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Would you still go to your favorite restaurant if you found out it had multiple health code violations?

Asked at Massachusetts Streets on July 21, 2012

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Photo of Ben Nelson

“It depends on what the violation is. If it’s something like a knife being left out too long on a counter, then I wouldn’t care. But if it is like a human head in the dishwasher, not so much. ”

Photo of David Lassley

“No, I would not eat at a place that has been cited multiple times. I work in the kitchen, and if you wouldn’t eat it yourself, don’t serve it. Throw it away. ”

Photo of Lynn Gates

“No I wouldn’t. That’s all I would be able to think about.”

Photo of Sheryl Wiggins

“If they don’t label the bleach, whatever, but I would prefer not to find hairs in my food.”


Leslie Swearingen 1 year, 8 months ago

A human head in the dishwasher? You scrub it down with a bristle brush, stuff it and bake it. Go to a movie and you will learn these things. Seriously, no one is wondering what happened to the body?


BABBOY 1 year, 8 months ago

I agree that Ben hit this one on the head.

The Topeka Paper runs a thing on health code violations. The paper is not so good at explaining a lot of the violations are minor or when they are major. They put a couple places I like on there so I looked at the violations and thought they were BS.

For example, the health code geeks like too pick on locally owned places and seem to give a pass to franchise places or places they have a long standing relationship with. Of course, the franchise place may remember to have the fire extinguisher exactly 18 inches from the door but not think twice about buying the cheapest meat and hiring dumbest workers they can find.

Anyway, this health code BS has a fair amount of politics behind it....

(I am sure some lame code enforcer will try to correct me, so I will just give them a flip you in advance)


Pywacket 1 year, 8 months ago

LJW needs to add the "like" button to the OTS responder section. Ben's comment = gold!

One of my favorite restaurants ever was, by any standards, a greasy spoon. Sometimes there would be a faint oil slick across the top of the coffee in the cup. But it was 2:30 a.m. and you were drunk and that coffee tasted damn good, and so did the hand-made hamburgers and fries, so you didn't care.

For the most part, we benefit from enforcement of health standards. We want violators to shape up or shut down. Especially if it's a place in which we have little or no emotional investment. And especially if it's in the here and now. Our kids might get sick from eating there, dammit!

But when you think about such enforcement as it might have applied to a beloved place from your own youth, owned by a local guy who sponsored local baseball and bowling teams, where your mom met her friends for after-school Cokes and shakes in the 1950s, where your best friend got her first job, and the waitresses called everybody "Hon," a rule about storing raw chicken parts on the same cooler shelf with sausage links and cheese slices doesn't seem to matter so much.

While I never heard of anyone dying after eating at my hometown burger spot, it was, by any standards, today's or yesterday's, a dive, a hole, a joint. I would give anything to walk in there for one more oil-slicked cup of coffee and one more juicy burger basket with those hand-cut, skin-on fries. I loved that dive, grime and all. And I wouldn't want to remember it any other way.


Antonym 1 year, 8 months ago

I usually only go out for furrburgers at the Y. Can I look up health code violations for that dining establishment?


Paul R Getto 1 year, 8 months ago

The system is seriously underfunded (on purpose) and more political than anything else. Just about any restaurant can be cited any day someone shows up. Food and vermin go together and this is a constant challenge. One approach: call roaches water bugs like they do in the fancy joints in New York City.


autie 1 year, 8 months ago

You guys all want to meet at El Mezcal out on Waka later for supper? I here they'lll be plenty of room and it is guarenteed not to be busy.


prospector 1 year, 8 months ago

I worry more about the violation of my taste-bud's.


g_rock 1 year, 8 months ago

We used to call the stupid folks that don't understand or do anything at all unless you spoon feed them the information...Spooners. So I guess today is kind of annoying?


Leslie Swearingen 1 year, 8 months ago

July 22. A day named for the Reverend William Archibald Spooner (born at London, England, July 22, 1844, warden of New College, Oxford, 1903–24, died at Oxford, England, Aug 29, 1930), whose frequent slips of the tongue led to coinage of the term spoonerism to describe them. A day to remember the scholarly man whose accidental transpositions gave us blushing crow (for crushing blow), tons of soil (for sons of toil), queer old dean (for dear old queen), swell foop (for fell swoop) and half-warmed fish (for half-formed wish).

Thank you, Roe, had to look this up, I thought you meant people who sleep like spoons nestled together. LOL

I ate once at the Mad Greek and it was the worst food I have ever had, could not eat the desert so I didn't have to pay for it. I was told they were trying a different vender. I thought they cooked the food on site. Isn't that why they have a kitchen?

I wonder if they ever inspect LINK and the Salvation Army kitchens. They are the two soup kitchens in Lawrence.


RETICENT_IRREVERENT 1 year, 8 months ago

Every night is a spooner's night in my book.
Sporking, not quite as often.


autie 1 year, 8 months ago

I'd rather eat there after the citations than before. At least they would be closer to compliance and on their toes.


g_rock 1 year, 8 months ago

Yah, so no one wants to go out to eat with Ben now, ever.

I don't know it depends. How good would the food be that I'm missing v. how icky the violation was. There is some sort math equation and graph involved.


thebcman 1 year, 8 months ago

If the dishwasher is at proper temperature, the human head would be safely sanitized. Great answer though.


RoeDapple 1 year, 8 months ago

I prefer to eat where you can see the activity of the kitchen.


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