Andy's Rest. Scorecard: Sawmill Cafe - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Andy's Rest. Scorecard: Sawmill Cafe, plus low scores as of 10/21/10

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By Andy Wise - bio | email

MILLINGTON, TN (WMC-TV) - I'll have the grilled chicken club with my garden hose, please.

I have to admit, it was a little weird at first to discover The Sawmill Cafe smack in the middle of Cole's Home Solutions, a hardware store at 8323 Hwy. 51 N.

But after it rated the week's highest Shelby County health inspection score with a 97 Oct. 19...

...after its loyal customers howled over the food and about Camille & April's personable service...

...and after I sampled its deli sandwiches and specials, I decided I don't have to be a handy man to hang out here.

"It's a great thing -- come in, get something to eat, shop, go home and work!" exclaimed Camille Duke, the cafe's manager.

The Cole family, led by patriarch C.E. "Bub" Cole, started their hardware business more than 40 years ago. Back then, it was a lumber company -- a sawmill, hence the cafe's name. When they remodeled the place a year ago, they added the restaurant.

It offers daily specials (including a kickn' chicken & dressing plate every Tuesday and the Sawmill's signature grilled chicken club on Mondays), deli sandwiches, breakfast biscuits and homemade soups & chicken salad.

Then there's the cheesecake.  And the COOKIES.

"I love the cookies," said Sean McGahee, a project manager working at Naval Air Station Memphis in Millington. "They have chocolate chip and peanut butter!"

"We had co-workers to tell us how good the food was and how personable they are here," said Sheila Branch of Collierville, TN, a first-time lunch-time guest. "The chicken club sandwich is very tasty. Right on target!"

WHAT ANDY LIKES:  Camille & April's Wonderful Personalities; Bologna, Egg & Cheese Biscuit Sandwich, Grilled Chicken Club, Chicken Salad Sandwich, Soup of the Day, Cheesecake


Zinnie's East, 1718 Madison in Midtown Memphis, rated a 71 on its health inspection Oct. 21.

It did not receive a food permit suspension notice, but Memphis-Shelby County Health Department Environmentalist Sheila Holman said the inspector should have issued Zinnie's East a notice for critical food temperature and insect violations:

"hamburger patty, stew (at unsafe food temp)"

"cooling unit not maintaining temperature -- repair"

"gnats noted near dish machine -- exterminate"

Zinnie's East isn't normally a sore spot. In fact, its sister location -- the original Zinnie's just a few doors down with a different owner -- earned a 92 this week

"The gnats are something we're battling," said Perry Hall, owner of Zinnie's East. "(Pest control's) already come through twice, and it's still a problem."

Hall indicated some standing water from poor drainage outside of the restaurant isn't helping the bug issue.

As far as the food temperature violations are concerned, Hall said, "We think we've got it covered."

A Shelby County environmentalist gave Zinnie's East an 80 on re-inspection.

El Charro Billiards, 6237 Mt. Moriah in Southeast Memphis, received a permit suspension notice along with its 74 Oct. 19:

"water leaking from base of commode"

"hose attached to faucet without backflow device"

"no grease barrel on premises"

Every effort Action News 5 has made to reach El Charro Billiards' management has failed. Holman said an inspector has had difficulty getting back into the establishment to conduct a follow-up.

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