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A B C or D?

Where do you draw the line? I think that most states have instituted a health rating system for restaurants that requires regular inspections for cleanliness and code violations, Do you look for their letter grade before eating there? Would you eat at a place with a "C" grade? Personally, I won't go past a "B" rating. If the infractions were really serious, the place would be shut down.

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    1. re: JAB

      There is some ring of truth to that. The young woman who gave me most of my Chinese-food knowledge in my late 20s always preferred to enter restaurants from the rear door. Our perennial favorite, Qui Hing Low in Mountain View, CA, had a kitchen that looked like the bowels of Hell, half-naked demons and all, and you really had to watch your step, but it smelled really good (except for the sweat).

      The other part of that is how many Asian food practices that are deemed essential to this or that dish's proper preparation are often in violation of health laws or rules - holding temperatures, for instance. There was a case I read of here in the San Gabriel Valley of a restaurant famous in its community for some deeply loved dish that had to sit at room temperature for much more time than the Health Department was willing to allow. Okay, science is science, but if people have been eating this for a thousand years or so it can't have been killing too many, right?

      1. re: Will Owen

        i also vaguely recall that certain chinese noodle dishes were considered to be a problem because they weren't being refrigerated. the thing was that if the restaurant were to comply and refrigerate the dish, the noodles would become dry and hard and completely inedible.

    2. Not sure I've ever paid much attention. I imagine physical appearances correlate with the inspection grade such that if it looks dirty I probably wouldn't think to go there anyway.

      1. I haven't seen them around here but I swear by those ratings when traveling on business and am grabbing lunch/breakfast in the go. NYC became less risky, lol!

        1. Depends what I'm eating..................
          Near my mother's nursing home the McDonald's got the euivalent of a D (Unsatisfactory) and the rating has to remain on the front door for a minimum of 6 months until the next scheduled inspection.

          Nevertheless, I will still get coffee there...
          I wouldn't buy/consume 'food' at that location, it just plain looks seedy

          2 Replies
          1. re: bagelman01

            I'm amazed that the corporate office doesn't do something about that. You would expect a major chain like that to make sure no one gets less than an A

            1. re: mucho gordo

              You'd be amazed what franchise owners can get away with. This is one filthy unit owned by a group that has more than 100 McD franchises.
              The owner responded to an artocle about this in the local weekly saying that they want to completely remodel and clean the place up but can't get a building permit approved.

              Meanwhile, the place is always packed, dirty or not the locals go there.

          2. my favorite vietnamese restaurant had the bathroom past the kitchen - you had to go past grandma (cooking) to get to it, along with the all the mess in the hall and on the floor. no idea what their rating was...i know the bathroom was a disaster, so i'm sure that would have knocked their rating way down. wouldn't stop me from eating there again. ate there for years. never had a problem.

            on the other hand, i ate at a pizza chain once and the table wasn't clean, so i grabbed (what i thought was) a clean bar mop to wipe down the table. there were 3 of us sharing a single pizza. we all ate the same thing: i was the only one to come down with food poisoning.

            so, cleanliness is somewhat relative in my book. i go to places people recommend - if it looks skanky i'm not gonna try it even with an A rating...