April 8, 2004
Would you like a really great and exotic meal for pennies? One you can
fix for yourself (and one other person) in about five minutes?
Man, have I ever found a treat for you! In the back right-hand
(northeast) corner of the Homeland Market (2350 O St), a real
favorite of mine for interesting food and very nice people, look for a shelf
of SWAD ready-to serve meals. They are Indian and Pakistani menus, nicely
packaged, easily fixed, and absolutely delicious. I make a quick batch of
instant rice and pour one of these over it, and have a gourmet treat. I like
the Paneer Jalfrezi best but I have yet to open one of these without oohing
and aahing about what great food it is at such an excellent price...and so
quickly and easily fixed. While you're at Homeland, shop around. The folks
there are really great, and the food is wonderful. Look for Arabic cheeses
and coffees. If you spot packages of S-shaped cookies with sesame seeds on
them, buy several packages and you'll be thanking me after the first one.
The Homeland is a Lincoln treasure, no doubt about it.
February 16, 2004
Let's see, it's "Starve a cold, feed a fever, and bury pneumonia under a
ton of breakfast burritos!" I have been down and out for a while but on my
last outing to Lincoln I made a point, sick or not, of going to a place that
I was told is the very best Mexican food in town,
D'Leons. They told me this at the Hispanic Center, they told me
this in the Lincoln Police Department, they told me this every place I tried
to tell them, and are they ever right! D'Leons is a drive-through only but
get this!, it's open 24 hours a day! And every time I've been there, no
matter what time it is, there is a line. The food is that good. D'Leons is
out on West 'O' Street, across the street north from the Congress Inn, just
east of the bypass over pass. The food is inexpensive, delicious. REAL
tortillas! and one burrito should keep you fed for a week or so. And the
folks there are as friendly as can be and they should be, since they are
doing a land-office business.
By way of new markets, I recommend the Oriental
Garden at 26th and O. It is large, airy, clean, and well stocked
and the only place in town I've found really good gunpowder tea. Linda
bought a beautiful tea service there at a very good price and again, the
folks running the Oriental Garden are friendly and helpful.
Despite the fact that I'm down and out for a while, the job of the
project is being carried on by my old friend, colleague, and student, John
Carter of the Historical Society. With our new VISTA worker Carol Devall,
John covered the Tet festival celebrations in Lincoln, images to appear on
the new Lincoln Arts Council web page
soon, hopefully even with sound!
I hope all of my LAFTA friends are getting through the winter better than I
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November 25, 2003
I am ever more amazed at the remarkable diversity of Lincoln’s New
American communities. We are just beginning but do have a couple more
suggestions for you. First, if you would like some truly remarkable and
unusual art for your home, I suggest you check in with Mr. Said Rauf at
Faces of the Middle East, 140 So. 27th.
Said’s workshop is in the basement and he is there only occasionally, so you
may have to make arrangements to meet him there…or better, go to his home to
give him a ride to the center. That is even better because then you’d have a
chance to talk with this fine gentleman, an Iraqi Kurd. His work is
gorgeous…uh….I don’t even know what to call them! Carvings? Cuttings? They
are like German Scherenschnitte, paper cuttings, but they are cut in plastic
or aluminum, quotations from the Quran in wonderfully stylized, fanciful
designs. If you should be lucky and smart enough to acquire one of Said’s
works, they do come with the understanding that since they are from the Holy
Quran, they must be treated with respect, never be on the ground or be
discarded, be in a place where there is no drinking or disrespectful
We are finding too that there are New American dining spots that vary in
busy-ness from time to time during the day. For example,
El Charro at 221 So 9th, has a brisk
noon trade from nearby businesses and offices but evenings it is quiet and
you’ll have a chance to have a conversation with Juan Rodriguez Desavento,
the manager. He is from Mexico City, has a great sense of humor, and takes
enormous pride in the food he serves. Important note! Wednesdays Margaritas
and Mexican beers are half price! I recommend the luscious Negra Mondelo!
While New American establishments and artists like these need our support
to keep Lincoln alive and interesting, the bottom line is that it is
anything but charity I am suggesting here. The real beneficiary is U.S.!
We have a remarkable buffet of International delights here in Lincoln…if
we’ll just pick up a tray and make our way through the line! Oh…and if you
find a Lincoln New American Folk Artist…musician, dancer, seamstress,
artist…you think is worth noting, let me know at
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October 22, 2003
At the risk of telling you something you already know or don't really
care about, please do note the wonderful market European Deli at 1730
North 48th. It is not actually ON 48th; you need to go to the alley between
48th and 49th and go through the backdoor with the little sign and two
plastic chairs outside. I know it looks suspiciously like a trap but the
Ukrainian guy who runs this is a real sweetheart and he has a grand
assortment of European cheeses and sausages you won't find any where else.
(Real German blood sausage?! Creamy feta?! Russian bullheads in tomato
sauce?!!!) I am not suggesting this as charity for him but as a survival
device for those of us who like an occasional item other than Velveeta and
I am also still hyping the Iraqi Peace Cafe
at 313 North 27th. I met a friend there at noon on a Wednesday and it damn
near killed me that we were the only two in there for noon...incredible
food, piles of it, wonderful people, very inexpensive...long line at
Denny's...two at the Peace Cafe.
We need these places. You'll get gold stars beside your name in Heaven.
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