I would not disagree with Bill Donahue’s observations about Stub Stewart State Park (“Stumping Grounds,” December 2007). I’ve been there twice, and both times the park appeared to be empty. And I could not escape the conclusion that the design of the tent-camping area was an afterthought. Really, who would camp on a gravel 20-by-20 [foot] square shared with an ill-placed stationary fire pit and picnic table? The cabin area is okay if you don’t mind sharing your experience with someone 15 feet away in another cabin. And being greeted by a toothless clone of Clark Griswold’s RV-dwelling brother made me a little skeptical about the process of selecting a camp host.
When compared to Ft Stevens and other parks created in days of old, Stub Stewart is a sad example of lackluster government design. We all got chainsawed on this one.
RANK AND FILE
I was excited when this month’s issue arrived with the Best Schools cover story (“The Parents Survival Guide,” December 2007). I was disappointed, however, that it didn’t really rate the schools, but rather gave various facts about them. In other issues, you actually rank things—be it by some public opinion poll or having the community (e.g., doctors) rate themselves.
While I imagine it’s an enormous amount of work to put together the information you have, I think calling it something else might make more sense. “Stats on Schools” might not sound as flashy, but it’s more accurate.
After reading your December issue of Portland Monthly, I’m bewildered about the direction of your magazine. Your gift guide includes only four gift ideas under $50, and the majority is not locally produced (e.g., the Maserati, Prada handbag, Gucci belt, etc.). Further, “The Parent’s Survival Guide,” with passages concerning “How to Raise a Millionaire” and “How to Turn Athletic Talent into Cold Hard Cash,” are also troubling. In the Editor’s Note, you claim you removed your children from Buckman Elementary because you had different “values as parents” than what that school offered. Considering your last issue, I wonder, what exactly are your values?
Your staff needs to do more investigation when deciding on Portland’s top restaurants (“Best Restaurants,” November 2007). We took your advice and made a reservation at Pok Pok as a birthday celebration. The food was great, and the wait staff was amazing. So why the letter to the editor?
We were seated 10 minutes past our 6:45 reservation for 9 people, but at about 10 minutes before 9, we were approached by the host and informed that another party was waiting for the table. The host even asked us whether we’d have enough time to drink the bottle of wine we’d just ordered. If this wasn’t rude enough, five minutes later, the hostess reiterated the same message. What finally pushed us over the top was at 5 minutes past 9, when the hostess came back and said she had some hungry people outside. This was unacceptable!
We think you owe it to your readers to tell them what to expect at Pok Pok. Don’t expect to order dessert.
Portland Monthly named Hiroshi one of the best restaurants in Portland (“Best Restaurants,” November 2007)? I have to question whether your reviewer even went there.
The restaurant is lit like a video store, and the cheap wood tables were garnished with a red rose and baby’s breath. The back of the sushi line had ratty-looking toaster ovens and boxes of Saran Wrap that cluttered it up. The servers are knowledgeable, and the menu contains unique items, but the sushi is no better than anywhere else.
Are restaurants paying for placement? This one missed the mark by so much I can’t think of anything else it could be.
Dining Editor Camas Davis responds:
No restaurant has ever paid to appear in our top restaurant round-ups. I dine anonymously at a restaurant many times before I decide if it’s worthy of inclusion. While I always take note of atmosphere and service, the quality of the food—be it cheap barbecue or high-end seafood—is the most important factor for me. Ms. Glyzewski’s experience at Pok Pok is quite unfortunate; in the 10 times I dined there, however, servers were tactful. I’m sorry Mr. O’Neill finds Hiroshi’s ambience to be lacking. If someone in town serves better sushi, I’m all ears.