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CHEAP EATS: WestEnd Cocktails and Appetizers


OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The holidays are a time to get together with family and friends. 3 News Now Anchor Serese Cole found the perfect place to do that and enjoy some delicious food. The owners call it an upscale cocktail lounge. It’s way out west, which is partially how they came up with the name. This week’s Cheap Eats takes us to WestEnd Cocktails and Appetizers.

WestEnd is known for a few things:

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Its ambiance.

The huge music video wall.

“People love it. It’s ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, 2000s — and everything that’s new. We try to get up on the wall as well,” said owner Jim Mumgaard.

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And its signature craft cocktails.

Their Martinis are the number one seller.

“We have an entire menu of Martinis. We’ve even been voted best martinis in Omaha a couple of times,” Jim shared.

WestEnd is also known for what it calls gourmet appetizers.

“Everything on that menu, I would recommend,” he added.

Serese: How many appetizers do you have on the menu?

Chef: Enough to make it fun!

Chef Jesus Carrasco showed off the appetizers WestEnd customers can’t seem to get enough of — beginning with the Baked Shrimp Havarti.

Serese: Why do you think this is so popular?

Chef: It’s shrimp, everybody loves shrimp, right?

The buttery shrimp is combined with their house seasoning.

Once he dishes it up, he covers the shrimp in Havarti cheese.

“We toss it in our salamander and let the cheese get melted and caramelized and it’s just going to melt all on there,” Chef Jesus explained.

It’s served with toasted parmesan bread.

“I like to get it out as soon as we can to the table so they can see the bubbling of the cheese,” he smiled.

The Clothesline Bacon is like a piece of art. The bacon is baked, fried then bathed in sriracha honey. Each piece hung — one by one — over their house-made pickles.

“Another simple but much-loved appetizer,” Chef Jesus smiled.

The Cheeseburgers Sliders are a WestEnd favorite.

“Sometimes on a busy day – the whole thing is covered in patties,” Chef Jesus explained.

The patties are smashed and served on a buttered brioche bun. It comes with their secret WestEnd sauce and all your favorite toppings.

For chicken lovers, there’s a Buffalo Chicken Slider and the Char-Grilled Chicken Wings.

Chef Jesus made the dry rub version.

Once the wings are coated, they’re grilled and then ready to serve.

Co-owner Jim Mumgaard talked strategy about how to eat the Shrimp Havarti.

“There’s plenty of butter. You want to make sure you dip it in there,” he advised.

As for the Clothesline Bacon …

Serese: I love the presentation of this. How fun and you have to have a pickle with it apparently.

Jim: Our house-made pickles are marinated and the grease from the flavored bacon — it just drips down on them.

Serese: Everything is good here. I’m not kidding.

That’s no surprise to Jim.

“The service is better than most. The drinks are better than most. The food is better than most. I think we just have a better offering.”

“We don’t think there’s anybody in Omaha that does what we do,” Mumgaard said with confidence.

WestEnd is located at 1529 South 203rd Street. It’s open every day.

Go to thewestendomaha.com for hours and details about their Sunday Brunch and Martini Flights. In addition to their upscale lounge, they also have a heated patio. It can hold up to 75 people and be rented out.

Here’s a look the prices of the appetizers featured:

Char Grilled Jumbo Chicken Wings – $15

Clothesline Bacon – $16

Baked Shrimp Havarti – $17

Cheeseburger/Buffalo Chicken Sliders – $16

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