Letters from the week of April 14, 2005

What's next? Spillane's? ("I, the jury, find your hors d'oeuvres abominable!")

In the event this marks a trend, I have taken the liberty to compose a few inspirational bons mots:

• Upholstery, in establishments of this caliber, consists not infrequently of the hide of the Nauga. After sampling the steak at O'Houlihan's, I finally may have discovered the use to which the rest of this spurious beast has been put.

• Those unfortunate enough to try the New York strip at the Copper Kettle will surely agree with P.E.T.A. that meat is murder. Where's Robert Blake when you need him? Next time I'll wait in the car.

• I find myself regarding Charlton Heston's outburst at the end of Soylent Green as being unduly querulous. Bye-bye, Applebee's.

• I suppose traditional prohibitions (Biblical, Koranic) against the consumption of swine flesh had their place in ancient societies, though the persistence of these edicts into modern times has always puzzled me. Until now. The pork fritters at Bobby McPanda's Grill will surely have you shouting Allahu Akbar (the battle cry of Muslim jihadists) because they're soo-ee-cide!
Mark Adkins, Phoenix

A little too late: For a while, I was thinking . . . does Stephen Lemons ever dislike a restaurant? I have taken his advice on several occasions, especially when it comes to ethnic dining, and have never been steered wrong. But you have to wonder when a critic seems to never criticize.

Then, I read with interest the critique of the Armadillo Grill, which I had just had the misfortune to dine at. My food was floating in grease, and the place smelled of cigarette smoke.

I think it's the duty of Mr. Lemons to warn us off places like this more often. I only wish I had read his review before I wasted my money.
Bill Kearns, via the Internet

Can't hold a knife and fork to him: In his presumed correctness, I am doubtful if Stephen Lemons could run an educated conversation at a table, or hold his knife and fork to meet polite society.

The Armadillo Grill is an eclectic bar meeting the various interests of the community. It makes no pretensions to be other than what it is. Lord forbid that Mr. Lemons should one day be bald, a senior citizen or hacking up half a lung. I think such characterizing of the patrons deserves apology from the editor.
Stewart Hall, Phoenix

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