Welcome to the newest feature on POL where we find the restaurant with the most violations of the health code and see if they’ve gotten their shit together. We venture out, eat and if we survive we’ll let you know if it is a Restaurant Inspection Redemption – or a Condemnation.
This week’s contestant, Stop and Go Mini Market at the intersection of Manor Street and West End Avenue.
First the Department of Health violations:
Stop & Run, 1000 Manor St., follow-up, Feb. 23. The person in charge does not have adequate knowledge of food safety in this food facility as evidenced by this noncompliant inspection; repeat violation from 2015 and 2016. The person in charge did not demonstrate adequate knowledge of the PA Food Code as evidenced by incorrect responses to food safety questions.The tray for catching grease drippings and food residue was to have not been cleaned; new violation. The handwash sink is slow to drain; New violation. “Flavoring” for “E-cigarettes” stored on top of food equipment and next to single-service to-go boats; new violation. Frying oil stabilizer and fryer cleaner stored above marinade powder for chicken; new violation. Personal care items (deodorant) being stored on a shelf above food items in the back food prep area; new violation. The employee who holds the FEC in the food prep, with soiled outer garments that may contaminate food and/or food equipment. Food utensils in the front food prep area stored in a container of water which is not maintained at 135°F; repeat violation. The cutting board was stored behind the faucets of the three compartment sink subject to splash from washing utensils; new violation. Wet wiping cloths in the back food prep area, not being stored in sanitizer solution; new violation. Chicken wings and thighs were held at 99°F and 111°F, on the hot holding table, rather than 135°F or above as required; new violation. Old food residue on metal spatulas, metal food containers and spoons in the food prep area; new violation. A heavy accumulation of black static dust on the fan guards of the walk-in cooler; repeat violation. A heavy accumulation of grease on the floor under the fryer area; repeat violation. An accumulation of grease inside the microwave and on the plate of the microwave; repeat violation. Single service to-go plastic containers stored with the food contact surface exposed. Single-service, single-use to-go boxes and cups stored under the table at the front food service area directly on the floor, and not 6 inches above the floor; repeat violation. Restroom is not provided with a covered waste receptacle for sanitary napkins; new violation. The sliding door of the Dumpster was open at the time of the inspection; new violation. Paper towel dispenser empty at the handwash sink in the back food prep area and in the employee restroom; repeat violation from 2015 and 2016. Trash, leaves and debris in outside Dumpster area; new violation. Old unused equipment stored in the outer Dumpster area, should be removed from food facility. Trash overflowing in the employee restroom; new violation. Mops are not being hung to air dry.
The Redemption visit.
I ventured out today for our first Restaurant Inspection Redemption. The temperature today was in the low 70s, completely amazing for March 8th so I knew it would be a scenic drive down Manor Street to visit the Stop & Go. I lost count of how man shirtless men I saw sitting on stoops but it seemed to be roughly equal to the number of feral children running amok – both stress me out, but luckily I’m a stress eater so it works out.
The Stop & Go was the Getty Mart for years and is across the street from Wells Fargo and just north of the Greek Church. I pulled in and was a little concerned as I didn’t have the appropriate lowered Toyota to blend in, but I’m a professional and went inside.
Honestly, I found the place clean and organized as far as gas station restaurants go. The main cooked food item they sell is crispy fried chicken, and it looked pretty tasty. I advised the gentleman behind the register, possibly the owner, about ordering some chicken and he summoned his employee who was working outside. The young man came in and said to me, “Just give me a minute, I need to wash my hands” which put me a little at ease, reducing my Gas-Station-Chicken anxiety. I ordered 2 wings and 1 breast, grabbed an ice tea from the fridge and made my way to the register. They check out area had a wide variety of lottery tickets, vaping products and lots of wonderfully beautiful glassware designed for unknown purposes. Doubling down on my luck I purchased a $30 lottery ticket upon paying and made my way to the Jeep.
I’m not Anthony Bourdain and not a culinary wordsmith so I’ll just say bluntly that THAT WAS SOME DAMN FINE CHICKEN. Seriously. Way better than Popeye’s or KFC, and quite possibly in the same ball park as the king of gas station chicken – Royal Farms. The chicken is slightly spicy and comes with a warm biscuit that had a sweet, honey type coating on the top that really worked well with the flavor of the chicken.
In the end I was quite impressed and if you are looking for some chicken to bring home for dinner, some unregulated vaping juice or just a Chinese water-bong I’d recommend you put on your best jammie-pants and head over to Stop & Go.
Lottery results: -$30