Omaha Famous #18

Local music, food, and people, you should know


Blue & Fly Asian Kitchen – Authentic Asian in Omaha

First of all, I fully appreciate the irony of saying “Authentic Asian” and then featuring crab rangoons and peanut butter chicken in the photos. But here is my philosophy on that: People will say, “well that’s not authentic Asian food it’s just pandering to Americans” and that’s true but in my view, I see peanut butter chicken, and I see a hardworking Asian-American restaurant owner or chef, perhaps an immigrant or the descendants of immigrants, saying to themselves, “Ok, the Americans don’t really like mapo-tofu and chicken-feet, but what could I make that they will like?” And BOOM, something like peanut-butter chicken, or crab rangoons, is born. Just a 1st – 3rd generation immigrant trying to make it in America – and really what is more American than that? What is a better representation of the American dream? So I don’t snub my nose at that food at all. The resolve, the creativity, the ingenuity, the resourcefulness of different people and cultures coming together to make it all work in the USA. I love it. End of rant. Order the peanut butter chicken, AND a side of chicken feet just for kicks.

With all that said, when you find a restaurant that does both things, the authentic stuff, and the “American” stuff, I tend to really enjoy the food. I think partly because it shows some real integrity in the culinary arts to say “NO, the chicken feet will stay on the menu (in Nebraska no less)” – and that tends to translate to better quality across the board. Blue & Fly is one of those places.

Like most Chinese restaurants they have two sections of the menu and a range of options. Everything I have had here is extremely good quality. The green beans are savory and spicy, the peanut butter chicken perfectly breaded, and the mapo-tofu is incredibly smokey and delicious. You can go halfway around the world and back in this restaurant and not be disappointed at all. On top of that, the service is warm and friendly, and you get the feeling its family owned and operated joint. In my opinion, Omaha is sorely lacking a really good Chinese food scene – but Blue & Fly is the king, and probably the best we have to offer here. And they are bringing the best of both worlds.

Favorites to Order – Mapo tofu, peanut butter chicken, and scallion pancakes.