Two restaurants. Same neighborhood, same street, same circumstance.
They both failed their health inspections.
Popeye's, 1430 E. Brooks Rd. in Whitehaven, failed with a 69. The inspector's report cites four critical violations and five non-critical violations:
"(manager was) talking on the telephone, put the telephone down and continued prepping the food without washing her hands"
creamed potatoes "(at) potentially hazardous" food temperatures
"no cold water on the hand sink near the CO2 tank"
Mirabile Investment Corporation owns and operates Popeye's Whitehaven location. Bob Cook, president of retail operations, didn't mince words about the staff's mistakes.
"Clearly we did not perform well the day of the inspection," Cook said in an e-mail to Action News 5. "We take these inspections very seriously and all violations have been corrected.
"The inspector did a return visit (Sept. 15), and we received a score of 93 percent. I am confident that the management of this location will maintain an excellence rating on all future inspections."
Just down the street, The Kettle, 1430 E. Brooks Rd, failed with a 55. The inspection report indicates six critical violations and 13 non-critical violations:
"employee is smoking in the food prep area"
potentially hazardous food temps for "smoked sausage, sausage, cooked potatoes"
"raw meats are stored over non-cook foods"
"water is backing up in the floor drain near the dish machine"
Inspector used the word "dirty" 14 times
"The inspector came at 11:30 am (when) they were closing down the buffet," said Adam Taouil, area manager for Kettle restaurants. "(My crew) was cleaning the vent hood. Smoke and grease were everywhere. We took care of most of the things."
The Kettle received an 83 on re-inspection.
THIS WEEK'S BIG TIP: The Chicken Coop, 420 W. Broadway St., West Memphis, AR, (870) 733-9898
The constant din of the doorbell as the crowd stampedes...
The incessant ringing of the phone as Rita has it glued to the side of her head...
Both are indications that folks in East Arkansas can't get enough of the wings and things at The Chicken Coop, voted as the Best Place to Eat off Broadway Street in West Memphis.
"This is the best place in town to eat," said Sharon Warren, an in-and-out regular. "You can call it in, and they'll have your order ready, and if you have a 30 minute lunch, run in, get it and go out!"
Lemon pepper wings, sweet sauce, hot sauce, "suicide" sauce -- but folks fly to this Coop for more than just chicken.
"They like the variety, and they love the lemonade, and they like the green tomatoes," said Priscilla Deford of Trumann, AR. "That's what they want, and they want to get it from here."
WHAT ANDY LIKES: Hot Wings, Fried Green Tomatoes, Fried Mushrooms, Pork Chops
For all of this week's Memphis-Shelby County restaurant scores, click here.