Paul’s BBQ is Now Open

By: Mr. Wilson on September 22, 2006
As it turns out, Inna's Pirogi wasn't the only new, local restaurant to open on Tuesday. Paul's BBQ opened on Pioneers Boulevard (between 47th and 48th Streets) the same day. The Missus and I grabbed dinner there tonight sort of by chance, since we found ourselves without any food in the kitchen. The restaurant gives off a definite small town vibe -- it reminds me a lot of a place called Mick's that used to be in downtown Firth. The interior features around ten tables with four chairs each. Patrons order at the counter, and your food is brought out to you a few minutes later. The menu is small, but just what you'd expect: chicken, ribs, pork, and brisket are the major entrees, and the sides include fries, beans, and cole slaw. Come to think of it, the menu at Paul's BBQ is a lot like the menu at many of the Ribfest joints. Paul's needs some time to work out a few kinks -- they were already out of several menu items due to heavier-than-expected business in their first few days -- but I think once they do, they'll find themselves welcomed warmly to the College View neighborhood. A pulled chicken sandwich at Paul's BBQ (Sorry for the crummy photo!)

What You Get For the Money

By: Mr. Wilson on September 21, 2006
Folks who own a "stylish" house in the $200 - $950K range might want to check out [url=]this post[/url] in the forums. I admit it's technically spam, but it's Lincoln-related spam, and it may get one of you on television, so I'll let it slide this time.

Sonic Boom

By: Mr. Wilson on September 21, 2006
Sheesh, how's a guy supposed to get any work done this afternoon with all those jets screaming overhead? Actually, I'm just cranky because I can hear them, but I can't see the jets, what with this eternal darkness we seem to be stuck in. NU volleyball coach John Cook got a ride in one of the Blue Angels the other day; maybe some other local celeb is puking over Lincoln at this very moment.

Inna’s Inside and Out

By: Mr. Wilson on September 21, 2006
Mr. T and I ventured to Inna's Pirogi today, located on O Street near Centennial Mall between Oso and Abloom. It opened its doors just yesterday. I know very little about the cuisine Inna's offers -- so little, in fact, that I'm ashamed I can only call it "Central or Eastern European" -- so don't expect any comments from me on the cafe's authenticity. But I do have a couple observations I would like to share: First, Inna's is a small, locally-owned restaurant. The owners have wisely kept everything fairly basic: a simple interior, simple decorations, and a simple menu. In spots it's a little too simple -- there was no soft background music, for example. But overall the simplicity is an asset, not a liability. The menu (PDF) is fairly limited, but it does include a nice selection of breakfast items, lunch/dinner entrees, and soups. I'm especially excited about the breakfast items, since Downtown offers very little in the way of breakfast dining options. As I mentioned above I know nothing about the style of cuisine Inna's is going after, and I think Mr. T knows only slightly more, so the following is intentionally brief. The food is presented very nicely on "real" plates (as opposed to paper or plastic), and it was served to us only two or three minutes after we ordered. Mr. T commented that his guliash ($6.95) was "kind of bland". The guliash was meat in a brown gravy served over rice. I had the zrazy ($6.95), a pork meatball stuffed with eggs and parsley and covered in gravy, and served with potato wedges and garnish. I found it very tasty, and I happily cleaned my plate, with the exception of a couple pieces of cucumber. Overall, I'm rooting for Inna's, but I'll be brutally honest: I give it three months, tops. That's not because of anything wrong with the restaurant, mind you. Rather, I just don't see Lincolnites giving Inna's enough business in its current location to keep it afloat. History has shown that small, independent, ethnic-but-not-Mexican restaurants have a hell of a time surviving in Lincoln. Here's hoping history is wrong about Inna's. Inna's Pirogi Inna's Pirogi Inna's Pirogi Inna's Pirogi Inna's Pirogi

Uh Oh

By: Mr. Wilson on September 20, 2006
Tucked inside Deena Winter's column today was this bit of unfortunate news:
The group [of Lincoln representatives who went on a lobbying trip to Washington, D.C.] got bad news regarding the outlook for federal street funds; they learned the federal Highway Trust Fund is expected to dry up by 2009. Federal gas tax revenue goes into the trust fund and is then distributed to states, but revenue hasn’t kept pace with the rising cost to maintain highways.
The assumption all along has been that the Feds would pay for a huge chunk of the bill for the Antelope Valley Project and the South and East Beltways, among other roads projects. From the beginning I haven't cared for that assumption. On the other hand, Lincoln isn't the only community for which this is bad news. I have a hunch the Feds will find some money in their magical, inexhaustible pot o' gold.

