“We offer soup, salad, sandwiches and small plates. It’s a smaller menu that changes every few days. That means, every time you come in, you can try something different, though we do have some staple items that don’t leave the menu due to customer request,” says Austin Regier, owner and head chef of Oma’s Deli.
Austin opened the deli—named after the German word for grandmother—in December of last year. He chuckles as he explains, “It’s an homage to my roots and to keeping things simple and pure. It’s also a joke for my grandmother. She wanted grandkids but she got a restaurant instead.”
Unsurprisingly, Austin says she didn’t find that funny.
He and his wife had been living in Washington State for the last five years and decided it was time to try something different. Since the economy wasn’t as good on the West Coast, they opted to return home where they had family and connections.
In terms of the food, Austin says Oma’s Deli is wholesome. “We try to take casual fine dining, including presentation, quality of food, execution, thought and energy and apply it to a sandwich. We put different things on a sandwich than you would expect to see, to change it up a little bit. We are trying to elevate the sandwich to another level,” he says.
A classic French sandwich with Paris ham, Gruyère cheese and Dijon mustard on a baguette has chive butter that takes it up a notch. They also have a pork tenderloin sandwich with Spanish Mahón cheese, pickled peppers and arugula on ciabatta bread.
Austin plans to open for dinner soon and is playing with some menu ideas, including things like chicken liver pâté with whipped black butter and purple tomatillo jam and chicken confit with roasted carrot and juniper jus.
As much as possible, Austin uses locally sourced ingredients. He gets his chicken from Plum Creek Farms and many of his other menu items from the local farmers market. “What can’t be grown in the Midwest I source out. What we don’t source locally, we import high quality. We source the best we can get,” he says.
Located at 1217 Leavenworth Street in Omaha, Oma’s Deli is open from 10am to 3pm Tuesday through Saturday. You can find it online 24/7 at OmasDeliOmaha.com.
––By Cheril Lee