Pink slime and black mold colored two Shelby County eateries within one point of failure.
Fuji Cafe, 875 Poplar Ave. in Collierville, TN, scored a 70. The Memphis-Shelby County Health Department inspection report cites:
* "potentially hazardous food temperature" of chicken and shrimp
* "food uncovered in cooler...freezer"...
AND...wait for it: "pink slime on inside of ice machine."
Fuji Cafe's local owner didn't speak English very well, so he referred me to Lan Do, the restaurant's general manager based in Louisiana. She told me on the phone that she comes to Collierville weekly to conduct her own inspection of Fuji Cafe.
She says the cafe's low score was all about bad timing.
"It's probably because it was a busy time when the inspector came in," said Do by phone. "It's usually during our lunch time (when food has just been put out). That is all I can say about the temperatures.
"As far as the (pink slime in the) ice machine, I'm sure they got it cleaned up. I was just there yesterday."
Wish we could have been allowed to have our own look. Maybe next time?
McDonald's, 6048 Stage Rd in Bartlett, TN, also scored a 70:
* "black mold build up" on the fountain drink's ice dispenser
* RESTAURANT SCORECARD RECORD ALERT: The word "dirty" used 34 times to describe store conditions
Century Management LLC does a first-rate job managing the Memphis-area McDonald's franchises. Steve Lykins was out of town on business, so we couldn't land a camera visit inside the Bartlett store, but he did send us a written statement:
"At McDonald's, cleanliness and food safety are of paramount importance. Any issues from the Health Department at our Bartlett restaurant have been resolved. Cleanliness for our customers remains a top concern."
THIS WEEK'S BIG TIP: Sippin's, 114 W Market St, Somerville, TN (901) 466-1480
A blue grass band with an open mic and rib eye steaks grilled out in the back alley are why folks in Somerville nominated Sippin's as the Best Place to Eat in Somerville!
Open only Friday (5pm-9pm) and Saturday (10:30am-9pm), Sippin's specializes in great steaks, incredible desserts and free entertainment.
"You can even join in if you want to!" says regular Betty Causie of Somerville.
The dining hall is adorned with the owner's father's portraits and photography, as well as the Lynn families' antiques and heirlooms. Sippin's sits inside the oldest building on the Somerville square. It was built in 1828.
So much history! So much food! So much fun that you have to squeeze into two days!
WHAT ANDY LIKES: Rib eyes, filet mignon, strawberry cake, Italian cream cake, Snickers cake
For the rest of this week's Memphis-Shelby County inspection scores, click here.