Week of September 3, 2003

Orange You Glad
Pulp friction: After reading Rose Martelli's "review" of Tangerine, I'm slightly confused ["High Society," August 20]. You bury a great review of the food in an overopinionated diatribe about how you hate the atmosphere and how you feel you are above that.

I consider myself a regular customer at Tangerine. I've enjoyed their food, atmosphere and friendliness since its opening in 1996. I've been through many personnel and menu changes but wouldn't consider myself a "well-coiffed barfly." I would consider myself a 35-year-old woman who goes there because it's the only place in town that has decent drink specials, good food and great music.

Yes, Blake's food is good. So what is wrong with having some fun when thinking up menu selections? You are supposed to be a writer. Writers are creative, and chefs are creative. Simply put, it is just "stupid toasted ravioli with an unassuming tomato sauce." Toasted ravioli is a St. Louis tradition. So Blake put a little twist on a St. Louis tradition and gave it a name that fit. Last time I checked, no one else was offended by the title. Get over it.

Tangerine is not a restaurant. It's a bar that serves food. Really good food. You do commend the food, for which I commend you. However, if you are going there for a three-course meal complete with a wine list and dessert cart, you've chosen the wrong place. I've had the banana egg rolls, and they are delicious. It is a banana, with chocolate and some peanut butter, rolled in an egg-roll wrapper and deep-fried. It is served with a burnt vanilla sauce on the side, and in my opinion wouldn't be good with whipped cream, ice cream or chocolate sauce. It's good just as it is.

Blake doesn't tell you how to write; don't tell him how to cook or what to serve on the menu. Oh, and do your research. The meat loaf was one of the original house specialties.

Your quote regarding the bar staff -- "bartenders who, guy or gal, tattooed or virgin-skinned, are as cute as a bug's fingernails" -- is completely uncalled for. You have obviously lived in New York for too long and can only judge the book by its cover. You make them sound like they just crawled out from under a rock. I won't go into beauty being skin deep or how we should judge people on their insides, not their physical appearance. Aside from that, none of them are unattractive. Tangerine doesn't hire bar staff because of their looks, they hire qualified, honest people who know how to pour a good drink.

And yes, I have gotten annoyed by some of the patrons at Tangerine. But generally they are people just like you. Do us all a favor: Stop giving yourself those pep talks you need so much to go to Tangerine. All us barflies will be a lot happier.
Janine Nathe
St. Louis

Center of Attention
Puglisi and the pee: The best place to put a center like New Life Evangelistic is where the homeless people are. Makes sense.

What doesn't make sense is trying to oust something that will never go away with people thinking the way Mark Puglisi Jr. thinks [ Letters, July 30]. Yes, downtown needs to be revitalized. And, yes, the city needs to attract people, which will bring money into the economy. But whatever happened to trying to use your own resources before going into debt over a bit of flash and dazzle?

People are the greatest resource any city has. Obviously, if there aren't people to maintain a city, there's no reason to try to revamp it. Honestly, I cannot understand how the quest to better ourselves became limited to those with cars or jobs. Being homeless at one time myself and living on those same streets Puglisi thinks random homeless men are urinating on, I know what it takes to revitalize a person. It takes time, effort and money! All programs like Larry Rice's try to do is just what Puglisi thinks they don't do: Give a damn.

A city with people in it is what we all want -- right, Mark? Try staying out of it, and you may find that the population has increased and poverty has decreased simply from one archaic thinker vacating the premises.

By the way, my own car was stolen. Try locking it when you're on your next drinking binge and urinating on the street. You'll find it works wonders!
Name withheld by request
St. Louis

False Alarm
Joe Edwards is God: I know you thought it was funny, but to even joke about Joe Edwards being behind the fire at Arcade Lanes is sacrilege. As far as I am concerned, there should never be a negative word printed about the man, even in jest. Let's face it, without his God-like -- and very welcomed -- presence, the Loop would not exist.

St. Louis would be as dull as Topeka and the Riverfront Times would have to create all new categories in their Best Of poll just to drum up more thank-you ads from the winners.
Peggy Keller
University City

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