Week of March 24, 2004

Metal Men
Healing words: I was sorry to see in Adam Bregman's March 17 heavy-metal book review "Devil in the Details" a reference to a Christian Science family as "screwy" and "refusing medical care" for cancer.

Our hearts go out to the Hetfield family for the loss of their mother. Any loss of life is always tragic, regardless of what kind of treatment they receive.

There are many documented healings of cancer through Christian Science prayer. Thoughtful Christian Scientists know they have a choice of whatever healthcare they feel is best and have made responsible decisions. They do not take any sickness lightly. To them, the demand of the Christ is to live, not die.

It might be of interest to your readers that many people are being healed of cancer through spiritual treatment by prayer. I myself had a cancerous growth on my face that was healed several years ago through the study of the Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.

I am grateful when we read of the successful healing of anyone under whatever method they choose.
Riley Seay
Town and Country

That's one illiterate statue! In English, ass can mean donkey. But in German, Esel, the word for donkey, can never mean butt. In "Lost in Translation," your March 10 Unreal piece on the German sculpture, you should have used the word Arsch. Sounds sort of like ass, doesn't it? You guys get carried away with puns sometimes. Nervy to get all punny in a foreign language (bored/angebohrt). There were more mistakes in your German (mostly word omissions), but I'll leave it to other readers to point them out.

One thing: I'm glad you got rid of that tough-guy journalist who sounded like a Kentucky-fried David Mamet character. I think he was your editor-in-chief. I'll take newspaper geek cutesiness over faux grit any day.
Alan Mueller
St. Louis

Kitchen Korner
Still waiting for that first crisp bite: Regarding Michael Renner's "Let Us Now Praise Pan-Fried Poultry" in your February 18 issue: I went to Rusty's American Kitchen last night for dinner, but I'm sure it was not the same restaurant Renner was writing about.

As we walked up to the door, we noticed a big green letter B as the restaurant's health rating from the county. We were told it had to do with a disgruntled cook who called the health department; the cook no longer worked there and besides, the rating only concerned some paperwork that had not been turned in.

Our waitress, who we saw about six times, once every half hour or so, was very pleasant. She brought our drinks and a basket of bread and muffins, which were very good. We only got two corn muffins, although there were three in our party. We were about to ask for more while we waited as the people at the next table had done. But we overheard the waitress telling them that they were lucky, these were the last two.

We started to visit with the people at the next table, who said they had been there "a while." They talked to the waitress, and their food finally came. It looked very good from where we sat. We waited. Our neighbors finished their food, and we asked if the wait was worth it. They replied, "No." According to them, the potatoes were cold and the green beans were rubbery. But we waited.

After three or four more visits from our waitress, our food arrived. My plate had a breast, two legs, mashed potatoes and gravy, and corn. I said I'd ordered green beans, not corn. I was told that the kitchen had run out of the beans. The corn didn't look very appetizing. I requested the broccoli. The broccoli turned out to be an excellent choice, although it was not hot. The mashed potatoes were obviously made from real potatoes. They also were not hot, as was my wife's macaroni and cheese.

Renner writes, "Visitors who've never had bona fide pan-fried chicken should take a moment to savor the first crisp bite." I have not yet had that moment. When my chicken arrived, it was hot to the touch, so I broke the breast open to let it cool. It was very pink on the inside. It was a large breast, so I decided to try one of the legs. It also was pink. While waiting for a waitress to reappear, I decided to start eating the vegetables before they got any colder. The waitress came after I had finished all the vegetables and asked, "How is the chicken?" I showed her. She did say, "Oh my."

I still have not savored that first bite. However, I do intend to finish cooking the chicken tonight or tomorrow and to fix some hot vegetables.

We did meet and talk to Rusty. He is a most pleasant fellow. He shared many of the problems he has found in the restaurant business.

Renner says Rusty's food would remind you of your grandma's. Maybe that's how it was with me. My grandmother was Italian. She never much liked to cook and never was what you would consider a good cook. But when she did cook there always was enough, it was hot, and it was cooked through.
Michael Orlando
St. Louis

Two thumbs up fer sure: Really good food, reasonable prices, great service and an abundance of urban nouveau synthetic types to keep my wife and me buzzing under our breath about how silly they all look trying to look urban chic. Michael Renner's right about Eleven Eleven Mississippi: The décor is cool ["Thank You and Here's My Address," February 4]. And if the joint ever goes belly up and I'm flush with money, I'll buy it and make it my home. Only way to improve on it is to attract a modicum of urban "freaks" -- artists, musicians and writers -- and have them personalize the place with shithouse graffiti and napkin art. Hopefully this will happen in the future; if so, this joint will have a long reign instead of becoming victim to the biennial demise cycle. Two thumbs up fer sure.
Mike Stewart
St. Louis

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