Friday, June 15, 2007

Get Out Mailbag June 15

I'm always afraid to open the emails I get in response to certain columns - what if it's a business owner threatening my life after a bad review? What if it's someone telling me I'm a worthless writer and I should just give up and crawl in somewhere? Thankfully, I've gotten mostly nice feedback so far. I thought I'd take a moment to reply to a few random letters here on the blog:

Dear Get Out!
I always enjoy your column very much.
I especially liked the information about Pho Thanh. Shortly after it opened I tried it and became very ill afterwards, so I have not been brave enough to go back, but I see it is remaining in business so I will give it another try. From your information I will know what to order. FYI Pho thanh is not the first Vietnamese restaurant in CDA. Back in the seventies a Vietnamese family arrived here, barely escaping the tragedy of war. They opened a restaurant with very good food-a lychee nut flan type dessert was very good-unusual. The restaurant, however, was short lived.

Nancy Decker

Wow, a Vietnamese place in CDA back in the seventies? I'll bet people here weren't quite sure how to react to such exotic fare back then, when the Resort was still called the North Shore and was known for it's chicken fried steak. Or even better, Tony's Supper Club with it's lazy susan full of veggies and pickled herring.

Too bad Pho Thanh made you ill, sometimes you just have to play it safe and find a menu item you like and stick with it. I could never stomach even the mere idea of trying the pho with tripe and various entrails, although my ex was never afraid of such things, and he lived to tell about it. Then again, his favorite food is Menudo, so that tells you what kind of iron tummy he has. Bleurgh! Thanks a lot Nancy, now I want to try some lychee nut flan dessert and have no clue where to find it. Another quest to add to the list, I suppose...

Dear Get Out!
While I have not eaten at Senor Froggy (and now I likely will not), bravo on your review.
There are many restaurants in town ( Coeur d’Alene ) that could use the wake up call to remind employees that there is a reason it is called the service industry. I appreciate great service, but lately, I am pleased when I get general treatment as a fellow human being, not an interruption. Unfortunately, that is all too rare. And I applaud you highlighting that it is the owners who need to smooth the wrinkles. Attitude starts at the top. I believe if employees are treated as irrelevant specs of humanity, it pours downhill quickly to the customer.

Jenna Botkins

Well Jenna, I guess there's no reason to totally boycott the place. You should at least try the Frog once if you never have. The food still might be passable, it’s just the staff that seems to need a swift kick in the nether regions. I always wonder if maybe I just happened to pop in on a bad day. Or a series of bad days in this case. Good customer service is rare, but does still exist. I guess when you’re working for someone who is paying you $5.25 an hour, you don’t really care if the customers have a pleasant experience or not.

I was sure I’d hear something pissy from the owners of Senor Froggy but haven’t yet. Really, I just wanted to do my part to get the place back to its glory days and send the message that they shouldn’t hire snot nosed little creeps to work in a job that requires a bit of common courtesy and politeness. If someone gets off on being rude to customers, they should get a job at a call center for a cable company or something.

Dear Get Out!
I thought I would respond to your Nightspot editorial.
I haven't been around here for a lot of years, I moved back here in this area to be near my children about 3 years. I want to tell you that those country music places you speak of and the cheap beer. They were the fun places years ago, where everybody had a lot of fun. The Slab Inn was one of those. The state line village had 5 or 6 clubs, I guess the freeway ruined that. When People start paying these high taxes that are sure to come, and waiting in lines of traffic and generally waiting for everything you will see how the populous likes it. It will be great for the rich, not so much for the common man. Already property values are unreal. The great lake Coeur d' Alene is becoming a rich man's recreation area. Upscale I hate that word it goes with developers.

Frank in Post Falls

Ah Frank, you can’t turn back time – not even Cher could do that! Post Falls has tripled it’s population in 10 years, so the urban perils of which you speak are inevitable. Deal with it or move to Garwood, I guess. In reality, PF still ain’t no booming metropolis by any stretch of the imagination. Having lived in large cities, I know we still have a LONG ways to go before we really have to start worrying about real issues with traffic and overcrowding. Certain byways here do get backed up, but it’s nothing like the gridlock that ties up Seattle roads for most of the day.

I love how you say the freeway “ruined” State Line. Ha ha. As if it were ever somehow cosmopolitan to begin with. I mean, The Saddle Sore in used to be the giraffe's necklace back in the day, I’m sure. From what I’ve gathered, State Line has never been anything but a bunch of rickety shacks of ill repute. Nothing wrong with that, but I don’t see how the placement of Interstate 90 in nineteen-sixty-whatever had to do with it’s “downfall.” With the coming of Cabellas, the shanties in that area will soon be reduced to rubble anyways, distant memories replaced by strip malls and chain motels.

As far as Post Falls going permanently “upscale”? I wouldn’t worry. As long as there is an Idaho, there will be joints like the Slab and Big Al’s for old-timers to drink cheap beer in. See you there in about 35 years!

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