Flyover Friday - Once again offering service to your eyeballs

In addition to this Flyover Friday feature here at Irony or Mayo, one of the other things I'm very, very behind on is my podcast queue. I was just listening to Episode 605 of The Splendid Table, and was suuuuuper annoyed by one of host Lynne Rossetto Kasper's opening comments. She was introducing her interview with Minneapolis chef Lenny Russo, and in wondering whether the "farm" in "farm-to-table" wasn't often an unfair trade operation in Venezuela. How much farm-to-table farming can truly be local and profitable -- and this is the kicker -- "if your restaurant's in a place where the growing season is an afterthought." Lady, Wisconsin's annual yield per acre is higher than California's, Minnesota's is even higher, and farm-to-table was born here, in America's damned breadbasket, as much as it was anywhere else.

Made me wanna get back onto the Flyover Friday deal. So here we go.

June 27

Phil Vettel's review of Oriole for the Chicago Tribune

For a guy who reviews every single Next menu, Vettel still manages to convey his excitement at a new restaurant earning four stars from the jump. I love the cab angle.

June 28

Alisa Malavenda's review of MiKeys for Milwaukee's Shepherd Express

I think "social starters" might be even more obnoxious than the otherwise-ubiquitous "small plates". No explanation given, in a review as short as they almost always are with the Shep, for why the name is stylized the way it is. (Tangentially related, no review from the Journal Sentinel since mid-May.)

June 29

Mike Sula's review of Leña Brava for the Chicago Reader

Someone whisper "shrimp albondigas" in my ear and watch how quickly I turn my head. All that review, and then at the end Sula just drops the "oh yeah there's a taco and beer sister spot next door," like I wasn't already pinning it on the map.

Douglas Trattner's review of Plum Cafe and Kitchen for the Cleveland Scene

An interestingly formed review from Trattner, who has been pretty traditional in my experience as a reader. It's almost like reading the text of a Catholic service. I wouldn't have stuck the negative bit at the end, as it leaves a bit of a sour taste.

Karla Walsh's review of, well, herself, for the Des Moines Register

Normally I wouldn't include this kind of post in a Flyover Friday, but since I've been gone for a while, have at it if you need to catch up on the DSM scene in particular.

Serena Maria Daniels' review of Angel's Place for the Detroit Metro Times

Now, I can read the ethnicity in Daniels' first two names just fine, so I understand that there's probably more to this than I can read. But when you rattle off a list of "hidden gems" in a neighborhood, and they're all South and Central American, maybe they're just hidden to Anglos.

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

Flyover Friday musta missed the reviews of Element from the first time around. I'd insist on a re-review too, I think, if I ate that celery root/freeze-dried pancetta ravioli deal. Sounds amazing.

June 30

Laura DeMarco's review of The Willeyville for the Cleveland Plain Dealer

That burger sounds pretty great. Oversized wieners sound...great? Ramen sounds like it could be great. Salmon tacos sound like salmon tacos. But you know what that menu doesn't sound like? "Well-curated."

G.A. Benton's review of Asterisk Supper Club for the Columbus Dispatch

"A jumble." That's what the Willeyville menu sounds like, and Benton doesn't shy away with the equally bizonkers Asterisk menu. It's an impossibly slim Dispatch review for a sprawling kitchen, but if it's good, it's good, I guess.

Molly Abraham's review of The Stand for the Detroit News

Here we are again with Molly Abraham, famous with Flyover Friday fans for not giving any indication she's ever eaten the food she reviews. In the second graf, we have confirmation she at least went to the place. The duck fat fries are "wonderful," an adjective which ostensibly came from first-hand experience. But that's it. That, and some parenthetical, en, and em dash abuse.

Candice Wagener's review of Lupe's Taqueria for Madison's Isthmus

Bloggy in tone, but the review at least makes a respectably broad attack on the Lupe's menu.

Samara Kalk Derby's review of Off Broadway Drafthouse for Madison's Wisconsin State Journal

Derby's style and mine are probably never going to dovetail. I don't understand the mechanics of the opening line of the third graf. Bluegill for $14 is fair, between Toby's $13.95 and Gates and Brovi's $15. Critics shouldn't let friends write reviews, not without fact-checking anyway.

Blade staff's review of Gradkowski's Dining & Spirits for the Toledo Blade

Hallelujah, a new design for the Blade site! The anonymous, unnamed critic didn't get a new camera in the deal, though, and whoo boy does this read like a soft review of a local sports star's uninspired restaurant. Eggplant parmigiana that tastes "something like pizza"? A burger with peanut butter, mayo, and pancetta that gets mentioned without criticism? SMH, Blade, some things never change.