This week in Week in Reviews, we've got not one, but two reviews from City Pages' Emily Weiss: of month-old Hola Arepa and week-old Tiny Diner.
First up, Hola Arepa, which Weiss has nary a negative comment about. From the "bang-on" salsas to the "perfectly salty" homemade tortilla chips to the "mysterious, amazing" Hola sauce, Weiss is delighted with everything on the menu (and almost every menu item is described in the review).
Weiss also gives a shout-out to the "fun, fresh, not-totally tropical take on beverages" from bar manager Dan Oskey, as well as a paragraph about the dessert menu, which hasn't been talked about much in the tons of press the new brick n' mortar has received. Five words: corn cookie ice cream sandwich. Says Weiss: "The ice cream filling is what you would add if you were also an evil genius, or possibly stoned."
Next up, Weiss heads to newly-opened Tiny Diner, Kim Bartmann's sustainability-focused Powderhorn spot. Weiss notes, "There's a practiced familiarity to the food here, perhaps that has something to do with how often we eat at Bartmann's other restaurants."
The food is solid, with some missteps, particularly in terms of portion and price. Says Weiss: "Though there's a big range of what's offered, and we have no problem paying a little more for food with purpose and integrity, we were a little surprised at the prices on some entrees, feeling that $36 lamb chops may not be at the top of most customer's order lists." For the $16 soft shell crab with fried brown rice, for example, she gets "a whole lot of rice and a smallish, bordering on overcooked crab."
The Deluxe Burger, though, is "the kind of burger that makes you wonder why you don't order burgers more often," and the smoked turkey liver mousse is "delicious."
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