This week felt like an off week. Some lackluster reviews, and a couple absent critics. We're heading into the holidays, after all, so I'm sure some papers are rolling out retrospectives and listicles to allow writers and editors a little time off. But there's at least one really eye-catching review, almost all the way at the bottom. But start at the top, if you would, and make your leisurely, natural way down through this week's Flyover Friday.Read More
I've been hard at work retooling this site for its 2015 redesign, so I'm giving you two Flyover Friday posts this week. One is actually, ahem, last week's. As is often the case, there's a natural thread through this column, one of mirror connection between subject and review. You'll see Post No. 2 some time on Saturday, but for now, let Flyover (Last) Friday commence.Read More
Repeating a fun and unexpectedly emotional event from the very full January 2014 Wisconsin beer calendar, Madison's Funk Factory Geuzeria (the burgeoning brainchild of Levi Funk) and Plover's O'so Brewing will host another coolship-filling party and bottle release at the latter's brewery space in central Wisconsin this coming January.
Hey, welcome back to Flyover Friday! In case you're just tuning in, this is a weekly roundup of the Midwest's restaurant criticism as it appears in print -- no web-only reviews. And if you've been a reader for a while, you know that "weekly" is maybe a little generous. I've been off for a few weeks now, dealing with a personal schedule that didn't allow for the time it takes to read all these reviews. But I'm back now, and let's arbitrarily say that I'm just in time for the holidays. Bundle up for this week's Flyover Friday.Read More
Jenni and I started this project back in 2012, and we harbored notions of completing it before the end of her first term. Well, here we are in Season Two, and she's already been re-elected to a second term. We're happy to return to the Hunger Danes with a time-honored restaurant that neither of us, truth be told, had ever visited: Lombardino's.Read More
I told you all on Twitter last month that I had some big changes coming. Well, they're only big if you really give, like, a huge shit about me. And who gives a bigger shit about me than me? No one that's who.
So here I am, on my own website, telling no one in particular that starting on Thanksgiving Day, @thebookpolice will be no more.*Read More
My wife and I make a day trip to Door County around this time every year, as a celebration of both autumn and of her birthday (which also happens to show up around this time every year). We used to always hit the same spot for lunch on our trip (Stillwater's), but after a couple seasons where it closed early, we've started to mix it up in Fish Creek: The Cookery, Wild Tomato, and sure, sometimes back at Stillwater's. Egg Harbor, however, remains under-explored for our lunches; even on our little Saturday driving trip, there's a little flyover country. Today, though, is Flyover Friday.Read More
You may notice, as you read through this week's column, that there's no Isthmus review. That happens from time to time, but this issue has something different: a roundup of cheap, campus-area mini-reviews from all the usual Isthmus food writers. I cover the banh mi dog at O.S.S., and I recommend you check it out -- after this week's Flyover Friday, of course.Read More
My hopes for getting this column out in time for the grand experiment that was #CTsujeo were dashed, but it's good to have the perspective on that evening's heavy-duty eating and criticism convention-trashing. You can see all our raw-review tweet aggregated here, but to answer your question, yes, I was submitting content for a Madison newspaper that wasn't Isthmus. This is a Flyover Friday that damns the rules.Read More
Terribly late, no excuses. Just so happens, though, that today as a publishing date means I can mention that Mason's on Main, the subject of my most recent review (see below, published last week Thursday), announced that it would close immediately today (Tuesday). I'm not saying it was because of my review, but the coincidence carries weight. A number of papers took a week off this time around. Let's see if I can make this the last late Flyover Friday.Read More
I've started organizing these posts by publication date of the review; how's that working for everyone? It takes one responsibility out of my hands, specifically the attempt to make the reviews flow. They don't always perfectly fit a theme, so chronological rather than wibbly-wobbly seemed appropriate. Time's a flat circle here at Flyover Friday.Read More
NPR ran a story recently, on a piece of music they referred to as "The Riff." You know it. Dee dee dee dee doot doo doot doot doo. The "Asian" music. That story was on my mind when I started reading this week's reviews, featuring a lot of food from various Asian cuisines, decoding those cultural references, and borrowing from them (and others). This is, how you say, Flyover Friday.Read More
Calendar a mess? Got some time to burn but no idea where to burn it? We're in the opening weeks of the early fall festival season here in Madison, and I've rounded up a few that are happening in the next four weeks or so, all for you.
I find it amusing that the weekends I most often miss a Flyover Friday post are the weekends when I myself am traveling somewhere in the Midwest. Last weekend, I was in Minneapolis for the second Beersball outing of the summer -- more on that later this week -- and as a result, you didn't get a post. This weekend, I was all over the Madison metro area, so it's not a skipped week, only a late, Labor Day Monday edition of Flyover Friday.Read More
As our nation celebrates the annual television spectacle that is Summerslam, I thought I'd catch up with last week's Great Taste-caused miss and run this week's Flyover Friday as a head-to-head matchup when possible. Some papers didn't run a review last week, some didn't run a review this week, but for those that did, a little friendly competition is in order.Read More
The day the NCAA tournament bracket is announced has nothing on Great Taste program day. Workplaces across the country discovered about 60 pages missing from their printers on Wednesday afternoon, highlighters suspiciously low on fluid, and employees leaving with a mysterious bundle of paper under their arms.
The official program for the Great Taste of the Midwest is a beast, only 60 pages long if office beer fans graciously printed it two-sided. It takes a good bit of time to skim through the whole thing, and then the app comes out and you've got to do it all over again to mark favorites breweries and to-drink beers, and check for additions.Read More
They're coming. The beer drinkers are coming. Great Taste of the Midwest is almost upon us, and so are the thirsty festival attendees coming from out of state, looking to stock up on the best of Wisconsin's brewed goodness. Let me give you, Madison locals, advice on which beers you shouldn't count on being around post-GTMW.Read More
Something a little new this week. Previously, I've captured reviews from Midwestern newspapers published from Friday through Thursday. I'm shifting that a little, since it feels more useful to publish a Friday review on a Friday considering weekend travel, rather than sitting on it for a week. This means you'll see two reviews from a couple papers this week. This will also eliminate pre-noon Friday posts (unless the Reader stops putting up new reviews at 5:30 PM...guys), but that's a change we'll all learn to grow into here at Flyover Friday.Read More
I've been listening to The X-Files Files podcast pretty well non-stop lately. The show triggered the same gene in me that comic books do; I love a long story, a mythology. I like references that pay off in three seasons. And thus, for its weaknesses, I like the podcast, too. Haven't been happy with the Wisconsin/Midwest references so far (dismissive and a little snide) but hey, we live with that every day. Not just on Flyover Fridays.Read More
The second half of every year starts with a big summery Independence Day holiday kickoff -- Memorial Day may be the "official" start of the season, but it's always rainy that day and that's a total bummer for summer mood-setting. On top of the usual Fourth festivities this year, we had the World Cup to fill our afternoons. So in recognition of one half being in the books, I've got a few highlights of 2014 in dining so far.Read More