Crossword Crack

The crossword puzzle in today’s issue is weird. The numbers are off or something. I can’t figure it out. This is my “crack,” so I’m going through withdrawals…help!

Name Withheld
via email

Due to an editorial error, the puzzle’s grid and clues were mismatched in last week’s Reader. — Editor

Beyond Review

You missed the local faves in Carlsbad (Cover Story, June 18): New York Pizzeria (mynewyorkpizzeria.com), Lola’s Market, the French Pastry Café, Pollos Maria.

These gems really don’t need any reviews; they have been rockin’ with business since they opened many years ago.

John Taylor
via email

Rude Beyond Belief

I live in Campo and am amazed at how well you review the Campo Diner; you neglect to tell people about the lousy service that this place has and the ridiculous wait time in order to eat (Cover Story, June 18). The staff is rude beyond belief. I have gone in this place twice, and both times there were maybe two or three people in there. Place was half empty when we were seated. That’s great. Then we proceeded to sit there for more than 20 minutes before the waitress came out of the back. When we asked if we could have some water, she was hostile and snapped, “Can you wait?” How much more time does she need? I’ve already been sitting 20 minutes. Needless to say, I got up and left.

I have not gone back to this place. I have yet to see you send someone over to the El Rancho Bar and Grill located on Oak in Campo. That place has better service and a more friendly atmosphere than the Campo Diner.

Your reviewers of restaurants would do better to interview people in the community to find a great place to eat than try to review places to eat on their own. They consistently give poor reviews to the point that they are quite possibly turning people off from trying new places based on their one-sided perspective. I have learned over the years that if a critic hates it, the place must be great and I must try it. You definitely screwed up with the Campo Diner, though. Bad atmosphere will never make for good food eating anywhere.

via email

Willy-Nilly Dog Walkers

Never had I had such an urge to write in! This is in response to the people who break the law by allowing their dogs off-leash in a “leash-only area” (“Stomp Off-Leash Park Romp,” “City Lights,” June 18).

Several years ago, thanks to a jerk who was breaking the law, my dog was bitten while we were on our walk. My dog was on-leash, and that moment made her leash-aggressive. (She is fine off-leash.)

There are several areas we walk, including our neighborhood, where many people break this law. Not only does this jeopardize my dog and your dog, half of the time your dogs are walking willy-nilly and crossing streets, so cars are an issue too. I just love it when you yell, “It’s okay, my dog is friendly!!” Mine isn’t, so when your dog gets to mine, there will be a big problem, and you will be responsible for both vet bills.

There are so many places to take them off-leash. Please be responsible and take them there. The weirdest thing about this problem, the person with the loose dog is the one that gets upset when I say put them on a leash. It’s the law, people. I love my dog more than anything, and the fact that you put yours and mine in harm’s way is disgusting. (I have worked in shelters and vet clinics and seen the aftermath of such carelessness — being hit by cars and dogfights, both of which are easily avoided.) Be smart, people, and pick one area, on- or off-, but don’t break the law.

Name Withheld
via email

Put It In A Pipe

Re “Keep on Truckin’ That Gas,” “City Lights,” June 11. Did anyone check with SDG&E about connecting to their natural gas lines? If the refined digester gas is methane, it should be the same as natural gas. What a shame to truck it through neighborhoods when pipes are already in place.

There are many sources of digester gas in San Diego County: chicken ranches, dairies, food processors, etc. What a fine idea to connect them to our natural gas supply.

Mike Fry

Do The Math

The 38-ton gas transport trucks will exit the Point Loma treatment plant over a road 8 feet from the edge of a 90-foot-high bluff (“Keep on Truckin’ That Gas,” “City Lights,” June 11). The road shoulder is crumbling 8 inches per year into the ocean below. Over time, the road will fall into the sea, helped by the heavy trucks.

Name Withheld by Request

Belated Thanks To Brizz

I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed reading John Brizzolara’s article about Escondido (“T.G.I.F.,” June 11), finding its wit and personality especially recognizable because I worked with John at Hunter’s Bookstore in La Jolla in 1989. As a naéve 22-year-old fresh out of Christian college and an 18-year upbringing in a conservative Christian home, I found John equally alarming and fascinating in those days. Having gained some life experience, I look back on those hours when he was in the bookstore as enlightening and lots of fun. Best of luck, John, and thanks for standing up to that customer who yelled at me for putting her books in a plastic bag instead of paper.

Julie Randolph

Don’t Get Upset, Boys

I love the way Naomi got it right on barbecue (Restaurant Review, June 11). Not every barbecue restaurant is a good restaurant. If you serve food that needs added flavor or spices, then this should be a message to the cook. Don’t get upset, boys, everyone can barbecue at home, but when you go out you want your mouth to pop with flavors. Don’t get upset, just revise your recipes; otherwise, we can all barbecue at home. Make people want your food.

Name Withheld
via email

Pulled-Pork Expert

I consider myself a pulled pork expert because I’ve been smoking my own pork overnight, pulling it, and saucing it for years. I always try a new barbecue joint to taste and compare their offerings. And I’ve always admired Naomi Wise’s literate and discerning food critiques.

After reading her scathing review of House of BBQ on June 11, and the emotional rebuttals on June 18, I just had to go and judge their food for myself. I got the pulled pork sandwich with coleslaw — it’s huge, with succulent pork bits well dressed in a mild sauce on a soft bun, and the most perfect coleslaw I’ve ever had. And a really good pickle wedge. On a scale of one to ten, it’s definitely a ten! And I came to it with an open mind.

I think a mea culpa from Naomi Wise would serve everyone in this case so the matter could be put to rest. I’ll allow she’s entitled to a mistake once in a while.

Judy Mayberry
via email

Seven-Day-A-Week Restaurant

I disagree with the Naomi Wise review of Chicago House of BBQ (Restaurant Review, June 11). My wife and I have visited Pete and Carol’s place three times in the last two months, and here is our finding. Pulled pork sandwich is tender and rolled with just the right amount of house barbecue sauce. What I like about their sauce is the well-balanced blend; it’s not overpowered with vinegar like some sauces or drowned in tomato base. The sauce gives me the choice to add more or reach for the spicier house blend. The Greek salad was dynamite: cucumbers, tomato, onion, olives, and top-tier dressing. I tried the ribs and found them just as balanced, tender, and flavorful as the pulled pork. Last week I had the Greek chicken dinner, which left me speechless.

This week I had the char grilled hamburger, which I found to be the best in San Diego. I found the coleslaw truly fresh and very well balanced. Pete makes that coleslaw fresh every morning and balances it with just the right hint of vinegar. The hospitality was such a blessing. Pete and Carol talk with each and every customer, get to know them, and welcome them back with a friendly handshake and even a hug.

As an active-duty serviceman of 15 years, I have traveled the world. I have served on five continents and visited 27 countries. I have tasted many different foreign and American dishes all over the world and in the continental United States. The hardest part of my service is that it won’t be long until I move again; I usually find a restaurant with the flavor and hospitality I like just before I have to move again; therefore, I am grateful I found Pete and Carol’s Chicago House of BBQ, since I won’t be moving until summer 2010. Carol is a hands-on manager and very supportive of our servicemen and women, providing a discount or coupon to demonstrate support. I have found my seven-day-a-week restaurant.

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Jeff Smith [a beacon of mediocrity] is more important than the truth? How sad [that you turn over the FACTS of doubts on Shakespeare to him and not the Reader public]. You folks are your own worst enemies.

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