Dear Dine

Chopping leeks on wooden chopping board

In an effort to help elevate the Nebraska Dining experience, we answer the questions you’ve always wanted to ask while dining out.

Dear Dine,

“Are there any restaurants that are giving cooking lessons?” – Cynthia K. 

In the current times of the pandemic, several of the typical cooking lesson suggestions, such as Cure Cooking, are on hold. However, there are still many places to check out throughout this next year.

Noble Cooking is a new virtual cooking class website created by Chef Clayton Chapman after the closing of The Grey Plume. The Institute for the Culinary Arts at MCC has also moved its continuing education classes to online with the option to purchase your own ingredients or pick-up your ingredients at the school. Other businesses in the community providing learning opportunities include City Sprouts, Crème de la Crème Cooking School, and Fireplace Stone & Patio

Dear Dine,

“How are arepas meant to be eaten?” – Leslie K. 

Richard Mendoza, owner of El Arepon Venezuela Food, stated, “You eat them with your hands like a hamburger. They are finger food! I see people eat them with a knife and fork everyday here and it breaks my heart.” Mendoza also explained that arepas can be eaten at any meal of the day because they are so versatile. He said, “They are one of the most healthy breakfasts worldwide!” 

The most popular arepas Mendoza sells include the Pabellón which is filled with shredded beef, black beans, plantains, fried egg and cheese, and the Reina Pepeada stuffed with shredded chicken mixed in a creamy avocado salad. Traditional arepas are made with 100% corn flour which is gluten free. 

Dear Dine,

“What are Birria tacos?” – Michael S. 

Birria tacos are the hottest taco trend right now and hopefully become a menu staple everywhere, as they are absolute savory heaven for anyone who loves to dunk their food. 

Rory Fulcher, marketing manager and business partner at Javi’s Tacos, shared, “It starts with two corn tortillas that are dipped into consommé and warmed up on the flat grill, then we add our fine quality Oaxaca cheese (or Chihuahua cheese) and melt it on the tortillas. We add our delicious shredded beef, which is a slow cook secret from Javi’s mother. Lastly, we top it off with a blend of cilantro and onions. The Birria Tacos also come with a bowl of consommé, which is a broth that the Birria Tacos are dipped into while eating.”

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