Week of June 16, 2004

Jun 16, 2004 at 4:00 am
Eat This
Parental guidance suggested: Your cover photograph on the June 9 issue is outrageous and insulting. Unless of course you have now become Our Own Oddities for the Sexually Immature. Really, Tom Finkel, I know your dad and this makes me want to ask him what the hell your problem is.

Don, are you listening?
Jim Motto
St. Louis

Boning and coming: Um...er...so...it seems like your in-house production folk are boning up on their sublimating skills. Either that or perhaps they just have a lot of time on their hands and free rein with PhotoShop. Treatises on Georgia O'Keeffe's artwork (or Rorschach's tests) aside, inquiring minds would certainly like to know what -- if anything -- comes of the cover art.

Or do you intend to put this one behind you?
Matt Falk

Editor's note: Rather than consulting dear old Dad (oh, the stories he could tell!), turn to page 12, where Unreal reveals all.

Eat That
Blame it on Bush: Bravo to Malcolm Gay for "Eat Me" [June 9]. I happen to live in Granite City while studying economics and political science at Saint Louis University. Gay made the hair stand up on my arms as he so vividly described (without explicitly describing) the payoffs and corruption in the United States Department of Agriculture and on Capitol Hill. It's just one more example of how this Bush administration not only favors big business, but is bad for the U.S. economy and small business owners.

I greatly enjoyed the story and have e-mailed it to all of my professors and economics friends. Keep up the great reporting!
Andrew Balcer
Granite City, Illinois

The Illumination
Carlson lights up the Darkness: With "The Gods Must Be Crazy" [June 9], Erik Alan Carlson did Riverfront Times readers a huge favor: He wrote an excellent article about the Darkness, encouraging fans of serious rock to attend Saturday night's legendary performance at the Pageant.

The Darkness performed an amazing set, complete with leather catsuits and raging guitar riffs. They are, as Carlson says, the greatest band playing rock today.
Kate Liebelt

Queer Eye of the Beholder

The Faith Hill factor: Upon reading "Queer Eye for the Country Guy" [May 26], the golden rule of writing comes to mind: Write what you know. I wouldn't expect to see an article about country music in the RFT, but since I did I would expect sound journalism. Despite John Nova Lomax's claim that many country artists have become pretty boys, he handpicked only two and a half performers to attempt to prove this (the half being Pat Green, whose one attempt at country radio airplay was meager at best).

As for Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney, the "aw-shucks dweeb" and "Dwight Yoakam clone" labels are inaccurate. More so, however, is the claim that Tim McGraw suddenly became buff. If you fast forward a decade, which Lomax suggests, you miss the eleven-year evolution of McGraw and his marriage to Faith Hill -- show me a man who wouldn't clean up for Faith Hill. My point is this: Makeover = sudden change; evolution = change over time. If he's looking for someone to spit something other than tobacco, Lomax should actually go to a "gay bar, gay bar!"
Debby Jackson

Yin and Out

Compliments from the chef: When I came across Rose Martelli's "Wok and Woe" in your June 2 issue, I realized one of your critics had visited our wonderful restaurant.

Unfortunately, there are no credentials needed to be a food critic in St. Louis. That would explain why Martelli gave false information pertaining to Jimmi Yin's menu and pan-Asian/American cuisine. Cool lettuce wraps are not "stupid." In both Vietnamese and Thai cooking, fresh spring rolls ("soft tacos") play a vital role. In reference to my Malaysian sear, the "slices of potato" are daikon radish, which have a peppery, endive-like flavor. Our "tacky" menu boards clearly state this. Asian chicken-and-dumpling soup the "sole attempt at fusion fare"? From menu to décor, we scream fusion. "Ikea and Futon Express décor"? Our lights were handmade in Europe. We have a mural done by an Olympic artist. Months of planning were spent on the dining room alone.

Unfortunately, a poisoned-pen writer with no formal education or background in this complex craft is allowed to write a slanderous article. I can only hope this was not the result of Jimmi Yin's declining on weekly solicitations to advertise in your paper. I hope in the future that RFT writers research their information and report facts, not fiction.
Darren Garmer, executive chef and managing partner
Jimmi Yin's Asian Grill & Wok Bar
Rock Hill

Moving Yin: I was completely floored by your review of this amazing restaurant! I am a St. Louis native and check in with the Riverfront Times online when I'm homesick, since I now live in Los Angeles.

The last time I was in St. Louis, I discovered the awesome cuisine at Jimmi Yin's and actually went there three times in a five-day period. Your reviewer obviously does not know good food. The lettuce wraps are to die for and the crab wontons are the best I've ever had. I had three different entrées in my three visits, all exceptional.

How sad that your paper would rip this place to shreds the way it did. If you run them out of St. Louis I want the owners to know that I alone would keep them in business if they moved the restaurant to LA, because I thought everything about it was fabulous.
Kristina Petrovay
Los Angeles