He's got a beef

Having thoroughly digested the "Bun & Grind" article in your 4/15 issue, I have to say, I find I have something

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Letters

"Reading through the Dining Annual issue, a newcomer to Seattle would think that Seattle was truly the carnivore capital of America."

He's got a beef

Having thoroughly digested the "Bun & Grind" article in your 4/15 issue, I have to say, I find I have something of a beef with Emily Baillargeon.

The description of the offering at Daly's Drive-in so moved me as to decide to give it a visit. Well, to me what I received seems perhaps a cut above Burger King, but by no means the "near-religious experience" she led me to believe. Just your basic thin double patty on a standard flimsy bun. I also have to say, the burgers handed out at Red Mill, so heaped upon with adulation by nearly every Seattle denizen, also seem to me, frankly, rather ho-hum. Not that they're great either, but so far Red Robin's are the best I've had in Seattle, a sad commentary on the state of affairs, if I may say so.

Now I'll admit, I'm a purist. I like my burgers plain—just meat and bun. Here's what I would consider to be an "ideal" burger: The patty would be at least 1/2 inch, preferably 3/4-inch thick, and at least 4 inches in diameter. It would be made of the finest fresh ground beef, preferably ground round or chuck, around 16 percent fat. It would be flame-broiled to the degree of doneness you asked for. The bun would be home-baked, sturdy enough to hold the entire weight of the burger. It would be fresh and dense, but not jaw-achingly chewy or chokingly gummy. Preferably, it would be toasted. Toppings would be absolutely fresh, hand-cut, the best vegetables possible, and added per your order.

Who in Seattle comes closest to that standard of burger excellence, apart from your own backyard grill? Emily—any opinions or recommendations?

Alex Rast

Seattle

First of all, are you sure you ordered the Daly Double? Second, I am no purist, nor do I hide that fact in my chart, which delineates sauces and the mess factor. (A well-sauced burger is, to me, the closest thing to a taste-bud orgasm.) That said, there are two burgers that would most likely appeal to your underevolved taste buds: Try the Scooper Burger at Scoop du Jour or the Jitterburger at the Jitterbug—toppings, condiments on the side, of course. Caveat: Your tyrannical requirements may confine you to your Weber. Give a little!

Carnivore-centric city

Reading through the Weekly's 4/15 Dining Annual, a newcomer to Seattle would think that Seattle was truly the carnivore capital of America. With phrases such as "the thrill of the grill" and "hamburger heaven" peppering the paper, the concept of vegetarian dining was barely mentioned.

But not all of us find a plateful of reorganized pigs or cows appetizing. Not all of us wish to feed an industry that injects steroids into animals (and hence into us) and sponsors the ongoing wreckage of the Brazilian rain forests. In fact, a local restaurant owner in your article claimed that "people aren't eating as many hamburgers these days" and referred to "the growing number of patrons who request veggie burgers . . ." There's the real story!

Vegetarians are accustomed to being considered peripheral. And though the Seattle Weekly has certainly published favorable reviews of vegetarian restaurants, the dining issue was an annual issue, suggesting an overview of "365 days of eating." Let's hear more about the diverse and enticing menus of Bamboo Garden, Cafe Flora, the Globe, the Green Cat Cafe, Araya's, the Sound View Cafe, Gravity Bar, Sisters, Carmelita, the Quantum Cafe, and the Sunlight Cafe. Not to mention the monthly EarthSave potlucks, which thousands have attended for the last few years.

These cuisines are succeeding not because they are "politically correct." They're succeeding because a sizable minority of restaurant-goers find meat indigestible, meat-making inhumane, or meat-eating unhealthy—or all three. Vegetarianism will be looked at as a peripheral "alternative" so long as our country's eating habits are driven by the unsanitary and inhumane slaughterhouse industry—and so long as farm animals are considered, basically, things to eat.

In the interest of journalistic balance, we encourage Seattle Weekly to publish not just a special section on the numerous vegetarian dining options available in Seattle—but a detailed investigative story on how that hamburger got to your plate.

