Letters from the Issue of December 8-14, 2005

It's all about the Miami food scene, baby

Jeffrey Travia

Miami Beach

Number ten is right: Lee Klein's story "What's the Matter with Miami?" was great. So happy someone finally brought up number ten [the topic of reviewers being compromised by advertisers]. Love your reviews. Keep up the good work!

Carolina Gelber

Miami Beach

Truth is right: As a San Francisco transplant, I would like to say: Lee Klein took the words right out of my mouth. I would add to his list of ten the lack of immigrants from countries with interesting culinary traditions, which again ties into Klein's argument that the population here isn't very difficult to impress. In other words, why shoot for something good if your countrymen are not around to critique it?

As far as a couple restaurants worth noting in the cuisines Klein touched upon, The Smokehouse at 71st and Collins is serving up some truly fantastic barbecue at a great price. (I think it's a group of guys from the Boston area.) It's not your traditional barbecue atmosphere — it bills itself as a barbecue joint/sports bar, complete with six or so plasma TVs and a full liquor bar.

Another is Renasia at NE 78th Street and Biscayne Boulevard, the only Indian eatery in the entire county really worth mentioning. Anyhow, my New York and San Francisco transplant friends really enjoyed the article. We just need to figure out a way to make it untrue.

Nick Porras

Miami Beach

But Lee isn't always right: I just read Lee Klein's article about Miami restaurants. Cioppino, at the Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne, is one of John Mariani's Top 20 new restaurants in the U.S. (Esquire, October 2005). Before writing a cover story, Mr. Klein needs to research and get his facts straight.

Roberto Leoci

Miami Beach

Suffer the Animals

Corruption breeds corruption: This letter is in response to Francisco Alvarado's "Pet Dumb" (November 17). Thank you for illuminating yet another shining example of Miami's true calling in the eyes of the world: glaring political and administrative corruption. This specialty makes cocaine trafficking pale in comparison. The late Pablo Escobar has nothing on our public officials. Don't be surprised that County Mayor Carlos Alvarez is not available for comment regarding signing off on the unauthorized use of funds while he was police director.

And how considerate of Alvarez to throw the county animal shelter a few T-bones (as in Taxpayer/Trust-funded steaks) shortly before departing for richer shores. It is therefore easy to extrapolate the reason why cops needed the $8982 for a grill, picnic tables, benches, landscaping, SUVs, and digital cameras: They hold a weekly barbecue when they aren't beating up people, stealing drugs from dealers, and committing homicide during home invasions while off-duty.

What better way to grill those taxpayer-funded steaks than on a taxpayer-purchased grill? How will they get the steaks, food, and party favors to the party? They'll need to rent a few SUVs. They'll obviously need to sit down and eat, since the police cars are way too small — besides, who likes to eat where they sleep? And what's a party without pictures? Twenty-three cameras should cover it. Come on! And what about all of those travel expenses? With gas at $2.75 per gallon, it's not difficult to rack up $6918 in fuel costs to attend "animal training courses." Is it the police who need training?

Placing any police entity in charge of anything that offers them the opportunity to steal is the same as appointing a pack of rabid rottweilers to protect the meat counter at Publix. Except we, the incredibly naive public, do them one better; we give them badges.

Ernesto Sandoval

Miami

Correction

Lee Klein's December 1 review of Clarke's Miami Beach, "Different Strokes," misidentified the chef at Clarke's. His name is Seth Lowenstein. We apologize for the error. If it makes Seth feel any better, from here on in we will refer to Mr. Klein as "Jacob."

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