See how local restaurants did in recent health inspections. (Photo: Damian Siwiaszczyk, Flickr)

Check out this week's restaurant scores. 

Nooga.com highlights any restaurant that scored a 90 percent or less, and there is explanation/context about the inspections at the end of this article.

Restaurant: La Altena
Address: 314 W. Main St.
Score: 89 
Critical issues: Yes. One critical violation, which was bare hand contact with ready-to-eat food or lack of another approved procedure.
Follow-up required: Yes
Date of inspection: 12/7 

Restaurant: Krystal
Address: 5401 Brainerd Road 
Score: Brought up from 89 to 96
Critical issues: No 
Follow-up required: Done on same day as initial inspection
Date of inspection: 12/12

High score highlight 

Restaurant: Heaven and Ale

Address: 9431 Bardmore Lane

Score: 100 

Notes: Facility in good order/clean 

Restaurant: Imperial Garden 
Address: 
2288 Gunbarrel Road 
Score: 
88
Critical issues: 
Yes. Two critical violations, including lack of proper cold holding temperatures. 
Follow-up required: 
Yes 
Date of inspection: 
12/8 

Restaurant: Choo-Choo Bar-B-Que
Address: 902 Appling St. 
Score: 88 
Critical issues: Yes. Two critical violations, including lack of proper date marking/disposition. 
Follow-up required: Yes 
Date of inspection: 12/7 

Restaurant: Terra Nostra Tapas & Wine
Address: 88 
Score: 105 Frazier Ave.
Critical issues: Yes. Two critical violations, including food contact surfaces not properly cleaned/sanitized. 
Follow-up required: Yes 
Date of inspection: 12/6 

Restaurant: J. Alexander's 
Address: 2215 Hamilton Place Blvd.
Score: 88 
Critical issues: Yes. Two critical violations, including lack of proper cold holding temperatures.
Follow-up required: Yes 
Date of inspection: 12/7 

Restaurant: Lee Towery Catering 
Address: 1303 Hixson Pike 
Score: Brought up from 88 to 94
Critical issues: No 
Follow-up required: No 
Date of inspection: 12/6 

Restaurant: Nineteenth Hole
Address: 6801 Middle Valley Road
Score: 88 
Critical issues: Yes. Two critical violations, including food not properly separated/protected. 
Follow-up required: Yes 
Date of inspection: 12/7 

Restaurant: IHOP 
Address: 5314 Brainerd Road 
Score: Brought up from 86 to 96
Critical issues: No 
Follow-up required: No
Date of inspection: 12/13

Restaurant: T-Bone's 
Address: 1419 Chestnut St. 
Score: Brought up from 86 to 93
Critical issues: No
Follow-up required: Done on same day as initial inspection
Date of inspection: 12/7

Restaurant: Wendy's 
Address: 5200 Brainerd Road 
Score: Brought up from 85 to 95
Critical issues: No 
Follow-up required: No 
Date of inspection: 12/7 

Restaurant: Alleia
Address: 25 E. Main St.
Score: 83 
Critical issues: Yes. Four critical violations, including lack of hygienic practices. 
Follow-up required: Yes
Date of inspection: 12/9

Restaurant: Southern Traditions 
Address: 3224 Dayton Blvd.
Score: 80 
Critical issues: Yes. Three critical violations, including lack of proper cold holding temperatures.
Follow-up required: Yes 
Date of inspection: 12/6 


About six people with the health department are responsible for inspecting everything from pools and schools to restaurants and special events, such as Riverbend.

Although the number fluctuates as businesses open and close, officials estimated there are about 1,700 restaurants in Hamilton County. Each one has two unannounced inspections a year.

The reports are divided into two sections—critical and noncritical. 

Violations in the critical categories likely demand a follow-up, unless operators can correct the situation right then. For violations that can't be resolved quickly, restaurants have 10 days to correct them. 

A follow-up report isn't totally representative of how a restaurant did, because they could have gotten a 70 the first time and then 10 days later corrected the problems and raised the score to a 90.

Members of the public often wonder why restaurants with low scores aren't immediately shut down, but inspectors can only do that if there is an "imminent health hazard," such as sewage backup. 

Another misconception is about "failing" grades. A score of 55 is bad, but the restaurant gets 10 days to bring it up. If the restaurant doesn't bring the score up, officials can initiate a closure process, although that is rare.