. Our mission is to document our experience of ethnic eateries in the Omaha area. We do not claim to be politically, mathematically or chemically correct.

Leave us a comment or email us at brownonthetowne@gmail.com

Monday, January 17, 2011

Beyond BBQ (46th and Dodge)

Let me be straight with you, I really don't consider myself an expert on any of this, as I hope you would understand from reading my musings. I just like food. I don't consider myself a "foodie" or "gastronome". There's just something about those labels that oozes "pretentious".

I do consider myself "hungry" from time to time.

So, it was a Tuesday. And I felt like getting some barbecue.

Omaha has quite a few good barbecue places... at least in my opinion. Jim's Rib Haven, the recently closed Amarillo, Bill's Barbecue and Hartland are a few that I like. A new place opened not too far from home called Beyond BBQ.

Some friends informed me of a peculiar quality of Beyond BBQ: besides the expected ribs, brisket and pulled pork options, BBBQ has ASIAN FOOD. (Here is where I would like to insert the sound of needle scraping across a record - like this - it's late and I decided I'm too lazy to download and embed the sound, so just click on the link) And not just any Asian food, possibly Filipino food. This piqued my interest. I love BBQ and I drive by this place everyday, but now I MUST try it.

My primary mission was to ascertain whether or not this Asian food was, indeed, Filipino food.
Here's an excerpt of a twitter conversation between a friend and I as she found out I was at BBBQ. Great minds think alike. (you can follow me @Midtown_Brown if you're feeling saucy):
Me: Checking out Beyond BBQ in midtown.

Friend: @Midtown_Brown You *have* to try the egg rolls there. Yum!

Me: I did! FYI they are Filipino lumpia! Score.

Friend: @Midtown_Brown Oh, and you *must* try the pork kabobs sometime. OMG. Delish.

Me: I did that too! Fantastic!
Again, I was "hungry". Not only did I try Asian Platter #3 for pork kabobs, as suggested by my friends, I ordered egg rolls (or what we call "lumpia" in the Philippines), some wings AND a half rack of ribs.

Remember - "hungry".

And no, I did not finish everything. Just had to try it all.

The rib order was the logical progression of me seeing the BBQ sauce offerings at this place. Lots of vinegar based sauces and even a mustard based sauce. Nice! Most places around here serve up a KC style, thick, gloppy sauce that, to tell you the truth, gets old after a while.

- I see sauce.
- I want to try sauce.
- In order to try sauce I must have meat.
- Order meat.
- Therefore I can try sauce.

See Homer, I still remember stuff from our philosophy class! Now, if i could make a barbecue sauce diorama... (sorry, OLD inside joke).

Bottom line: the Asian food is Filipino... maybe it's better to say Filipino-ish. The lumpia and pork kabobs are really good, but only represent a tiny portion of the Filipino food spectrum. Check out the Philippines episode of No Reservations for a good run down. Now if only this place started serving lechon...

The ribs were pretty good. Not the best I've had, but there's potential. Better than average for sure. It's a new place, so I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt. The sauce selection was a nice surprise, and the sauce quality was really good. Very refreshing to have some vinegar and mustard based choices.

The place is run by a husband and wife team, and they are very nice. The husband is a jovial fellow, and I get the feeling he really wants to make good barbecue. The wife is from my parents' home town back in the Philippines and she treated me just like a family member, complete with the encouragement to eat more and constant prodding to become a doctor or engineer...

So, give the place a shot if you have the opportunity. Pricing is good and what you would expect for a BBQ joint. The Filipino-ish stuff can be had at around $6 bucks a platter. Not bad. Let us know what you think. Leave a comment or email us some suggestions of places too.

Check back for more. There might even be more tonight, stupid insomnia.

Later gators.

- J

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The end of another hiatus?

Hey pals,

So it seems BOTT may be fast approaching the end of yet another hiatus. If you have forgotten, we started this adventure back in November 2007. We then took year long breaks between December 2007 and December 2008, and yet again between February 2009 and February 2010. We've been on this current break for almost a year.

I am happy to report that Homero and I are all grown up now. H is a lawyer and I'm, hmmm... I dunno how to describe my job... I am no longer in grad school. Whoo! To tell you the truth, I am still figuring out how to do this "free time" thing again. I'm working on a list of activities to occupy my time.

