Andy's Rest. Scorecard: Cajun Express - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Andy's Rest. Scorecard: Cajun Express, plus the low score as of 7/26/10

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By Andy Wise - bio | email

CORDOVA, TN (WMC-TV) - A custard shop owner said a health inspector was unfair and made several mistakes when she rated the place five points shy of a failed inspection.

Sheridan's Frozen Custard, 8075 Macon Rd., barely passed its July 26 inspection with a 74, the lowest score of the week:

"employee waited on customer exchange of money - then prepared food without washing hands"

"paper towels not available at handsink"

"frost build-up in ice cream freezer"

"temp. of custard machine (seven degrees above safe temp.)"

Sheridan's owner/operator Jason Roy said the store's custard is heat-pasteurized, "good for three months." He took the custard's temperature right in front of us:  a frosty 41 degrees.

He showed us a log where his staff takes the custard's temperature three times a day. Each temperature listed is well within the safe range.

He allowed us to inspect his freezers. None had any significant frost build-up at the time of Action News 5's inspection.

The place appeared clean and well-kept.

"The seven years we've been in business, we've had 85 or above," said Roy. "Who's to say (the inspectors) are always right?

"They're human. They make mistakes. I believe we were unfairly scored, and I hope they come back and re-evaluate."

An inspector did come back Aug. 9. The inspector upgraded Sheridan's Cordova location to an 89.

THIS WEEK'S BIG TIP:  Cajun Express, 5082 North Hwy 78, Wheatley, AR, 870-457-2572 (search Cajun Express on Facebook), OPEN FRIDAYS AND SATURDAYS ONLY!

You'd zoom right past the unassuming double-wide on a lonely St. Francis County road if it weren't for the colorful marquis.

But inside that double-wide is world championship crawfish -- fried year-round or fresh/boiled in season (March through June).

"It is excellent, and when it's in season, you can't beat it!" hollered Justin Ragsdale, whose family drives 75 minutes once a month from Bartlett, TN, to chow on Cajun Express crawfish, catfish and steaks.

Owners Randy and Robin Gehring are crawfish farmers, raising the mud bugs right out of the pond.

13 years ago, friends and family convinced them it was time to turn their weekend crawfish boils into a full-blown restaurant.

"We just decided once we quit farming, this is something we'd like to do," said Robin Gehring. "So we did it."

But they're still farming crawfish, too, and good thing. Their fresh crawfish in season helped them win the 2005 boiled crawfish world championship in Louisiana.

Their mammoth rib-eyes win converts when crawfish is out of season. Or a plate of catfish, crawfish etouffee and frog legs.

"They have a good variety, great service," said Tammy Lawson of Palestine, AR, with her party of 14. "We like to have big family gatherings here. So we can meet here, and everyone can pick something they like!"

WHAT ANDY LIKES:  The Cajun Express ($20 plate with boiled crawfish, fried crawfish, crawfish etouffee, crawfish pie, red beans & rice, 2 catfish fillets, 2 fried shrimp, hush puppies and apple sticks), Mud Bug Salad 

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