Tate Street restaurants’ health ratings: Straight A’s … almost

Sidewalk view of Tate Street Coffee

Cleanest restaurant on the street: Tate Street Coffee House (Photo by Preservation Greensboro)

As anyone with even a hint of germophobia knows, the Guilford County Health Department inspects restaurants and grades them on compliance with sanitation and food-handling requirements. Grade certificates must be conspicuously posted. They carry a letter grade along with a specific numeric score (90 to 100 gets an A).

Be aware that an A grade isn’t a guarantee of top-flight cleanliness. The system is set up so almost every place that isn’t absolutely revolting gets an A. Restaurants can have quite a few violations and still scrape by with low A’s. I once heard a presentation by a county health official who recommended never eating at a place with a score below 93.

Inspections occur up to four times a year. The laggards are supposed to get more visits than the top scorers, though that pattern doesn’t hold up across the board. Tate Street’s cleanest restaurant has been inspected four times in 14 months; one at the low end of the A range, only twice.

The best and the worst

  • The best: At the top of the ratings, Tate Street Coffee’s inspections over the past year have been consistently excellent, ranging from 97 to 98. Sam’s Oven and Grill doesn’t have a rating posted online yet, but the numbers at its other location are exemplary. Among the Spring Garden Street restaurants, Jack’s Corner and Yum Yum rate consistently excellent.
  • The worst: The only Tate Street restaurant that didn’t receive straight A’s was East Coast Wings, which pulled a B last November. And it wasn’t especially close: 86.5. A follow-up inspection two weeks later brought it up to an A at 93.5, the best it managed to score all year.
  • Not that good: Others came close to losing their A ratings. China Wok went as low as 91.5; Slices had a 92. Don couldn’t do better than 93.5.
  • A pattern of lower scores: Before 2016, China Wok, Don, East Coast Wings and Slices consistently had much higher scores, all from the same inspector (the database identifies by number the inspector who conducted each visit). Then their scores all fell sharply when a new inspector took over. The same pattern appears in inspections of other restaurants, but the drop-offs weren’t as extreme. Apparently, old Inspector No. 2101, for whatever reason, wasn’t nearly as tough as new Inspector No. 1322.

Restaurant health ratings since January 2016

Below are all the ratings from inspections since January 2016 for restaurants on Tate Street and several nearby places (click here for the entire Guilford County database).

Boba House
1/20/2017, 94, A
9/7/2016, 96.50, A
4/25/2016, 96, A

China Wok
10/31/2016, 93, A
8/31/2016, 94.50, A
6/7/2016, 92.50, A
2/18/2016, 91.50, A

Chipotle
10/27/2016, 95.50, A
4/26/2016, 94, A

Coffeeology
1/12/2017, 96.50, A
7/28/2016, 94.50, A
4/26/2016, 95.50, A
1/6/2016, 94.50, A

Don
7/19/2016, 93.50, A
3/2/2016, 92.50, A

East Coast Wings & Grill
11/16/2016, 93.50, A
11/1/2016, 86.50, B
6/30/2016, 92.50, A
1/6/2016, 91, A

Insomnia Cookies
New: No inspection listed online yet

Jimmy John’s
9/28/2016, 97.50, A
4/11/2016, 96, A

Manhattan Subs & Pizza
2/17/2017, 93, A
7/21/2016, 96.50, A
1/19/2016, 92.50, A

New York Pizza
1/23/2017, 95.50, A
10/7/2016, 97, A
6/29/2016, 96, A
1/21/2016, 95, A

Pedros Taco Shop (it’s listed in the database without an apostrophe)
11/28/2016, 95, A
9/21/2016, 97, A

Sam’s Oven and Grill
New: No inspection listed online yet for Tate Street
Groometown Road location:
1/9/2017, 99.50, A
7/25/2016, 97, A
3/14/2016, 99.50, A

Slices Pizza Co. by Tony
1/23/2017, 96.50, A
9/1/2016, 92, A
4/20/2016, 94, A

Smoothie King
1/20/2017, 96.50, A
8/8/2016, 97.50, A

Sushi Republic
11/29/2016, 94.50, A
8/1/2016, 94, A
3/18/2016, 94.50, A

Tate Street Coffee House
1/6/2017, 97, A
10/3/2016, 98, A
5/16/2016, 97, A
2/10/2016, 97.50, A

Nearby: Spring Garden, Mendenhall, etc.

Bandito Burrito (food truck that visits Mendenhall Street weekly)
11/4/2016, 96, A
4/28/2016, 96.50, A

Carolina Foundry (Four Flocks and Larder, Revolution Burger, The Baker & The Bean)
2/8/2017, 96, A
9/27/2016, 97.50, A
5/27/2016, 97.50, A

Domino’s Pizza (Chapman Street)
8/26/2016, 95.50, A
2/17/2016, 97, A

Double Oaks Bed and Breakfast (North Mendenhall Street)
New: No inspection listed online yet

First Carolina Deli (Spring Garden Street)
1/10/2017, 97, A
7/6/2016, 98, A
1/28/2016, 96.50, A

Jack’s Corner (Spring Garden Street)
1/24/2017, 98, A
7/18/2016, 98, A

Old Town Draught House (Spring Garden Street)
9/28/2016, 98.50, A
9/9/2015, 96.50, A
3/4/2015, 98, A

Primo’s Pizza, Subs and Wings (Spring Garden Street)
1/10/2017, 94.50, A
10/20/2016, 97, A

Thai Garden Express (Aycock Street)
8/10/2016, 96, A
6/1/2016, 97.50, A
2/10/2016, 97, A

Yum Yum (Spring Garden Street)
10/20/2016, 99, A
2/25/2016, 99, A

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One Response to Tate Street restaurants’ health ratings: Straight A’s … almost

  1. Terry Weaver says:

    Looks like I know where to eat, based on these “grades”! I’m thinking I won’t eat at a place that carries less than 95 rating. I’m getting pickey about what goes in my mouth!

    thanks for this info.

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