"Dirty" conditions and a lack of H20 have Memphis International Airport's concessionaire running damage control on one of its restaurants.
The Varsity Bar & Grill on Concourse C rated a 73 in its latest Memphis-Shelby County Health Department inspection.
The inspection report cites "no hot or cold water at handsink"; "toxic item in spray bottle unlabeled" and "single serving items stored improperly."
The inspector used the word "dirty" 11 times to describe everything from food containers to the ice machine.
Elvis Harvey, the local general manager for the airport's concessionaire HMSHost, didn't return my two voice-mail messages. The Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority very helpfully put me in touch with the concessionaire's corporate spokesperson in Maryland. Here's Susan Goyette's full statement, sent by e-mail:
"We take any and all health inspection reports seriously. We never want to see violations of any kind in any of our establishments, but unfortunately, this can happen and when it does, we take every possible measure to make corrections immediately and prevent it from happening again. Across all of our operations, we institute on-going training of all of our associates-from food preparation to food managers-in certified Serve Safe food safety best practices. In 2008, the average of all our scores at Memphis International Airport was 87.5."
THIS WEEK'S BIG TIP: Tommy Bergshicker, Waiter, Chili's, 237 Market Blvd, Collierville, TN, 901-853-7520
Bergshicker is our Waiter of the Week, as nominated by our Scorecard viewers. All smiles, all enthusiasm -- Tommy's so polite and pleasant, his regular customers rather wait on HIM!
"There have been people who would just wait on him to have an open table so they can sit in his section," says Angie Garrett, who says she'll stand in line to have Bergshicker serve her.
He's not the oldest server on staff, but manager Mike Theil says he's one of the wisest (no pun intended!). That's why Bergshicker trains every new server Theil hires.
"Tommy trains them like we want them trained," Theil says. "He's so out-going. He smiles all the time. He makes sure his guests are taken care of."
I'll take the Triple Play appetizer and a double-shot of Tommy Bergshicker!
For all of this week's Memphis-Shelby County restaurant scores, click here.