15835 Center West Hadan Drive, Bennington
Fare: American, Bar
Cost: $50 for two drinks, one appetizer and three meals
Reservations: Not needed
Greetings, eaters and readers – and Happy New Year!
I hadn’t intended to burn my “quarterly guest” card so early in the new year, but sometimes you just have to catch up with a friend and our latest blog outing was a reason to do just that. My friend Mia joined us on a recent Tuesday after work and we ventured out to Bennington to discover The Warehouse. I can’t say I had a proper reason for picking it, save for always liking the thought I might find something off the beaten path – all in the name of research! Would The Warehouse be our first gem of 2019? Let’s dig in!
We started off with a basket of Cheese Curds and The Warehouse offers a typical, short order “drop em and fry em” curd. They were pretty bland in flavor and on more than one bite, some of them had no cheese. Just an empty pocket of fried breading. Not sure how that happened, but if you’re wondering — those aren’t good either.
Mia, trying to make a “not the most unhealthy” bar food choice, went with the boneless wings. She was happy, but she can’t say she was blown away. These wings wouldn’t be a magnet that would bring her back. She did, however, mention she can get behind joining friends at anyplace that calls itself a “drinkery” as The Warehouse boasts on its outside signage.
My main course came with a starter salad. Standard and sprinkled with a portion of black olives and cherry tomatoes, the only thing that confused me about this was the Cranberry Vinaigrette. Was it supposed to be so thick? Why did I have something thin in my head? I tried it – I didn’t care for it. So I enjoyed the rest of my salad with the extra ranch leftover from the cheese curds.
Anytime Jaclyn orders Country Fried Chicken, I get meal FOMO. Not wanting to be full of regret this particular evening, I closed the menu as soon as I saw this item, not wanting to be tempted by the busy, crowded menu.
The only person who ordered an actual meal for dinner, I can’t lie – I really enjoyed my main course. The roll was warm and delightful. The breading on my fried steak was light and crisp even if I agree with Jaclyn – who took a bite and didn’t think the meat had much flavor.
I think the plate relied on what the menu called spicy sausage gravy which I didn’t find particularly spicy. It was good, though, with a peppery bite. The mashed potatoes were creamy and warm even though I didn’t pick up on any garlic notes. Overall – as bar food plates go – this was hot and comforting.
Jaclyn settled on a 12-pack of wings. (Yeah, we thought it was funny they call them packs, too.) Her options were breaded or naked and charred or boneless. Choosing breaded and boneless, she tried the teriyaki and sweet Asian chili — both with a side of ranch.
Of the two, Jac liked the sweet Asian chili a lot more than the teriyaki. They were pleasantly sweet and spicy. But one bite into the teriyaki wings, she promptly stated, “Nope. Don’t like these.” And that was that.
Deciding how to rate The Warehouse proved to be challenging — we had to take in a few different considerations other than the food. At first, Jaclyn was a firm fork down. But after some deliberation, we both agreed on a fork sideways.
In the end, we kept coming back to the fact that The Warehouse isn’t trying to be Omaha’s best. But if you live in Bennington, and you need a place to drink beer and watch a game with friends, it’s a nice option. You’ll find plenty of seating and friendly faces while you’re there. It boasts a bright interior, friendly attentive staff and a TV viewable for any seat.
So, take The Warehouse for what it is: A family owned, small town vibe, low-key pit stop. But if it’s a unique, fresh take on a meal you’re looking for, then go beyond the county line.