Also, one last thing, the ribs are not charred like you said; they are tender and fall off the bone. The barbecue sauces — house and spicy — are better than a lot of places’ out there now. (Won’t mention names.) We always ask for extra when we take home our leftovers. I like to end this with House of BBQ, five stars.

Dimi
via email

Future Freebies

Tokeli is a truly great talent and now a bit of a visionary (“Free-For-All,” Blurt, June 11). Whether or not she is serious about offering her rather significant talents (I was at the show and blown away) for “free” or not, I can tell the readers that those of us in the entertainment business have been there and are doing that very same thing albeit kicking and screaming.

Not only did Napster and others eternally change the way prerecorded music has evolved as a business model a decade ago, VOD (video on demand) is now flirting with the very same concept of “free” with movies and favorite TV series. Check out the story in The Wrap on a new company, Zillion TV, that has just signed up a major studio and will offer their content free of charge. Putting aside the concept that if an artist is truly passionate about pursuing their craft, rewards will follow (with monetary hopes), this concept of “free” is here to stay and for those innovative enough to figure out a way to make that work, they will be the pioneers of the future.

All Tokeli needs is an audience to hear her music, and now there is no excuse for anyone to miss her amazing show. She will survive — go see for yourself!

Steven Galloway
via email

Money No Object

Why in the world would you concern yourself with who paid for what for the Idol return (“Mad World,” Neighborhood News from Stringers, May 21)? That is ridiculous. Adam is a hometown guy and this is the article he gets for working so hard to make his town proud of him? You should be ashamed; it is a disgrace. Keep in mind the teachers salaries are ongoing — Adam was a one-time event. Big deal. If you had some positive articles running about this talented young man your hits on this site would be tremendous. I found this article to be very sad.

Name Withheld by Request
via email

Baloney Sighted Offshore

Regarding “Searching for San Diego’s Sea Turtles and a Job” cover story of April 30, I heartily laugh at all the letters of protest coming in on behalf of author Nasreen Atassi. I can spot a phony baloney a mile away! Last week’s letter from Misty bemoaning the deeper misunderstanding of Nasreen’s story and negative criticism of it was a crock. I bet that was Nasreen herself, writing the letter in defense of her questionable skills. Neil Allen of Normal Heights: Let’s call a spade a spade! Nasreen’s writing sucked — there were no layers of meaning or “unique view and style.” It was just plain bad. The Reader should know better than to publish shit like that when there are so many better authors out there (such as myself) with far better stories to tell. To add insult to injury, the Reader puts this dreck on the front page!

Now I am sure Neil Allen of Normal Heights and If do not wish to beat a dead horse or kick someone when they are down. Let’s suffice to say people are entitled to their opinions. But they should be sincere ones not hiding behind false names or friend’s emails. Nasreen, call off your dopey relatives and friends. Try and write something worthwhile next time. And no more letters that are obviously written, if not by you, then by your cousin!

Gail Powell
via email

Mystery Makers

In reading your article “Eyes on the Freeway” (Neighborhood News from Stringers, March 19), it’s apparent Caltrans may not be disclosing the entire story. I drive the stretch of the I-5 freeway from near the U.S. border to Carlsbad on a fairly regular basis, and these freeway solar-array–powered devices extend all the way to the border on both sides of the freeway, every few miles.

I hope the Reader will follow up on this story by contacting Caltrans and obtaining a list of venders (and their contact information) supplying the various components of these vehicle-detection devices. Perhaps then we will be able to ascertain for certain whether the information Caltrans is supplying the Reader is actually true. I have my doubts. I have photographed these devices numerous times and have noticed a company logo on some of what appears to be transmission units (as opposed to detector units): it is a stylized globe printed on a blue foil background of the earth outlined in white with white lines of latitude and longitude. Printed across what would be the equatorial region in bold white letters is “EIS” — maybe this information will be helpful in trying to identify what the actual purpose of these freeway devices are.

I would be pleased to supply any photos I have.

Owen Burcham
via email

Gastro Geography

Normally, I love Naomi Wise’s well-written, thoughtful, and often entertaining reviews. However, this time I had to agree with her that “the state of local North African restaurants [in San Diego] came as a shock” (Restaurant Review, March 19). In fact, I am not surprised at all, since she seems to think that North Africa includes Ethiopia. I’d be shocked, too, having lived in Morocco, if I had gone to an Ethiopian restaurant expecting couscous bedaoui or chorba. North Africa is generally considered to include Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Sudan, and the Western Sahara, with Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya making up the Maghreb. While these countries have some dishes similar to those of Ethiopia, North African cuisine is quite distinct. If Ms. Wise is looking for a good local offering of Moroccan food, she need look no further than Kous Kous on Fourth in Hillcrest.

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Comments

MsGrant June 18, 2009 @ 7:23 a.m.