A Taxiing Situation

By: Mr. Wilson on September 20, 2006
I admit I know very little about the topic, but I really don't understand why it is so blasted difficult for a company to offer taxi or taxi-like services in Lincoln and Lancaster County. Why does the Public Service Commission think it is in the public's best interest to protect Servant Cab's monopoly, especially considering the public is clamoring for something better? What is it about open competition that the Public Service Commission finds so distasteful?

Inna’s Pirogi is Open

By: Mr. Wilson on September 19, 2006
As I left Oso today, I happened to notice that Inna's Pirogi is open. I dropped in, had a quick chat with the guy behind the counter, grabbed a menu, and promised I'd be back tomorrow. So who wants to hit Inna's with me tomorrow? Let's say 12:15. I hope to see you there! If you'd like a sneak preview, here's a PDF version of their menu: Thumbnail image of Inna's menu

Incivility Takes a Beating

By: Mr. Wilson on September 19, 2006
So, wow. Yesterday I mentioned an incident here in Lincoln involving some angry soccer moms and a youth referee, and I hinted that there would be repercussions. Little did I know! I really wish I could spill the details, but I can't. Err, well, I can, but I shouldn't. What I will say is this: The two women have been identified, which means the ugly possibility of having to punish all of the team's parents won't be an issue. The women will probably not be permitted to attend youth soccer matches anywhere in the state for the rest of the season, if not longer. And last but not least, law enforcement may yet get involved. If that's not the definition of a bitch-slap, I don't know what is.

The Diving Bell and the Poet

By: Mr. Wilson on September 19, 2006
I'm reading two fabulous books right now. I highly recommend them both. The first is Ted Kooser's Local Wonders: Seasons in the Bohemian Alps. It's a wonderfully entertaining look at the Bohemian Alps of southeast Nebraska. If you have lived in this area for any length of time, you will see yourself and your neighbors in this book. And no, it's not a book of poetry, although it is very poetic throughout. The second is Jean-Dominique Bauby's The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. Bauby was the editor of Elle in France until he suffered a stroke and found himself with "locked-in" syndrome. His only means of communication -- and the means by which he composed the book -- was the ability to move his left eyelid. It's a fascinating, frustrating, and peaceful look at the final days of a man dying from the outside in. Both of these books are short, and they are both broken into small chunks that are perfect for reading in pieces, if you can avoid reading them straight through. If you've been looking for a book for yourself or your book club, both of these would be excellent choices.

An Accident in the Making

By: Mr. Wilson on September 18, 2006
I simply can't fathom how anybody thought it would be a good idea for city buses to have to cross a traffic lane, a bike lane, and back across the bike lane, between the SOB and O Street. Somebody is going to be killed. The awkward dance happens hundreds of times each day. One of these days, a bus driver is going to forget to look before swinging across the lanes, and he's going to take out a bicyclist. That, or the driver will look, but a groggy bicyclist won't notice that he has camped in the bus's blind spot. I know the situation bothers Star Tran's drivers. It's easy to discern the traffic issues that frustrate them most. And surely bicyclists don't enjoy having buses swerving around them twice in such a small stretch (and again two blocks later). I sure hope somebody is looking for a solution.

Weekend Wrap-Up

By: Mr. Wilson on September 18, 2006
  • A tornado warning in September? That was unexpected.
  • I reffed four and a half soccer games this weekend. (The half game was an odd situation.) Saturday's heat and wind was parching, but overall it wasn't a bad weekend for soccer. My face is red and wind-burnt, though.
  • I watched Frank Solich coach the Huskers out in California. Frankly, I prefer Coach Callahan.
  • Robbie is starting to feel better after more than a week of cruddiness. First he had a cold, then he reacted to his four-month immunizations. He still has a bit of "intestinal distress" that makes even Daisy stay away, but his demeanor is vastly improved.

It’s Game Day!

By: Mr. Wilson on September 16, 2006
It's game day again, Husker fans, and today the Huskers are taking on the mighty Trojans of USC. I hope you plan to take a prophylactic dose of whiskey to lubricate your spirits, because the intensity of tonight's game might just leave you feeling a little rubber-legged. The Huskers have been ribbed for their relative mediocrity these past few years, but if our protection holds up tonight, we manage to abstain from spilling the ball, and we can tear through their defenses, a win is entirely conceivable. Huskers: 35 Trojans: 31 Go Big Red!
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