Friday, January 20, 2006

KGH Restaurants Health Violations

(Hat tip: Orthomom)

After seeing OM and others linking to the NYC Department of Health violations website, I decided to check the restaurants in the area to see how they did. These are only restaurants that I recognize as being around here, which is basically between Union Turnpike & Jewel Ave., close to Main Street, in Kew Gardens Hills, New York.

I'm going to go in order of how I see them, which is from the least violations to the most. A score of 27 or less passes the NYC DoH inspection; the others will be re-checked in the near future. Quick note: Restaurants automatically got 20 points for not responding to the city or responding too late, which would put just about every restaurant at the brink of failing.

Interestingly, the shwarma places, which people tend to assume are going to do worse, did quite well. Even OM made a joke about them:
This list certainly goes a ways toward debunking the myth that kosher food is somehow cleaner. But I probably didn't need to tell that to anyone who's ever eaten at their neighborhood corner shawarma joint.
But, to my surprise, she was quite wrong. Flame Grill had just 2 points; Grill Point just 5. Pita Hot didn't get a score, so that's a bit unclear. Not only that, the next places people assume to be dirtier are the pizza places, but Benjy's had just 6 points, and Shimon's had just 5. Even Pizza Professor had only 11, which is under the NYC average of 13 points.

Something I don't understand is this: A bunch of restaurants, instead of scores, had this footnote:
* The inspection scoring system now in place was first instituted on March 24, of 2003. The practice was temporarily suspended between November 3, 2004 and February 18, 2005. As a result, violation points were not assessed for any restaurants inspected between November 3, 2004 and February 18, 2005 did not result in the assessment of violation points. Instead, a "not applicable" or "n/a" is indicated in the search result.
Those restaurants are listed after the rest - you can still click on the links to see what they were cited for. I've inserted their previous 2 results as well, along with quick comments about the ones listed this time. Here are the restaurants:

2 points:
147-41 UNION TURNPIKE, Queens 11367

69-40 MAIN STREET, Queens 11367
5 points:
69-54 MAIN STREET, Queens 11367

71-24 MAIN STREET, Queens 11367
6 points:
72-72 MAIN STREET, Queens 11367
7 points:
69-48 MAIN STREET, Queens 11367
9 points:
69-62 MAIN STREET, Queens 11367
11 points:
141-25 JEWEL AVENUE, Queens 11367
17 points:
72-08 MAIN STREET, Queens 11367
19 points:
72-30 MAIN STREET, Queens 11367
20 points:
72-24 MAIN STREET, Queens 11367
DOUGIES BAR-B-QUE & GRILL [40, 27 - and there are a nice number of items listed this time, too.]
73-27 MAIN STREET, Queens 11367

HAPISGAH RESTAURANT [7, 20 - a couple of weird violations, like not having good or adequate sinks.]
147-25 UNION TURNPIKE, Queens 11367

KOSHER CORNER [*, 23 - pretty bad violations, IMO... expired milk? Aren't you using it pretty often? Come on!]
73-01 MAIN STREET, Queens 11367

MAX & MINA'S ICE CREAM [6, 19 - "Live animal present"? What does that mean? It's not mice, because they, like most of the others in this list, have those listed seperately.]
71-26 MAIN STREET, Queens 11367

NAOMI'S PIZZA [*, 18, 29, 4 - Actually, not bad. Just two details listed, neither all that bad IMO.]
68-28 MAIN STREET, Queens 11367

PITA HOT ONE [*, 39, 11 - A bunch of violations.]
75-43 MAIN STREET, Queens 11367

QUEENS KOSHER PITA [*, *, 64, 18 - Actually, that previous 64 scares me more than the violations listed. The 18 since then is comforting, though... somewhat.]
68-38 MAIN STREET, Queens 11367
Overall, pretty depressing. Good thing the place I can most afford is Shimon's, eh?

Actually, to be honest, none of these worry me too much. I worked with food quite a bit, including at a restaurant and at Jacobs Field where they were real sticklers for little things, and I know how easy it is for certain things to be considered "violations" when in fact they're something we all do at home every day. OTOH, some of the violations are disturbing for the same reasons, because they make you wonder: How could anyone let that happen?!

This won't stop me from eating at any of these places, though it may make me favor a couple places a bit more for a short while. Actually, sometimes reports like this make places clean up a lot more, to the point that they're quickly more sanitary than the ones who had better scores. But in the restaurants around here, I don't think it will affect most of them too much.

Go eat! Just watch out for the mice.

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