Feedback: Chewing on The Food Issue

You wrote it, we printed it.

We got lots of positive responses to our monster Food Issue last week, but some disgruntled ones as well. (And we have a few mea culpas in the food department to make, too.) Peter Meinke’s musings about the other Bay area also provoked some interesting discussion, and a post about a state Senate candidate prompted what might have been the funniest diss of the week.

Re Poet’s Notebook: The other Bay area, by Peter Meinke, June 7: “What’s San Francisco got that St. Pete doesn’t?” asked pltctytc rhetorically. “Well, to start with… this wouldn’t be us in one hundred and 50 years. not even close.” Therese Tappouni was more hopeful: “Poets like to dream — and often their dreams become reality. We’ll pray hard for this one.” Trucker John, a San Francisco native who lives in Lakeland and returns to SF from time to time “to recharge on its vibe,” finds this area “a little conservative to our tastes.” (Ya think?) Another SF expatriate, Todd, had a lot to say about his new home turf. The biggest setback to Tampa Bay ever becoming another SF, he says, “is the people (of course) and mostly the people governing them. More highly educated people from all over the world flock [to the SF area] with new ideas and know that there are several cities to land in and hit the ground running. They are willing to spend more because in return they get so much more, great public services, a light rail system that connects Oakland, San Francisco and well into the neighboring cities and suburbs. There is way more incentive for people to open unique independent businesses, something that is lacking by leaps and bounds here in the Tampa Bay Area. I have never in my 44 years ever seen [so] many chain stores and restaurants as I do in the Tampa Bay area.” He doesn’t miss the SF area’s big homeless population, or the pricey real estate, and overall he’s glad to be here, but he has one fervent request: “For being by the water and in a beautiful sunny place the Tampa Bay area (visually) is the most colorless place [I] have ever been… A little paint could go a long way here!”

Re “Well, hello, lola,” The Food Issue, June 14: CL’s new food critic, Jon Palmer Claridge, enjoyed being introduced to Tinyahang Filipino Grocery by Assistant Editor Arielle Stevenson, but Bamboo42 brought a more jaundiced perspective: “Filipino food is my least favorite type of food. I used to date someone who is Filipino and I had to eat many times at the very many family get-togethers that were always happening. The food was very bland and simple. I cannot think of one positive thing to say about it.”

Re “High school confidential,” by Andrew Cloud, June 14: We got slapped down by reader Jeff Novak for cutting high school intern Andrew Cloud some slack (he didn’t quite finish his assignment to try out 10 budget restaurants): “dont reward failure by publishing less than half of an agreed article,” scolded Novak. “this helps no one, not the writer, who learns not to follow through, not the editor, who shows favoritism and questionable motives, and certainly not the reader, who is distracted from the review. granted, CL could have published this article and not told readers about the original idea, but it would have eaten at its edtiors already frayed ‘accomplishments.’” We edtiors didn’t notice that our accomplishments had frayed (you mean like jean shorts? man, that’s harsh), but check out The Daily Loaf this week, Jeff. As promised, Andrew is continuing his budget odyssey online.

A few apologies are in order. In my report on the Armenian Avenue Restaurant Group, the gang of enthusiastic gastronomes who are eating their way up and down Armenia (“Eclectic avenue,” June 14), I mixed up the allegiances of Tamara Zwick and Melissa Freeman. Tamara’s the Yummy House fan, Melissa’s the China Yuan aficionado, not vice versa. I owe you both some dim sum. And Arielle Stevenson enjoyed her interview this week with Adam Man v. Food Richman (see her interview on p. 20), but she unfortunately got bad info from the Jim Beam company, who promised that Richman’s food truck would be hitting several destinations in the area where it never actually showed up. Arielle is abashed, and willing to take up any suggested food challenge in atonement. (But watch out; she’s a past champ.)

Finally, this diss:

Re: “Rob Wallace tells SD-17 voters to ignore Florida GOP establishment,” by Mitch Perry, Daily Loaf, June 15: One reader didn’t think much of Mr. Wallace’s complaints about another contender from his own party entering the race for state Senate. “Really, the heat is getting to Mr. Wallace,” opined janitorturk. “Or his knee highs have cut off the circulation to his brain.”