The Dirty Dozen

By Laura Oppenheimer in Food on Nov 20, 2006 8:20PM

2006_11_popeyes.jpgEw, ew and ew. The Sun-Times released their list of Chicago's "Dirty Dozen" yesterday; the 12 restaurants in the city that have received the most "critical" health code violations between July 2005 and July 2006. "Critical" violations are the type that "bring immediate closure and a $500 fine: rotten food, plumbing backups, rodent and insect infestation, lack of proper hand-washing facilities and inadequate cooking and cooling temperatures."

And then it gets worse. Popeyes Chicken and Biscuits at 818 E. 47th had 25 violations last year. You might think after being caught once, twice, or even three times, you might find a way to keep the kitchen clean and the cold food cold/warm food warm, but apparently at Popeyes, it can't be done. In case you were wondering just what exactly these violations entailed:

Back in August 2005, inspectors visited that Popeyes five times and found live roaches, mice droppings below the service counter, live "worm-like" insects in the biscuit area, blowflies, boric acid on contact surfaces, and plumbing problems. Coleslaw was discovered being stored at 48.8 degrees, which is too warm to keep bacteria from growing. The fast-food joint was shut down for about three weeks.

The other eleven restaurants cited in the article are Joe's Bar-B-Q (4900 W. Madison), Kenny's For Ribs (8601 S. Stony Island), I.H.O.P. (4210 N. Cicero), La Baguette North (3325 N. Milwaukee), Roselli's Restaurant (6166 W. Higgins), Baltic Bakery (4627 S. Hermitage), The Blue Angel (5308 N. Milwaukee), Pizza Ribs & Things (408 E. 103rd St), Vinh Phat BBQ (4940 N. Sheridan), Carrazcos (4001 W. Ogden) and The Dog Stop (6100 W. Belmont).

Of the 12 dining establishments listed, we have only had the "privilege" of eating at winner Popeyes. Have you eaten at any of these dirty dives?

Image via Rachelle Bowden.