Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Articles written by Dave Faries


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  • Coyotes dominate in 76-6 victory

    Dave Faries, Guest Columnist|Sep 5, 2013

    Kelsey Rozelle clearly had just one thing on his mind Friday night. Barely two minutes into the game, the Coyotes sophomore burst across the goal line from four yards out. In the middle of the first period, he knifed through Creek Valley’s line, stumbled for a moment and then raced 45 yards for another score. In fact, the first five times Rozelle touched the ball he wound up in the end zone, not including conversions. “Last year I didn’t start,” he said. “This year I knew it was time.” Ro... Full story

  • Restaurant Review: Anong's Thai Cuisine

    Dave Faries, Editor|Apr 11, 2013

    Anong’s Thai Cuisine opened on March 16, and you can tell. Two or three bites into our appetizers, a waitress arrived with the entrees, forcing an untidy moment as several hands shoved plates around the overcrowded table. The intrusion exposed a flaw unfortunately common to new restaurants: service slip ups. Staff members still learning the fine art of expediting often fail to communicate between the floor and kitchen and dinner guests take the brunt, gobbling down portions as quickly as p... Full story

  • Drinks: Dalmore 12 Year Single Malt

    Dave Faries, Editor|Apr 11, 2013

    Once upon a time, Dalmore 12 year old scotch ranked as the best single malt for the price conscious. When the distillery changed its aging process, splitting evenly the spirit’s time in bourbon and sherry casks, Dalmore disappeared from shelves. The new malt, which arrived in 2008, sacrificed some of its highland heft in favor of an approachable, almost timid dram. It sends sweet, floral impression to the nose, weighted by something akin to burnt fruitcake and candied orange peel. Work hard enough, and you also pick up on rye, espresso and t...

  • Restaurant Review: Java Blend

    Dave Faries, Editor|Apr 4, 2013

    Eight years ago, Java Blend was what its name implied. Owner Rebecca Brown gambled that Kimball coffee drinkers--enough of them, anyway--wanted something more than drip grind from Sysco and opened a storefront dedicated to espresso, cappuccino, cafe au lait...as well as unadorned brew. Or, as she explained, “it seemed like a good idea.” The concept borders on urban. Brown uses organic, fair trade beans grown in Brazil and roasted in Fort Collins, Colorado, to a point where bitterness and aci...

  • Drinks: Five Trails Sassy Apple Wine

    Dave Faries, Editor|Apr 4, 2013

    Yeah, I know—“Sassy Apple.” It sounds like one of those contrived car colors from that groovy era around 1970: Lemon Twist, Sub-lime and Vitamin C. My first car was a Dodge Challenger painted Plum Crazy, a supposedly hip shade of purple. But this apple wine from Five Trails in Paxton carries more credibility. With a nose almost akin to mulled apple with a faint leafy aura and impression of bruised fruit, it extends a promise of summertime and patios. The taste is pure, unsweetened apple—smooth and refreshing, with a noticeable flavor of skin... Full story

  • Restaurant Review: Peyton's Island Time

    Dave Faries, Editor|Mar 28, 2013

    A very brief and unfortunately illustrative era comes to an end on April 11, when downtown Kimball’s best sit down restaurant locks its doors. Yes--Peyton’s Island Time is waiving goodbye. Obviously competition has been limited since The Longhorn’s sorry saga came to an end. But Peyton’s offers local diners something unavailable elsewhere, even when the market was a little more “crowded:” scaled up burgers, creative sides and—occasionally—a selection of quiches. On good nights, the bacon avoca...

  • Drinks: Empyrean's Collapsar Oatmeal Stout

    Dave Faries, Editor|Mar 28, 2013

    When Empyrean first began pouring their oatmeal stout, reactions amounted to a resounding ‘not bad, but….’ You see, acifionados of the style have become accustomed to muscle-bound fillers, densely flavored and bitter in temperament. Empyrean’s effort drew furrowed brows due to its relatively easy nature and sweet disposition. The Lincoln-based brewery apparently learned from the early shrugs. Collapsar Oatmeal Stout rises from the glass with soothing hearthstone aromas: charred malt, dark roasted coffee, gritty dust—even a hint of chocolate...

  • The Kimball Pep Band Set The Tone Through A Successful Season

    Dave Faries, Editor|Mar 28, 2013

    The pounding of half a dozen basketballs on the hardwood echoed across the arena. Conversations held by players and coaches reached the stands, where spectators sat in an eerie quiet. On the rare evening when Kimball’s pep band cannot travel with the team, the very tone of the game changes. “You can’t get focused--something’s missing,” said Jessica Hanks, who plays basketball, volleyball and baritone. “It’s hard to warm up without music.” Fortunately for Kimball’s athletic teams, the band m... Full story

  • Restaurant Review: Dozo

    Dave Faries, Editor|Mar 21, 2013

    The menu at Dozo reads at times like one at a college bar. For starters, you can sample hot wings drizzled with lava sauce, “dynamite” mussels, “firecracker” shrimp and spicy chicken nuggets. It’s almost as if that guy from the TV series Man vs. Food had a hand in things. At other times, Dozo’s listings resemble a catch all tourist spot: mixed seafood ceviche, New York strip steak, Hawaiian poke salad with “mixed greens” substituting for poke. One thing the sushi spot located in Lincoln’s Haymar...

