By Abigail Stephans, Contributor
2279 S. 67th St.
Those craving Mai Thai once had to travel to the distant reaches of West Omaha, but with a location now in Aksarben Village, students don’t have to travel far to get a taste of Thai. The privately owned restaurant is authentic in atmosphere and cuisine. With a warm and welcoming wait staff, and menu items that combine the perfect balance of sweet and spicy flavors, Mai Thai is a fast-favorite when it comes to Thai food.
Open for lunch and dinner, Monday through Thursday and all day over the weekend, the Aksarben Mai Thai is the perfect place for a date night, a small group of friends or a family get-together. While a few of the large seafood dishes run a bit steep in price, the menu itself offers reasonable prices that are worth indulging. These plates offer well-balanced flavors of classic Thai dishes, as well as menu items carefully designed by Chef and Owner Preeda Joynoosaeng, who has brought his passion for Thai cuisine and family-run restaurants to Omaha since 1993.
501 Underwood Ave.
Dinner plans can be topped off with a trip to eCreamery, located on 50th and Underwood. Founded by Abby Jordan and Becky App, eCreamery prides itself on creating ice cream as a gift of flavor and pleasure. Open seven days a week, with 16 rotating flavors every day, this ice cream parlor one-upped the competition by establishing a website, ecreamery.com, in 2007. The website allows customers to select and order their favorite flavors. The deal gets sweeter as eCreamery provides the delivery option of shipping flavors to any state.
If guests are uncertain on what to order, eCreamery allows two samples of any flavor, when the shop is busy. When the sweet shop isn’t busy, customers are allowed as many samples as they please. Plus, visitors can even create a personalized pint to take home – perfect for those long cram sessions before exams.
The ice cream shops’ daily picks hit all the essentials, including scrumptious choices such as peanut butter fudge swirl with peanut butter cups, or cookies and cream from their Classic Ice Cream Collection. From their Gelato Collection, try chocolate chip gelato with Amarena cherries or opt for a non-traditional flavor and give pistachio gelato a try. Their Sorbet Collection covers the popular flavors of lemon, raspberry, mango and chocolate. While it may seem a bit pricey to the average college student, the indulgence is well worth the quality and quantity received.
813 N. 40th St.
Sweet Magnolia’s is a darling bakery located on the corner of 40th and Cuming. Open from early morning until early afternoon, but closed on Sundays, this bakery is a staple dessert stop for UNO students.
Though no current website is available for Sweet Magnolia’s, one can browse through pictures of their menu items on their Facebook page. Fun Halloween pumpkin cookies or sugar cookies, shaped as Christmas trees, are just a few of the specialty items that draw guests in during the holidays. For UNO students, a dozen cinnamon rolls drizzled with sticky, delicious syrup may be just what the doctor ordered for those much needed breaks between classes.
While Sweet Magnolia’s isn’t well-known for being a “sit down and eat” bakery, guests stopping in often have no problem finding a morsel that matches their sweet tooth.
1010 Howard St.
Those looking for a restaurant in the Old Market can seek the light playing jazz music and candlelit ambience of the Indian Oven. Located on the corner of 10th and Howard, next to Havana Bar and Grill, the personality-packed restaurant has been family-run for thirty years. Once owned by Maria Fernandez, her oldest son, Binoy, now runs the authentic Indian restaurant. This has brought him to run the renowned Indian Oven Speakeasy in the basement of the dining establishment. Since the Indian Oven was passed down to his well-experienced hands, many changes have occurred, including more plentiful seating arrangements, a vast spreading copper bar on the main floor and a more concentrated focus on the authentic Indian cuisine.
While it may be the pre-prohibition cocktails and the exclusive feel that gives the Indian Oven renown, the restaurant also offers plenty of reasons to lure in college students. Happy hour at the Indian Oven doesn’t just mean $2 off the old-fashioned, hand-crafted cocktails. From 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. all small plates on the menu are a dollar off, making authentic dishes affordable to students. The menu also provides variety for gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan diets.