Growing up in Minnesota, we became avid hockey fans. It’s what you do.
We first truly became hooked to hockey in college, going to a school that was known for its excellent, Division I hockey team. We started going to games and quickly became enveloped in the inner workings of hockey stats, rankings, standings, and latest draft news.
When we lived in Texas, we went to Texas Stars games in Cedar Park (they are a ‘farm team’ for the Dallas Stars). Once we moved back to the Midwest, we got back into watching our old alma mater, the Saint Cloud State Huskies, as well as the local college hockey team, the Omaha Mavericks. Since our alma mater and the local team are technically rivals, we try to keep the peace by rooting for the Mavs when we’re in public (and when they’re not playing the Huskies), but cheering on our Huskies when we’re at home.
Either way, we enjoy hockey and going to live games, so we decided to purchase some tickets for a Friday night game in Omaha to watch the Mavericks play. We chose Dudley’s Pizza & Tavern that night since it was within walking distance of the hockey arena, and had some craft beers on tap, which we were definitely in the mood for on a Friday.
When we entered the restaurant, around 6pm, the place was definitely busy. We were a bit worried that the wait would be long, but heck, there was a bar on the other side of the main restaurant area so we weren’t too worried. The wait, we were told, would be around 15 minutes, so we put our names down and walked to the bar. We grabbed a couple of beers and stood over by a glass wall. There were other groups waiting for a table as well and had the same idea. Although it was busy, the loud factor wasn’t overwhelming. It was still easy enough to hold a conversation without feeling like you had to speak over your neighbor.
We received notice that our table was ready (via text), in only about five to ten minutes. We walked over and were seated and given menus.
I ordered the Dudley pizza. The toppings included steak, grilled onions, bacon, tomatoes, bleu cheese, fried pickles and a garlic Parmesan sauce. The crust was nice and crispy (and not too thick) and all of the toppings were great. I don’t know if I’d had fried pickles on my pizza before, but I’d highly recommend. The bleu cheese wasn’t overly pungent and paired well with the pickles and Parmesan sauce. I was pleasantly surprised, but to be honest, I really didn’t know what to expect. What I can tell you, is that I had almost no pizza left after I had my hands on it.
The hubs had the Mikey’s Motorcycle. It was a fried chicken sandwich topped with pepperjack cheese, guacamole, lettuce, tomato, and onion. The breading was nice and crispy and flavorful, and the chicken itself was pleasingly moist. The fries were hand battered and also crispy and well seasoned. After a few bites, I think he was pleasantly surprised too.
To be honest, I’d been hesitant about coming here. From the outside, Dudley’s feels like a restaurant that, because of it’s location near the college, and it’s appearance, would be able to produce mediocre food, but be able stay busy just due to location. But I was wrong and thoroughly impressed. The sandwich was really good and the pizza outdid my expectations. Whenever we’re feeling like we can’t decide between burgers or pizza, but know we want a craft brew with whatever we decide on, we’ll head on over to Dudley’s.