Andy's Rest. Scorecard: Mary's German Restaurant, plus scores as of 2/26/10

By Andy Wise - bio | email

WEST MEMPHIS, AR (WMC TV) - The salty language of the health inspector's report will make you wince.

But it's the pictures that will flat-out turn your stomach.

Pizza Inn, 190 Shoppingway Blvd in West Memphis, AR, rated a poor health inspection Feb. 26:

"Need to clean off mouse (excrement) & accumulated food spillage"

"Toothpicks supply -- has been gnawed on (by mice)"

"Dough rolling machines; pizza pan covers dirty"

The inspector's pictures revealed mice droppings on canned items, food contact surfaces, even next to the dough mixer.

Manager Vicki Kirkpatrick couldn't have been more professional or cordial. She agreed to an interview and to allow our cameras inside the restaurant.

Until Pizza Inn's owner canceled it.

Kirkpatrick apologized.  Then she poured her heart out.

She said the building is more than 40 years old, a "structural nightmare" in her words.

She added that construction behind the building dug up the critters and exposed them to the restaurant. The district manager of a pest control company launched a counter-attack on the mice invasion.

She said the pest pros cleaned up the poop, too.

"All immediate issues were fixed immediately," she said. "Andy, we survived the recession by a thread. Be gentle on the 18 people who work here who are doing the work of 30."

Apparently, the staff's got issues at the West Memphis Pizza Inn. The inspector's coming back within 14 days.

With another roll of film.

THIS WEEK'S BIG TIP:  Mary's German Restaurant, 975 Goodman Rd. East, Southaven, MS, 662-349-9182

Ausgezeignet! (that's German for "excellent")

Scorecard viewers are big fans of Mary and Klaus Nowak's authentic German cuisine, squeezed inside a tiny strip center at Goodman and Swinnea.

"I've had authentic German potato salad now!" hollered Joyce Nails of Marshall County, MS.  She's easily excitable. "This weiner schnitzel is just wonderful."

The Nowaks emigrated two years ago from Frankfurt, Germany, to Southaven to be closer to Klaus's family in North Mississippi. They found a niche with their homemade recipes, the same recipes that served their customers back home.

"I had, in Germany, a restaurant for 15 years," said Mary. "So we were looking for a small restaurant to see if (Mid-South) customers like the German food.

Zeke Logan, co-host of Drake & Zeke on 98.1 The Max (, lived in Germany as an Army brat. Mary's food and atmosphere has him waxing nostalgic.

"Anytime I have good German beer or good German food, it always reminds me of years ago," said Logan. "And people seem to love it.  The place is full all the time."

Nails has an Army connection, too. Her brother-in-law served in Germany with the Army.

She said he's always been a big snob about real German food.

"Of course, he always brags about the German beer and the German food, and he told me I had not eaten any authentic German food yet," she said.

"Well, I'm going to let him know I have now!"

WHAT ANDY LIKES:  Wiener Schnitzel, Bell Pepper Schnitzel, Curry Bratwurst with Sauerkraut & Pan-Fried Potatoes

For all of the latest Memphis-Shelby County restaurant scores, click here.

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