I recently spent a long weekend in Philadelphia, which hasn’t implemented letter grades on restaurants to show whether they meet the city’s sanitary code. I have to say, I felt uncomfortable and vulnerable to food poisoning going into some places that looked like that might have had some undesirable kitchen visitors. I gave them the benefit of the doubt but tried to order the most basic food I could. Not quite bread and water but no oysters or sushi, that’s for sure.
I’ve come to rely on the presumed cleanliness of those restaurants in the New York City that receive an “A” grade. I also try to avoid neighborhood restaurants that have a “Grade Pending”, especially if they’ve earned an “A” in the past. I’m not positive about this but I assume that means they’ve fallen from grace after an inspection. New York City life is unpredictable enough without having to wrestle with Salmonella or some other problem caused by eating in an icky restaurant. I’ll take the “A” grades all the time.