G. Nissen, seattle

Christine Clarke, Students for Animal Liberation

Kunga Gyaltsen

EarthSave Seattle, Board of Directors

I spy fries

I would really like to know which restaurant is pictured on the front of the April 15 Dining issue. My husband is a nut about hand-cut fries, and that is what those appear to be in the cover photo. If you could please let me know the name and possibly the location of the establishment, I would greatly appreciate it.

Tanis Nielsen-Rhoads

via e-mail

Editor: Larry's Greenfront on First Avenue in Pioneer Square—our managing editor's personal fave.

Missing meat

Emily Baillargeon quotes from Jeffery Tennyson's Hamburger Heaven, but fails to mention that the burgers at the Two Bells Tavern are the only ones in Seattle (and one of only two in the state) in his "Perfect Burgers" list ("Bun and Grind," 4/15). And we haven't changed 'em since the book was published in '93 (or for that matter, since we started making 'em in '83). How could we be omitted entirely from her survey of Seattle's burgers?

Patricia Ryan

Two Bells Tavern

The omission of the Two Bells Tavern from a list of burger places was not entirely intentional, and I for one can wholeheartedly vouch for the juicy, horseradishy patties lovingly enclosed in fresh French bread. But honestly, can a place that doesn't serve french fries really market itself as a burger joint?

Brutal or benevolent?

I am writing in response to Catherine Tarpley's analysis of what the folks in Olympia are doing (Legisledger, 4/15), in particular, her rant concerning Sen. Pam Roach's bill that would make available $200,000 to accommodate the Albanian refugees being relocated in the Puget Sound area.

I enthusiastically support SB 6094. As a member of the Young Republican New American Support Program, and an immigrant to this country as well, I found her take on the issue typically liberal. While bemoaning the plight of the refugees, she managed to disassociate herself from any responsibility because "we must first support the victims of our own brutal economy."

It is our own "brutal economy" that makes this a refuge for immigrants all over the world. Sen. Roach realizes the special need that has been brought about by Clinton's war and is taking the situation in hand. I and my fellow Young Republicans have already begun working with immigrant communities here in Seattle and are preparing to do what we can, government money or no, to assist the tired, weary, and truly poor. Anyone interested in helping out should contact our organization and we'll get them plugged in—even Ms. Tarpley.

Ben Markovchick

Seattle Metro Young Republicans

Prigs, pot, and power

Kudos to Cherry Wong for her commentary on "Pot, Police, and Prostitutes" (4/15). However, her concluding paragraph, even though accurate, misses the bigger point.

She said, "By keeping prostitution illegal in most of this country, it's giving the message that Americans don't have the individual common sense to choose what's right or wrong for them."

What that really means is that the sanctimonious prigs who make the law want to keep their power. Power means job security, deferential treatment, and command of resources. Who wants to lose that?

Because drug and sex laws are so often ignored by the citizenry, police have a free fire zone to pick out whomever they like for targeting. Is it any wonder that racial and ethnic minorities take the brunt of it?

Gerald M. Sutliff

Emeryville, CA

Corporate Big Brother

After reading your story on Real Media and MS using GUIDs ("Media Player and Privacy," 4/8), I realize that the government ain't Big Brother so much anymore as are the major companies that utilize info on the Internet. The right to privacy is continually being infringed upon, and the fight to preserve privacy will have to increase to meet these new threats. What happens when we start plugging in personal cybernetic implants like Borg here in the next 20-40 years? These companies and the government will have implanted GUIDs to track us 24/7. Resistance is hopefully not futile if we can stop this now. Privacy is worth the fight.

Robert Carver

East Tennessee State University

We welcome succinct letters commenting on articles in Seattle Weekly. Letters may be edited for length, clarity, and legal considerations. Please include name and daytime phone number for verification. Write to Letters Editor, Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western Avenue, Suite 300, Seattle, WA 98104; fax to 206-467-4377; or e-mail to letters@seattleweekly.com.

Correction

In our 5/6 review of the opera Peter Ibbetson, the photo caption incorrectly stated that Richard Zeller played the lead role of Peter. He, in fact, sang the role of Col. Ibbetson.

 
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