About Roger Welsch
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Roger recommends:
El Charro, 221 S. 9
European Deli, 1730 N. 48
D'Leons, 2140 West 'O'
Faces of the Middle East, 140 S. 27
Homeland Market, 2350 'O'
Oriental Garden, 26th and 'O'
Peace Cafe, 313 N. 27


Roger Sez...

Roger Welsch is heading up a project to document and promote the arts, folklore, and culture of new immigrant populations in Lincoln. This project is supported in part by the Lincoln Arts Council. This page includes his descriptions about some of the gems he's found.

Quick links:
4/8/04 | 2/26/04 | 11/25/03 | 10/22/03

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 am..

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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 behavior.

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 lincolnfolkarts@hotmail.com

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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 Slim Jims.

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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