Flyover Friday - Familiar

As we had the rumor of one Flyover Friday vacancy confirmed by a job posting this last week, another -- that of the Des Moines Register's "Datebook Diner" mantle -- has been announced as taken up once again. Welcome to the fold, Karla Walsh. May your critical opinions become a welcome and anticipated presence in Des Moines, and in future Flyover Friday posts.

12/8 Charles Ferruzza's review of Columbus Park Ramen Shop for the Kansas City Pitch

Hard to believe that ramen's only now hitting Kansas City, but this is a good review for readers who might not have a lot of first-hand experience with the dish in a restaurant setting. Lots of intro, not too wonky.

Alisa Malavenda's review of Bass Bay Brewhouse for Milwaukee's Shepherd Express

Good length, good coverage. I'll always point it out when the Shep writers get the space they deserve.

12/9 Polly Campbell's review of Metropole for the Cincinnati Enquirer

Return reviews are always interesting. Nice to see the long view on a place, something you get with a critic who's been around for a while.

Mecca Bos' review of Breaking Bread for Minneapolis' City Pages

I don't know if I could have written a whole review of Breaking Bread without making a Breaking Bad joke.

Cheryl Baehr's review of Byrd & Barrel for St. Louis' Riverfront Times

A Provel and Red-Hot Riplet-topped fried chicken sandwich? Be still my Beersball/junk food Iron Chef heart. The photography on this review makes everything look sun-blasted and dry, but Baehr delivers the review itself with aplomb.

12/10 Beth Segal's review of Cafe Falafel for the Cleveland Plain Dealer

Segal has a chatty, bubbly style that I'm still not totally sold on. It's not like every review has to be delivered with the solemnity of a funeral mass, but I don't know. Feels bloggy.

G.A. Benton's review of Chuy's Tex-Mex for the Columbus Dispatch

I...I want a nacho car.

Molly Abraham's review of Forest for the Detroit News

Back to Abraham's usual milieu of decor commentary and minimal food criticism. How does this review in any way demonstrate the assignment of a star rating?

Adam Powell's review of Barolo for Madison's Isthmus

A lot of heavy lifting with wine-food pairings for Powell here; one thinks that if Andre Darlington wasn't getting into the restaurant planning game, he'd have draw this assignment -- Powell does a fine job, though. The reference to Savidusky's Fur Quarters, which hadn't operated at that address since 1998, is odd.

Samara Kalk Derby's review of Kangchen Indian Cuisine for Madison's Wisconsin State Journal

I won't go as far with the personal criticism as the commenters do, but Derby does spend a lot of time going on about everything except the food. Naan, chicken kebab, and mango lassi are maybe the least illustrative dishes to comment on, especially for a cuisine that's no stranger to Madison. One-visit reviews are a real bummer, man.

Sarah Baker Hansen's review of Korea King for the Omaha World-Herald

Hansen also takes a while to get to the food, but it sounds like Korean hasn't really gained a foothold in Omaha quite yet. And she visits more than once. I can't emphasize that enough.

Ian Froeb's review of Ramen Tei for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

1) How does St. Louis' bloom of fried chicken shops not merit mention in Froeb's rundown of food trends in town? 2) Another city where I'm surprised that ramen hasn't really happened yet. 3) Anyone else ready for David Chang to stop being the arbiter of what's good, bad, trendy, or dead in American cuisine? Really feel like he's trolling us sometimes.

Blade staff's review of Thai Basil for the Toledo Blade

I do takeout sometimes for my reviews, but I don't approve of eating solely takeout for a review of a restaurant that offers table service -- even if it is more than one visit.

12/11 Carol Deptolla's review of Casa Noble Mexican Restaurant & Bar for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

A choppy start to this review, but typically strong Deptolla coverage of a familiar type of menu.