The DOH Has a Purpose Beyond Closing Our Favorite Restaurants (And it Rhymes With Twine Glue)

The Roast Pork from Cafe Cello (on 45th btw. 5+6th)

I was pretty sure that you could only get swine flu from hanging out with live pigs, or going to school in Queens- but now the internets have me worried that you can get it from eating pork! Thinking that maybe this is why Cafe Cello was closed last week (they serve my favorite pork in Midtown), I hopped onto the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene website and discovered that they are all about the swine flu. Everything you could ever want to know is on that site… and it says nothing about not eating pork (phew!) So eat your favorite pork with reckless abandon people- unless it is being served by a coughing teenager from St. Francis Prep.

Incidentally, Cafe Cello’s last inspection was a whopping 65 (aka not good.) It’s the usual “evidence of roaches”, “not vermin proof”, blah blah blah. No mention of swine flu though. They have yet to reopen. As of Friday they were still closed, but we’re hearing they may have reopened today. Anybody have any intel?

Original Cafe Cello post (7/10/2006)


  • I showed my support and just had pork from El Rey Del Sabor — 60th St location. Yum!

  • What if your commute is filled w/ people who live in close proximity to pigs/ springbreakers?

  • i was reading up on it at the cdc site, and they report there is NO WAY to contract swine flu from eating any type of pork product. tried finding the link again to share, but its not loading for me,…

    Cuban Sandwich from Margon is my next Midtown Lunch,….

  • I walked by there at 1:30pm and they looked to be open for business – doors open and customers inside. I didn’t actually go in (I had my Biryani Kati Rolls in hand) so can’t say if their pork was back….

  • Hmmm… I called around that time and nobody answered- so I just assumed. Anybody have lunch at Cafe Cello today?

  • …mewonders if they’d of been closed is they had organic pigs from maryland….and sold at @ weekend ‘farmers market’.

  • If they do close, where is Tom going to get his weekly pound of pork lunch?

  • Hmm that’s a good question Dubbin… I am sure I am near SFP kids during part of my commute…
    Total sidenote: I put my deposit down for SFP and was all set to go there for high school. Um, 15 years ago.

  • Yes, you cannot get it from eating pork.

    My co-worker was just telling me that one employee from a well known multi-location generic midtown deli (that he eats at every single day — boring!) just got back from visiting Mexico City.

    Interesting thought about how this flu can spread….think of the community that is usually in the kitchen are of restaurants preparing food.

    I’m just saying…

  • Never understood the rave reviews this place gets. The food is borderline terrible. The fried chicken , roast pork is way too dry. It’s also not that flavorful. Margon is way superior to this place.

  • @some guy – But does Margon give you the giant piece of crispy skin? That’s what puts it over the top for me…

    Agreed that it can be dry sometimes (but you always run that risk getting roast pork from a steam table.)

  • I think the key is that food has to be properly handled and cooked. All the information I am reading says that you cannot contract swine flu from eating port “that is properly handled and cooked.” This says two things to me… 1) If the guy who prepares your pernil sandwich is infected, then you can be infected if he manages to transfers his germs to your sandwich, and 2) if the pig is infected and the pork is undercooked (under 160 degrees), then there is a risk that the flu could transfer to you. So in case #1, it’s not the pork per se, but the worker. #2 suggests that you could get sick from eating infected pork that is undercooked. That’s my two cents from my 10 minute Google analysis.

  • The original people who get infected had no contact with pigs. There’s a conspiracy theory out there that a drug company created it. This has happened in the past.

  • hey i went inside cello today at like 2pm and the hot foods were not there so maybe it was just sandwiches today?

  • Goddamn…fuckin shit looks ripe!

  • Zach,

    no margon doesn;t offer the pork skin. but that’s not enough to entice me to eat at cello. The pork skin might be good but it comes with dry bland pork. :(

    If you like fried pork. Might as well try the chicharones at el rincon del sabor on 47th. I think they offer it on tuesday. That restaurant is a bit uneven though.

    And from your site.

    The colombian platter has deep fried pork belly. It is quite good, at least the portions that aren;t super burnt to a crisp. The steak it comes with is like eating leather though.

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