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Hecky's Barbecue
Photograph: Martha WilliamsHecky's Barbecue

Yelp now lists Evanston restaurants' health department scores

Written by
Brent DiCrescenzo

When you place a delivery order, do you often wonder whether the restaurant is storing dairy products at room temperature? Maybe we're just paranoid. But thanks to Yelp, people in Evanston now have that knowledge. According to NPR, seven cities have begun sharing Health Department scores with Yelp. And our nearest northern suburb Evanston is one of them. The inspection scores are listed in a box on the right along with the restaurant's hours. Clicking on the score brings you to a page detailing specific health code violations and past scores. Naturally, the germophobe in us had us researching all of our favorite Evanston restaurants.

Old favorites Joy Yee and Lucky Platter scored rather disappointingly, at 83 and 81, respectively. Violations included "Boxes of meats and flour stored on the floors." That won't stop us from going there. A little floor meat never hurt anyone, right?

High-end joints like Quince and Campagnola kept standards high with nearly perfect scores. Found fared a little worse, but the big mark on the report seemed relatively benign: "CRITICAL VIOLATION. Employee drinking coffee without a lid/straw at the food prep area."

Cheap eats in Evanston were rather clean, too. Places like Hecky's Barbecue (98) Claire's Korner (97) and Edzo's (92).

We were not shocked to discover rather frightening scores for fast-food dives. On a recent exam, Wiener & Still Champion scored a 74 with 18 violations ("CRITICAL VIOLATION. The back door leading outside is not rodent-proof." Eek.), but that seems like part of that greasy hot dog joint's charm? Maybe not. Teenage hangover hangout Sarkis' Cafe made us throw up in our mouth a little bit with this mark: "CRITICAL VIOLATION. A bag of moldy bacon was being stored in the downstairs walk in cooler." Geez. Even the Burger King got a 94.

It is uncertain when this will be rolled out in Chicago. But it can't be soon enough. 

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