Nebraska April 11, 2018
This Small-Town Nebraska Pub Has Some Of The Best Food In The Great Plains
We’re all about small-town, family-owned restaurants here in Nebraska. And if one of those small-town eateries happens to have the greatest food ever, it feels a lot like finding hidden treasure. This pub in a tiny town has some of the best food you’ll find in the whole region.
Located not too far from Holdrege, The Speakeasy serves up the kind of dining experience you might expect from a fancy spot in a big city.
If you've been reading Only In Nebraska for a while, you'll know that this isn't the first time we've raved about The Speakeasy. This small-town restaurant is truly something special.
Technically, to call it a small-town restaurant isn't exactly right. The Speakeasy sits in a town that's no longer a town. Sacramento was once a thriving railroad town, but today it's pretty empty save for this little restaurant.
But this one restaurant is enough to draw people from all over the state and beyond. This is nothing like what you'd expect to find in a remote location like this.
The Speakeasy's owner and chef, Ryan Puls, is a Nebraska native whose father owned the restaurant before him. When Ryan took over the family business, he radically transformed it. Gone were the typical small-town staples and Sunday buffet.
In their place came dishes like lamb burgers, risotto, steak hache, flash-fried Brussels sprouts, and roasted bone marrow (pictured below). There was some concern that the loyal locals wouldn't take to the changes, but the delicious food won them over.
That's not to say that everything on the menu is fancy or unfamiliar. You can still get killer prime rib here and some of the best steak in the state.
The menu gives patrons the opportunity to try dishes they may not otherwise find around these parts, like the poutine pictured below. The pork belly - just a classier name for bacon - is a beloved local favorite.
The Speakeasy walks a fine line between familiar comfort food and less-familiar elegant dishes. Chef Puls spent his pre-Speakeasy days working in a French restaurant in Seattle, and the influence certainly shows.
You wouldn't expect an establishment named after a clandestine Prohibition bar to skimp on the cocktails, would you? You'll find an assortment of expertly-crafted drinks here - but you can also order a Budweiser if you prefer.
The Speakeasy's creative menu incorporates locally-grown food, including foraged local mushrooms in season. Everything is just as fresh as can be and prepared with a great deal of care. It's definitely a destination restaurant given its remote location, but the drive is worth it every time.
You can visit the Speakeasy yourself on Polyline Road, just a stone’s throw southeast of Holdrege. It’s open Tuesday-Thursday, 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Friday-Saturday, 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Take a look at the full menu on its
website, and keep up with specials on its Facebook page.
This, of course, is not the only place to get a world-class steak in Nebraska. Have you tried
this classic spot in Omaha?