Norwalk Health Department Names Cleanest Restaurants

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NORWALK, Conn. – The Norwalk Health Department awarded 166 food establishments throughout the city with the agency’s Top Lighthouse rating for demonstrating safe and sanitary practices.

Food establishments are given the designation “when they receive four consecutive excellent inspection grades,” according to Norwalk Health Director Tim Callahan.

Among the criteria to receive the designation, the establishments had to have a qualified food operator on-site at all times and receive scores of 90 or above without critical violations for each inspection.

“In an effort to publicly recognize the commitment of these top-rated establishments to the public health code safety and sanitary guidelines, the Health Department presents them with certificates and anticipates that they will display them publicly,” Callahan wrote in a statement.

The full list of food establishments can be viewed on the health department’s website, but among the places to receive the designation were Blackstone Steak House, Knipshildt Chocolatier, Sierre Grille, Swanky Franks, Famous Pizza House, Rio Border Café, Little Tokyo Japanese Restaurant, Pontos Taverna and Match. Several locations of Subway, McDonald’s and Dunkin Donuts were also honored.

The health department will hold a ceremony to present the certificates Tuesday at 4 p.m. at Continental Manor , 112 Main St., which is also one of the designees.

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-- to bad we can't delete a superfluous comment -- Consider this not here.

FREE PUPPIES. Mother is a Kennel Club registered German Shepherd.
Father is a Super Dog, able to leap tall fences in a single bound.

Why doesn't the Norwalk Health Department have the A-B-C system of restaurant rating? It makes discerning which establishments merit consideration when the letters, each standing for a level of cleanliness and hygiene, are displayed prominently in the front window or door of an eating establishment. Nice to have an awards ceremony for those that are doing what they are supposed to be doing when serving edibles but I agree with Broad River, we should know what places to avoid. A prominent display of ratings signage would also act as an incentive for those restaurants that don't measure up enough to attend and receive recognition at the Continental Manor.

Hey, Broad! Hope you had a great New Year! Mine was quiet, and I was happy.

I managed to get myself to Knipshidlt for the spiced hot chocolate. Interesting. It reminded me of melted chocolate ice cream. Since I'm lactose intolerant, it's not something I will have often. But I wanted you to know I did try it.

Okay, on to Speedy Donuts. What is it about them that you find superior to Dunkin Donuts? The coffee? The Donuts?

Last week, we stopped at an out of town DD and I ordered a chicken salad sandwich. The sign said it came with iced tea, but since it was cold outside, I asked for a cup of coffee, black, no sugar instead. And I went through the same thing I had a few years ago at McDonalds. First she gave me an iced coffee with milk and sugar, realized her mistake and then gave me a regular coffee. At that point, I caved simply because I figured it would take an additional two more tries to a black coffee with no sugar. At least it was hot and we didn't have a whole lot of time to play the game. That's the first time DD has ever messed up my order. The chicken salad sandwich was fine, not too much mayo and a reasonable amount of chicken.

Anyway, let me know what you like at Speedy and I'll pop over there to try it out.

@ Paige,

My NYE was quite as well.

I would never go to DD intentionally since the 80's when they stopped actually making the donuts. Now they are trucked in, which I supposed insures uniformity. I used to think DD's coffee was great, until I stopped buying coffee out so much and was making more at home (70's).
Speedy Donuts on CT. Ave. across from the firehouse, under construction, continues to make all their many varieties of donuts right there, 15' from where you sit. Any breakfast you order is also made by their grill man, to your own liking.
The donuts are what I now describe as still full size. Ordering a dozen to-go may not always fit in the box! It's the same employees almost every time I go and if you order is somewhat consistently the same, they come to know how you like it. Now if I sit at the counter they know, I don't need a spoon. I drink coffee black. I say, if you make good coffee why change it with cream and sugar.
I think you spend a fair time on the road for your work, so you know where to go and not to go for special items and if it's just a quickie then uniformity even if it's less than spectacular, at least you know what you're getting when you pull into the parking spot.
About ten years ago my near by Friendly Farms changed hands for the second time. It's convenient to get milk and bread there. One of their refrigeration cabinets had a terrible odor once and I mentioned it to them. They were already aware. Months later the smell had evolved into something much more objectionable. They were still aware it persisted.
When I got home I went to the Norwalk dot org site and found the rating for restaurants and stores and basically anyone in town that sold food.
They had a poor rating not surprisingly. I found milk and bread at Rite Aid so I can't speak about the convenience store anymore. Yet seeing it was over months and the odor only got worse I was wondering why our Health Dept. didn't insist it be remedied come back in a day or two and if it remained unsatisfactory close them down and hand them a huge fine. They will also make you a sandwich there for you. I never felt that milk and bread was at a risk and yet I couldn't go there anymore.
I'm not sure why Uncle Joe's didn't make the cut. I've never had any complaints myself about them. That being said I feel the Health Dept. does do a thorough job of inspection, so how did the convenience store remain open is a mystery.
About lactose intolerance. We have only become vulnerable to that in the last few centuries. As I understand it, farmers were making more cheese more more often so that too much milk wasn't being spoiled and we lost the the enzyme and then also one of our genes turned off.
When you go to Speedy ask for an apple spider. It's a glazed bear claw shaped donut filled with cooked apples. They also have plain spiders, glazed donut with just the right amount of cinnamon in the dough. The people are fast and friendly.

Thanks, Broad. I will try it out. Most of the time, when I go to DD's, it's for coffee only. And you are right, I am on the road a lot, so it helps to know where I can get consistently good coffee.

I got spoiled on donuts when my grandmother used to make them from scratch. When that was too much trouble, we used to do run up to Devore's in Fairfield. Then one of my friends kicked the whole thing up a notch when she used to make homemade pumpkin or cider donuts every fall. She's since moved to Colorado and I mourn her move every fall. Stew's cider donuts are okay, but sometimes they glaze (!!!) them. Sacre bleu! You don't guild lilies, you sprinkle them with cinnamon and sugar.
I will try the apple spider.

I'm fortunate in that when the lactose intolerance was formally declared by our general practitioner, he encouraged me to keep dairy products in my diet as much as possible and not use the lactose free milk. Milk never quite tasted right to me, so not drinking it was no big deal. Now that I'm older, it doesn't seem to be quite as bad, but I wouldn't tempt fate by drinking a glass of milk. I do have to be cautious with the soft serve ice creams, though.

When I was in college, back during the last century, our student union had a problem with the drains. Every now and again, for no apparent reason, we would get this absolutely horrific smell that would back up through the drains. Years later, I heard it had to do with the settling of the lines outside the building. However, before we knew for sure that it was coming from the drains, we had to haul everything - absolutely every single thing - out of the two walk in refrigerators, and the walk in freezer and scrub those suckers down with hot water and disinfectant. So, the smell might not be coming from the freezer, even though it seems to be.

I'm sure the Health Department staff would tell you what the rating was on any given restaurant. To get the Lighthouse award, you need to have four years of good status, so if one thing was wrong somewhere, even if it was something really minor, that would bump Uncle Joe's off the list.

Take care!

Devore's was da bomb!
I used to get there sometimes before 6A and Bill the owner would let me walk in the back. This was mostly on saturdays so my daughetrs could fuel up before soccer. Speedy;s was always a second choice but still a cut way above DD's.
TGIF Paige.

We have a dozen Dunkin Donuts in town !
I much prefer Speedy Donuts.
Uncle Joe's didn't make the cut.

Now where can I find the places I should avoid?

Here's the link. Unfortunately, too often I check it after the meal!

To get most everything, search for a single letter, like "a" or "s"