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Caroline Drew

‘Caribbean Delights’ brings Jamaican culture to Omaha, Marian community

Every day after school you can find freshman Shantise Pearson seating customers and taking orders at her parents’ restaurant, Caribbean Delights: Jamaican Jerk Restaurant. Pearson’s parents have owned and operated the restaurant, located on 72nd and Blondo, for 12 years now. “My dad had a lot of family-passed-down recipes, and he wanted to share them with Omaha,” Pearson said. Pearson’s dad cooks the food served at Caribbean Delights and creates all of the recipes, while her mother plays a more managerial role in customer service.

Pearson has been helping out around the restaurant since she was 4 years old, but she began taking orders and interacting with customers when she was 10. Her favorite thing about working in the restaurant is all the people she’s had the opportunity to meet there. “You meet a lot more people,” Pearson said. “They recognize me and they’re like ‘oh I know where you’re from! You’re from that restaurant.’”

Caribbean Delights is currently the only Jamaican restaurant in all of Nebraska, making it a one-of-a-kind place to experience cultural foods many are unfamiliar with. “My favorite dish would have to be the jerk wings,” Pearson said, “I eat them every day.” For those who are new to Jamaican foods, however, Pearson recommends starting off with the beef patty or jerk wrap.

eCreamery

Co-owned by ’96 alumn Abby Klusmire, eCreamery is a local ice cream parlor specializing in creative flavors and an online ice cream ordering system. Stop by their Dundee location and try a scoop of ‘Shark Bait’—a delicious mixture of vanilla ice cream, chocolate covered pretzels and caramel swirls—or a dish of avocado ice cream, as pictured above. If you’re feeling extra brave, take on their ‘Dundee Dozen’ challenge. Win a t-shirt and a spot on their wall of fame for eating 12 scoops of the ice cream flavor of your choice.

Hardy Coffee Co.

Located a few minutes from Marian on Maple in the Benson neighborhood, Hardy’s is a locally owned coffee shop featuring delicious brews, tasty pastries and live musical performances. Swing by before or after school for a scrumptious seasonal latte, like the one pictured here, or bring all your friends for a study sesh and a quick snack. On Monday nights, stick around for their open mic night at 6 p.m. and you just might discover your new favorite local musician.

Modern Love

To many, entering a restaurant that has no meat, dairy or animal products can seem daunting. Meat and cheese seem to be such an essential part of meals from east to west; however, chef and mastermind behind Omaha’s Modern Love, Isa Chandra Moskowitz, is challenging that narrative one chickpea cutlet at a time. With its chic and modern interior decoration, perfectly sized menu and overall enchanting dining experience, Modern Love is the perfect spot for a dinner date, celebration or girls’ night out.

As vegan virgins, the menu intimidated us at first. Cashew cheese, lentil burgers and what even is seitan? After lengthy discourse and an extensive Q & A with our waitress, we ordered and were ready to feast. We decided to start off with the Seitan Buffalo Wings ($10). Immediately, we were taken aback by how acutely the wheat byproduct tasted like chicken. Drizzled in vegan ranch, these crunchy buffalo bites were startlingly similar to the real deal and, overall, delicious. We followed the wings with two entrees: the Chickpea Cutlet Parmesan ($18), a vegan take on the classic chicken and pasta dish, and the Modern Cheeseburger ($12) to which we simply had to add the mushroom bacon (+$2). Each portion was surely enough to quench your dinner needs and also send you home with a heaping helping to reheat in the comfort of your own home. We finished it all off with a gooey and sweet Warm Apple Tart ($7). In each of these dishes, Moskowitz painted a picture using a whirlwind of flavors and spices that made even carnivores like us, toy with the idea of going full-fledged vegan. This spot is a for sure hit if you are looking to expand your palate and comfort zone.

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