Lazlo's in Lincoln

This weekend I loaded up the family and drove up to Nebraska, my wife, Stella Artois, is from Lincoln. We often go up to Omaha and swing by Lincoln to visit family. Lincoln is good for 5 things; football, shrimp pizza, Colby Ridge popcorn, a prison right in the middle of town and Lazlo's microbrewery (now in Omaha too, but so far west it's basically in Lincoln).

While we were at Stella's grandmas, some of Stella's cousins came by to visit as well (they were in from Southern California, you get where this is going?). They mentioned that they had extra tickets for what I was calling the game of the year, but most people were just calling USC-Nebraska. I'd hate to lose guy cred but we were staying in Omaha and it's a real pain to get from Omaha to Lincoln on gameday, not to mention we still had to get to Omaha and after the drive up from KC, I didn't feel I had it in me to do the driving necessary to get to the gameNot to mention it was ball raising cold out in Nebraska on Saturday and I didn't have the requisite outdoor wear, nor the Nebraska gear necessary to represent Nebraska fans in a good light. I did think that maybe I could be that guy who goes shirtless to prove how manly/stupid he is. But, I'm neither that manly and, on this day, not that stupid. Opportunity lost, I just had to watch it on the TV in the hotel. We had some shrimp pizza and made our way over to Omaha. I was bummed that we didn't drive by the prison, it's always fun to see the convicts walking around in their prison whites. It truly is a great site site to see guys in prison right in the middle of town and is usually one of the highlights of any trip to Lincoln.

I know, I know, you wish this was interesting; I do too, it's just not working out that way. Oh well, we'll press on.

While in Omaha we hit the extra vowel stores (Von Maur and Younkers, they give you that extra 'u' so they can charge extra coin) that Stella loves, hit the indoor pool with the kids and went to eat local Mexican fast food at a Nebraska chain called Amigos. In order to get the girls out of the pool the first time we had to tell them we would come back later, so we hit the pool again and now to the point of the story, I got to sit down and watch the game of the year and enjoy some Colby Ridge popcorn (hard to get on gameday) and some Empyrean Burning Skye Scottish Ale.

Now I have some confusion because I always call this beer Lazlo's because that's the name of the brewpub in Lincoln that serves it. When we went to dinner the next evening in the Old Market in Omaha Spaghetti Works (don't get the chili topping on your spaghetti, go with pomodoro or pesto cream) had Lazlo's on tap. Now, it's a bit of a chore to herd the kids into a restaurant so I didn't pay too close attention to which Lazlo's beers were on tap, but I knew I was going to have one. So when the fight among the waiters over who got the honor/horror of serving us was over I asked a simple question, "Which Lazlo's beers do you have on tap?" This was the first time I had completely flummoxed this waiter (the next was when I ordered the chili topping to go with pomodoro and pesto cream in my 3 topping melee of spaghetti), Stella corrected me and said Empyrean, and he suddenly knew the answer; Third Stone Brown and Burning Skye Scottish. Having already drank some Burning Skye and with a sixer of it in the van I decided I would go with the Brown (a favorite style of mine anyway).

Empyrean Third Stone Brown is really a pretty good beer, it could have a little more flavor, but then again so could my balls. My point is, go to Nebraska have some Third Stone Brown. Stella really enjoys Burning Skye Scottish Ale so it always makes the trip back to KC. And I must say it's a really good beer, perhaps the finest Scottish Ale I've had. 75th Street Brewery has had a Scottish as a seasonal for the last couple of months and I do like it better than Empyrean's but it's close enough that I wouldn't argue with someone who likes Empyrean's more, plus it's available in bottles all year round.

I don't really recommend the Spaghetti Works, but it's a fine place if you have kids that like pasta. I do highly recommend the Upstream Brewing Company which is right next door to the Spaghetti Works in Old Market. They always have a cask beer or two and make a fine porter which was fabulous the last time we were there. It was approximately -2 degrees that day and they had a vanilla porter as a cask beer, I don't believe I've run into a more perfect beer for that particular moment. We had been putting shrimp pizza into Ziplocs to put in the cooler for the trip back to KC. For some reason I turned the car off to do this so I was digging in ice in the freezing cold in the Upstream parking lot right before we went in for a beer. Cellar temperature Porter was perfect for that occasion.

I know, I know, I threw a lot at you in this post and it was all dreadfully boring so let's hit the highlights and shopping items for your time in Southeastern Nebraska; Lazlo's/Empyrean, Colby Ridge popcorn (score some at Hy-vee in Lincoln), Upstream brewery, shrimp pizza from Valentino's (they're everywhere) and prison.

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