A chicken fajita burrito (foreground) and a Thai Peanut chicken burrito featured at Oso Burrito in Lincoln. (Gwyneth Roberts) Gwyneth Roberts

It’s natural to root for the underdog.

So when Nader Sepahpur opened a second Oso Burrito, there was reason to stand up and cheer.

The local restaurateur now has as many burrito places in Lincoln (two) as Chipotle does and one more than Qdoba.

The thing about Oso is that its food is just as good if not better than the national franchises.

At Oso, diners can order giant burritos with beef, chicken or pork, rice and beans — just like at the other places.

What sets Oso apart from its competition is its variety. Oso also has specialty burritos, featuring a variety of sauces such as Thai peanut, BBQ, pesto and Buffalo.

The restaurant also has fish burritos and tacos, vegetarian burritos made with tofu, potatoes or portabella mushrooms, salads and a rice plate (Sepahpur’s favorite entree).

“You won’t find the word Mexican anywhere here because we’re not a Mexican restaurant,” Sepahpur said. “The concept is burrito and what we can put into them.”

Sepahpur opened the original Oso — the Spanish word for “bear” — in 2002 in downtown Lincoln, where he also owns and operates Yia Yia’s pizza.

The second Oso came on the scene in December in a strip mall at 70th and Van Dorn streets. It was the former home to Jerusalem Cuisine.

Sepahpur spent three months renovating the space. His hard work is evident. The new place has the look and feel of Yia Yia’s and the original Oso.

The pews, sanded and refinished, are similar to those in Yia Yia’s. The barn wood covering the walls gives the place a rustic feel, just like the downtown store.

Sepahpur plans to add outdoor seating soon.

Diners order at the counter and then choose between salsas, beans and other fresh ingredients to go along with their meat/veggie choice and rice. All the ingredients are fresh.

Enjoy dining? Get the latest reviews and food news sent to your inbox

Burrito prices range from $5.19 to $6.19. Mini burritos are $3.69 or $3.89 and salads are $5.89.

I’m a creature of habit and usually order the fish burrito, which is made with a cabbage mixture, chipotle sauce, cilantro and pico.

On recent visits I tried a carnitas (shredded pork) burrito and sampled mini-burritos made with Thai peanut, Buffalo, pesto and jerk seasonings and sauces.

The jerk chicken burrito is the Tuesday special, and I highly recommend it. Sepahpur is toying with the idea of adding it to the regular menu.

The burritos are large and hard to finish in one sitting. Fortunately, they are wrapped in aluminum foil, making easy to keep and eat later.

I like Chipotle and Qdoba, but prefer to take my business to Oso Burrito because it’s locally owned. Sepahpur provides a quality product at a competitive price.

It’s nice to see the underdog succeed.

Reach Jeff Korbelik at 473-7213 or


Load comments