By Chris Lane
By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
Old news: Boy, that was a waste of time ["Past Its Prime," by Robb Walsh, August 11]. Hasn't Taste of Texas been pretty average for some time? Let's get back to finding great places that no one knows about.
Getting personal: I am truly sorry that your experience at the Taste of Texas was so disappointing. I have always enjoyed your writing, and often give your wonderful books as gifts. I also respect your opinion, as you usually do a marvelous job in your reviews. I was surprised at the personal nature of the article, so allow me to fill in some more personal details:
We opened our restaurant in 1977 with just a handful of employees and even fewer customers, and we work very hard to serve our community and to provide a positive, encouraging workplace for the almost 10,000 young people that have worked with us in the past 28 years.
I am disappointed you missed the wonderful historical documents, including the signatures of Sam Houston, Stephen F. Austin, and Davy Crockett. We have dozens of museum-quality artifacts in our restaurant. I love Texas history, and each year for the past 20 years or so, I have hosted almost 10,000 fourth-graders for a field trip.
Our focus has always been on excellence, and we constantly work on updating the restaurant. We have been honored to receive many Readers Choice awards. We were nominated for the prestigious Ivy Award last year, and have just been awarded our eleventh consecutive Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for our remarkable wine list. While we do our best to serve the finest quality, we are not trying to be a white-tablecloth restaurant, and we certainly are not in the same price range. The 300,000 customers who dine with us each year seem to appreciate our exceptional quality at an affordable price.
As for the very personal comments, I am truly surprised. You usually seem to be professional and fair, but the depth of dislike for Edd was striking. Some of his most ardent supporters are very liberal, because he respects both sides of issues, and is not afraid to discuss both sides. I bet if you sat down for a cup of coffee with Edd you would find you have a lot in common. He is a wonderful, loving man, and I bet you are too.
Again, I am sorry about your experience at the Taste. We will take your comments to heart, and are always open to suggestions.
Tasteless: Robb Walsh's restaurant review of the Taste of Texas steak house was so tasteless and outrageous, I felt compelled to write to you today.
I do not recall ever reading a restaurant review that delves so blatantly into politics and ideology. Your piece even includes an aside about a talk-show host "exposing his genitals to an-11-year old child" (as if there is such a thing as an 11-year-old adult).
Yes, there is mention of how the salad bar isn't up to snuff, and how the grade of beef is inferior to that served at Pappas Bros. and elsewhere. Any of those points may very well be valid. I have never eaten at Taste of Texas, so I wouldn't know.
But clearly this piece turned into a diatribe. What the worldview of Tilman Fertitta has to do with a steak joint is beyond me. What a man showing his genitals to an 11-year-old has to do with a steak house review is also beyond me.
What I firmly grasp is this reviewer's intent, which is to besmirch the character of the owner and operator, Edd Hendee, thereby making his restaurant less appetizing to the public. Tying him to Tom Delay was a master-stroke. What's next -- attacking him for attending bible study classes at Second Baptist?
If the man decides to run for public office, then you can have at him all you want regarding his political stances. But when I click a link to read a restaurant review, I expect to learn about what's going on in the dining room and the kitchen, not what political party the owner contributes to.
Walsh has shown himself, in this reader's opinion, to be highly biased in his analysis and inappropriate in his comments.
With the public opinion of media outlets at an all-time low, you would think the Houston Press would try harder to present a fair and factual account for the readers to enjoy. One might wonder why anyone would want to subscribe to your service with such shoddy reporting standards. One might answer in a tone Robb Walsh might appreciate, "It's surely not the restaurant reviews."
No fan of Robb Walsh
Do something, City of Houston: I could have sworn you were talking about the little park on the side of the Chase Tower at 600 Travis ["They Walk Among Us," by Todd Spivak, August 4]. You should see the huge rats scurrying around there. They look like squirrels. Hope your article gets the city to take a look at their green spaces, which are pretty uninviting.