Right now I am in my hotel room in Des Moines, IA. I've got a meeting to attend here in the AM, and while I'd rather be driving to Illinois right now to hunt down some Blatz Beer, I am instead taking a minute to report on a minor food adventure. I'm in a different town for a few, so why not?

After sifting through some helpful suggestions from some friends, I decided on Vietnamese food. It's freaking cold and all I could think of was getting some delicious, steaming hot pho (pronounced 'fuh'). For those unfamiliar, pho is (in my opinion) the all-time greatest of the noodle soup species. You can read more about pho here. For me, the broth has no taste equal. I really don't even have a clue as to how to describe it. It's just so good. I asked a Des Moines resident, and fellow Filipino, about some Vietnamese places to hit up. I went to a place called 'A Dong'.

Yeah, yeah... If Homer we're here, right now you would be reading the obligatory Brown on the Towne dick joke.

Their pho was good, but I've had better. Still very satisfying. I give them props for providing some very fresh thai basil, cilantro and bean sprouts to get thrown into the soup. I was more impressed by their ca phe sua da, otherwise known as Vietnamese iced coffee. I love this stuff. It's like the most pleasant feeling kick to face, if there ever was one. Take STRONG espresso, condensed milk and chicory, then throw it over ice.

If you're back in Omaha, grab a bowl of pho and ca phe sua da at the Vietnamese Asian restaurant on 72nd and Jones. You will not be disappointed.

I've stopped by some other places back in Omaha as a food blog warm up. Check back here for some quick thoughts on Beyond BBQ and Maru Korean Grill. Both good. Even better with good company. I have a feeling more posts will be headed your way as well.

Stay warm out there.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hey! Check this out!

This is from last summer, but you should check it out anyway. Learn about our pal Peter and his phenomenal wood work at Measure Cut Cut Studio. Make sure to watch the video as well and look out for a plug for your two favorite food bloggers! Here!


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Juba Restaurant

Juba Restaurant
1102 Northwest Radial Highway
Omaha, NE 68134
(402) 553-5686
Authentic Sudanese


JORDAN: Welcome back to Brown on the Towne.

HOMER: A blog for people who like to taste the rainbow of brown foods.

JORDAN: Less like a rainbow... more like a chocolate bar. So Homer and I decided to check out a little place on Saddle Creek called Juba Sudanese. I live pretty close to its location and have driven by many times.

HOMER: I think that place used to be called Super Mid K. But now, it has been demoted down to Mid K. And promoted to Juba!

JORDAN: Yes! We'll have to ask about the demotion. Maybe Mid K ate one of those mushrooms from Super Mario Bros and voila! Juba! MMMMM pixelated mushrooms.... drool...

HOMER: In a town (Towne?) full of beige-y eggshell restaurants, Juba is a shining beacon of all things brown.

JORDAN: LIGHT brown.... hahahahahaha.

HOMER: It has been a while since I have been to a restaurant this brown. Lately, I have been consuming sandwiches from this one freaky fast place, or eating fresh from another so-called restaurant. Not very much brown at all.

JORDAN: Romeo's Mexican food and pizza?

HOMER: How dare you.

JORDAN: Sorry, had to go there... I'm trying to connect this episode with our long lost Guacamaya trip. But yes, Juba is a fantastic example of why we endeavor to do what we do with this page.

HOMER: It is also an example of the reward you get for going a little out of your way. Since I moved to East Lincoln, it is sometimes easier to eat a super value meal or cook for myself.

JORDAN: Ah, East Lincoln... Sucks Homer. I live within walking distance of Juba. So if I ever get the hunger for some badass Sudanese food, I can be satisfied. I can satisfy my thirst too with their fantastic tea.

HOMER: Ok, so let's give people an encyclopedia entry on Sudanese food. I walked in this place not knowing what to expect. I know the Sudan is in Africa, but beyond that, I have zero knowledge of its cuisine.

JORDAN: The Sudan is Africa in microcosm: a large country with geographic, extremes ranging from sandy desert to tropical forest. It is culturally a loose association of almost 600 tribes who have Arabic as their common language. The French, the English, and the Italians have all had colonies in the Sudan. The cuisine is a melding of the many varied backgrounds of the peoples who have influenced its history. Favorite meats are lamb and chicken. Rice is the staple starch. Breads are the Arabian Khubz, but the Sudanese also make Kisra, an omelette- like pancake which is part of the Sudanese dinner. Vegetables, fresh and cooked, are of infinite variety. The okra, which incidentally came to the United States from Africa, is an important ingredient in a Bamia- Bamia, an okra lamb stew.

