Thursday, March 4, 2010

Wohlner's Market

Restaurant: Wohlner's Market
Address: 2289 S. 67th Street
Genres: deli
Check Constraints: Short-order.
Chain: No. | More Omaha Locations: No.

  • Grilled Roast Beef Sandwich ($7.99)
    • Pasta Salad
  • Cup of Chicken Tortilla Soup ($1.99)
  • Fountain Drink ($0.99)
Some (not-too-longish) time ago, Wohlner's moved from its Leavenworth location into the new Aksarben Village "modern urban living center (possibly of doom)", one of those newfangled "planned" communities where there are apartments mixed with commercial offices with shopping and restaurants below, and everyone pretends that it's a vibrant tiny neighborhood of some dense urban metropolis which was airlifted here overnight. Or they would, if the economy hadn't prevented a good number of the retail and commercial slots from filling up. Regardless! Wolhner's is there to serve as the local neighborhood corner grocery store, like the Mr. Hooper of Aksarben.

... what? I can make non-geek references from time to time. Anyhow. Inside its new interior, Wolhner's sports a deli! It was to this deli that we descended like a horde of hungry code monkeys, and when the food finally came out, we all realized one thing more or less simultaneously; this place isn't just a deli. It's a bistro-deli hybrid.

That's not necessarily a bad thing, mind. The sandwiches here were definitely tasty, and everything was held to a good quality standard. What it does mean is that the food is artfully arranged on a plate which makes the quantity look rather small, and that your dollar will not go as far here as you think it will. With a bistro, you're paying the price for the high-quality food you're consuming, and the same goes here.

The sandwich, for instance, had a healthy amount of roast beef, a slice of good cheddar, and a tapenade spread across it which was delightful. There was supposedly a horseradish sauce, but though I got hints of it from time to time it was generally too weak to make a difference. I got with the side of pasta salad, which was al dente in all the right places and firm in the remainder. I also ordered a cup of chicken tortilla soup, which stood head and shoulders above the yellow-flavored liquid I remember being served in my university cafeteria.

It seemed the consensus that the winner here were the sandwiches (no shock). I feel remiss in posting this without a review of the pizzas they do here, but we weren't certain how long they'd take to cook, and we were under time pressure that day.


  • Pizza Burger (w/Slaw and Chips) ($7.49)
  • Cup of Soup of the Day (Tortilla Soup) w/Bread ($2.99)
  • Fountain Drink ($0.99)
The soup was definitely strong here, plenty of chunks and tasty bits, as was the bread (White, Wheat, or Rye options, I chose Rye) that came with it. I think they only offer the one soup of the day, though, so your soup may vary.

The pizza burger, unfortunately, was not as good as the sandwiches turned out to be. The place advertises 'Kobe burgers', and I can't disagree with the quality of the meat itself, but it was cooked to medium-well/well, I'm fairly sure, and it was not particularly large. To be fair to them, it's hard to compete with some of the excellent burgers available elsewhere in this town, and it's not bad. It just might be better to pick one of the sandwiches. Several of them looked very good. The place also has a lot of strong competition, with Blue Planet, Amatos, Gandolfo's, and Jini D's all basically within walking distance. Also, I don't like slaw and didn't eat it, so someone else will have to talk about that.

There is something to be said for eat-and-shop, and it's among the better of those, but personally I don't think I'll be visiting much for the food. The placement is fairly convenient, though, and they've got a good selection of groceries and alcohols and such. I think it'll do fine.

  • Grilled BBQ Chicken Sandwich ($6.49)
  • Cup of Soup of the Day (Tortilla Soup) w/Bread (included)
  • Homemade Chips ($1.99)
  • Fountain Drink ($0.99)
I'm going to be quite brief about this one. The chicken sandwich was good, with nicely done chicken and a bbq sauce that was a level of heat or so above BWW's honey bbq. It didn't drip too much, it didn't slide around too much, but was a bit small for the size, and especially for the price.

The tortilla soup was probably quite good, but it was less chicken and more veggies, which means it's very much not to my taste, so buyer beware, on that.

The chips weren't chips so much as they were crisps, to steal the terms, and the best they got was when the not-quite-done ones were nice and soft and reminded me very much of my mother's homemade jacket fries.

All of this was overshadowed, though, by the incredibly uncomfortable seating, which was actively painful for me. I can bear a lot of different seating arrangements, but those fucking chairs are not only not comfortable if you fall into the "large" category, they are actively uncomfortable. So basically, screw that place. I'll be back, but only because they're one of the few places locally that carries Sprecher's, and it's in the grocery section, so that's where I'll be grabbing it from, and fuck those damn chairs.

It's worth noting that almost everything on the menu is also available in take-out form, if the dining-in option won't work for you for whatever reason. This also makes it a decent work-lunch destination.

  • Wohlner's Reuben Sandwich ($6.99)
    • Tortilla Soup
  • Fountain Drink ($1.17)
I'm not sure what the deal is, but I just noticed I have the price for my drink written down as just a little bit higher than the others'.. In any case, ordering food at a grocery store to eat there at the store always seems a little odd to me. Here though, they have a kitchen in the back, menus, glassware, fountain drinks, and a section for seating. Yes, the chairs are not great. They are metal with arms that are a bit tight even for the "medium" category. The parking nearby is not great either. There are two lots on the side of a relatively busy street out in front. People around there don't seem very willing to let others who are parking or leaving go ahead.

The food was pretty good. I thought the reuben was a reasonable size. It came on a different bread than the others did, which I thought was pretty good. It had plenty of meat, sauerkraut, and sauce. The flavor may not have been as strong as it could have been, but I still enjoyed it. The soup was ok. It did have a lot of vegetables and only two or three bigger chunks of chicken. The next time around, I would probably try the pasta salad Cham got, since it looked pretty good.