Monday-Friday, 11am-3:30pm, we feature an $8 lunch. It changes everyday but you can check Facebook or Twitter for today's $8 lunch special.$8.00
This one's for you David...
I've been dreading the health inspection for a long time, mainly because I've had a hard time getting my head around some of the regulations and health codes regarding the number of sinks and drainboards and blah blah blah, not very interesting stuff unless you're trying to save as much space in your kitchen and still trying to stay in compliance with health regulations.
I wouldn't say I've done battle with the health inspector but we've had some challenging issues we needed to work through that's very difficult to do over the phone or on paper.
Anyways, it all made me dread the lead up to the inspection process, not because they were particularly mean or I had heard any horror stories, but just because I didn't want some small infraction to keep us from being able to move forward. (Actually, come to think of it, there was a story that set me off but it was about a Denver restaurant's health inspection).
The inspector's name is David. He showed up right on time for our scheduled inspection. He knows our General Contractor Sandy so they spend a couple of minutes catching up, we greet each other and after some small talk he mentions that he's read my blog.
My first thought is, "I think it's okay because I am smart enough not to directly badmouth someone who determines my fate on this blog."
My second thought is, "Maybe I'm not that smart."
Almost word for word David can recite the passage I wrote regarding the health department on the blog. I'm not going to say it was particularly insulting, but it wasn't very rosy either.
My hopes sank further. Not only are we going to fail this inspection but we are going to fail every subsequent inspection from here to kingdom come.
On that note we start the inspection. I think if I was hydrated and I had had more than 2 carrots to eat all day I would have been sweating and nauseous but I was tired enough that I just had to roll with the punches.
I could turn this into a very long, boring, tedious story but I'll try to wrap it up quickly.
We had some minor things that needed to be fixed. It probably helped us that David knew our GC and knew that she isn't in the habit of trying to dupe the city. It also probably helps that as a health official with a pretty high public profile I imagine David deals with much worse than my blog post.
We passed our health inspection and at the end David and I had a good conversation about the challenges of what we're both trying to do and the limitations of what his department is able to provide.
I'm so exhausted at this point that I don't even have the patience to dig up the passage David referred to but I know it was something like, "today the health department showed they are human by allowing me to come talk with them face to face."
After today I'll just say that it's easy to get caught up in things and forget I was dealing with a human when communicating via mail, phone, plan reviews, etc. I think all I really needed was the opportunity to level on a one-on-one basis, talk through some of the issues and just push for a more personal interaction. Today I got that and David was able to hear me out about some of my frustrations and he was able to explain to me why certain things happen in a certain way which was a bit of a cathartic experience for me considering how much I've dreaded this day.
By the end of our inspection we were able to spend a few minutes talking shop about photography, design, our church pew seating and his 15-year old daughter learning to drive.
I felt much better about the whole process and have learned my lesson - I guess people do read this blog.
This blog post is for you David since I know you're out there! You're probably the only person I can get away with saying this to but I hope I don't see you in our restaurant for a long time to come! (He explained that if we see him in there it means we're in big trouble.)