By Chris Lane
By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
Over the Rainbow
After reading Alison Cook's scathing review of the Rainbow Lodge [Cafe, "Rainbow Rebirth?," February 17], I thought, "There is justice in the world!" I used to enjoy the food and the surroundings there. Then, a few years ago, I took my then-boyfriend to the Lodge for dinner to celebrate his birthday.
At our table in the empty restaurant, we waited patiently for some sign of recognition -- from anyone. Waiters and busboys walked by us repeatedly, but gave no sign of even being aware of our presence. We were still being ignored ten minutes later, when two late-middle-aged couples were seated at the immediately adjacent table.
Within seconds, the two couples were surrounded by restaurant employees, and a waiter was reciting a list of specials. Patiently, but with growing anger, we waited ten minutes longer. No water, no menu, no waiter.
We left. As I passed the "hostess" on the way out, I said, "We would have enjoyed our meal if we had ever received any service." Her response? A shrug of the shoulders.
I can only guess why the Rainbow Lodge didn't think we were worthy of service that night: my date was from India, with the usual dark Indian complexion. Perhaps one should not infer from the "Rainbow" in Rainbow Lodge that they want a "rainbow" clientele eating there. I do know for sure that they won't be getting any more pots of gold from me or my friends at the ends of meals, because we haven't been back there since.
Meanwhile, Back at the Lodge...
Regarding the recent review of the Rainbow Lodge restaurant ["Rainbow Rebirth?"]: I find the review to be fraught with inaccuracies, unobjective and unfair complaints, and often misleading comments.
On a personal level, the Lodge holds many warm memories for both my husband and myself. It was the location that hosted us the night we became engaged, the place I chose for my bridesmaids' luncheon, and the restaurant I chose for my recent birthday celebration. (By the way, to insinuate that because the restaurant graciously caters to brides and their festivities, the food is somehow lacking, seemed to me to be an especially unfair remark.)
I have always been treated with impeccable service, a warm greeting, quality food and a lovely atmosphere. I have and will continue to recommend this restaurant and to share the positive experiences that I have encountered there.
After reading Alison Cook's review of the Rainbow Lodge, I was the one left with the bad taste in my mouth. What slander! Is this a personal vendetta? Ms. Cook's description of the Rainbow Lodge made me question if she was referring to the same restaurant I know so well. And while we are all entitled to our opinion, this seems far too calculated an effort to be a simple restaurant critique.
More recently, Ms. Cook reviewed the new and so-chic Empire Cafe in a critique I happen to agree with. Yet in the recent past she wrote what would seem to be a preview of what was lurking for the Rainbow Lodge, as she critiqued Carrabba's with the same vicious style. This leads me to believe that a fine dining experience is what Ms. Cook opposes, and not the restaurants she slaps around like an unwanted stepchild.
I am a longtime customer of the Rainbow Lodge and have always found the food, the grounds, the atmosphere and the service (which Ms. Cook does not mention) to be impeccable. I encourage those who have not been to the Rainbow Lodge to decide for themselves, and I feel confident that they will consider it anything but a "rip-off."
I was stunned at Alison Cook's lack of ethical journalism ["Rainbow Rebirth?"]. Ms. Cook used a cheap, sensationalized method to grab readers' attention with her cover headline: "Is it safe to go back to the Rainbow Lodge?" Her inference that dining at the Rainbow Lodge may pose a health risk to patrons is nothing less than slander. Is it safe to trust a "Cook" with such unscrupulous taste? I think not!
Memo to Tyer: Bring Bug Spray
In reading Brad Tyer's review of the release concert of Paul English's CD Beauty ["The King's English," February 17], I keep reminding myself of the adage that reasonable people can agree to disagree. However, I get the impression that Tyer sat down in his seat with the proverbial "bug up his ass" -- determined to find fault with the artistry on display that night. I'm guessing it's because complimentary tickets were basically nonexistent and he had to shell out bucks for his seats.
What's sad is that in a review of four paragraphs, only one had anything to do with the music. The balance was given over to knocking the folks that showed up to support Paul and other fine Houston jazz musicians, Paul's decision to live in Houston, and Kirk Whalum's arrival time. I doubt that Whalum's participation in the second part of the concert had anything to do with his fee. Rather, it looked as though English was highlighting one sax player at a time. What Tyer found tame and lacking energy, I found inspiring.