Flyover Friday - A raised eyebrow or two

Mike Sula's review of Taste of Thai Town for Chicago's Reader

A good review without the weird Chicagoan-bashing of recent offerings. Here's a question for the ether: What determines when a foreign dish name gets the italicized treatment and when it doesn't? 

Charles Ferruzza's review of Cleaver & Cork for the Kansas City Pitch

So many ampersands! More ampersands in this review than in last week's review of a restaurant named Ampersand. And let me get this straight: this restaurant is named Cleaver & Cork, when a former KC restaurant of a roughly similar milieu was called Cork & Cleaver -- and they're unrelated? 

Alisa Malavenda's review of Antigua Mexican and Latin Restaurant for Milwaukee's Shepherd Express

Welp, another Shep review, another restaurant promotional slogan getting prime real estate. Can you really taste the love and family heritage? Is it anything like cilantro? The review covers a lot of ground, but spends its entirety -- in my opinion, of course -- climbing out of the hole it dug with all that weirdly florid encomium up top.

Douglas Trattner's review of Kenko for the Cleveland Scene

Automatic rice sheeting machines? Quelle horreur! I mean, customizable sushi is an interesting idea, but the likelihood of an ordering bottleneck seems like an understatement. I can't say I've ever read a review that comes to an abrupt "delicious choking hazard" conclusion like this one.

Serena Maria Daniels' review of the Stand for the Detroit Metro Times

Not a ton of coverage from Daniels in this review, which does not, to my knowledge, have anything to do with apocalyptic Stephen King fiction. "Gastro Bistro" does sound a bit like the end of the world, though.

Mecca Bos' review of Nighthawks for Minneapolis' City Pages

Though I'm not super crazy about waiting until the fourth paragraph to say the name of the restaurant being reviewed, it's thrilling to read reviews of Nighthawks. Goodness, it speaks to me. The pureed chicken carcass stock calls to mind pressed duck and god dammit now I'm hungry.

Cheryl Baehr's review of the BBQ Saloon for St. Louis' Riverfront Times

TMI on the male strippers comment, there, Cheryl. I'll take more BBQ talk like this, though. Baehr covers the menu and its distinctive qualities well.

Michael Nagrant's review of Bar Siena for Chicago's RedEye

I swear to god these aren't actually going online on the posted datelines. I only found this because of how late this Flyover Friday post is in going up. Anyway, Top Chef alert! And trigger warning: Nagrant says "bro" a lot in here.

Beth Segal's review of Forage Public House for the Cleveland Plain Dealer

Segal's playing with her language a little too much; some of the phrasing is cutesy to the point of arcane. Put down the thesaurus and back away. The food commentary's good, though.

G.A. Benton's review of the Walrus Kitchen & Public House for the Columbus Dispatch

More solid commentary in this one, but it could maybe cover a little bit more of the menu.

Molly Abraham's review of Central Kitchen & Bar for the Detroit News

Central Kitchen & Bar opened on August 10, and Abraham published this starred review on August 20. This is unacceptable.

Linda Falkenstein's review of the Boathouse at the Edgewater for Madison's Isthmus

A fun review that covers the restaurant and its offerings very well, plus a strong Melville sample at the end. She's my editor, but I mean it -- when Falkenstein's got her lightly autobiographical tone going, her reviews are magnifique. Summer is her season.

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

Here's the first review for Madison's HopCat location, and you're going to see a trend with the general satisfaction level the critics have with HopCat's food menu. The beer menu's pretty hard to step to in terms of selection at least. But Derby slams the crack fries pretty hard for what was basically her mistake in ordering twice as much as she wanted to eat.

Sarah Baker Hansen's review of Andrés Tortillery Restauranté for the Omaha World-Herald

This is an odd review from Hansen. I think she's being polite with the "I had opinions" intro, but I don't really ever get an idea of what opinions she had. There's a lot of the owners in this review, including the weird bona fides of eating Mexican food during New York and California vacations. And for saying there's not much to criticize other than some dishes she didn't like, Hansen has criticisms for most dishes she mentions.

Ian Froeb's review of the Old Bakery Beer Co. for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Unbattered jalapeño poppers like the ones served at Old Bakery are becoming a thing, aren't they? I'm seeing them more and more often. Sounds like Team Beersball has another St. Louis brewery to add to the annotated Google map.

Blade staff's review of Mancy's Bluewater Grille for the Toledo Blade

I don't think fish have torsos. That aside, a surprisingly unimpeachable review from the cloack-and-dagger Blade team.

Carol Deptolla's review of Company Brewing for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

A pleasant and timely review from Deptolla (popping in with another entry on what is becoming a scant review calendar), considering the recent news about another Milwaukee brewing operation having problems with Wisconsin's licensing laws. I would order a sampler called Snacks on Snacks on Snacks before I'd order HopCat's Board of the Things aga--oops, spoilers.