Letters: "I don't bother with Carmine's anymore"
Damn it! I am tired of reading and listening to stories that are sugar-coated or just too plain stupid to acknowledge. Bedbugs were brought back to America by people coming from other countries.
I am a child of the '50s. I remember in 1957, my mom took everything outside and we washed everything down with bleach. I was just a kid and I didn't understand what was going on — but I did hear the word "bedbug." Fifty years later, I heard the word "bedbug" again. I had them. My landlord sprayed the heck out of my apartment. I never had bedbugs after that.
That story on bedbugs was not very informative. Who gives a rat's ass about some idiot who thinks bedbugs are awesome? And if "Bobby Boy" was any kind of expert on these things, he'd be trying to find a way to kill them, not keep them around for "pets."
Thank you to the people who are trying to do something. But it's not enough. Everybody had better start taking the bedbug problem seriously, or one of these days, you're gonna wake up and find you're no longer at the top of the food chain.
Finally, someone has come out and said it! I'd been a loyal Carmine's on Penn customer for years, but I stopped going about six months ago because the quality and service had deteriorated a bit too far for me to justify the bill (and the overall treatment). The most memorable aspects of my last few visits there were the watery sauces, the plastic-tasting veggies and the inflexible attitudes.
I just moved from Denver, but when I come back, which I do regularly, I don't bother with Carmine's anymore.
Reading Laura Shunk's review of Jabo's Bar-Be-Q in the February 24 issue, I was glad to see Jabo get some well-deserved publicity for his craft. If his shop was not hidden on the back side of a dingy Tech Center-sprawl strip mall, the man would have his face on the label of a best-selling BBQ sauce. Shunk's review was spot-on in describing the smoky goodness of his meats and the "I don't care what my shop looks like because the food is so delicious" atmosphere.
However, Shunk's reviews of Gaetano's and Carmine's on Penn shows that she needs to stay away from Italian restaurants. Sure, it would be tough for any restaurant to live up to the legend and hype that surrounds Gaetano's, but after John Hickenlooper took over the place (and even since he got out of the restaurant business), Fazoli's puts out a better red sauce than Gaetano's. This review is even more ridiculous considering it comes on the same page as a scathing review of Carmine's on Penn. If Shunk can't handle leftovers, I would be happy to take those off her hands. In the meantime, please don't review Patsy's and the Olive Garden in the same issue, because based on these reviews, I'm afraid of who might come out on top.
I live in the immediate neighborhood and used to dine at Carmine's two to three times a week. I also used to send corporate clients, family members and friends whenever they came to town to enjoy the great tastes and dining experience that Carmine's used to offer. I agree 100 percent with this review. You used to feel welcome; management and staff had smiles and a no-rush, we'll-take-care-of-anything attitude. This has disappeared behind a management team that is as close to Italian as the Jersey Shore. Now it appears there's more pressure on food costs, closing on time and definitely higher check averages, as Laura Shunk so vividly pointed out with the upselling.
It's important for restaurants not to get too comfortable and to remember how many options there are out there. I'm not sure I'm ever going back — but for the sake of the neighborhood, Carmine's, please make an effort.
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