Letters for May 24-30, 2007

Bash 'Em for You and Me

Diners will thank you for a good slam: I greatly enjoyed your petri dish review ("Dining in the Petri Dish," May 17, Gail Shepherd). You're much too much of a gentlewoman, though, when you say "it saddens me to trounce this chef..." etc. Remember, [former N.Y. Times drama critic] Frank Rich was called "The Butcher of Broadway"... and I closed a couple of restaurants in my time. You're doing them a favor — and you are saving restaurant-goers the pain of being ripped off.

This reminded me of Gordon Ramsey — the f-word bad boy on BBC America. One restaurant he was called in to was a posh French restaurant in Glasgow, Scotland. He found a team of well-paid, classically trained French chefs who literally smothered their dishes with multiple flavors. The only trouble was that the populace of Glasgow would have nothing to do with the place. Like Cafe Sharaku, it was mostly empty. The rest of the program was Gordon's attempt to slim things down, simplify, and introduce some Scottish dishes.

John Gander

West Palm Beach

Editor's note: Gander is a former restaurant critic for, among others, the Palm Beach Post.

Neighborhood Schneighborhood

Just tell us about the food: With regard to Gail Shepherd's restaurant review of Solu: Stop with the extra column and a half of real-estate schtick ("View From the Top," May 10): Why must I wade through all of that non-restaurant razzle-dazzle to get to the beginning of the restaurant review? If I want real estate news, I'll look in the classified section of New Times or in the new homes/condos sections in the local daily rag.

Although I enjoy her reviews, I must say I'm looking forward to taking my hot, 25-year-old blond Russkie "trophy chick" to Solu to try some of the dishes Shepherd recommended. Yum! Yum! And who knows, Natashia may convince me, based on Shepherd's "real estate review," to purchase a condo above the restaurant. In the penthouse, of course! Oh, do you have a real-estate license, Gail?

Harvey Slavin


Who Can Judge?

Mejía has no moral standing: I served with Camilo Mejía, and he had no problem being a soldier and training for war when he was collecting educational benefits ("Camilo's Retreat," Francisco Alvarado, May 3). He was asked three times before leaving for overseas whether he objected to serving overseas. He was told to sign after he checked "yes" or "no," and three times he signed "no." There are about 124 men who served with him, and I can tell you that 123 know the real truth and not the journalistic propaganda that is being portrayed in this article. What credibility does a convicted felon and deserter of the United States military have in matters of war and in what is moral and immoral? Try interviewing other soldiers in his unit who live, work, and raise their children in South Florida. These men are the real soldiers who were first in the sand and last to be asked, "So what was it really like?" Look at the 24 Purple Hearts and 124 Combat Infantry Badges, which Camilo Mejía was not part of because he was busy defying orders and living without fear of death at home.

Name withheld by request

Via the Internet

Service above self: I am an ex-U.S. Army soldier who just finished serving six years and also served in combat with the 82nd Airborne Division. I do not agree with the wars that are going on in Afghanistan and Iraq, but what Mejía did is wrong to his unit and his fellow soldiers. I can understand how he felt about the war and the horrible things he saw and experienced, but he joined the military knowing that if the time came to go to war, he must go, and that going to war includes killing. I think he is a coward for abandoning his unit and especially his soldiers.

Jose M. Valdes

Via the Internet

Ducking the Bullet

The smell of jet fuel in the morning: I just wanted to take a minute out of my day to thank you for the article on the ever-popular Air & Sea Show ("This War Was Brought to You by McDonald's," Night & Day, May 3). I, along with everyone else, had planned on attending. Until I read your article, I had all but forgotten the millions of sweaty shirtless drunks stumbling along the beach. The brutal sun pounding down on you while you squish together with 50 other people for a sliver of shade. I had even forgotten about the sea lice that are abundant on our coasts this time of year, afflicting anyone who steps foot in the water. So thank you! You saved my weekend!

Wendy Quirk

Wilton Manors

The Legend Grows

Another Fane fan: From time to time, I Google Fane Lozman just to see what he's up to ("Witness for the Defense," Bob Norman, March 8; "City Bites Dog," August 24; "Witness for the Intimidation," August 10). And I'm never disappointed. It's good to know that he is still keeping America safe from assholes. His life is a movie script waiting to be written. Thanks for the story.

Judy Linklater

Northbrook, Illinois

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