72993 S Rd.
Sacramento, NE 68949
Fare: American Steakhouse
Cost: $80 for two appetizers, three drinks and four meals
Reservation: Accepted, but plenty of seating available
Greetings, eaters and readers!
This month we decided to live up to our tagline — Finding the Good Bites in the Good Life State. So during our trip to Cambridge, NE to visit my parents, we found ourselves a gem in Sacramento — a town whose existence relies solely on its restaurant.
So head 214 miles west with us – a hop, skip and a 5.7 mile jump from Holdrege to: The Speakeasy.
Appetizers were half price during the Husker game, so of course we got more than one.
The first item in our mouths were the Chicken Fried Legs with Honey Butter. (Sorry not sorry, arteries!) They were sweet. Salty. Crispy. Juicy. Fantastic. We didn’t know fried chicken could use a douse of hot, melty honey butter – but it does.
Also on the half price appetizer menu was the delicious-sounding roasted pork shoulder with Korean BBQ and ginger-scallion sauces. A little delayed to our table, we were more than grateful when the server set them down and said they were on the house for the wait.
It goes without saying: we to-the-moon appreciate an establishment that “makes it right” before you even really knew it was less than ideal. High five on that, Speakeasy. Martha was an instant fan of the extra zing these perfectly sized, juicy morsels were packed with. The sauce was as good as anything you’d find in Omaha and, she dare say, anywhere else.
I’m always on a quest to find the best chicken fried steak. So I got it, obviously. When it hit the table, I was surprised to see it look the way it did. Usually, “chicken fried” has more crispy dimension – like Martha’s chicken fried chicken (below).
Turns out, it didn’t really matter. I gobbled it up all the same. Although, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have extra crispy coating envy and wanted just a little more gravy. But overall, I was happy with my steak and the mashed potatoes were creamy and savory like a good mashed tater should be.
Martha has had heavy doses of FFOMO (Foody Fear of Missing Out) the last few times I’ve ordered chicken fried steak. On the drive to dinner, she had all but finalized that she was going to get the Chicken Fried Chicken for herself this go ’round. Despite a menu full of temptations, she stuck to her plan.
If we were fearful it’d be too similar to my plate to feel like we experienced the menu, any such fear quickly fell to the floor when her plate arrived. Heaped with a generous portion of still hot and delightfully crispy chicken made everyone take notice. Paired with standard mashed potatoes and gravy, her second side was wild rice (she swapped the mustard slaw) and she loved every bite she took. Blown away by how hot every single plate was, Martha thoroughly enjoyed her entire Speakeasy experience.
My mom, Amy, tried the Ground Steak with caramelized onions and sautéed mushrooms. I tried a piece. Oh man. It absolutely melted in your mouth. And — apparently, because I did not try these — her brussels sprouts were very well-seasoned and perfectly poppable. Martha even liked them. And she’s not a huge fan of the round green guys.
My stepdad, Kevin, admitted he had heard great things about The Speakeasy for roughly 40 years, but had never made the visit. One bite into his USDA High Choice Ribeye – also with caramelized onions and sautéed mushrooms – and I could see that look of pure bliss that only a good Nebraska steak can provide. His steak fries were actually more of a semi-thick potato round that were also well-executed in texture and flavor.
On this foodventure, we only didn’t dive deep into a dessert because we had a house full of yummy options waiting for us back at Amy’s house. (Hello cheesecake pumpkin muffins!)
We know you probably read this and wondered why in the heck you would ever find yourself in the middle of nowhere, Nebraska. We get it. We got a puzzled look or two telling friends our next target. But as previously stated – we are determined to discover and spread the word about gems from all over the Good Life state, not just Omaha. And this legend seemed like a great place to start. If we can encourage you to do anything at all – it’s to make the drive to The Speakeasy. It. Is. Worth it. We promise.
This place offers a little bit of everything: class, comfort and creativity across the menu. Maybe you need a quick-but-worthy weekend getaway? Family or friends in Kearney that you need to drop in on? Maybe you’re just dedicated to finding out for yourself if we’re full of fluff and hot air. Whatever. Find your reasons and then find your way to The Speakeasy.
We loved it so much – The Speakeasy gets our FIRST EVER Certified Good Bite! (Fireworks, marching band, jazz hands and fanfare here!) How does a place earn such a RARE UNICORN OF APPROVAL? In short, it gets two forks up and if someone said “I’m rolling through and have the time to eat at one place” and they ask us for input – we’d feel perfectly confident that they’d get a good taste of the Good Life’s culinary offerings at any place we stamp as a Certified Good Bite.