I agree about Naomi Wise being extremely unWISE in her choice of using one of your clients in her negative review. The only thing that should be "canned" is her ass. I've stopped reading her pretentious reviews.

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SDaniels June 18, 2009 @ 12:11 p.m.

MsGrant, I am surprised that someone as usually thoughtful and measured in response as you are would resort to the same old same old cry of "pretentious." Why, in this publication, are the writers who exhibit the most seasoned control of the English language, again and again called out as "pretentious?"

When I read Ms. Wise, I sense a playfulness, a willingness to dip here and there into brief digression with cheesy but appetizing puns, or indulge in some fun with onomatopoeia or alliteration--she isn't afraid to play with either her food or her language,and she plays seriously. Again, people--these are serving "suggestions." Same goes for Duncan, whose sometime curmudgeonliness adds some character to his coverage of film on screen and DVD. It is astonishing that the average Reader reader seems to think that a review must agree with his or her own opinions, or with some popular concensus, in order to be worthy criticism. Reader readers who hate need to expand their critical horizons--and their definition of criticism.

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towelheadedcameljockey June 18, 2009 @ 12:26 p.m.

"I've stopped reading her pretentious reviews." - Just like you've stopped reading Board's blogs over and over...right? Why not stop completely flipping out and actually explain your thoughts like a civilized educated person (one that you usually appear to be). Going around name calling these guys then saying you're never coming back, only to return is a couple weeks is just plain silly.

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MsGrant June 18, 2009 @ 7:14 p.m.

Blah, blah, blah. I've said this before and I'll say it again. It is a woman's inherent right to change her mind. Beside, I enjoy the Reader blogs. Okay, here we go. She panned The Red Sails in Point Loma a couple of years ago. This upset the owners and its patrons so much that I think it actually increased business, which is a good thing. But anyone who knows Point Loma knows The Red Sails is a local, casual dining establishment that is not known for really fine dining, but for a nice meal with your local folks who have been coming there for years. Yes, I understand it is her job to critique the food. She slammed them with a vengeance. Pretension is the perfect word for someone who moves around in a world she cannot necessarily afford, but gets paid to. Her salacious reviews of restaurants in affluent areas does not apply in Point Loma. We had a dearth of restaurants here, with the exception of the fabulous Roseville, and now Liberty Station, with its assortment of choices. Not fine dining, but better than before. I am not taking into consideration Ocean Beach, with Thee Bungalow, Third Corner, and The Kaiserhoff. These are all wonderful eating establishments with a loyal clientele. But they are on the other side of the hill. I live right in the middle of the Peninsula, but you would be shocked at how many people go to one side or the other. Living in a microcosm makes you lazy. She has to understand the culture of a community before passing harsh judgement. Food is not the only reason folks go to certain restaurants.

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towelheadedcameljockey June 19, 2009 @ 9:38 a.m.

Yes, but food is what people want to read about in the reviews. I understand atmosphere and neighborhood connections but to be quite honest, I've been to Red Sails three times with a friend of mine who simply adores the place. She's lived in Point Loma for over 25 years and so like you, I think she feels a big connection to Red Sails. I've only resided in San Diego for ten years and like I said, have only been to Red Sails three times but each time there was nothing about the food I found worthy of any praise. My friend is obsessed with their crab sandwich, which I gave a shot and was highly disappointed with. I'm no crab coinsure and I'm no food snob, I just know when something isn't that good. The last time I was there was the final time I'll ever go because our waitress basically left us on our own as she did with the few other tables in her section. It was a terrible experience. I will tell you that the bartender and manager working (possibly an owner) were both very cheerful and helpful. They came to our rescue when trying to pay the check. We had waited a total of 15 minutes for the waitress to return to pick up the bill which we initially had to chase her down for but it never happened. Maybe I should only sit at the bar from now on. However again, since the food isn't that good and since I'm not a drinker, it just doesn't make sense for me to go. I agree there are plenty of great places in Point Loma for eating and it's a great community in San Diego. I figure a food critic has got to be pretty harsh. There are a lot of places out there that leave a lot to be desired once all is said and done. It's good to read your explination, it shed light on why it is you felt how you felt and I think sounded a little more grown up (besides the start of course). However, I think you should reconsider your excuse that "all women have a right to change their mind as they choose". Sure, anyone has this right and it's a great right to use. Yet the situation should be sensible for it to come into play. Man or woman should not just stomp off in a furry everytime they're disappointed or upset with something. That's equal to couple's who are on again, off again for the entire time you know them. Those types of reactions are something people usually outgrow by the time they're twelve, or at least should. I think most women are logical enough to realize this and don't react in such ways on a normal basis because according to your reasoning, you would have no problem with someone just saying the phrase "well, she's just being a woman" when someone stomps away or overreacts to something. To me, that seems highly demeaning and just wrong. It seems that bad reactions shouldn't be categorized by gender, but by individual.

