Spring marks a return to the much-neglected mailbag. I selected these reader communications from those I have received since last spring (apologies –– it’s been that long since I ran a letters column). They include some recommendations, some disagreements, some amusing experiences, and the most bizarre restaurant incident I have ever heard.
The oldest message came from Nancy Clark. It slightly preceded the opening of Mark’s (4 Stars; 616 Dolley Madison Road, 387-0410, http://marksrestaurantnc.com ) and M.J.’s Steak and Seafoods (3.5 Stars; 620 Dolley Madison Road, 852-4889, http://mjssteakandseafood.com) in the fall. She lives nearby and had been checking out building renovations one Sunday afternoon. She reports: “When the policeman saw me still in my choir robe, peeking in windows, he became a bit curious. I explained that I was on secret assignment for John Batchelor, so he wished me luck.”
People are also reading…
Here’s hoping Greensboro’s finest remember me and express similar good wishes if I encounter them myself.
Dave Kemp wrote that he and his wife were “thrilled” to read my review of Jazebel’s (3 Stars; 3281 South Church St., Burlington, 270-6277,
.webs.com), because they were fans of Orobosa’s in Pawley’s Island, which Jazebel’s chef formerly owned.
Although my review was positive, I complained about an incident involving service. Owner Dan Doby asked if I could describe the server, promising no inappropriate retaliation, expressing a sincere desire to improve customer satisfaction. When I described the server (him), I received the following reply: “OOPS! I have given myself a verbal warning, and fully intend to terminate myself if things do not improve. Thanks again for the review, it has helped us greatly and given us a renewed sense of commitment to making it better. We have many new customers, thanks to you.”
Steven Cole, however, took issue with my review of Cleopatra’s (2.5 stars, 1310 Westover Terrace Suite 107, 274-5003, www
.com). “My wife and I were shocked at your … 2 star food and 2.5 star overall ratings. We have dined at Cleopatra’s numerous times, … and we have had truly delicious meals every time. We feel fortunate that someone had the courage to open an exotic restaurant in Greensboro. …There are very few choices for interesting, high quality international restaurants in Greensboro. Saigon, Vietnamese Garden, P.F. Chang’s, and a handful of Thai restaurants are about the best we have available. Other than Saigon, Cleopatra’s stands out on this limited list. Please return to Cleopatra’s and order the mix sampler appetizer plate and try the Musakaa with meat. Also, try the house white rice with vermicelli instead of the special variety; it is wonderful.”
First, I was delighted to see that he reads the details, not just one rating at the top of the column. I would point out that by definition, 2 Stars means “good,” 3 Stars “very good,” so my rating of Cleopatra’s was not intended to be low.
John Batchelor has
been reviewing restaurants for more than 25 years. His reviews run every other week in Go Triad. Contact him at email@example.com.