Thursday, January 5, 2012

M's Pub

422 South 11th Street
Omaha, NE 68102
(402) 342-2550
Open daily 11am to midnight, Sunday 5pm to 11pm

Vegetarian Lahvosh:
"Hummus, spinach, artichoke hearts, tomato, red peppers,
Calamata olives and scallions, drizzled with a roasted red pepper-cracked mustard aioli."
At times a celebration of salt (the artichokes made my mouth pucker), but overall a great snack.

What can be said about the venerable M's Pub that hasn't been said a thousand times before. It's not a genius idea, really, it's more like common sense: Classy atmosphere, a menu with something for everyone, well-trained staff with attention to detail, a wine list that doesn't make you yawn, and hours that cater to midnight snackers. It's no wonder they're in a constant state of "busy." The fact is, I knew it would be good, so I waited an entire year of living in Omaha to check it out. When there's nothing to pick on, sometimes dining out isn't as arousing. To be clear, the food is no adventure in flavor. Pardon my cynicism, but with such an expansive menu, there's no way everything can be a total hit. But I feel comfortable in the hands of M's. When M's tells me that Caesar dressing is supposed to be super-anchovy-y, I trust them, and make sure I bring along my Altoids™. M's knows to serve their grilled juicy hot dog with all of the condiments in little ramekins on the side, because, HELLO, not everyone likes ketchup on their dog. M's also realizes that not everyone loves meat, as illustrated by their tempting selection of solid vegetarian options -- think "Carrot Dog" and "Black Bean Cakes."

If M's says it's ok for the hostess to wear jeans, then by golly, it is. Just because they're popular doesn't mean they're too good for jeans. In fact, M's is kind of the "jeans" of the Omaha restaurant scene; they both offer a comfort and familiarity, and can be at once fashionable and utilitarian. I think they should open an "M's West," along with "M's Midtown," and "M's on Maple" in Benson. Heck, put one on every corner. I want more places with upscale pub grub at a fair price, so I don't have to hurt my poor brain trying to think of a place I know I can rely on.

Classic Caesar Salad, small--
Bold anchovy flavor, freshly grated cheese and house-made croutons set it apart from the rest.

Hot Dog, with all the fixins, and outstandingly firm toasted bun.
Real grill marks to tide you over 'til next springtime's cookouts.
Small bowl of lettuce with poppyseed dressing reminiscent of what you'd get with an airplane meal.

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