As he waited at the door for other employees to arrive, Bassam Hammoude gave a thumbs up for the near-perfect score that his cousin’s Westville Pizza restaurant scored on its health department reinspection.
Hammoude (pictured) has been visiting New Haven from Lebanon. There his metier is security. But he knows enough about good food, especially the Middle Eastern variety, to be pitching in helping out at Westville Pizza, while its owner, Bassam’s cousin, is visiting family overseas.
Westville Pizza was one of 30 eateries visited by city inspectors in the most recent period between Jan. 10 and Jan. 18.
In an especially good week for restaurant standards, all passed.
A native of Syria, Hammoude works at the British embassy in Beirut, Lebanon. He’s in town with his two school-age kids. While they study he’s pitching in in his cousin’s absence.
Recently Westville Pizza added a whole array of Middle Eastern offerings. Click here for a previous article.
On its Jan. 10 inspection, Ziyad Hamoudeh’s (they spell the last name slightly differently) 18-year-old establishment scored a 97 out of a possible 100.
All the eatery needs to fix for a perfect score is to finish repairing the rubber gaskets on some coolers, do a little clean up on the stove top and the can opener and affix missing labels on some containers of “liquid and granular,” according to sanitarian Ros Hamilton’s inspection report.
City sanitarians inspect all of New Haven’s restaurants, groceries, bars, and other food-serving establishments between one and four times a year. Establishments that score less than 80 usually have two weeks to make the recommended corrections. The health department can also close a restaurant regardless of its score if the sanitarians suspect an immediate danger to public health.
Inspectors stress that a low score doesn’t mean a restaurant is always failing. Nor does a high or even perfect score mean an eatery is always brilliant. Rather it means that at the moment of the inspectors’ unannounced visit, they found the conditions they reported.
That’s why city Environmental Health Director Paul Kowalski calls each inspection a kind of sanitary “snapshot.”
Following are the results of the latest inspections around town.
1/10/2013: The Spot, 163 Wooster St., Score: 90; S’Wings LLC, 280 Crown St., Score: 81; Strong School, 130 Orchard St., Score: 88; Chico Fruit & Grocery Corp., 166 Ferry St., Score: 89; Blake St. Convenience, 295 Blake St., Score: 89; Columbus House, Inc., 586 Ella Grasso Blvd., Score: 88; Frank Pepe Pizzeria, 157 Wooster St., Score: 92; Westville Pizza, 883 Whalley Ave., Score: 97; Olympia Diner, 604 Ella Grasso Blvd., Score: 91; Louis’ Lunch, 261 Crown St., Score: 97
1/11/2013: Kimbi Market, 35 Kimberly Ave., Score: 85; Riverview Rest Home, 92 Lexington Ave., Score: 85; The Cajun Gator (not yet open for business), 117 Whalley Ave., Score: 96; Avelino’s Pizza, 382 Grand Ave., Score: 91; Keys to the City, 240 Sargent Dr., Score: 88; Cooperative Art & Humanities HS, 177 College St., Score: 89; Cornell Scott Hill Health Center, 62 Grant St., Score: 88; Haven Pizza & Grocery, 1492 Chapel St., Score: 86; Michael’s Downtown, 130 Court St., Score: 84
1/14/2013: Wall street Pizza & Restaurant, 90 Wall St., Score: 88; Silliman Dining Hall, 509 College St., Score: 86; 7-Eleven Store #35377, 131 Whalley Ave., Score: 87; Burger King #10260, 1329 Whalley Ave., Score: 86; New Haven Job Corp-Culinary, 455 Wintergreen Ave., Score: 92
1/15/2013: Southern Hospitality Soul Food, 427 Whalley Ave., Score: 89; Seoul Restaurant, 343 Crown St., Score: 85; Cecilia’s Market, 539 George St., Score: 87; Yale Health Cafe’, 55 Lock St., Score: 96; Yale Health Services, 55 Lock St., Score: 100