Are you what and where you eat?

Jody Stern’s December 2 review of Jane’s restaurant in Bucktown was rife with glittering generalities and simplistic distinctions–the sort of thinking that builds prejudice and barriers between people. She first describes the near north side as full of restaurants aimed at “conventioneers, Gold Coast fat cats, and other aging carnivores.” She next blesses Bucktown and its environs for its dining spots that are “mostly vegetarian,” with organic produce and free-range meat. To me, that’s a crock and not a crock pot.

My husband and I moved to the Gold Coast last year after living near Damen and Armitage for four years. From our Lake Shore Drive digs, we can walk to at least six excellent places to enjoy pasta, free-range chicken, tremendous salads and immense portions of vegetables. The well-priced vegetarian array available daily at Rich Melman’s Food Life–in Water Tower Place at the dark heart of carnivore row–is probably unsurpassed in Chicago.

Ms. Stern’s smug little comments nurture an attitude of “I’m superior and I’m NOT my parents because I sit on uncomfortable chairs in a drafty, dingy restaurant where the wait staff is horrified by an untimely request for service or a coffee refill.” I have dined at every restaurant mentioned in this review, and found nothing that I can’t find within one block of Lake Shore Drive, EXCEPT attitude. Two final points: In my Bucktown days, I saw many a twentysomething imbibe a chopped, dead cow disguised as a Northside Cafe hamburger; and my neighbors in Bucktown-That-Was–the Delganos, the Dragonskis and the Riveras–could not afford and would not patronize Jane’s, Whole Foods or Eat Your Hearts Out! Let’s call a trend a trend.

Ellen Pritsker

N. Lake Shore