highlights restaurant inspection scores weekly. (Photo: Damian Siwiaszczyk, Flickr)

Check out how area restaurants did this week on health inspections. 

This week's list is light on violations and heavier on those who scored 100 percent. highlights any restaurant that scored a 90 percent or less, as well as those that got a perfect score on the initial inspection. 

There is explanation/context about the inspections at the end of this article. 

Restaurant: Waffle House 
Address: 7705 Lee Highway 
Score: Brought up from 85 to 99
Critical issues: No 
Follow-up required: No 
Date of inspection: 6/16 

Restaurant: Signal Mountain Club 
Address: 809 James Blvd. 
Score: Brought up from 86 to 96
Critical issues: Yes. Two critical issues, including lack of proper hot holding temperatures. 
Follow-up required: Done on same say as original inspection
Date of inspection: 6/15 

High score highlights 
These restaurants got a score of 100 without a follow-up inspection:

  • Puléo's Grill Lounge, 6108 Artesian Circle 
  • Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill (bar), 2225 Gunbarrel Road 
  • Heavenly Flavored Wings, 1263 E. Third St. 
  • Lavern's Kiddie Care, 514 Biltmore Ave.
  • Abuelo's Mexican Restaurant (bar), 2102 Hamilton Place Blvd. 
  • Elk's Lodge No. 91, 1067 Graysville Road
  • Eat N Good, 6331 East Brainerd Road 
  • The Tea Cottage, 2333 Hickory Valley Road
  • Diamonds & Lace Showbar, 115 Honest St.
  • Sweet Basil Thai Cuisine, 5345 Brainerd Road 
  • Chick-fil-A, 5740 Highway 153 
  • Cambridge Square Kiosk, 9439 Bradmore Lane 
  • DosBros, 5591 Highway 153 
  • Signal Mountain Club (bar), 809 James Blvd. 

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.