A Lesson in Soul Food from North Omaha By:UNO Student

In celebration of Black History Month and in preparation for the Omaha Freedom Festival that takes place this June, we have decided to shine the spotlight on three unique African American-owned restaurants in the northern Omaha area. When selecting the restaurants in focus, we looked for restaurants that embody the culinary heritage and spirit of the community in which it serves. All three of the following restaurants represent a different piece of history and culture for the African American community in northern Omaha. However, what makes them different also unites them in one cultural purpose!

  1. A Taste of New Orleans:Located at 6023 Maple Street in northern Omaha, this iconic food truck brings traditional New Orleans soul food from the Bayou. From Cajun-fried chicken, savory shrimp, and wings drizzled with sauce to mouth-watering po boys and street tacos; A Taste of New Orleans provides a down-south twist on many delicious delicacies. So, if you happen to be in Omaha for the Olympic Swimming Trials this Winter and need a warm treat to heat you up, come experience the Southern cooking that is sure to warm your soul!
  2. Big Mama’s Kitchen and Catering: Fresh fried chicken, battered catfish, wings doused in house-made honey barbecue sauce, and hot fish sandwiches loaded with fresh vegetables; all of this can be found at Big Mama’s Kitchen and Catering. While the venue is already well-known from its appearance on the Food Network, there are still those who have yet to try the heavenly culinary creations served here. Luckily, the restaurant remains open at 2112 N. 30th Street, so those who haven’t experienced the deliciousness yet are welcome to taste it for themselves. If you are visiting Omaha’s esteemed Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium and have just finished your visit, there really is no better place to end your day than with a dinner at Big Mama’s!
  3. Caribbean Delights: A Jamaican delicacy, Caribbean Delights specializes in various curries, fish, oxtail, shrimp, and chicken dishes. Located at 2403 N. 72nd Street, Caribbean Delights is a hidden local staple. On top of the entrée options, they also offer desserts such as fruit cake with whipped cream and sweet potato pudding. And be sure not to skip the exotic Jamaican soft drinks (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic). If you want to truly experience the warmth of the Caribbean before heading to the College World Series this Summer, be sure to make a stop up north at this testament to island cooking!

What do all these historic establishments have in common? Clearly, they all draw from different influences of African American culture; whether it’s the Bayou, the beaches of Jamaica, or another historic place. And again, being unique in the different food they serve shows just how vast the culture the cuisine derives from is. So, what will you try first? Will it be the savory shrimp from the esteemed New Orleans kitchen, the mouth-watering fried chicken from Big Mama’s, or the unique oxtail from Caribbean Delights? (Or, in our opinion, try them all!). The next time you find yourself in northern Omaha, please be sure to give one of these African American- owned and inspired eateries a try!

@Lee Franklin Junior

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@Tim Anderson

@Calvin Williams

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