  • Drinks: 2010 Tenuta Frescobaldi di Castiglioni

    Dave Faries, Editor|Mar 21, 2013

    The 2010 growing season in Tuscany was marred by heavy rains in the early months. But folks at the Castiglioni estates claim perfect September conditions saved the harvest. One result: their Tenuta Frescobaldi di Castiglioni. The blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, with a touch of Cabernet Franc and Sangiovese thrown in, yields brisk berries on the nose, deepened by dark cherry, the soft hue of rose petals and just a trace of pepper. Perhaps there’s more, but earthier notes fell victim to t... Full story

  • Restaurant Review: The Oven

    Dave Faries, Editor|Mar 14, 2013

    Believe it or not, The Oven boasts of an impressive collection of vintage wines. Nothing odd about a restaurant serving fine labels, you say? Well, this prominent Lincoln destination is known for its paratha, rogan josh, hyderabadi biryani and a range of regional dishes—and, let’s face it, few people associate fine wine and Indian cuisine. Yet The Oven has earned Wine Spectator’s coveted Award of Excellence seven times and they are justly proud of their collection. The owners even dedic...

  • Drinks: Empyrean Chaco Canyon Ale

    Dave Faries, Editor|Mar 14, 2013

    Chaco Canyon is perhaps the least intriguing of Empyrean’s lineup. It’s the light hitting shortstop or the tame top 40 song turned out by an edgy band. Of course, mainstream beers often reach a broader market, especially when they approach with a bright, crisp aroma laced with familiar grain—as well as a juicy whiff of lemony citrus, which exists more as a presence than a distinct layer. The Nebraska blonde ale would not offend the state’s mass-produced American lager fans, those who point habitually toward the Bud Light tap in a sea of craft n...

  • Kimball At State: Longhorns Finish Fourth In C-1 Boys Basketball

    Dave Faries, Editor|Mar 14, 2013

    Saturday: Wayne 56 Kimball 50 The Longhorns ended their three-day run at state with hardware—in the form of a fourth place trophy—and an impressive, hard fought 56-50 loss to Wayne. Kimball pulled themselves back into the fray from a 15-6 deficit in the first quarter. On the verge of destruction at the start of the fourth, they clawed back into contention again after falling behind 45-33. “We can compete,” head coach Bruce Tjosvold said of his team. The Blue Devils entered the final period... Full story

  • Restaurant Review: Pal's Pub

    Dave Faries, Editor|Mar 7, 2013

    Pal’s Pub has no kitchen and employs no cook. It is instead a gathering spot, a tavern so friendly the bartender and other guests share familiar laughs—even if one is a newcomer. Few local spots welcome outsiders so readily. At first we weren’t certain Pal’s served food. And a jaunty box of “Roadkill Helper” perched prominently on a shelf offered little in the way of solace. But in a crunch for time that rule out Rock Ranch, and with Rickashaw stripped down by its new owners, the bar was our onl...

  • Drinks: 8 Seconds Canadian Whiskey

    Dave Faries, Editor|Mar 7, 2013

    Obviously the name 8 Seconds pays homage to rodeo tradition. But this Canadian whiskey prefers to D up rather than provide a ride worthy of the dirt arena. While the label promises equal measures of hard work and finesse, the 30 or so oak-aged varieties blended to make up this brand instead yield more of the latter: on the nose a laggard sweetness like burnt honey soaked into a demure wood, to the taste rather gentle. It begins with a smooth, almost syrupy introduction. Very quickly a soft, earthy dried fruit note sounds, tamed by a something...

  • Kimball To Face Gibbon In First Round Of State Tournament

    Dave Faries, Editor|Mar 7, 2013

    For teams traveling to state, the clock resets to zero. Wins and losses are erased and the new season scaled down to one, two or three critical games. To make matters even more difficult, coaches and players come into Lincoln with little more than a few hours of videotape to guide them. Most teams in the state tournament bracket have never faced each other. “We don’t even play common opponents,” said Paul Reinertson, head coach at Gibbon, set to tip off against the Longhorns in the opening round... Full story

