First, I’d like to compliment you on your insightful restaurant reviews. Your descriptive, punchy writing makes it enjoyable to read about the many fine eats our city has to offer. Your “How to Eat Ethnic” metareview in the “Chicago 101” issue was a good introduction to such.

However, I was dismayed by your subtle yet brutal dis to Pittsburgh eating establishments in the aforementioned article. I am also a Pittsburgh transplant, and I feel that you did not do justice to the Burgh’s eclectic, unpretentious, and tasty dining scene. If you left Pittsburgh undernournished and unwowed, it was not the fault of the city. As a vegetarian, how could you not fall a little in love with the Malaysian-style tofu in sweet cilantro sauce with festival rice and mini samosas at Spice Island Teahouse? Or the roasted veggie quesadillas at Mad Mex? Udipi, in nearby Monroeville, has some of the best south Indian food I’ve had in my life (and I’ve lived in south India).

Like many former Pittsburghers, I do not desire to live in the Burgh now. I recognize that Chicago has more to offer in terms of eating, employment, and just about everything else. But I do feel it is our duty to let people know that Pittsburgh is not the pollution-stricken, cultureless bowl of rust that many residents of “cool” cities like New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia reckon it to be.

Elizabeth Bowen