Several restaurants scored in the 80s this week. (Photo: William Ross, 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: Smokey Bones
Address: 2225 Gunbarrel Road 
Score: 90 
Critical issues: Yes. Two critical violations, including food contact surfaces not cleaned/sanitized.
Follow-up required: Yes 
Date of inspection: 12/15 

High score highlight 

Restaurant: Marco's Pizza

Address: 7794 East Brainerd Road 

Score: 100 

Notes: Sinks stocked

Restaurant: Innside Restaurant 
Address: 800 Chestnut St.
Score: 89 
Critical issues: Yes. One critical violation, which was not properly managing time or keeping records about when to throw out food that's been left out. 
Follow-up required: Yes 
Date of inspection: 12/12 

Restaurant: Scenic City Catering 
Address: 1309 Taft Highway 
Score: 89 
Critical issues: Yes. One critical violation, which was toxic substances not properly identified/stored/used. 
Follow-up required: Yes 
Date of inspection: 12/15 

Restaurant: Choo-Choo Bar-B-Que
Address: 902 Appling St. 
Score: Brought up from 88 to 98
Critical issues: No 
Follow-up required: No 
Date of inspection: 12/19 

Restaurant: Coyote Jack's Saloon
Address: 1400 Cowart St. 
Score: 88 
Critical issues: Yes. Two critical violations, including food not separated/protected.
Follow-up required: Yes 
Date of inspection: 12/16 

Restaurant: La Altena
Address: 314 W. Main St.
Score: Brought up from 89 to 94
Critical issues: No 
Follow-up required: No 
Date of inspection: 12/14 

Restaurant: Alleia
Address: 25 E. Main St.
Score: Brought up from 83 to 99
Critical issues: No 
Follow-up required: No 
Date of inspection: 12/16 

Restaurant: Mrs. B's Reggae Café 
Address: 3103 S. Broad St.
Score: 82 
Critical issues: Yes. Three critical violations, including a lack of proper cold holding temperatures.
Follow-up required: Yes 
Date of inspection: 12/9


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.