  • Restaurant Review: Golden Spur Steakhouse

    Dave Faries, Editor|Feb 28, 2013

    You could be forgiven for not expecting much more than flabby steaks and starters emptied out of a frosted plastic bag. Steakhouses wedged between an interstate highway hotel and an all-night Shell station rarely waste precious time on food preparation and good old-fashioned mise en place. But kitchen staff at the Golden Spur hand cut hunks of red meat into sizeable steaks. They also grind their own burgers, at least according to reports. Granted, the meat hardly approaches USDA prime. But a... Full story

  • Drinks: Budweiser Black Crown

    Dave Faries, Editor|Feb 28, 2013

    While American beer drinkers learned the beauty of craft and foreign brews, Budweiser stood fast as a bulwark for the lowest common denominator. As tastes changed toward more intricate and flavorful brands, Budweiser refused to budge from their proprietary white bread style. Now they are left to play catch up—first with their “Platinum” label and now with a trio of beers gleaned from their “Project 12” initiative. The program challenged the company’s 12 brewmasters to produce unique beers (with... Full story

  • Kimball Boys Hold Off Gothenburg, Earn Trip To State

    Dave Faries, Editor|Feb 28, 2013

    Through the noise of a boisterous crowd, through a furious battle on the court that one player described as akin to a football game, the Kimball Longhorns emerged with a district championship and a trip to state. “I love this atmosphere,” Mike Daum shouted after the 51-40 win over Gothenburg, which stamped the team’s ticket to Lincoln for the second time in three years, the last coming in 2011. On that occasion, the Longhorns lost a back and forth battle with Milford--an experience that still... Full story

  • If The Next Pope Really Wants To Modernize...

    Dave Faries, Editor|Feb 21, 2013

    Last week produced so much fodder I hardly know which direction to look for inspiration. There was the moment when cowardly politicians opted for a spot of vacation rather than confronting sequestration head on—a topic especially worthwhile, since the damaging automatic cuts that make up sequestration were intended to force a cowardly congress into action. North Korea apparently tested a nuclear warhead, a fascinating prospect for a nation as yet incapable of mastering electric light, internal combustion engines or the simple act of feeding i...

  • Restaurant Review: Nathan Detroit's

    Dave Faries, Editor|Feb 21, 2013

    Trout amandine prepared by a skilled chef almost melts in your mouth. So what if gourmands are dismissive of the old-school restaurant classic? Jean Giono once complained “never with butter, never with almonds—that’s not cookery, that’s cardboard-making.” But I’ve experienced delicate, mellow and rich brook fish prepared in the despised manner. And when I spotted a twist on Nathan Detroit’s menu, I couldn’t resist. Nathan Detroit’s is a cavernous, worldly pub and restaurant on the northern edge...

  • Drinks: Samuel Adams Alpine Spring Lager

    Dave Faries, Editor|Feb 21, 2013

    Samuel Adams never met a season it couldn’t match to a limited run beer. Since the original Boston Lager hit the market in 1985, the popular brewery has produced Holiday Porter, Summer Ale, Oktoberfest and so on. The most recent addition to their regular line up, Alpine Spring, combines the crisp breeziness of a lager with the richness and heft of a cool weather beer. It approaches with creamy malt sweetness, dry orange peel, other citrus notes and a touch of honeyed spice on the nose—an aro...

  • Kimball Boys Win In Romp Over Mustangs

    Dave Faries, Editor|Feb 21, 2013

    Almost everything Jordon Berger tossed toward the net on Tuesday night fell through, leaving behind just a swish of nylon. “I found my offense again,” the senior guard said with a laugh after slapping 15 on the board, including a trio of three-pointers, to pace the Longhorns on their way to a 69-26 shellacking of Gordon-Rushville in the subdistrict opener. His timing couldn’t have been better—almost. “I wish it was against Chadron,” he added. Kimball expected to cruise through the first round...

  • Chadron Again Ends Kimball Girls Season

    Dave Faries, Editor|Feb 21, 2013

    It’s an old story. For the fourth consecutive year, Chadron put an end to the Longhorns’ season, outgunning Kimball 57-29 in the subdistrict final. The last time Ken Smith’s squad escaped was in 2009. Since then the Longhorns have been battering a black and red wall with little effect. “You’re supposed to feel bittersweet,” Taylor Wismer said, commenting on an otherwise remarkable 14-6 senior season. “But I can’t really find the sweet in bittersweet.” The top seeded Cardinals entered the game...

  • Kimball Cheer Team Takes Third And Fourth At State Competition

    Dave Faries, Editor|Feb 21, 2013

    For much of the year, cheerleaders rely upon seven or eight standard rallying cries and a few halftime routines. Charitable home crowds follow along with enthusiasm, forgiving the little mistakes performers make almost every game. The Nebraska state cheerleading competition is different—very different. Eight professional judges study every movement, delivery and beat, eager to knock off points. Girls from other competing schools watch with rival skepticism. Anxious coaches note each misstep. ... Full story

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