Andy's Rest. Scorecard: Curb Side Casseroles, plus scores as of 8/16/09

By Andy Wise - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - His restaurant's track record of health inspection scores doesn't match Jose Magallanes' latest grade.

Las Tortugas Deli Mexicana, 1215 Germantown Parkway S., rated a 69 on its Aug. 13 inspection.

The inspector's report cites:

"fruit flies in the prep (area)"

The inspector "observed employee wash hands in the 3 cmp. sink," which is for washing dishes

"temp of fish fillet sitting out 74 degrees...discard"

Deli Mexicana's health inspection history looks like a straight-A student's report card:  90, 96, 98.  A low 80 score here and there.

Very few low scores.

Magallanes said the critical violations in his latest inspection came smack in the middle of a lunch rush.  He said the fish, for example, was sitting out because a cook was preparing it for grilling.

"It was about 1:15 on a very busy day, and of course, we do real cooking here. It's a totally different thing from just assembling food," he said.  "The history of our restaurant, it's in the 90's, and unfortunately, we got a bad moment when they caught us off-guard, so to speak, doing all the work, taking care of so many people."

His place appeared clean, and the food looked fresh when the Action News 5 Investigators inspected it.  In fact, the health inspector revised Deli Mexicana's score to an 83 after Magallanes contested a few of the violations.

THIS WEEK'S BIG TIP:  Curb Side Casseroles, 5130 Wheelis Dr., Memphis, (901) 761-0287,

This little gem's HUGE health department score this week got our attention:  a perfect 100!

But the incredible food and the curb side convenience are what sold us on Curb Side Casseroles.

"It's good food, and it's easy for me at night," said Vicki Johnson of Arlington, TN, pulling up to the drive-thru window.  "I just have to pop it in the oven and dinner's ready!"

Owner Bradford Williams and her staff spend all week preparing and freezing fresh, ready-to-heat casseroles and specialties, then sell them every Tuesday and Thursday between 10am and 6pm.  Each week, they showcase a special dish, but they maintain their best dishes on the 2-day menu, like their Chicken Divan and Chicken Pot Pie with a Twist (sweet potatoes!).

Williams launched the curb-side concept after a stint as a caterer.

"I actually didn't anticipate doing this, and people just kept calling me," she said.  "I found a niche."

We found a treasure.

WHAT ANDY LIKES:  Chicken Salad W/Sweet Pickles, Black Bean & Spinach Enchiladas, Strawberry Cake

For all of the week's Memphis-Shelby County restaurant scores, click here.

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