Call it a "hat trick" of failure for a few Memphis restaurants this week.
The South Memphis McDonald's, 3120 S. Third St., failed its health inspection with a 66. The inspector's report cites:
"flies in the kitchen oven"
Two citations of employees not washing their hands before preparing food
The word "DIRTY" used six times
George and Jane Jones of Mississippi own the South Memphis McDonald's. They're good people. Jane politely declined an on-camera interview when I called.
"My only statement is we have corrected all of the violations at this time," said Jones.
Cris Charlz Restaurant & Lounge, 3705 Malco Way in Hickory Hill, failed its inspection with a 67. The report cites:
"Toxic (cleaners) stored on top of ice machine, dish machine"...
"Giblet gravy, beef stew (at) potentially hazardous food temp"...
The word "DIRTY" used 17 times, "RUSTY" twice and "GREASY" once
I left two voice mail messages at Cris Charlz. I'll bet a bowl of that giblet gravy those messages were zapped into telephone oblivion.
Steak Escape's store at 7948 Winchester Rd. near the Winchester/Hacks Cross corridor failed with a 69. The report cites:
"single service items stored next to chemicals"...
Ham at a "potentially hazardous food temp"...
"no hot water at prep sink"
"We got busted on the hot water," said a manager who would only identify himself as 'Rick.' "(The other stuff was) done by my employees by mistake, but they've been taken care of."
The violations ...or the employees, 'Rick'?
THIS WEEK'S BIG TIP: Uncle Lou's Fried Chicken, 3633 Millbranch Rd., Whitehaven, 901-332-2367, http://www.unclelousfriedchicken.com/home.php
Not one, but two appearances on The Food Network have put Louis Martin and his family's fried chicken glory on the map.
Really, Lou has a map - right on his restaurant wall. It's riddled with thumbtacks marking customers from as far away as Australia.
"That's kind of amazing that somewhere locally here in Whitehaven can spread out that far across the whole world," says regular Raymond Williams of East Memphis.
Lou's spicy-sweet spin on his Nesbit, MS, grandmother's original recipe keeps the place packed. The burgers are mighty tasty, too, and you haven't lived -- or come so close to an early death -- if you haven't had The Bad Boy.
"Three slices of Texas toast, four slices of cheese and four slices of meat," brags Uncle Lou. "You can do either all ham, all turkey or half-ham, half-turkey. But we drizzle it with honey when we're finished."
"I saw it on The Food Network, came over here, and every time I come to Memphis, I have to stop here and gets some chicken," says Michael Meredith of Jonesboro, AR.
WHAT ANDY LIKES: Tennessee Round Steak (that's fried bologna), Fried Chicken, Home-made Biscuits, Cole Slaw
For all of the week's Memphis-Shelby County restaurant scores, click here.