Flyover Friday - Appropriation, assignment

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.


Charles Ferruzza's review of Mint Asian Café and Sushi for the Kansas City Pitch

Well THAT was an unexpected and hilarious start to the review. I won’t say more, just read it – it’s really good.


Jeff Beutner's review of Osaka Little Japan for Milwaukee's Shepherd Express

A well-informed and in-depth review. Spicy octopus roll sounds pretty amazing.


Douglas Trattner's review of Trentina for the Cleveland Scene

A beef fat candle dripping onto bread, are you fucking kidding me? This menu – this experience – sounds pretty amazing. An unusual subject for a review out of a city that doesn’t start with New or Los or isn’t Chicago or Boston, but worth it for how ambitious the service is.


C. Acevedo's review of El Bait Shop for the Des Moines Register

I’m not really sure how it is that I haven’t heard of this Bait Shop before. 120 taps is no joke man. Though I don’t think “bright tasting foam pilsner” is a BJCP style description, it’s a pretty good review from Acevedo.


Cheryl Baehr’s review of Stur Restaurant and Lounge for St. Louis’ Riverfront Times

Baehr’s having a rough go of her review subjects of late, but suffice it to say that yes, I think the true meaning of Stur’s name might indeed say it all for the operation’s chances at success.


Molly Abraham’s review of Aahar Indian Cuisine for the Detroit News

Abraham’s reviews are brief and, as I’ve pointed out many times, filled with design and architectural notes. So it’s probably fine that little time is spent on food detail, since a critic really needs to dive all the way in to do an Indian review justice, or else gloss over breezily. Abraham excels at the latter.


Jane Slaughter’s review of Wright and Co. for the Detroit Metro Times

Sounds like a pretty good casual New American fare, though I confess I don’t understand Slaughter’s complaint about the semi-circular booths.


Michael Taylor’s review of Huit Craft for the Cincinnati CityBeat

I get that the place uses eight-spice instead of five-spice. That’s fine, whatever. But why French for the name? Taylor could have tried to explain that instead of outing his bad French pronunciation.


Jolene Ketzenberger's review of Nine Irish Brothers for Indianapolis' NUVO

Too selective, too low-impact to be a proper review. But it’s what we get from NUVO this week. That corned beef looks weird.


Anonymous's review of Cielo Grande Tapas Bar for the Toledo Blade

If the restaurant was a mess, as the critic(s) describe – and it sure sounds like it was – so is the review, a mish-mash of amateur dining-companion commentary, bulleted list, and apparently-absent editorial input.


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

Speaking of letting your friends write the review. This is a hard review to read, very little flow and too much reliance on dry-vs-moist as the point of criticism.


Julia Burke's review of U-Like Asian Buffet for Madison's Isthmus

Ooft. I’m not gonna lie, I get a gross, vaguely racist vibe off of the name, which I get might be a pun on Madison as a U-niversity town, but plays like a reference to stereotypical Chinese-accented Pidgin English. It’s not disappointing to me that there appears to be no good reason to patronize the place.


Ian Froeb’s review of Salt + Smoke for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

I LOVE BARBECUE AND I LOVE READING ABOUT IT. I only hate it because I have to wait until next summer before I might be in St. Louis again. Froeb knows what’s up with ‘cue, and it’s an appetizing joy to read. Some inside-baseball sassiness in the comments section.


G.A. Benton’s review of Erawan Thai for the Columbus Dispatch

I don’t know what’s going on with a $1 upcharge for crushed peanuts on som tum salad, but it’s ridiculous.


Sarah Baker Hansen’s review of Mula for the Omaha World-Herald

I like almost everything about this review. The exception? A poorly worded passage that implies that the more humble, authentic Mexican street corn is something lesser, not as worthy of appreciation.


Polly Campbell’s review of D. Burnham’s for the Cincinnati Enquirer

A bit staccato, but fine. I appreciate Campbell’s note that a dish (beet salad, in this case) can be somewhat cliché but still tasty.


Beth Segal’s review of Radius for the Cleveland Plain Dealer

“Civilized” is such a crappy adjective. It can hardly praise something without diminishing something else. I’m also not really sure what Segal’s getting at with her closing grafs. A bit congratulatory.


Carol Deptolla’s review of Goodkind for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Quite a long review from Deptolla.  Sounds like a nice, upscale hangout spot. And I’m aways game for a gateau Basque.


Mike Sula’s review of the Promontory for Chicago’s Reader

That’s certainly a bummer of a review, of a restaurant that should, by its business heritage, be a lot better. But boy does an Edison-bulbed restaurant in a former Borders sound really, really gentrified.