Shirley's is a three-meal-a-day cafe featuring such heartland specialties such as hot beefs, breaded pork tenderloins, and chicken fried steak, plus that uniquely Nebraskan dish known as a cheese frenchee: a grilled cheese sandwich dipped in cornflake batter and deep-fried.
The taco is a simple delight, its earthy corn shell audibly crisp but pliable enough that it doesn't shatter, loaded with a heap of ground beef filling that is creamy-rich and peppery. Each taco comes wrapped in paper that is twisted tight at both ends to keep it secure until you've found a parking place and are ready to unwrap it and dine off the dashboard.
This friendly sit-down cafe with festive south-of-the-border décor is a small place with a small kitchen and every dish is made from scratch just before being served. Even the corn chips are cooked when you order them. Amazing chips they are, nearly as three-dimensional as a sopaipilla, fried so they puff up and become airy triangles with fragile skin
Homemade Heaven makes its own bread, including rolls for hamburgers. It also makes cabbage pockets, which are a greaseless blend of ground beef, pork and chopped cabbage wrapped in homemade bread -- what Nebraskans also know as a runza or bierock.
Featured attraction here is the cabbage burger, a pillow of tender bread inside of which is a heap of juicy beef and peppery bits of cabbage and onion: real comfort food. We also like the bear claws, cake donuts, and the sweet-frosted peanut butter pretzel.
When we asked the girl behind the counter if the French fries were worth ordering, she shot back, "They're the best in town." They are indeed very good French fries: thin and crisp-edged with nice potato flavor. There is nothing dramatically wonderful about the thin short-order hamburgers that have enough juice to imprint the bun, but we did very much appreciate the cut-above bun on which my Bluff Burger was served.