How much attention do you pay to the DOH Inspection Grade?
Just curious if you stick to the A-listed ones or will eat B/C grades too? Does it also depend on what type of 'violation' they get? eg. roaches over left out milk.
We have a similar, generally national, scheme here in the UK. It is not perfect but may give a guide as to places you don't want to try. That said, a well thought of local place recently got a "0" over a short-lived, but significant, breach. So, it was probably right to give the "0" but there were considerable delays in amending back to what should have been its normal high score.
Speakingin terms of NYC, which as a grading system:
If a place I have been to before (and liked) got a B or C, I'd still go.
There are places that now show A grades that have gotten me sick. So in the grand scheme of things, I use my own best judgement.
Living in Brooklyn, I pay a lot of attention. I created a shortcut to the DOH restaurant inspection website, and I use it a lot.
Whenever we decide to order in, one of the criteria I use is to check the inspection grade. If it's an A, no problem, but if it's a C, no purchase. If it's a B I decide based on other factors (have I had food from there before?; did I like it?, etc.)
When we go out, we won't go to a place with a grade of C. If it shows Grade Pending, then I look it up on the DOH website. Almost always (but not always) that designation is because the restaurant got a B or a C and appealed that score.
And something else to keep in mind is that even if a restaurant has an A in, say, December, that same restaurant might get a B or C in May. There is one restaurant on Fifth Avenue in Park Slope that now has an A, but was closed by the Health Department late last summer. Before that, it had an A, and before that it was closed by the Health Department. So this place seems to get an A, then not pay attention to health rules until they are closed, then they clean up and get an A.
Anyway, my wife and I are happy that the NYC DOH is so vigilant in their inspections. I know the system isn't perfect, but I'm still glad it's there.