Letters to the Editor

The Turn of the Screw

Take out the trash: I am appalled by Jason Sheehan's "Drinking, Smoking and Screwing," in the February 9 issue. I have taken note of his restaurant critiques in the past, and have even visited several establishments based on his recommendations. Never again.

His crude language and obvious lack of decorum tells me that I should quit reading his articles, as well as the newspaper for which he writes. I am disgusted by the fact that Westword would print a review alluding to his sexual escapades with his wife (I'm sure she's proud of it, as well), his urge to relieve himself in the middle of the restaurant, and his tendency to drink too much and to smoke in other people's faces.

A visit to Panzano has always been a wonderful experience. I have dropped by the restaurant on several occasions either for drinks with friends or a relaxing meal. The service is friendly, and the food is a wonderful elevation of Italian fare.

In the past, I have considered a restaurant critic to be an elevated member of the community, someone with the means to experience all that the city has to offer and to describe the positives and negatives to their "friends." I now consider Jason Sheehan outside any community with which I would wish to associate.

Krista Wessling

Dark victory: Jason Sheehan, I really enjoy your columns. Keep up the good work, and don't ever lighten up.

Jason Kirkfield

Life of the potty: Jason Sheehan should write his disgusting dribble for Howard Stern. His journalism belongs on a roll of paper you find in a toilet. He obviously has a very limited vocabulary and even less developed intellect. He's lucky to even have a job writing in the same company as respected journalists.

Gerry Trammell

Here's a tip: Jason Sheehan received "atrocious" service from his waitress at Panzano, so he gave her "only" a 16.67 percent tip?! Perhaps he can afford to be generous since Westword paid for the meal. Somehow, the waitstaff profession has convinced the public that 15 percent is no longer an acceptable tip, even for sub-standard or, in Jason's experience, downright surly service. One is now expected to tip at least 20 percent (or at least $15 on a $75 meal) for what often amounts to maybe ten minutes (or less) of actual "work." Hey, it's not brain surgery! Nonsense like this is why I rarely eat at restaurants like Panzano and is part of the reason, I suspect, that high-end restaurants have such a high failure rate.

And Jason, you are part of the problem.

Name withheld on request

At your service: Jason Sheehan, your idea that automatic gratuities are presumptuous and insulting only proves that though you eat in restaurants constantly, you haven't worked in one for years. Think way back to when a young Jason got his first restaurant job. You may or may not have worked the floor, but I'm sure you heard the brokenhearted complaints of servers who, after serving a large group for a couple of hours and presenting their check, were slapped in the face with a $10 tip on a $300 tab. You are, obviously, an adequate member of the dining public. Your tips range from 15 to 20 percent. Sadly, Joe Applebees is not.

The average customer has no idea that servers in this town make $2.25 an hour and rely on gratuities/tips to pay rent. This is only magnified in large groups. Sure, I can blow off being stiffed by some jerk with a $35 tab, but when a VP from Janus Funds brings a party of ten in, racks up a $600 tab and tips $15, I cannot (true story). Large groups divvy their bills, and when that check comes around, everyone knows how many mojitos they had but very rarely remember to tip, either thinking that their cohorts will make up for it, or just not giving a rat's ass. The auto grat is the lifeline by which we service-industry folk ensure that when a large group starts scrutinizing their bill, we, the humble facilitator of their good time, don't get handed the short end of their cheap stick.

Name withheld on request

A Stab at the Truth

Questions, no answers: "A Vicious Cycle," in the February 9 issue, leaves me bemused. Luke Turf left a lot of gaps in it. There's no connection between Contrell Townsend's stabbing and those of his grandparents. One was stabbed by his wife, and Turf doesn't say who stabbed the other under what circumstances.

Turf shows no connection between Marcus Richardson and the Crips, other than the color of his clothes on the day he stabbed Contrell and the unfounded speculations of Contrell's pal, who had "seen him (Richardson) on the news" but apparently nowhere else. Blue is not a "Crips color." Many people wear it often.

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