For those of you who connect life to family, friends & food will understand this blog post. For those of you who don't, well your probably not reading my blog to start with!
My husband & I went last Saturday to Zemog's Cocina Mexicana in Omaha Nebraska. We had seen this eatery several times, but never stopped. So far we had not found the style of Mexican food in the Midwest that we longed for. Our search is over!
Our servers name was Justin, he greeted us at the table with a big smile and basket of freshly made corn tortilla chips. The salsa that came with them was very mild but had great flavor. I looked at my husband and said "I'm feeling very hopeful about this meal, it smells right in here!"
Now if your from Texas or just know good Tex-Mex food, the cafe should smell like masa & spices when you walk in the door. If the wonderful scent of ground corn or chili peppers doesn't hit your olfactory receptor (nose) quickly, then the food may not be real Tex-Mex. The first thing my husband said after we sat down was "It smells like Morales cafe in here" This was just an incredible seal of approval before the meal even came.
It's like the smell of a Thanksgiving dinner cooking in the oven, the smell is the beginning of the meal. It is said we eat with our eyes first, but I think we should rethink that & say we eat with our smeller first. When my mom cooked cabbage...I didn't get a warm fuzzy feeling about dinner!
After talking to our server Justin, I found out he just arrived from Austin, Texas. Now for those of you who know food, you know it's the mecca of Tex-Mex restaurants. Of course San Antonio would argue with that, but so would all the towns in Texas! Zemogs is owned by Justin's dad so my day was getting better by the minute.
When the plates were placed on the table, I knew things were going to taste like they smelled. We ordered combination plates. We tried the chicken enchilada with Verde sauce, puffy beef taco, pork tamale, cheese enchilada & beef enchilada smothered in red chili gravy.
The Verde sauce on the chicken enchilada was incredible. It was freshly made with mild green peppers & spices. This may not be the enchilada sauce you want to start with, but it's great.
The red chili gravy on the cheese & beef enchiladas was a traditional sauce that couldn't have been any better. Knowing the work that goes into that simple sauce or gravy as it's known, shows the pride that this restaurant takes in the quality of the food they serve.
Puffy tacos are so Central Texas! Being from East Texas I had never had one, so when I saw those on the menu, I had to try one. They are crispy but soft too, don't crumble like a fried corn tortilla but are all warm & delicious.
Tamales...there are many different type, but these at Zemog's were the type that said welcome home to me! Zemog's are made in the traditional way to make a firmer tamale. These were served with a delicious pork filling. Tex-Mex can have beef or chicken fillings also but I prefer the pork & the old style myself. These were delicious & I would go back just to buy these for a take-out dinner.
I can say that you will not be disappointed in this restaurant if you love Tex-Mex. If your not sure, they have great choices like salads & burritos that are more Midwest-Mex. Nothing is too spicy, of course I am a Texan & like the heat. Justin, our server, brought us the hot salsa also & it was great.
I recommend anyone in Omaha trying Zemog's Cocina Mexicana. Be open to the fact that Tex-Mex isn't the only style Mexican food they have on the menu. The cafe was spotless & pleasantly decorated with fun table tops to enjoy. The "ginormous" sizing of the food isn't a joke! You get so much that I took enough home for lunch the next day. The atmosphere is casual, laid back & so very friendly. It's a little bit of Tex-Mex on the corner of 108th & Q St in Omaha Nebraska.
Take out available!