Derek Eats Food

Experiences at Lincoln, NE restaurants

Places I've eaten

Bad ideas
I eat it so you don't have to


28 Apr 2014

Visited: 19 Apr 2014

First impressions

I arrived with a party of six around 7 PM and we were seated as soon the wait staff put a couple tables together. I guess when I visited they hadn’t finished decorating, because the walls were plain blank gray. Upstairs looked like it was still under construction, probably for a party room. I did like the look of the color-changing LED strips in the glassed-in keg room. Because, you know, who doesn’t want that, right?


Soon after we sat down, our waitress stopped by to hand us our menus. She highlighted the selection of 76 beers (I took her word for it). By the time she came back, we were all still reading through the beer menu, so we got some waters. The waters came in Mason jars, which I hear is really cool these days - except for the Raising Cane’s-style ice pellets that took up half of my glass. Come on guys, I chug water when I eat. I need all the space I can get.

I settled on a Cardinal from Nebraska Brewing Company for my drink. I’ve been on a pale ale kick for a while now, and this is the first place I’ve noticed Nebraska Brewing Company on a Lincoln menu.

Nebraska Brewing Cardinal

Not bad at all, reminds me of my favorite Mirror Pond Pale Ale by Deschute’s. A bit on the… wheatier side, maybe? Less snappy and flavorful than a Mirror Pond, but certainly enjoyable. Not a bad local intro to pale ales.

For the main course, I decided to stick with the burger streak since I’d been to Honest Abe’s for lunch. My burger of choice was the Duffified (say that 5 times fast). A fried egg, bacon, and pepperjack atop a spice-crusted burger. I hoped “spice-crusted” didn’t mean “like a normal burger but dunked in seasoned salt.” Also, the menu item was highlighted, which means tasty, I think.

(As a side note, I highly recommend giving fried egg burgers a shot sometime. I’ve been a fan ever since I tried one at the great J.L. Beers in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.)

I picked Southern baked beans as a side. Can’t go wrong with some good old fashioned baked beans. I asked the waitress for a sample of the beer mac and cheese, but she must have forgotten, because it never showed up.

One of my friends was first to order and requested his burger be cooked medium rare. The waitress informed us that all burgers were cooked to medium. Not a problem in my book, as long as it’s cooked medium… well. Heh.

Twenty minutes after ordering, we’re sipping our beers and starting to get that hungry feeling you get when you know food’s coming soon.

Food showed up about 35 minutes after ordering. Let’s take a look!


Gordon Ramsay says, “Clean up those drips!” Tableware was somehow whiter than I was expecting, but who am I kidding, it’s burger time!

Duffified 2


Hm. First thought: this is not a medium-cooked burger. It was crunchy and slightly dry, definitely what I’d classify as well done. And it wasn’t just me, everyone at my table ordered burgers and they were all well done. I’ve had a chance to chat with other friends that have been there, and they’ve had the same experience. How unfortunate.

The bun was supple but lacking in character, other than being dry, flaky and slightly stale. This must be what they’re calling “brioche” these days.

Luckily, the egg was cooked perfectly, with a runny yolk. Just the kind of egg you want on a burger. It makes it a bit messy, but tastes great. Bacon seemed to be well prepared, but combined with the “spice-crusted” burger it trended too salty for my tastes. The pepperjack was standard, forgettable.

The beans had pieces of meat in them, just how I like them. They weren’t bad, but I had this uncomfortable sensation that they were standard canned beans with some bacon, brown sugar, and about a pound of pepper added. Like I said, not bad, but I can’t say I’d recommend them.

Breakfast was all that saved this burger. I hope these are just growing pains for Longwell’s, and expect to taste better from them soon. If my normal burger was well done, I’d be reluctant to try the stuffed ones, but I am curious about the BBQ. Grade: B-


No issues from the front of house, other than a general lack of experience that could probably be attributed to the recently opened kitchen. Our waitress was a bit forgetful, forgetting my friend’s Dr. Pepper until he asked for it, for example. The wait for food felt on the longer side to our group, possibly because the kitchen was busy overcooking our burgers, but I suspect we wouldn’t mind as much if we had more entertainment.

It’s a shame a place in such a choice Haymarket location has hardly any atmosphere other than a couple of well-stocked bars. I suspect they’re going to plaster the walls with TVs to complement the giant screen above the Railyard. Don’t get me wrong, the bars are pretty cool looking, but the room hasn’t quite built up around them yet.

Also, I appreciate the family history of the English name and Union Jack and Revolutionary War references, but the food and drink is mostly American. Seems like a missed opportunity to me, considering the prevalence of similar food in the area.

I do have to comment on the bathroom setup. The urinals have games, which were rather disappointing as they take some time to activate. Also, there’s a communal sink for both bathrooms that’s visible from the dining area, presumably so other customers can judge you if you don’t wash your hands.

I’m giving them a little benefit of the doubt, since they hadn’t been open for long when I visited. I’ll update the review if I revisit them later. Grade: B-


Burgers/BBQ $8-10. Sides $3. Beers $4-6.

Scores are not necessarily precise, but relative to restaurants in recent memory. I plan to rebalance my scores as I review more restaurants.