Rebuffed at the Buffet
"Mickey's back!"
So began Alison Cook's gushing review of Khyber, the new restaurant specializing in North Indian cuisine [Cafe, "Karma Veranda," April 14]. Indeed, Mickey's back was about all we saw of Khyber on our recent visit there, for though he was standing in the doorway as we entered the restaurant, he didn't deign to acknowledge our presence. And that's too bad, because after reading Ms. Cook's splendid review of Khyber, we couldn't wait to try the place ourselves. Well, we tried it, and we didn't like it. Fortunately, it didn't cost us a cent.

Here's what happened. On Friday, April 15, at about 1:15 p.m., we visited Khyber, anticipating a glorious repast -- specifically, the lunch buffet. We looked around as we stood just inside the entryway, waiting to be seated, driven nearly to distraction by the splendid aroma.

After we'd waited a couple of minutes, a restaurant employee scurried up to us with a sheepish look on his face and conveyed a message something like this: "I'm sorry. We've had some unexpected visitors and we can't cook the food fast enough, so anything you order you'll have to wait 45

minutes to one hour for."
We were, of course, disappointed and more than a bit miffed, seeing as how the buffet was already set up, and the restaurant was only about half-full. But we chose not to make a scene, and exited gracefully.

As we exited, we once again passed Mickey. We would have expected him to offer his apologies for our disappointment. But maybe we just weren't the type of customer he wanted, though our money is as green as anyone else's.

Our experience at Khyber could have been a simple matter of there having been a dress code in place, except that our dress was consistent with that of other patrons. As for the "unexpected visitors" -- we saw no evidence of president or pope, rock star or king.

If a restaurant begins turning away customers when it is at half-capacity during buffet service, something is either grievously wrong with its management, or perhaps it is displaying an elitism that has no place in this city.

Ron Kaye
Connie Schmidt

Lust Grows Up
So enlighten me. What is "sophisticated" and "adult" about a gentlemen's club? [News, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," by D.J. Wilson, April 14.]

Adult? Well, maybe, if you only consider it chronologically. In grade school you tell toilet jokes, then comes snapping bra-straps. When you are legally an adult -- that is, 21 years of age -- you can pay a real live woman to dance nude at your table! Deep.

Oh, and while we're on the subject, who says they're gentlemen?
Susan Moore

Credit Due
Alison Cook hit a nail squarely with the review of Berryhill's Hot Tamales [Cafe, "Fish Tacos of the Gods," March 24]. One of the names missing from the "proprietors for whom the little things matter" was that of Yvonne Heizer, whose ideas and touches abound.

Reflected from the back door are her many years' experience, attention to detail and unflagging devotion to quality. All this in addition to great food!

Olga H. Thompson


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