HOMER: And I would say that there is definitely a melding in this place.

JORDAN: True. I have spent time getting to know the owner, Taj and he has explained that the food he serves has been the product of the melding of many influences, but he still points out that, through the combination, something unique and special comes forth. He advertises Juba as the ONLY authentic Sudanese restaurant in town. (Towne?)

HOMER: That's fair. I am not going to argue with him. Mainly because I wouldn't know authentic Sudanese food if my right hand was made out of it. But my right hand is not made of delicious authentic Sudanese food, so you can stop drooling Jordan. And by the way, why are you always looking at me and drooling?

JORDAN: Dude, I'm a zombie. That's why. Mmmmmmmm... Homer.....

HOMER: Anyway, back to the food. At first bite, the food made me think Mediterranean.

JORDAN: True, Sudanese food does share some common dishes/ingredients as everyday Mediterranean, like Tabouleh and Baba Ganoush.

HOMER: On my first visit, I tried something I saw my TV food idol eat in Egypt. Foul. Foul is a daily dish in Egypt, and it is sometimes consumed in the morning, because it "sits like a stone in the stomach." This is man food right here.

JORDAN: What is in foul?

HOMER: Fava beans. Olive oil, onions, tomatoes, garlic and lemon juice. Tasty, but very filling.

JORDAN: Most definitely. A breakfast with that would set you up for some major pyramid building.

HOMER: Or chariot racing.

JORDAN: So, I've been to Juba a few times now, and have sampled some different things from the menu. The first time, I ordered the Sudanese style Tilapia. At that time I was unfamiliar with many of the things on the menu, but I was more interested in trying something that I was familiar with, but prepared in a culturally different way. Growing up I ate Tilapia like most kids ate fruit rollups.

HOMER: You mean you squished it up into a little ball and sucked on it until it was all gone?

JORDAN: Hmmm... no. What else did kids eat a lot of... Elmer’s glue?? Anyway... the tilapia was fantastic, and it was served as the whole fish: head, tails, eyes, bones and all. Just like Grandma used to make.

HOMER: So....Do you eat all of that? The heads and tails...soup to nuts?

JORDAN: Nah... those just comprise the obstacle course the worthy adventurer must traverse in order to enjoy the sweet, sweet victory that is tilapia meat. Advice to future patrons: make sure you know how to eat a whole fish before you try this. Is there a merit badge for fish eating?

HOMER: I don't know, but how should I practice? Should I start with a goldfish and work my way up? Are fish sticks a good starting place for me, the whole fish virgin? Guide me, oh wise one.

JORDAN: Are you asking me to teach you how to pop your fish cherry???

HOMER: Yes. I mean, no. I mean....OK., so on my second visit, I had the Musaheb. But Taj surprised me. My friend ordered the Kefta Kebobs, and instead of two wasteful, separate plates, Taz brought the whole meal out on one gigantic garbage can lid of a plate. With rice and okra. And my friend must have been cute or something cause Taz gave us goat and lamb meat also.

JORDAN: Wow.. lucky bastards! How was all of it?

HOMER: What a guy! It was all fantastic. And because it was family styley, I got to try a lot of different things. I would recommend this way of eating Sudanese food.

JORDAN: Yes, that sounds fantastic.

HOMER: It was fantastic.

JORDAN: As an add-on to my tilapia rant... Taj and I have spent some time chatting whenever I patronize their establishment. He's a cool cat. He opened Juba with the hope of repeating the success experienced by his brother's similar restaurant in NYC. During Super Bowl week he told me that the best food to eat is the tilapia during the game. So, me and some pals did just that. Taz said he sold 115 orders of tilapia for Super Bowl Sunday. Definitely earn your merit badge and eat this!

HOMER: The Brown Scouts! Gives a new meaning to the term "Brownies" eh?

JORDAN: Hey-Oh!!!!

