Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Scouring & Devouring Omaha: Mantra

It's been awhile since we've done a dining post. Cooper and I decided to mix it up on Sunday and try somewhere new. We've both been incredibly busy lately and I'm starting to realize how important it is to take time to just be alone together. 
Benson has seriously been exploding lately with cool new restaurants. And let me just say thank god because with the amount of bars in the area, it needed a few eateries to offer all those drunk hipsters late night snacks to help soak up the PBR's. 
So on that particular Sunday night, after a day of cleaning for me and work for Cooper (including a band practice) we decided then to try the restaurant we had heard the best things about - Mantra

We went up to Mantra at about 8 pm. The place was pretty empty, but looking around it's very apparent that someone put a lot of love (and money) into this joint. There are a ton of flat-screens which kind of bothers me but I get it because they have a pretty big bar and I could see this place getting very busy during football season.

Our server was very friendly and helpful. He didn't bug us too much which I love, but definitely kept us updated on what was going on with our food (which came out very promptly). We started off our meal with Mantra's vegetarian Arancini (fried risotto cakes). 

This appetizer was dee-lish, but not as good as the Arancini at Lot 2 which had the most deliciously rich sausage in the middle (did that sound dirty?). The best thing about this dish was the cream sauce in the middle (now that's dirty). It was the perfect addition to the Arancini because it was light, whipped almost and tasted like cucumber which complimented the vegetables in the Arancini perfectly.
 
The decision on what to get as an entree was tough. There are a ton of sandwiches on the menu along with some burgers that I want to try in the future. For this trip I opted for a more traditional meal. Now, don't make fun of me, but if I see meatloaf on a menu, I'm ordering it. I can't explain it to you. Cooper makes fun of me all of the time because I always order it and I'm almost always disappointed with the results. 


This meatloaf was some of the best I've had in town (just for the record, my favorite meatloaf here is the Thursday special at Clancy's. You can catch my dad and I there at least once a month.) My only complaint was that it could have used more gravy (everything could use more gravy, amiright?!) The mashed potatoes were great as well, very creamy and obviously made from real potatoes.
 
Cooper went for a south of the border option. His chicken enchiladas had this amazing cumin cream sauce which really gave the dish a good kick. 


I personally don't care for corn tortillas, but Cooper swore his dish was just perfect. He's notorious for over-spicing everything he puts in his mouth, but here he didn't have to add one thing! 

Oh and our drinks! We both tried the seasonal peach and blackberry sangria which was equally yummy as it was strong - like any good sangria should be. 
 

When the waiter cleared our plates (and took the bill which was around $50 with tip) he recommended that we come back for Saturday or Sunday brunch. His selling point? $12 BOTTOMLESS MIMOSAS! Talk about treating yo'self.  Mantra  also has a great patio with probably about 5-7 tables. It's up on 69th and Maple which is a pretty busy street, but Mantra's patio has a pretty high fence so it doesn't feel like you're right on the street. 

All in all, we had a delightful evening. When we left, we were definitely full, but not in the stomach-achey way which was really nice. We closed out a classy night in a not so classy way - by drinking on the patio of O'Leaver's. But hey, that's just us.
Cooper joined the rest of the universe this weekend and purchased an iPhone. As I predicted, it's  become his new addiction

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