Archive for 'DOH'

$1 Slice-O-Rama, Legacy Edition: Pizza King Gets DoH’d and Back in a Day

As the breakup of the Soviet Union at the end of the Cold War peeled back the veneer of Socialist Paradise, an underbelly of barely functioning economics and crumbling infrastructure laid bare after years of neglect, we now see the aftermath of the Pizza Wars take its toll. When jenfjen and I reviewed Pizza King, (on 6th btw. 37+38th) we were a bit unhappy as to the results and questions of where the corners were cut to drive the slice price to 75 cents came from. The Department of Health recently shut down the erstwhile $1 slice competitor and as we would see a Kazakh nuclear facility in 1993, we now see the pizza-crusted underbelly.

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Macchiato Espresso Bar Back Open After Brief DOH Closure

A dedicated Midtown Luncher alerted us yesterday of a yellow sign on one of the Macchiato Espresso Bar locations (44th Btw. Lex and 3rd) where the chocolate chip cookies are delicious and the egg salad sandwich is worth trying. By the time we were able to investigate, it seemed as if nothing was amiss other than a “Grade Pending” sign on the door. As of this writing, however, the DOH website still indicates it is closed. If you’re interested to know why, keep reading.

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City Council Passes Bill to Require QR Codes in Restaurants

QRCodeFor any Midtown Lunch’ers who happen to a) regularly utilize QR codes to find out information or b) deeply care about restaurant health code violations when selecting your dining establishment, you’ll be pleased to know that Dan Garodnick (D-Manhattan) has championed a bill to require quick response codes posted in New York City restaurants. First reported by the New York Post, it seems the purpose of the recently passed bill is to give consumers the opportunity to quickly pull up information about restaurants (read: specific DOH violations). For now, the codes will be posted inside, but they may be posted on windows in the future.

Do DOH Grades Matter to You When Choosing Lunch?

Hing Won
I recently learned in the forums that ML favorite, Hing Won recently ran afoul of the DOH (again) and were briefly closed last week for inspection violations. Last week I posted about the slightly out of ML price range Tuna Burger from the Oyster Bar’s takeout window and Midtown Lunch’r infoman411 called me out in the comments saying:

Are you sure you want to promote this place on ML? Did you happen to notice the Giant C in the doorway? They have it so that if the door is open you can’t actually see the fact that their NYC Dept of Health Inspection rating shows a C. What’s amazing is that I walk by every day and I never saw the rating sign until recently yet DOH site shows its been a C since December 2011.

I actually didn’t know that they received a C, I’ve since learned that the sign is posted in the corner near the door of restaurant, if you went straight to the take out window, as I did, there’s a good chance you might not see the sign at all. But it got me thinking…if I had known at the time that the Oyster Bar was a C, would I have cared? Would you care? Read more »

45th Street Menchanko Tei Gets Closed by the DOH

Thanks to Lunch’er Matthew for sending over this one. It looks like the Menchanko Tei on 45th Street (btw. Lex+3rd) has been closed by the Department of Health. Hopefully they’ll be able to fix things and re-open soon, but looking at their record on the DOH website isn’t exactly reassuring. Back in August they scored a 65, before addressing the issues and getting a re-score of 16. That didn’t last long though. In December they were back up to 52, before scoring a 5 on the re-grade two days later. Flash forward to Monday, and their pre-Valentine’s Day score was a whopping 83! It doesn’t say how they got the score, but hopefully it isn’t anything too gross…

Snack Box Shuttered By the DOH

When winter arrived and temperatures dropped a bit, the Times Square Salume kiosk went missing. I just assumed that Snack Box went the same route, since the shipping container has been closed with no signs of activity (or explanation, for that matter!) for the past few weeks. I was wrong. Turns out they were shuttered by DOH on January 30 for 66 violation points! There were signs of life this morning, though, which is how I caught a glimpse of their yellow DOH sign that is posted in the window of their display case, not on the outside of the container. Sneaky move!

Ask ML: Can I Ever Eat at Margon Again?



I recently read about Margon’s whopping 60 violation points on
8/24/11. Then, the restaurant re-opened on 8/31 and only had 11
violation points.

I want to eat it but am pretty grossed out (60 is the worst I’ve ever
heard of). What’s your honest take?


Margon Fan

Honestly? Don’t even give it a second thought.

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Mayor Mike Wants DOH Grades For Carts

This again? Last year when the DOH announced they would be giving letter grades to restaurants, there was also talk about doing the same for food carts. A few articles appeared this week in places like the NY Daily News and the NY Post saying that Mayor Bloomberg is pushing for the grading system, but the DOH says it is unlikely to institute it any time soon. They claim they don’t have enough inspectors (only 20 devoted to food carts) and it is difficult to do re-inspections since carts and trucks are not always in the same spot. It looks like we’re in the clear for now, but could this do more harm than good for the carts? I have no doubt the majority of them are just as clean (if not more so) than most restaurants in the city, but as we’ve recently witnessed at places like Cer Te, the DOH grading system doesn’t only include food safety and health concerns. On the other hand, this could help legitimize the cleanliness of food carts once and for all to the people who are hesitant to eat there in the first place.

Cer Te Finally Gets Their A From the DOH

certe doh a
Despite DOH vindication, Cer Te couldn’t help getting in one last upside down jab

It’s been one year since the DOH started giving out letter grades to restaurants in NYC, and to commemorate the milestone the Wall Street Journal has gone all Nate Silver on the data.  There are some interesting tidbits, and other sites are weighing in with their opinions, but we’re far more excited about the big DOH news that arrived in our inbox today.  “After a year of paying big bucks and sucking ass, we have finally received our duly earned “A” from the DOH.” Signed, Cer Te (on 55th btw. 5+6th).  You might remember Cer Te from such wonderful movies as “I Turned My B from the DOH Into Lemonade” and “Give Us a C and We’ll Get Even Angrier”.

Those grades didn’t seem to act as much of a deterrent for hardcore Midtown Lunchers, but it’s good to see that Cer Te’s letter finally matches the quality of their food.

Cer Te Says DOH is Causing the “McDonaldization of NYC”

Despite being one of our favorite places in all of Midtown for sandwiches, Cer Te (on 55th btw. 5+6th) has been battling  poor Department of Health scores ever since the city started hanging letter grades on the windows.  They dressed up their “B” back in September, and last week a tipster pointed out that the B is now a C.  And they’re hiding it all the way at the bottom of the door.

Two lunchers decided to take them to task in the comments, and Cer Te responded with this…

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