Creighton Picks — students, faculty and alumni recommend good TV, movies, sushi burritos
Creighton Picks — students, faculty and alumni recommend good TV, movies, sushi burritos

Sushi burritos at Pokéloha.

This is Creighton Picks, a new feature that asks Creighton students, alumni, staff, faculty and friends … what are you into these days?

It’s a place for Bluejays to recommend books and movies, restaurants and TV shows, dog products and any and every other thing that’s grabbing their time and attention at the moment. 

Want to recommend a Creighton pick? Send yours to micahmertes [at] creighton [dot] edu (subject: My%20Creighton%20Pick) . You can recommend multiple picks, if you’d like. You will not be punished for your enthusiasm. 

Note: Individual Creighton Picks do not represent the views or opinions of Creighton University. (Though we unequivocally encourage everyone to engage with arts and culture generally. It’s fun, sometimes even meaningful. Thank you.) 



Kimberly Volk Fisher, BA’11


Nebraska Furniture Mart
NFM is the best place to buy furniture, not only in Omaha but also in Kansas City (and Des Moines). They have such a big selection, and we can always find something that works for the space we’re looking to fill.

(Kimberly created a document of baby product reviews for her sister-in-law, which you’re welcome to peruse here.) 

Frankie and Jules
Frankie & Jules is a cute little boutique in Overland Park, Kansas. I’ve been shopping there for years. The style is definitely trendy, but they also have some classic, timeless pieces. This is a boutique that encompasses all body types as well! 

Pokéloha – Kansas City, Missouri 
My new favorite place is Pokéloha. It’s basically Chipotle but for poké! You can build your own poké bowl or sushi burrito or choose from menu options. 

Blaze Pizza – Olathe, Kansas
In the Kansas City area, located in Olathe, but I know of locations in Chicago and Las Vegas. So check your area for some bomb pizza! Same concept as Chipotle — BYOP (build your own pizza) — where you can add as many toppings as you like for one flat rate. The pizza is then tossed in the oven and ready within minutes. So delicious! 

Chelsea Driscoll, BA’17

Her pick: @prodeepcleaningpatrick on Instagram

Pro Deep Cleaning Patrick is a yucky yet satisfying Instagram account that shows you how dirty upholstery can get and how gross some people are. However, he’s out there saving seats and surprising you when he reveals the original upholstery color. 

Lindsay Nystrom Trosvig, BA’11


Victor’s 1959 Café – Minneapolis
Victor’s is a great place for Cuban food when you want to pretend you’re not stuck in a Twin City blizzard.
Gorkha Palace – Minneapolis
Gorkha Palace can help you beat the winter blues by livening up those taste buds for some delicious spicy curry. 

Dog-friendly malls in Minnesota
Nordstrom Mall of America or Nordstrom Ridgedale are great go-to shopping spots, but they also allow you to walk your dogs inside! Perfect when you want to get your dog out of the house but don’t necessarily want to trudge through snow.  

Como Park Zoo & Conservatory — St. Paul
Great place to remind you what humidity feels like in the dead of winter, and you mustn’t go without visiting the sloth!

Aurora Driscoll Barker, BA’11

Associate director of Creighton’s Parent and Family Program

Her pick: Atomic Kitchen in Las Vegas

Atomic Liquors is Las Vegas’ oldest freestanding bar, where patrons used to sit on the roof and watch atomic testing in the ‘50s. They were issued the first liquor license in Las Vegas, #00001. Most recently, the dive bar, located in the Fremont East district, opened an adjoining kitchen (Atomic Kitchen) with a delicious menu and a beautiful patio for those warm Las Vegas evenings.

Megan Klein-Hewett, BA’05

Librarian at Ames Public Library, Ames, Iowa

Her pick: Bon Appetit YouTube Channel 

I am always eagerly awaiting the latest upload to Bon Appetit’s YouTube channel. The BA Test Kitchen is brought to life by a rotating cast of characters who manage to entertain and educate at the same time. Whether you want a 15-minute clip to entertain you through lunch, or an hour long video on how to make Skittles from scratch, BA’s YouTube channel has you covered.

Their series “Gourmet Makes,” “It’s Alive” and “Reverse Engineering” are definitely my top picks. Whether you want to learn a new recipe, watch an amazing culinary professional or have a good laugh about food, BA has something for any food-lover on their channel

Micah Mertes

Writer for University Relations

His pick: “The Witcher”

A new Netflix show that asks and answers the question: “What if ‘Game of Thrones’ but stupid?”

Striking a tone somewhere between “Doctor Who” and “Xena: Warrior Princess,” this sword-and-sorcery series stars a gruff and white-haired Henry Cavill as a monster hunter who falls in love with a powerful mage and swears an oath to protect a young woman who might unwittingly bring about the apocalypse. There’s also a character who’s half-hedgehog because who cares. 

