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.
"Bishop's Post in Chesterfield finds comfort in the costly," by Ian Froeb for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Excellent research done by Froeb to uncover the lack of evolution in some of the head chef's dishes. His experience more or less follows with fellow STL critic Cheryl Baehr's review from a couple weeks back. The verdict is in: Post is probably best avoided.
"Royal Eagle: monastery offers a delicious experience," by Noelle Lothamer for Detroit's Metro Times
You're not likely to read a review like this, of a place like this, very often. A public-welcome restaurant in a functioning monastery is just not on the beaten path of dining concepts. Pretty interesting.
"Wolf down some of Iowa's best barbecue at Woody's," by Carlos Acevedo for the Des Moines Register
No, Mr. Acevedo, I do not want to stipulate a restaurant's greatness. I want you to convince me! You're the critic here. Criticize.
"Rincon Criollo has diners lining up in Gordon Square for authentic Puerto Rican cuisine," by Laura DeMarco for the Cleveland Plain Dealer
Good stuff; reading Puerto Rican cuisine always makes me hungry. I mean, those sandwiches just jump right off the page/screen and into your stomach, don't they?
"Cantine Bar and Bottle Shop: Small plates and big bottles rule in Broadview Heights," by Beth Segal for the Cleveland Plain Dealer
This one's a little adjective-happy, which makes for googly-eyed reading. Sort of a "whoa whoa whoa, what were all these adjectives describing again?" kind of experience. Not a great example of the Plain Dealer's editing, either, truth be told.
"Greek carry-out a can't miss joint; Point Place bakery is a mixed bag," by the Anonymous Reviewer for the Toledo Blade
More blog post than well-crafted review, this two-spot roundup features awkward construction, poor editing , and a new-to-me variant spelling of tzatziki -- plus, it really suffers from the antiquated Blade website design.
"Cielito Lindo's Mexican tradition: tasty cooking, affordable prices," by Emily Patti for Milwaukee's Shepherd Express
This review starts out reading like a research paper, and doesn't really develop into much.
"Maury's Tiny Cove needs to keep updating," by Polly Campbell for the Cincinnati Enquirer
"[N]ostalgia in the form of bricks and mortar, knotty pine paneling and Thousand Island dressing" is such a great description. I'm not usually one for spiking the specificity of a review and publishing as a blind item, but boy, this might be the worst experience ever penned and included in Flyover Friday.
"Angry Bear Kitchen: Creative choice of ingredients lends flavorful range to dishes," by Jon Christensen for the Columbus Dispatch
If there's a restaurant whose style does not serve Christensen's reviewing habits, it's this one. "Hey, what kind of food will you serve at your new restaurant?" "All of them, jammed together in no particular order." He's already staccato and kind of flow-less. This take on cuisine doesn't help.
"Siam aims to be a place to eat, drink and be bear-y," by Cheryl Baehr for St. Louis' Riverfront Times
Man, chefs are straight-up RUNNING to use the KFC/Korean fried chicken pun. Hot pot in a clubby setting seems like a terrible idea compared to all the nibbles and small plates, but whatever works, man.
"Monsoon Siam has the noodles and curries to hang with the best," by Samara Kalk Derby for Madison's Wisconsin State Journal
And now for Siam-thing completely different. This review has so many things that drive me nuts. Calling Lao Laan Xang "luxe," "colors that no one would ever associate with Thailand," chicken meat described as "choice" which, for those unfamiliar with Derby's track record with chicken, probably means "white breast meat." It's just not a great review.
"Edgewater's Herb wants to 'redefine' Thai : but it can't find the right words," by Mike Sula for Chicago's Reader
"Evanston's Boltwood is unpredictable—and that's not a complaint," by Mike Sula for Chicago's Reader, a week later
It's a three-way Thai! THANKS I'LL BE HERE ALL NIGHT. A restaurant called Herb, described as overly earnest, just makes me picture an older, gomery white guy named Herb or Ernest, cooking food he saw on the Travel Channel as if no one had seen the episode. I know it's not that, but given the issues Sula describes, I really don't feel like it's that far off. At least one legit LOL in this one. As for the Boltwood review, interesting that Sula gets to mention culantro in consecutive issues -- an herb otherwise so off the radar that autocorrect is convinced I mean cilantro.
"Midtown's Dawg House a mecca for Chicago foodies, Cubs fans," by Sarah Baker Hansen for the Omaha World-Herald
"Benson's Fusion not quite K.C.-caliber BBQ," also by Sarah Baker Hansen for the Omaha World-Herald
I like the Cubs fan-sassing in the Dawg House review; well met, SBH. But beware the cursed touch of the Ricketts on a sausage joint! Learn the lesson of Bison Jack's! The BBQ review is stranger, with significant space given to the non-contemporaneous musings of an area barbecue expert. And I'm sure you can all sing a few bars of my suspicion of fusion 'cue. Just stick with one! Kansas City's a great one to stick with.
"How do you say 'Beard winner Michael Smith' in Spanish? Cocobolos," by Charles Ferruzza for the Kansas City Pitch
(That's not really how you say it.) Does the relationship between this restaurant and the one with the similar name in Manhattan, KS, read as a little odd to anyone else? I think Ferruzza is slightly puzzled, too. Lemme at that coconut cream pie in a jar tho.
"General American Donut Company: Not for the casual donut eater," by Sarah Murrell for Indianapolis' NUVO
I don't know how the doughnutteers "caught wind" of Murrell's impending arrival, but I'll just say this: There's a reason I never ever discuss if I'm out for a review somewhere on social media. Not Twitter, not Facebook. Nope. Nothing good for the review can come of it. Also, is "donut" a deviation from AP style?
"Kabana Grill offers the best of Pakistani, Indian flavors," by Carol Deptolla for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Deptolla's stated appreciation for this restaurant would have been apparent anyway, but maybe this review could have waited until the full menu was available? Hard to say, I suppose, with a place that opened in December still working out how to turn the old restaurant into a new one in July.