Worked with her: In reference to "Sra. Martinez in Design District Closing" ( Lee Klein, July 12): The spirit and enthusiasm of Michelle Bernstein's recipes and her other restaurants will continue. A couple of members of my family have worked for/with Michelle, and I walk away with something that is more meaningful than the delicious food that was placed in front of me on several occasions. Thank you, señora, for the love and dedication that you not only gave your customers but that you and your husband also gave your staff. It may have changed a great deal of lives — and touched home for me. You will always succeed as a warm-hearted, caring soul.
Traveled to see her: As a Chicago foodie, we loved Sra. Martinez and had gone many times. We loved the food, service, and circus of it all. We are sad to see this superior Design District restaurant close, but we know that Michelle Bernstein will move on to even better things. We have enjoyed Michy's, but preferred Sra. Martinez. Let's watch for where she will open next in South Florida. Good luck to her and her husband David in their next culinary adventure.
Predicted this for her: I saw this coming a long time ago, and unless Michelle Bernstein adapts, Michy's is next. First of all, she was spread too thin. Second, although I am a big fan of her flavors, for too long she has been getting away with the "I'm funky, cool, alternative" thing but charging as if it were Le Bernardin in NYC. Bathrooms were always dirty, service snobby at times, and the food was highly inconsistent, sometimes amazing and sometimes not so much. People could forgive these issues (and others, such as Michy's location) if prices were attractive, but as our city slowly moves forward in the culinary scene, people become more aware of true value. The industry is becoming more competitive every day; expensive PR firms are not enough to survive as a restaurant. With food costs, rent, taxes, and other expenses so high now, there is almost no room for mistakes.
Wants to clean the carcass: Although a firm believer in Michelle Bernstein's incredible ability to cook, I was always annoyed by the incredibly small portions at both Michy's and Sra. Martinez coupled with high prices. I wonder what is to become of that space; the building is beautiful.
Awaits doom in other quarters: You can be a great chef, but it doesn't mean your portions have to be minimal and expensive. The closing of Sra. Martinez proves that people will try Michelle Bernstein's creations once but then move on to other restaurants, where customers are served normal-size portions at normal prices. The same luck will befall Michy's unless she changes quickly.
Frank About Filipinos
America for Amurkins: Regarding the story about Filipino workers being unfairly treated in Miami ("Underpaid, Overworked, Underfed," Gus Garcia-Roberts, July 12): These temporary visas for unskilled laborers — seasonal or otherwise — are complete bullshit. I and almost everyone I know worked low-end jobs when we were young or broke. Unemployment is off the charts in most places, and we're bringing people in to serve drinks? I paid my way through college working as a bartender.
GOP, eat this!: So the owner of this employment firm was collecting overtime pay from the companies that hired these people and paying the workers only $6 per hour for 40 hours, regardless of hours worked? Then he was making $100,000 per week from money he stole from the workers? This is the Republican utopia! This is their vision — no regulations, no workers' rights, no minimum wage. People voting GOP deserve what they get; the rest of us don't.
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Robaina Robbed the City of Progress
Look at the fallout: With regard to "Luke's Gospel: Julio Robaina Was Unfairly Trashed" (Luther Campbell, July 12): It seems you have tasted the Robaina Kool-Aid. You are correct about one thing, though: The former Hialeah mayor is still a free man. But not for long. I guess you have not taken the time to see the aftereffects of his tenure on his old city. It is broke — not because of the economy, but rather due to his actions.