Tag Archives: health department

“The Health Inspectors!” : Broadway’s Hottest Farce

17 Sep

Homeland security hits NYC's restaurants: blue, green, yellow, orange, red. What's your security risk level? Pink?

Wanna take revenge on the old restaurant that fired you, and effectively stop service in it’s tracks? Read on. It’s perfectly legal; just do what two innocently civilians did tonight: walk into a restaurant with clip-boards in hand.

That’s right, at 10:30 PM two normal patrons, who happened to have name tags on them from a business conference, walked into our sister restaurant (Right across the street). Managers from our sister restaurant, quickly texted our managers, and immediately the story was that, “the New York State Department Health Inspectors had arrived.”

Absolute farcical door-slamming madness ensued: tens of people running, screaming, picking up anything possibly suspect in their hands, collecting personal bundles, and just throw- throw-throwing it all away.  Trays upon trays of food made their way into the garbage; even the Maitre ‘D’s handbag was temporarily thrown out !

It reminded me of that  feeling you have when you were 19, wasted at some college frat party, and suddenly you see the flash-lights of cops, and start darting into closets.  

The men with the conference name-tags  never even came across the street, but a game of “telephone-texting”  between management, generated a series of mind-boggling miscommunications.  Everyone would be running one way, and then suddenly turn and run in the opposite direction, like a school of fish fleeing a shark.

The door-slamming continued for about ten minutes. Service was completely halted.   “They’re in the kitchen…;” “No-no-no they are in the stairwell; where the fuck are you going with that fucked up bread?;” “Now they’re in the bathroom!” 

When the “False Alarm,” was sounded, and the truth came out, there was a feeling of relife, but also betrayal. How had the story gotten so far out of reality? Fear, that’s how. New York restaurants are scared out of their boots of the new Health Department rules: 

“Starting in July 2010, New York City is requiring restaurants to post letter grades that correspond to scores that it receives from its sanitary inspection.” www.nyc.gov/htm/doh/rii/index.shtml

Personally I walked into Veselka this weekend, one of my favorite diners on the lower east side, and noticed it had recieved a “B.”  I was disappointed, but what am I going to do; not get the Borscht? Yeah, right.