HOMER: As a final note, I would like to place the African Spiced Tea Taj makes into the BOTT Hall of fame. I have never had anything like it. It is like Chai, but sweeter. It is like Kool-Aid but more sophisticated. It is like drinking mother's milk, but less creepy.

JORDAN: Yeah, you should quit doing that.

HOMER: On that note, thanks for reading. Stay tuned for some changes, and the same old humor and taste we always provide.

JORDAN: Yes! Check Juba out and help keep it in business! Food is affordable, tasty, and there are a ton of vegetarian options if that's how you roll. Remember to send us restaurant suggestions or compliments at brownonthetowne@gmail.com. Later gators.

Monday, February 8, 2010

One year to the day...

It has been exactly one year since the last Brown on the Towne episode was posted...

Maybe if you check back soon, you will find some stuff posted about Juba (so goddamn good) or the infamous, missing Guaca Maya episode. Just sayin'.

You can go back to your facebook stalking.

See you soon...???

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Hey friends!

Sorry for the extended hiatus!

Until we get rolling again check out our updates on Twitter! Homer and I will be posting about our food adventures in 140 characters or less.



Saturday, February 21, 2009

Secret Asian Man II

Happy Día de los Burrachos readers!!!!!!

I figured some of you (Debbie Z.) are anxiously awaiting the posting of our adventures at Guacamaya. Patience friends, your perseverance in the face of growing Brown on the Towne induced anxiety will soon pay off.

So to whet your appetite I am posting some of my latest reconnaissance. Enjoy!

Secret Asian Man II

Grand Fortune (Chinese/Dim Sum)
17330 W Center Rd # 106
(402) 697-9888

Those of you that know me well might ask, "What the hell is Jordan doing going west of 72nd street?!?!?!" That is a valid question. I enjoy most of my existence on the east side of town, but there are some worthy reasons to travel into the treacherous beyond, Grand Fortune's dim sum being one of them. For those of you unfamiliar, dim sum is the name for a Chinese cuisine involving a wide range of light dishes usually served in a small steamer basket or on a small plate. Usually you get a 3 or 4 pieces per plate/steamer basket. The opportunity to sample a great number of different dumplings, buns, pancakes makes this a fun dining experience.

I went there a few weeks back with friends Mary, Hal and Pete. We ordered in three rounds, each time we went for something different. We had steamed pork buns (amazing), shrimp and cilantro dumplings (amazing), leek buns (amazing), sui mai (amazing), turnip pancakes (amazing) and whole bunch of other stuff. All in all an excellent lunch. Between the four of us, around 12 different orders, our bill came to $40. Again, excellent lunch.

Dim sum is usually only served in the mornings and during lunch time, so don't expect to go around dinner and get some tasty treats like those you're staring at... there's drool on your shirt..

Stay tuned for more from this place. Homer and I are big fans.

Mother India (Tandoori)
3572 Leavenworth St.

Anyone remember Z's corner store on 36th and Leavenworth?? When I lived down on Leavenworth, Z's was a local destination for all things booze and tobacco. Since then the little cube of a building has been La Tia's Tamales and El Rebaño. A while back I heard rumors of an Indian restaurant opening in that spot. Me = excited. The idea of a small Indian restaurant close to work and home was titillating. Thanks to Ali, Nakiea and Amber for reporting about their experiences there. So I chose to check it out.

I had some vegetable samosas. Excellent! I am kicking myself for not asking if they were homemade. From the taste... light and crispy outer shells, warm and nicely spiced innards...
they gotta be homemade. I just wanted confirmation.

I ordered the Chana Masala. It consisted of chick peas, tomatoes, onion, garlic, spices and maybe ghee and ginger. Oh man, this stuff was great. Chick peas are a personal favorite of mine. You could give me a can of those while you rob me blind and I wouldn't care. The rice was decent, not great, but I would recommend trying this place out. I was super pleased with the Chana Masala.

Prices are very affordable. Most of the main dishes cost between $6 - $10. My total cost plus appetizer was $11. Not bad for tasty Indian!

So that's it for now. Keep sending us suggestions and LEAVE COMMENTS on the blog. Tell us about your experiences of any of the places you try. THIS IS KEY TO OUR STRATEGIC PLAN. So do it. Guacamaya is coming soon.

I will leave you with Rootbeer Floats from the Soda Fountain at the Durham Western Heritage Museum. You may drool now...