After a late-afternoon rest following a day spent in Council Bluffs [see blog post], I was intent to spend some quality time in Omaha’s Old Market district. To jump start my evening I sauntered into Aromas Coffeehouse for a three-shot iced Americano. The beverage was appealingly cloudy with particulates, and boasted a complexity in flavor: slightly sour with a bitter finish.
Invigorated I sought out one of my favorite haunts, a leather/Levis gay bar called DC's Saloon, but was crestfallen to find it had closed a month earlier. The Max – an enormous gay dance club with multiple rooms and bars – is just around the corner. The Max generally caters to a younger, prettier crowd. But it would do for a few gin and tonics.
A ginormous projection TV with the Nebraska game on garnered most everyone’s focus. Even in the darkened confines of a gay nightclub, the Huskers take priority. The barkeep deserved a big tip for running to a bar station in another room to look for a specialty vodka I had requested.
The wedding reception going on in one of the meeting rooms is a bit distasteful and despoiled my drunkery. Why couldn’t these heterosexuals have been a little more intolerant and partied elsewhere? None of the people in dresses that night were remotely male! A most depressing fact as the cake eaters encroached: a bunch of hick women extolling the positives of employment at Subway. I fled.
Another familiar haunt is the first Irish bar of my youth, The Dubliner Pub. Settled in I ordered my first taste of 2 Gingers. This new Irish whiskey on the market exhibited some medicinal notes on the nose and tongue. I'll stick with Jameson and Mr. Powers.
My goodness! Having gotten quite used to the fine beers offering by Des Moines’ area brewers, Harp – an Irish pale lager that I had enjoyed for some time in my youth – seemed so light, but still its quite refreshing compared to your average American big-brewer beer. That said, while some nattering hard cider snob brushed against me, which made me at unease. I switched to a local beverage – Hopluia from Spilker Ales of Cortland, Nebraska. Unexpectedly I tasted corn dog!
When feckin' musicians playing feckin’ legitimate Irish instruments brightened the atmosphere, I found what was lacking earlier at The Max.
Seeking a bit of nostalgia I sought out Bar 415. Except for the absence of GILFs, the nightclub is what I remembered from a decade ago, right down to the stylish martini glasses. Feeling randy I order up a Three Olives Rangtang, shaken. I went back to The Max to see if the crowd had improved, but the $5 cover compelled me to wander on.
It was too late to grab a pizza at Zio’s, again, so I settled for a few iced decafs at 13th Street Coffee and Tea Co. followed by a stellar experience at Ted & Wally’s with scoops of Cardamom and Chocolate Guinness ice creams. The Cardamom was extraordinary!
Back home at the Hilton Garden Inn for the night, I sucked down a liter of Green River soda, while I dealt with a bout of hangover insomnia.
The next morning I fueled up for the trip back to Des Moines with breakfast at The Diner featuring Eggs Benedict with streaky bacon, plus gravy smothered American fries. It was decent, but not as superlative as other breakfasts I’ve enjoyed in Omaha.
With time to kill I wandered about the Old Market and the adjacent ConAgra campus before checking out.