Liana Lopez

Bipartisan, Please

Depoliticize the critiques: Can you please suggest to Bill Gallo that he review movies based on the actual content and production of the movie instead of his political views? I understand that in general the Houston Press is predominantly left-wing liberal at its core, and that's fine. I still love reading it weekly.

However, when I read a movie review, I expect to find out about its merits, not its supposed political ties. Having said that Hidalgo must be a favorite of George Bush and his war-mongering cronies ["Metaphor Alert: Bright Red," March 4] is not what I need to know. Did he even like or dislike this movie?

And by the way, the shrimp I had at Long John Silver's the other day tasted just like the chicken and the fish. I guess it just couldn't make up its mind what it wanted to be. It kept morphing into something else -- kind of like John Kerry.

Travis Flanagan

Fantasy Fare

Cafes, get real: Liar, liar, pants on fire! Speaking as a professionally trained chef, my chef's toque goes off to critic Robb Walsh. It's about time someone kicked some of these bad restaurants in the ass ["Terrible Ciao," February 19], which are busy pretending to cook real food, while suffering from grand delusions and charging loan-shark prices for it.

Some restaurants couldn't cook for a monkey's birthday party. Oh, but they could cook for Ken, Barbie and a host of other plastic characters. My potbellied pig can tell good food from bad. Ahhhh, the joys of having a restaurant and playing make-believe cooking and wearing Halloween costumes at the same time. Too bad the patrons can't come to these places in costume and pay the check with play money.

Actually, Robb should prepare an annual list of restaurants with the highest propensity for fake cooking and themes, complete with bad art form, best costumes and who rates the highest for their charades. At the end of the year, they should get a trophy and an Easy-Bake Oven as an award. Yes, recently I too had the excitement of tasting some foods that looked like a cross between wallpaper glue and Silly Putty. I asked the waiter (who looked like a cross between Dracula and Pee-Wee Herman) about it, and then the chef came out of the kitchen (looking like the Wizard of Oz, with a top hat on). I asked him if Dorothy and Toto were in the kitchen cooking. How lucky for me!

For the last act, he became Chucky the doll and went into a rage and yelled and raced over, grabbed my plate and threw it into the bus tub. Wow! What a performance! I clapped and yelled bravo! Then the curtain fell, and the waiter became the invisible man.

God help us, we need you, Robb.

Karen Brandreth

Hold the hallucinogens: It's fun to read your reviews and try new places. We've had some nice dining adventures doing this. Congratulations to Robb Walsh on his book; I hope it's going well. I noticed it mentioned in the New York Times Review of Books.

In your review about gastropubs ["Gastropub Crawl," February 26], you mentioned that the psychedelic burger at Rudyard's was one of the best in Houston. I went there, and there was no psychedelic burger on the menu, and the burger I ordered was horrible. And Rudyard's was the rudest, smokiest, filthiest place I have visited in years.

David Kozowski

Nowhere Land

Choose and lose: Regarding Bob Ruggiero's review of Sugar Bayou [Local Rotation, February 26]: Which is it, son? Literary critic or music reviewer? You should pick -- both fall short.

B.J. McMillian

Spoons, not ax: I'm writing to correct an error in Bob Ruggiero's review of Sugar Bayou's CD, Nowhere But Gone. Although I know how easy it is to confuse guitars, which I don't play on the CD, with spoons, which I do play, I can't take credit for something I didn't do (the liner notes are quite clear!). I can sing or I can play, but the two meet on shaky ground. I'm looking forward to the day when they'll let me plug in my guitar and mandolin on stage.

April Rapier, Sugar Bayou

Boob jobs: Mr. Ruggiero certainly has a good ear for music and made some accurate remarks about April Rapier's singing, among other kind comments, but it is clear that he simply doesn't care for this style of music. What else could explain his overall scathing review, despite his appreciation for individual aspects of Sugar Bayou's talent?

You wouldn't get a boob job from a podiatrist, so why would you print Mr. Ruggiero's review of Nowhere But Gone?

Paige Cornwell

Editor's note: The outrage is commendable, although hardly spontaneous. A mass e-mail from April Rapier, which was captioned "Show Time!" urged friends to write to disagree with the review -- "the more, the merrier and the sooner the better!" It conveniently provided the e-mail addresses of the Press publisher, editor and Letters section. It did not instruct them to repeat what Rapier said in her mailing: "The good news: there is no such thing as bad publicity! Fortunately, our fans disagree with Mr. R. In the past 48 hours, internet sales have done a dandy little spike!"

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