Ridiculous and (for ways I can’t quite figure out) extremely watchable. 

Want to send us a Creighton Pick? Contact Micah at micahmertes [at] creighton [dot] edu (subject: My%20Creighton%20Pick) .



Previous editions …



Carol Zuegner, BA’77, PhD

The Joella Cohen Endowed Chair in Journalism​

Her pick: “The Great British Baking Show”

I discovered this wonderful British import on PBS, but it now lives mostly on Netflix. Yes, it’s a reality competition show, but there’s a definite twist. The delightful mix of contestants are all genuinely nice people who bake mostly for their families and friends. Each episode is a series of three competitions around a weekly theme, like cake or bread or biscuits (cookies). Comedian hosts lighten the tension a bit before two judges sample the baked goods. Each week crowns a star baker and eliminates one baker from the competition. These contestants aren’t in it for the money — the prize at the end is a cake plate. It’s definitely escapist TV, but I find myself lulled into relaxation when the biggest worries on the screen are whether the cake is dry, the biscuits are crispy or the pastry has a soggy bottom.

Hayley Henriksen, BA’15

Assistant director of digital fundraising for Creighton University Relations

Her pick: “The Good Place” on NBC
Right now, I find a weekly slice of joy in a network TV comedy that manages to reinvent itself time and time again, yet maintain my connection to its flawed but lovable cast of characters. Here’s the premise: Eleanor Shellstrop wakes up in the afterlife and is welcomed into a perfectly curated utopia full of good people with everything she could ever desire. Soon she realizes there’s been a big mistake — turns out this “Arizona dirt bag” did not live the morally righteous life typically necessary to make it into The Good Place. As she tries to conceal her identity from the immortal neighborhood architect Michael, she confides in other residents to help her become a more ethical person and earn her place there. 
I can’t say much more without major spoilers, but trust me when I say that even though “The Good Place” is (mostly) set in the afterlife, it feels more connected to life on Earth than most shows airing today. It asks big philosophical questions, like what it means to be human and what we owe each other, while still focusing on intimate relationships and the daily grind of trying to be better people. 
I don’t want this funny, weird, heartwarming show to end, but unfortunately it must. Savor every episode in the first three and a half seasons, but make sure to catch up in time for the series finale on Jan. 30, 2020. 

Heidi Knofczynski

English major in the College of Professional Studies, class of 2021 

Her pick: The Porter’s Gate Worship Project

If you have never heard of The Porter’s Gate Worship Project, I encourage you to check them out. When this diverse group of musicians released “Work Songs” in 2017 I was blown away by the artistic quality of the music. Porter’s Gate Worship Project is an ecumenical group of musicians who have come together to create sacred music that reflects a diversity of backgrounds. “Work Songs” was a mix of folk, gospel, rhythm and blues, and contemporary Christian music styles, and its focus was on worship through vocation. 

Standouts for me are songs like “Labor Unto Glory,” featuring Liz Vice’s outstanding vocals and Josh Garrels’ thought-provoking “Christ Has No Body But Yours,” along with the ballad “Your Labor Is Not In Vain,” sung by Paul Zach and Madison Cunningham. 

In November, Porter’s Gate released their second collection of songs, called “Neighbor Songs,” each song inspired by conversations about how to love our neighbors and welcoming strangers. The songs feature beautiful and thought-provoking lyrics and diverse musical styles, including a delightful Mexican Ranchero (“En Comunidad“ featuring Diana Gameros). Zach Bolan’s performance of “He Is Among Us” is outstanding!  This is music that’s not only a joy to sing along with; it will bless your heart and soul as well!

Aurora Driscoll Barker, BA’11

Associate director of Creighton’s Parent and Family Program


My husband and I were gifted an Embark breed identification kit for Christmas last year. We had always been curious to know what breed our adopted pup was, and it was very easy to do. They partner with Cornell University’s College of Vet Medicine, so you are not only finding out fun information about your dog; you’re helping with veterinary research!
Diaper Genie
Yes, Diaper Genies are necessary for diaper users, a.k.a. babies. However, we use a Diaper Genie in our garage, and it’s the best idea we’ve ever had. Enjoy that evening walk with your pup and dispose of that doggy waste in your scent-locking Diaper Genie. No more stinking up the garbage in the house or risking an accidental and lasting mess in the garbage can.
Felix Gray glasses
Staring at the computer all day and want to protect your eyeballs? Felix Gray offers blue light-blocking glasses with trendy styles that don’t make you look like you’re about to do some hardcore woodworking.

Leland Barker, BS’10

Assistant professor of exercise science


The book “Moonwalking With Einstein” by Joshua Foer
It’s a book written by an author who undertook competitive memory training for a year. He shares his experiences and principles/techniques of how people manage amazing feats of memory. Often academic cultures frown upon memorization, but perhaps it should be embraced as an ability to be creative and imaginative!

