Thursday, November 14, 2013

Scouring & Devouring Omaha: The Ballad of Louie M's

^^The Chorizo Scramble at Louie M's is probably my favorite breakfast this side of the Mississippi^^
It wasn't until Cooper and I began dating that I visited Louie M's for the first time. I had never really been down that far on Vinton Street before. My only experience in South O was going thrift shopping on South 24th Street or dining at Lo Sole Mio with my family and then taking an obligatory tour of where my dad grew up. If you were raised in Omaha and your parents who are now in their 50's or 60's were too, it's likely they were grew up around this area in which Louie M's and Lo Sole Mio resides. It wasn't until my parents were in middle school that their families moved out to what was considered "West Omaha" then - 90th and Blondo.
My first trip to Louie M's was on a very hungover morning. Cooper was still living at the tri-plex on 38th Ave and Farnam, along with 5 other roommates. I was living with my parents since I had just returned from college and had no job to claim. As I looked over the table, there were five different kinds of hot sauces, which told me I was about to fall in love. I ordered the guacamole omelette which, when it was served, literally oozed out guac as I sliced the eggs with my fork. While my sodium levels for the day were tested, I knew I had found my new favorite breakfast joint.
Over the course of the next four years, Louie M's became our go-to brunch place. We were never disappointed with the food or the service.
One visit in particular will always remain in my "diary" of Cooper and I's relationship. Yet another weekend morning where the hair of the dog was needed, we visited a packed Louie M's and to our dismay, there was no table available. We were starving so we opted to sit outside and brave the early spring weather. Both of us were pretty out of it, so when Louie and a photographer came over asking if they could take a few pictures of Louie casually talking with us for a article on him, we first asked what the publication was before obliging. We wrote it off as being one of those funny things that would only happen to us. There's no way we're making that article, two hungover punk-rock kids in all black, looking like hell warmed over?
A few weeks ago, after our most recent visit back to Louie M's, curiosity struck me again. What ever happened to those pictures? With my sleuthy powers, and the internet, I found a preview to the article online. Turns out the article wasn't about the restaurant, but actually about Louie M's mother, who was a well-known bootlegger. Unforutnately the publication, Nebraska Life Magazine, only supplies hard-copies of their issues. That's when I decided to tap into our lovely public library system. I found a back-issue was available at the downtown library, so after work one day, I excitedly stopped by to check it out. The librarian gave me all of 2011's issues and I when I finally located the story, our photo was no where to be found. Again, I wasn't too surprised given our state when the photos were taken, but I decided I wouldn't give up. I took down the article's author and photographer's names and went home to see if I could contact them. Finding the photographer was surprisingly easy (thanks again internet) and within four hours I had a response from her - she was at graduate school in Virginia currently, but would be back in Nebraska over the holidays where she would be sure to look for our photos. I couldn't believe it! Hopefully, in a matter of a few weeks or maybe a month I'll get to take a peek at past Cooper and Meghan. I don't know why these photos are so important to me, but I guess it's because after being with someone for four years, it's nice to be reminded of where you started.
It's funny to look back on all this time that's passed by now. I feel like I was such a baby back then, re-introducing myself to this town that I thought I knew so much about. But isn't that the funny thing about Omaha? Just when you think you have it figured out, you discover something, or rather somewhere new, which changes your entire perspective. I'll always cherish these first experiences back in Omaha, especially since I shared them with my lovely Cooper.

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