SOMETHING TO CHEW ON
DEAR ALISON HALLETT: As a chef and owner of Graze, I must wholeheartedly rebut your recent review of my restaurant ["Tiny Tapas, Big Bill," Last Supper, Oct 5]. Your review seemed more about—and I quote—"what's so hateable about the Pearl" rather than about the establishment itself. I am sorry that you came into the restaurant prepared to hate it just because of its address. You also had a big complaint about the portion size. You stated in the review that our place is a small-plates format and proceeded to complain that it came out on—whoa!—small plates. And as far as your acumens with "food cost" go, I think you forgot to factor in that we ARE in the Pearl (meaning that our cost of operation is higher), and we do most of our cheeses, gravlax, and fries in-house. I dare anybody to find a better four-course meal for $40 in the Pearl. My sous chefs and I don't work 100 hours a week to put out crappy food, and we don't. So get over your petulant Pearl problem and start doling out reviews that are unbiased and worth the paper they are printed on.Katharine G. Browning, Executive Chef & Owner, Graze Restaurant
DEAR MERCURY—White folks simply can't resist dropping the "s-bomb" when describing African people or cultures. Adam Gnade's cunning use of the word in his review of The Last King of Scotland ["Lazy-Eyed Killer," Film, Oct 5] is simply despicable. This is in fact the seventh review of this movie that I've read that blithely sums up the entirety of the Uganda horror simply as "savage." Never have I read any article describing Schindler's List or even the more explicit The Grey Zone as such. "Intensely graphic" or "extremely violent" yes, but European genocides or representations of them are always made to be civilized affairs.
THE SMOKE BLOWS ON
DEAR MERCURY—As the tobacco prevention coordinator for Multnomah County Health Department, I read Amy Jenniges' article on the trend of bars going smoke-free in Portland with great interest ["Smoke-Free Naturally?" Feature, Sept 28]. Two years ago, we surveyed almost 400 bars in Multnomah County, and found that almost a quarter of them were smoke-free. Your survey had very similar results: 22% of the bars [were] smoke-free. That's not a lot of change in two years. Here's another point: 80% of Multnomah County adults don't smoke, so shouldn't 80% of bars be smoke-free if bars were "letting the market decide"? Your article recommended that volunteers should sit down with bar owners to discuss the overwhelming benefits of going smoke-free. If people would like to volunteer to do this, or have other creative ideas about how to encourage more bars to go smoke-free, please contact the Multnomah County Tobacco Prevention Program at 988-4163.
RING OF FIRE
DEAR MERCURY—Okay, that's it. I have to weigh in on this "Freedom to Smoke" business [Letters, Sept 28]: "If you don't want to be around smokers, avoid them, or move..." I wanna ask that guy, have you ever been in a bar? Haven't you noticed there are people who WORK THERE? You know, like the guy who made your extra-dry Vodkatini, or the chick up on stage slapping the bass guitar? So we should have to MOVE so we don't get LUNG CANCER?? Sounds to me like you think we're second-class citizens, not real people who have well-developed careers in bartending and entertainment. Is it too much to ask that you not blow your smoke up my ass every time I do my job??
Lisa Mann, bass playerCONGRATULATIONS TO LISA for lending yet another perspective to the smoking debate. Everyone knows that cigarette smoke is bad enough when it goes into your lungs, but it's especially egregious when it enters your ass. For writing this letter of the week, and for winning third place in this past weekend's Pizzazz! talent show (see pg. 5), Lisa will also receive two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater and $30 to No Fish! Go Fish! who promises to only blow smoke up your ass verbally.
DEPT. OF CLARIFICATIONS
Irwin Mandel, who was quoted last week ["Bad Apples," News, Oct 5], is appointed to the Portland Police Bureau's Chief's Forum by the mayor, but he was elected co-chair by fellow commission members. We regret the misstatement.