By Ashley Strehle Hartman/World-Herald correspondent
Tanner’s Bar and Grill
Where: 19102 Q St.
When: 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday to Thursday; 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday to Saturday. Kitchen hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday to Thursday; 11 a.m. to midnight Friday to Saturday
Info: tannersbarandgrill.com or 402-763-4414
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Sometimes you want fancy cocktails with ingredients you can’t pronounce.
But sometimes (most of the time, in my case), you just want to share some beers and burgers with friends. At times like that, you want Tanner’s Bar and Grill.
Tanner’s is a bar and grill chain with close to 20 locations across the Midwest, including spots in Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin and, of course, Nebraska. There are two Tanner’s locations in Lincoln and five in the Omaha metro area.
I’ve been to a couple of the locations, but today I’m going to talk about the one I visited most recently — the one in southwest Omaha at 19102 Q St.
Like most of the other Tanner’s locations I’ve visited, it’s spacious while still maintaining a cozy, laid-back vibe. There is ample seating at round, wooden tables and at stools along the massive bar.
In keeping with the bar and grill tradition, there are plenty of televisions so you can catch the game as well as the usual entertainment options: keno, darts and electronic games.
The drinks menu features all the bar and grill classics as well — Budweiser, Miller, Michelob, Coors and Busch, along with the usual imports — Corona, Heineken, Modelo and Dos Equis.
For those more interested in craft brews, Tanner’s has beers from Surly Brewing Company, Breckenridge Brewery and local favorites Lucky Bucket Brewing Company and Infusion Brewing Company.
I had a pint of Infusion’s Vanilla Bean Blonde (one of my favorite beers) for $5. This is a fairly easy-drinking beer at 4.8 alcohol by volume, and it has a distinct vanilla flavor. I’d recommend it if you’re interested in branching out to craft beers but you’re leery of typically darker beers like stouts or porters.
I also sampled Oskar Blues Brewery’s Dale Pale Ale, a hoppier beer with hints of citrus and 6.5 percent alcohol by volume. It’s a fairly common craft beer at Nebraska bar and grills.
Overall, though, I’d say Tanner’s has a slightly better than average beer selection for bars of its kind, which is a big plus for beer lovers like me.
I’m also a big lover of bar food, and Tanner’s has plenty of it for decent prices. It offers all the standard menu items — burgers, wings, chicken strips, a bunch of fried and cheesy appetizers, salads and sandwiches.
All of the food is less than $20 and most of it is less than $10.
I had a half pound cheeseburger, which at Tanner’s they call cheese Boogas. I got mine with a generous serving of “Tanner tots” for $8.49. It was a solid bar burger — greasy but not too greasy and so big you probably can’t eat it all at once.
Another popular menu item at Tanner’s is their boneless chicken strips, which they call chicken lips. They make them 10 different ways — battered, grilled, charred, blackened and with a variety of different sauces.
Tanner’s menu says they’ll “make ’em any way you want ’um” and that’s basically Tanner’s motto in a nutshell — friendly customer service delivered in an unpretentious atmosphere.
Tanner’s founder, who is lovingly referred to as Grandpa Tanner, wanted his bar and grills to be: “Friendly purveyors of good times, fine food, and the pause that refreshes.”
From what I’ve seen, they’re doing just that.