Flyover Friday - Another catch-up

Mike Sula's review of Via Lima for Chicago's Reader

Sula's right; many of these dishes are a touchstones of any new entry in the Peruvian cuisine scene of the United States. I feel like the presentation aesthetic for Peruvian is permanently tuned to "the art museum in Beverly Hills Cop" but it's all good if the aji is on point. Sula takes another shot at a neighborhood, and I really need to go back and read old reviews to see if this has always been happening.

Morgan Olsen's review of Ampersand Wine Bar for Chicago's RedEye

The logic behind RedEye's editorial decision to break up the flow of the review with bolded section headers continues to escape me. It's hard to consider these reviews critically when I know it's not the writers' fault that there's no rhythm.

Lindsay Christians' review of Nani Restaurant for Madison's Capital Times

A sprawling review for a sprawling menu in a sprawling restaurant. Two questions. 1) Why is the mentioned-but-not-explained Chicago Chinese menu nearly identical? (Side question, how'd she find it?) 2) What's up with the weird Super Bowl/SuperBall linked story? That's way out of left field. #sportsreference

K.L. Lorenz's review of Harvey's Central Grille for Milwaukee's Shepherd Express

Awkward language in this one, to the point that I'm still not totally sure what Lorenz was trying to say about the cole slaw -- or the fish fry maybe? -- at the end of that graf.

Carlos Acevedo's review of Machine Shed for the Des Moines Register

Apparently it's Passive Voice week. I get that Acevedo wasn't moved to tears by his Machine Shed experience, but put some life into that review my man. And loath as I am to defend Machine Shed, even a low-expectation chain outpost deserves more than one visit, especially when it performs this poorly.

Mecca Bos' review of Cafe Racer Kitchen for Minneapolis' City Pages

I enjoy Bos' style, and I'm glad she has settled in as a reliable regular critic for the City Pages. And I agree with her completely about Colombian -- and most Central American -- food; it's the kind of food you could get into a really nice rut with.

Cheryl Baehr's review of Kamayan for St. Louis' Riverfront Times

Holy crap those oxtails. But more importantly, atta fuckin' girl for trying the pork blood stew. Too many critics -- and I call them out every time, which you're probably bored of by now -- do the "ooh, look at that / let's order something else" routine that got me into food writing to begin with. I've always liked you, Cheryl.

G.A. Benton's review of Jiu Thai Asian Cafe for the Columbus Dispatch

A decent review, neither particularly outstanding nor flawed. I would have made the review more about the restaurant's skill with dough-based dishes, instead of spending as much time on the name, but that's me. I also probably wouldn't have used the word "clumps" to describe something I liked. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

Molly Abraham's review of Indo for the Detroit News

I'm inclined to ask how a review of an Indonesian restaurant mentions neither candlenuts, nor peanuts, nor shrimp chips, nor the Dutch, but I should be happy that Abraham's experiences seem to be broadening at the restaurants she reviews. (Looking at the restaurant's menu, in Abraham's defense, candlenuts aren't mentioned, and shrimp crackers only appear as a garnish.)

Adam Powell's review of Curry in the Box for Madison's Isthmus

Powell carries a torch for northern California, so I'm not too surprised at the weird reference to Madison having scarce good weather for patio dining. (Have you seen the summer we're having?) But I'm right with him on the panang chicken curry; other than the Fitchburg location's roasted duck curry, it's my favorite Curry in the Box dish, too.

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

The prices must be reasonable at Holstein Kitchen if the State Journal paid for that much food in one review. Six dishes! Some kind of record. I kid, I kid. Anyway, I seem to recall hearing some not-so-great things about this place when it was in Brooklyn; hopefully it's off to better business in Oregon.

Rick Nelson's review of Revival for the Minneapolis StarTribune

People want fried chicken. They want hot chicken, like the legit Nashville kind. It's a thing now. I love the "Minnesota palate" comment even though I do tend to find those pre-set categorizations a little too limiting. That burger looks goddamned indecent. Minneapolis is in the midst of a really cool phase of restaurant expansion and I'm pretty excited to get back up there.

EDIT: Sarah Baker Hansen's review of Dolci for the Omaha World-Herald

I accidentally gave you my thoughts on what turned out to be the bar review for OWH this week; the regular restaurant review is here in its proper place instead. It's a review that reads like Italian dessert: breezy, quick, and pleasant.

Ian Froeb's review of Medina Mediterranean Grill for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Yep, this place sounds right up my alley. And I do tend to agree with Froeb's analysis of the creative process behind the shawarma scenes in The Avengers.

Blade staff's review of Doc's Food and Spirits for the Toledo Blade

Really, can you guys not send a photographer to these restaurants? You can do it after the eating part of the review is done, y'know, if you're so concerned about anonymity. The neon-tinted brown blob does nothing to convey anything good. It supports the semi-unfounded snap judgments you detail in the very opening of the review.

Debbi Snook's review of Square Bistro for the Cleveland Plain Dealer

Sorry, it's a fine review -- though I'd make more of the service issues given the age of the restaurant -- but I can't read the hed without thinking of the Farmers' Market After Dark episode of Parks and Recreation