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Naomi Wise June 25, 2009 @ 5:15 p.m.

Re: Red Sails: Hmm, I'm looking at last year's Zagat guide for SD -- yes, just as I thought: Red Sails, with a food score of 13, is the lowest rated restaurant in the entire book, tied with Hard Rock and Joe's Crab Shack. And Zagat ratings come from the eaters, not from restaurant critics. So go ahead and love Red Sails, but be aware that most people (at least those who post on Zagat because they care enough about food to want a free copy of the guide) do not share your love.

Reason I ate there was, my Reader colleagues were urging me to do so because it's supposedly the oldest surviving restaurant in SD (Waterfront being supposedly the oldest bar). And I love eating at waterside. So I went. And wrote a nearly-kindly review, given the quality of the food. Remember, I liked the raw shellfish. Maybe because it wasn't cooked there.

Other thing is about community restaurants. At any community restaurant -- places where locals run into their neighbors -- locals are going to have a very different feeling about them than a stranger will (and of course, a stranger may not feel all that welcome there, either.) When I reviewed Red Sails, the review wasn't for people in the in-group there, it was for fools like me who were direly tempted by an attractive, funky-looking waterfront joint, visually resembling the "seafood shacks" I used to eat at during vacations in New England. I really wanted the food to be better, so I could like the place. (Later, I heard the place to be at Red Sails is the bar -- that the drinks are strong and good. Skoal, MsGrant!)

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Naomi Wise June 25, 2009 @ 5:30 p.m.

MOTO: Too bad the powers at the paper didn't give me an opportunity to respond to your post when it first appeared in the Letters. The others are all "matters of opinion," but in your case, the factuality is challenged. First: I did mention Pete's in the piece. I said specifically that Pete's is a grill, not a BBQ. (That is, there are hundreds of forms of BBQ all over the world, but in the US, when you go to a restaurant calling itself a BBQ, it is nearly always a restaurant that smokes its meats, rather than merely grilling them.) Second, I didn't mention or review KC or Abby's or Tyler's or (best of all) Barnes BBQ because all of those HAVE ALREADY BEEN REVIEWED! I was specifically reviewing three brand-new BBQs that opened all within a month or two of each other.

As for the wall of beer, I do need glasses (and wear them) but the main thing was, I wasn't looking for beer, I was looking over the menu to decide what to order. I knew I'd be phoning the place to ask what kind of wood they smoked over, and would ask about the license then, too. Unfortunately (and this WAS dumb) I phoned on Memorial Day, forgetting that it was a holiday (writers for weekly papers don't GET holidays!) The place was doing land-office business, and was so noisy, the gal I spoke to probably didn't hear the question right and said "no." When I called back to talk to the manager the next day, when it was quieter, I didn't think to ask the question again.

BTW -- A new website posting indicates that Frankie's has got its license now, and is advertising happy hours! Yay!

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Josh Board July 9, 2009 @ 10:51 a.m.

MsGrant, your rants here are just plain ridiculous. You start things off by saying that a review got the owners and patrons so mad it actually "increased business." That's one of those lame lines, like when a person gets mad and threatens to "contact their attorney." Yeah, right. I'm sure movie critics that pan bad films also get people so angry that they....they...go to the movie immediately, just to prove them guys wrong! Let's go see a bad movie, just to show those stuffy, pretentious critics we will!

Yeah, that's what people do when they see bad reviews. They immediately flock to the place, just to prove the reviewer wrong.

I've eaten at Red Sails five times. None of the experiences were good (although I loved the view). I asked my friend, who at the time was the head of the Harbor Police (right down the street). I asked if he liked Red Sails (as I didn't want him to be influenced by me saying I hated it). He got a weird look on his face and he said, "I really don't know." I laughed, before he explained that he ate their often, and never once got a sandwich he liked. But he enjoyed going with his co-workers, and he got to know the staff and liked them.

Now, how does one mess up a sandwich at lunchtime? Well, Red Sails found a way to do that.

I wouldn't chalk up my opinion on their food to anything, though, since I rarely order sea food (or...as you said in some insane rant, "I only eat at Fridays,"....I'm still not sure where you came up with that one; it would be news to the folks I ate with at Marine Room the other night).

On a side note, I was once eating there and bought my mom a gift certificate for Mothers Day (as I had gotten her tickets for the Neville Brothers at Humphrey's and thought that would be a nice little thing for her to enjoy).

She had problems when she went there with them giving her the proper change and even accepting the thing (although, in full disclosure, when I contacted them a few days later to complain, they totally hooked me up with a free meal, and offered my parents another free meal, too).

They declined.

They said the food there wouldn't be worth it, even for free.

So, I believe this shows that you were wrong on Red Sails. Tell your friends that own it you're sorry, you tried your best.

(although, using your logic...the place will now be packed this weekend)

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