Generally when someone suggests eating at a "restaurant chain" in the presence of a foodie, the foodie will be either raise their nose in disgust or urgently suggest dining somewhere else, preferably somewhere that is locally owned. Unfortunately, I find myself resorting to these tactics when someone suggests places like McDonald's or Applebee's. While I do not consider myself a foodie, I do seem to appreciate the food, service, and atmosphere more at a locally own establishment. Plus, I feel like I am supporting the local community more directly than when I dine in a restaurant whose corporate offices are back east somewhere. The point is (without getting too "Rah! Rah!" for local businesses): I believe there is more of a likelihood that I will have a better dining experience at a locally owned restaurant.
Firebirds are examples of places with extremely high quality dining. And, as of last Friday, I am adding Biaggi's Restorante Italiano to my list of eye-opening restaurant chains. Biaggi's absolutely stunned me! I was not expecting what they had to offer. Places like Biaggi's completely destroy my theory, and attitude, about restaurant chains.
Omaha's Biaggi's is conveniently positioned north of Dodge at 137th Street (Boys Town exit). Its proximity to Dodge and the center of Omaha allows people from all corners of the city to drive there both in a short period of time and with ease. Once you get out of your vehicle and walk toward their building you begin to get a feel of Biaggi's atmosphere which is of pure elegance. The wood and white tablecloth scheme is extremely tasteful and the place is impeccably clean. As far as the service goes, it was outstanding. Our waitress was there when we needed her and she was very polite and helpful.
Let us learn from this article that just because a restaurant is part of a chain, it does not necessarily mean that it will be mediocre at best. Several chains do a great job in duplicating what allowed them to become a chain in the first place. In fact, Biaggi's easily trumps a great portion of Omaha's locally owned eateries.
MY RATING (out of 10):