Week of September 17, 2003

A Flying Shame
Follow the money trail: Bruce Rushton wrote a really great in-depth article about the expansion of Lambert Airport ["Tailspin," September 10]. Our mayor here in Bridgeton, Conrad Bowers, has maintained all along that the expansion wasn't necessary, as did the pilots and air traffic controllers. Another interesting side of the story would be who is making the money from the expansion project? How are they connected to airport director Colonel Leonard Griggs and St. Louis City politics? Could the whole expansion have been about creating one generation of millionaires? It's beginning to look like our community was destroyed for no good reason except to provide billions of dollars' worth of work for chosen contractors.
Sharon Christopher

Thampy Very Much
Too homey for the RFT: We just read "Breakfast of Champions," and it was so downright homey, I could hardly believe I was reading the Riverfront Times. I was especially impressed with the fact that, although an earlier RFT article labeled George an "obnoxious evangelical" [Luke Y. Thompson, "Speakin' Spell," June 4], you guys turned it around to commend this young man and his family for standing up for their beliefs. Hats off to the RFT.
Brad and Gloria Baraks
Des Peres

Another raspberry for Luke: Mike Seely's article on George Thampy was wonderfully written and very interesting. After getting a sense of what George is like from that story, I think film critic Luke Y. Thompson owes the Thampy family -- and especially George -- a big apology. Time to grow up and become tolerant, Luke.
Eileen Pheiffer
University City

Hamburger Helpers
More burgers, more buns: Thanks so much to Rose Martelli for the burger rundown ["The Beast With Two Buns," September 3]. Hubby and I are carnivores and are always up for a good burger. There is one place in St. Louis that I have found to have a pretty decent burger, and that's Dulany's, in south county, just south of I-270 off Tesson Ferry Road in a strip mall with a Walgreen's (of course). Worth a try. They also have very good hot wings. My one criticism is that their preparation of food is inconsistent.

However, for the mother of all burgers, you must go to New Orleans. There is a little place on the edge of the French Quarter called Port of Call, on Esplanade Avenue. They have the best burger I have ever tasted, and I have tasted a lot of burgers. The meat is obviously never frozen, and the burger comes with freshly grated cheddar cheese on it -- not melted, but just at room temperature, which really brings out the flavor of the cheddar. Sigh. And you know the cheddar has just been shredded, because there's none of that whitish stuff on it to indicate it has been lying around. Also, the quantity of cheddar they give with the burger -- probably about a quarter-cup apiece -- rocks! To top it all off, they don't serve those damned typical fries, but rather a fluffy baked potato, which can be ordered loaded (or not) with sour cream, bacon bits and that heavenly cheddar. Slurp.

Thanks again!
Beth Ryan
St. Louis

In hamburger heaven: Rose Martelli's witty and well-written treatment of the local hamburger scene was a delight to read. To those of us who find food a joy and an inspiration, it's gratifying to have a local writer who treats her subject and the language with such sensitivity and pep. I look forward to more of her entertaining and informative work. Rose is a rose!
Christian S. Saller
St. Louis

From slurp to slur: Like Rose Martelli, I love hamburgers, and I began reading her September 3 review with great interest. Sadly, though, Ms. Martelli lost me with a comment she made about some St. Louis undergrads taking over a local restaurant "like a roving pack of retards."

My friends with developmental disabilities do not "rove" in "packs." After work they like to go out for dinner at some of the places mentioned in the article. My friend Debra, in particular, is a cheeseburger connoisseur and could give Ms. Martelli a run for her money as the "unofficial hamburger tour guide of St. Louis."

It's extremely sad that a flippant, inconsiderate comment, used to make the article more "hip," is what I, and doubtless many other readers, will remember from what could have been a very good story.
Dina Young
St. Louis

A slap in the face: I sat in shock Wednesday when I felt slapped in the face during Rose Martelli's review of local burger joints. I expected to be amused and maybe even learn something new and was enjoying the article until Ms. Martelli described Wash. U. undergrads as a "roving pack of retards." It is petty and demeaning to use this sort of terminology. People with mental retardation deserve the same respect and opportunities that some have chosen to give Ms. Martelli. Shame on you, Ms. Martelli, and shame on the RFT for not editing out this ugly bit of commentary.
Sharon Spurlock
St. Louis

Wheel Life
Well spoke: Damn good piece on the Gateway Cup [Nicholas Phillips, "Renaissance du Roadie," August 27]! I wasn't be able to race this year, but I was there busting my ass for the Sharks on the sidelines.

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