As the heat waves of summer fade away, Nebraskans welcome the crisp air and colorful foliage of fall. It’s a peak time of year for road trips, and plenty of hidden gems make up the state’s culinary scene. One enticing eatery offers an urban vibe with a personalized touch. Get ready for your next destination drive—south-central Nebraska awaits.
In the heart of downtown Hastings lies Odyssey: a fresh take on dining capturing worldwide influences through its evolving menu. The innovative establishment launched in January 2016 after several community requests for the city to offer more elevated dining options.
Within its exposed brick walls, Odyssey invites guests into a “date night in the Old Market” atmosphere through its industrial yet leathered look, adding “flair” to the space’s timeless interior. Owner Jamey Hamburger said he knew people longed for a high-end concept to come to town and recalled feeling left out due to the location of Hastings. “With everything going on in Lincoln and Omaha, we figured we would create something like that here,” he said.
Welcoming an exquisite concept like Odyssey into the small city of Hastings played in Hamburger’s favor. Between incomparable prices and individualized guest experiences, the compact community allows for less overhead and more customization than it would if the business was in the Metro. Known for its exceptional customer service, the well-trained staff is educated on all of the restaurant’s offerings; including how foods are sourced through suppliers such as Morgan Ranch and Little Town Gardens.
Whether it’s a small plate of Parmesan Truffle Chips, gluten-free Crab Cakes secured by shredded potatoes, or a composed entrée plated by Executive Chef Tomy Alvarez, the fine fare crafted, served, and enjoyed at Odyssey only encompasses one of the many components the restaurant offers. On top of Odyssey’s regular crowd from Hastings, many people from Grand Island and Kearney also frequent the restaurant on the weekends.
Dining experiences like Odyssey continue to captivate the food community. Regardless if one resides in town, the restaurant’s enticing experience offers the perfect excuse for a road trip to Hastings. Hamburger said he has received an overwhelming amount of support since opening, and the staff ensures they do everything they can to make guests feel safe and accommodate their needs. “People want a dining experience like they see on television,” he said. “There’s a lot of good people out here that like great things, and I’m glad that we can provide that for them.”