Flyover Friday - Timing

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.


Polly Campbell's review of A Tavola for the Cincinnati Enquirer

A Sunday publication date's not a very common thing; I think it might be the first during the run of Flyover Friday, actually. This review is a perfectly fine bit of coverage of another spot in OTR, seemingly the place to open a restaurant in Cincinnati these days.

Amanda Sullivan's review of Nourri for Milwaukee's Shepherd Express

Short ribs, fried sweetbreads and waffle? If you insist. I'd be leery of a place that changes name and emphasis by just throwing a bucketload of cuisines into one menu, but these dishes do sound pretty good.

Jill Wendholt Silva's review of CocoBolos by Michael Smith for the Kansas City Star

Silva and the KC Star just raked in another set of AFJ medals this summer, though you'll note that the paper doesn't often appear in this column. Still, good on them. The jar/jarringly wordplay is cute.

Jolene Ketzenberger's review of Salty Cowboy for Indianapolis' NUVO

Funny how kitsch looks like kitsch no matter where it lives; that storefront could be straight outta Door County. "Let's-go-antiquing-with-Mom" is pretty good.

Charles Ferruzza's review of Bluestem for the Kansas City Pitch

This is a Big Deal Review, a revisit of a Beard-winning restaurant. Ferruzza gets a lot of room to run, and gushes appropriately on things like the impossible bargain of a hanger steak frites for $11, and the classic necessity of Wisconsin cheeses on a charcuterie board. (Represent!)

Casey Arnold's review of Elephant Walk Injera and Curry House for the Cincinnati City Beat

Arnold downplays the bounty of Ethiopian cuisine in Cincy (Only three restaurants? Quelle horreur!). I like the deep and willing dive into the customs of the culture, and not just the dishes.

Cheryl Baehr's review of 612 Kitchen and Cocktails for St. Louis' Riverfront Times

This review seems really charitable. An old-timey aesthetic -- vests and bow ties? -- with a menu of fried mushrooms and a fish taco reads like a Six Flags Great America eatery. Also, that fish taco sounds awful.

Molly Abraham's review of Ganbei Chinese Restaurant and Bar for the Detroit News

"Arguably the area's best-looking Chinese restaurant" -- god love Molly Abraham. This is a review of an Americanized Chinese restaurant, but it could still be a little more developed.

Jane Slaughter's review of Quán Nem Nong Vietnamese Bistro for the Detroit Metro Times

There's an effort to educate a little in this review, but the only reason I can think of to not refer to the "noodle salads" as bún is that the critic or her editor shied away from confusion or having to explain the homonym.

G.A. Benton's review of Firebirds Wood Fired Grill for the Columbus Dispatch

This place seems to exhibit what's become the template for a wood-fired grill establishment these days. I'd find it interesting to trace that back to its origins. I'm okay with a slim review from Benton since it sounds like there isn't a whole lot of interesting going on here.

Rick Nelson's review of Hola Arepa for the Minneapolis Star Tribune

Nelson continues to not rush to press for his reviews, which is nice, I guess -- but a little more timeliness wouldn't hurt. (It opened mid-May.) I might shove someone to get at a plate of those arepitas. And the cereal-and-corn-chip ice cream sandwiches are very Me Right Now.

Jess Fleming's review of Public Kitchen and Bar for the St. Paul Pioneer Press

I've decided I don't like the Critical "We." Unless it's more than one person doing the reviewing, let the critic's voice be the voice. That said, the voice in this one is speaking a little recitationally. If that can be made a word.

Anonymous' review of Mancy's Italian Grill for the Toledo Blade

I can't not think "Shmancy" when reading this restaurant's name, though that sounds about right. There's some overgrown prose going on here (a couple of bad puns, something "literally tickl(ing) the taste buds") but it's not terrible; the editor just needs to really get in there.

Samara Kalk Derby's review of Kabul for Madison's Wisconsin State Journal

Reopened August 16, open for a critic visit on Labor it so hard to give a place four weeks? Even a reborn Madison classic like Kabul. The review itself, though, isn't bad.

Linda Falkenstein's review of MACS (Mac and Cheese Shop) for Madison's Isthmus

I refuse to refer to this restaurant with the above name sans parentheses. MACS stands for Mac and Cheese Shop, so, what, is it the Mac and Cheese Shop Mac and Cheese Shop? No. Fun to read Falkenstein (my editor, full disclosure) struggle with portion size and cheese density issues. That Hangover Helper or whatever is obscenely huge, and only available in that obscenely huge size.

C. Acevedo's review of Thai Flavors for the Des Moines Register

What's an "ethnic lunch"? (Reminds me of one of my favorite bits of Scrubs dialogue: "Would you like another virgin daiquiri? It's a normal daiquiri, I just let him give it to you.") I do like Acevedo's commentary on the addition of Japanese cuisine to a Thai restaurant; I wish fewer places would feel the need to do that.

Ian Froeb's round-up review of Flying Rolls and Kampai Sushi Bar for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Though I didn't publish a new Flyover Friday last week, I did take note of a new wall at the P-D; it's not quite a pay wall, but it does obscure the article until you comply with its terms. Could be worse -- it could be the Chicago Tribune. And speaking of sushi, even when a place is a sushi restaurant, it still comes off as perfunctory far too often.

Sarah Baker Hansen's review of Bulldog Burgers for the Omaha World-Herald

I don't know if I'll ever not be suspicious of crinkle-cut fries. Ore-Ida has so claimed that silhouette (in my brain, anyway) that anyone choosing to house-cut their fries in the same shape is asking to incite second-guessing. Nice timing on the review, coming out the day after National Cheeseburger Day.

Mike Sula's review of River Roast for Chicago's Reader

This place reads like a very Chicago restaurant; too bad it's dropping the ball. The Reader doesn't label this as a review except in the URL, but it's a review. It certainly published in that late-Friday window that is typically reserved for new reviews.