The book “Eleven Rings” by Phil Jackson and Hugh Delehanty
Phil Jackson’s book describing his 11 championship seasons in the NBA with the Bulls and Lakers. A great read for sports fans. His successful theories can be applied to other areas outside of coaching. 
The book “Mind Within the Brain” by A. David Redish
A computer scientist and neuroscientist describes how the brain makes decisions in different situations- deliberative, automatic and reflexive.

Chelsea Driscoll, BA’17


The book “Brain on Fire” by Susannah Cahalan
A great book for anyone interested in the fragility of the human brain and the effect a disease can have on a person’s life and well-being. Very enlightening in regards to psychosis and how abruptly it can change your life.

The Instagram @prodeepcleaningpatrick
Pro Deep Cleaning Patrick is a yucky yet satisfying Instagram account that shows you how dirty upholstery can get and how gross some people are. However, he’s out there saving seats and surprising you when he reveals the original upholstery color.

Patrick Kinney, BA’06

Film Streams communications director

His pick: “Gourmet Makes” on the Bon Appétit YouTube channel

I’m tempted to recommend something of great cultural import. Something that holds a mirror to society, challenges us to interrogate our ways of thinking and invites us to ponder ineffable beauty. And that’s exactly what I will do. 

In the indispensable web series “Gourmet Makes,” Bon Appétit food editor and pastry chef Claire Saffitz faces a recurring nightmare not unlike that famous task of Sisyphus: Once every few weeks or so, her tormentors (her bosses, ostensibly) challenge her to recreate — from scratch — an item of popular junk food. Given the normal tools and ingredients of your kitchen, how would you begin to recreate, say, the nuclear-age wizardry of the Twinkie? Or the impossibly polished shell of the M&M. The sublime zestiness of the Nacho Cheese Dorito. 

Our intrepid, harried hero Claire often does not produce a satisfactory facsimile, but she does, however, teach us the value of the pursuit of perfection. And the joy of always reading the ingredients.

Micki Dietrich, BA’06

Branch manager at Omaha Public Library

Her pick: “The Gaijin Cookbook: Japanese Recipes from a Chef, Father, Eater and Lifelong Outsider” by Ivan Orkin and Chris Ying

Do you love Japanese cuisine as much as I do? Do you also have a small child whom you can’t trust to behave in Japanese restaurants? Let “The Gajin Cookbook” be the accessible primer to Japanese home cooking you never knew you needed. Orkin leads you through creating simple but recognizable dishes that your kid might like, such as rice balls (Onigiri) and those soy-marinated eggs (Ajitama) you get in your bowl of ramen. After your kid goes to bed, try more complicated dishes like Pork and Tofu Meatballs with Buttermilk Sauce and the exceedingly rich Pork and Miso-Ginger Stew (Tonjiru). I promise this cookbook will give you the inspiration and teach you the techniques to get you through a long, cold winter. 

Ivan Orkin is the owner of Ivan Ramen and Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop, both in New York City. He has also been featured on the TV series “Chef’s Table” and “Mind of a Chef.” Chris Yang is the creator of Lucky Peach.

Micah Mertes

Writer for University Relations

His pick: The new movie “The Irishman” (on Netflix)

Some people spend Thanksgiving with their noisy extended family, testing the limits of potato consumption while carefully dodging sensitive topics.

Some people spend Thanksgiving eating pizza and watching a 3.5-hour Martin Scorsese movie on Netflix.

Neither option is incorrect, but only one stars Joe Pesci.

Caroline Schmidt, OTS

Doctorate of occupational therapy student, class of 2020


The podcast “Bear Brook“ 
If you’re a fan of true crime, you’ll love this podcast! I’m hooked on all things true crime, especially podcasts because they help me get through my morning train rides into Chicago. “Bear Brook” is a story with a lot of twists and turns that I never saw coming. It is well-researched and gives the victims the justice they deserve!

The movie “The Peanut Butter Falcon”    
Wow, I love this movie so much! Zack Gottsagen, an actor with Down Syndrome, makes his debut as a man with a dream to be a wrestler. He embarks on a journey with Shia LaBeouf and Dakota Johnson to make it come true. Gottsagen blends humor and the seriousness of chasing a dream phenomenally. If you are looking for a feel-good movie, I highly recommend it!

The Omaha restaurant Mula 
Since moving out of Omaha, I have missed this place so much! They make their own margarita mix, and I definitely recommend mixing the jalapeno and cucumber together. The Sweet & Spicy, Bacon & Street Corn and Charred Pineapple Guacamoles are all fabulous and pair well on the guac flight that they offer! Their street-style tacos, “mulitas”, are delicious and come in eight different meat/veggie options. As a bonus, their happy hour is well worth the trip! 

Want to send us a Creighton Pick? Contact Micah at micahmertes [at] creighton [dot] edu (subject: My%20Creighton%20Pick) .