Charlotte’s 10 Worst Restaurant Health Scores in March 2023


Even though the Charlotte region’s restaurant selection continues to grow, so does our population, and some restaurants are taking advantage of this growing customer base by letting their health standards slide.

Some of the most common reasons for low scores were food handlers not washing their hands properly, contaminated food containers, and improper food temperatures (many restaurants are starting to use infrared thermometers to avoid this).

These were the top 10 worst inspection scores in Charlotte for March 2023;

#10 Village Tavern

Scored 91 (A) on 3/9/2023

They had the following violations;

  • Observed multiple employees contaminate their hands by turning the faucet off with their bare hands.
  • Observed hand washing sink with knives stored inside.
  • Observed french onion soup only drop a total of 11F in 40 minutes passed. In order to properly meet the cooling rate. French onion soup would have had to drop a total of 21.60F in 40 mins time. French onion soup isn’t cooling fast enough due to being covered in walk in freezer.
  • Observed multiple items above temperature threshold in prep units.
  • Observed multiple items such as meat loaf and pasta prepared days prior without dates attached.

#9 Showmars

Scored 90.5 (A) on 3/9/2023

They had the following violations;

  • Observed dishwasher load dirty dishes into dishwasher and then begin handling clean dishes.
  • Observed one employee wash hands at 3 comp sink and another employee rinsed hands with dishsprayer.
  • Observed an employee fill a drinking cup with water from handsink.
  • Observed only one functioning employee designated handsink in entire establishment.
  • Observed unwashed romaine lettuce stored over washed produce and other RTE foods in WIC.
  • Observed dishwasher handle dirty dishes with gloves, and continue to touching clean dishes without a glove change.
  • Observed sanitizer at dishmachine at 0ppm.
  • Observed multiple stainless steel food storage containers with visible food debris stored as clean.
  • Observed raw shrimp, flounder, and atlantic cod in cold holding prep top at 44-45F. Fish cooler’s ambient temperature was at 50F. Sliced tomatoes, feta cheese, and shredded cheddar cheese were in prep top at 42-43F.
  • Observed shredded romaine at 55F from previous day stored in prep top unit stacked over gyro meat.
  • Observed slaw prepared on previous day in individual portion cups without any date marks on individual containers or the larger container they were stored in.
  • Observed no datemarks on mac and cheese and cactus chili that employee stated were from previous day.
  • Observed unlabeled squirt bottle in prep area. When asked, employee stated it was bleach water.

#8 Mezeh Mediterranean Grill

Scored 90.5 (A) on 3/7/2022 

They had the following violations;

  • PIC did not have ANSI accredited certified food protection manager certification.
  • Observed food employee not vigorously rub for required time when washing and employee use hands to turn faucet off.
  • Observed food employee handle soiled equipment at dish machine and use same gloves to handle clean equipment to remove after washing, rinsing and sanitizing and proceed to food preparation.
  • Observed 1 of 2 hand washing sinks out of order due to leak according to PIC.
  • Observed lamb cooked from prior day reheated to 142 degrees F.
  • Observed 1 pan of chicken hot held at 118 degrees F.
  • Observed 1 container of cut Tomato not date marked in low reach in drawer refrigerator.
  • Observed TPHC procedures not followed and start time not recorded on log.

#7 Red Salt By David Burke

Scored 90.5 (A) on 3/30/2023

They had the following violations;

  • Observed employee pick item up off ground and handle clean gloves to return to food preparation.
  • Observed container being filled at hand washing sink near dish machine.
  • Observed no hand soap provided at hand washing sink by dish machine.
  • Observed dressing and food held in stand up refrigerator with mold.
  • Observed sauce reheated to 140 degrees F.
  • Observed marinara sauce hot held in holding unit at 84 degrees F.
  • Observed tuna, lettuce and cheese cold held above 41 degrees F in upstairs assembly kitchen.
  • Observed cut melon not date marked , chorizo with date of preparation of 3/18, ricotta cheese not date marked and several other TCS/ RTE food not date Makres including house made steak sauce with cooked onion.
  • Observed stainless Steele cleane stored on prep table.

#6 Hillside Caribbean

Scored 90 (A) on 3/23/2023

They had the following violations;

  • No employee present during inspection with ANSI food protection manager certification.
  • Observed three containers of RTE food: mac and cheese, and two rice bowls, with plastic grocery bag in contact with top of food. Use food lids or material such as foil to cover food.
  • Observed yams, chicken, collards, oxtail, and cabbage not reheated to 165 within the 2 hour window.
  • Observed shredded cheddar cheese holding at 47 F. Ambient temperature in the RIC was 47F.
  • No TCS items in facility that had been made/opened previously had date marking.
  • Observed different sanitizer than label stated.

#5 The Bistro

Scored 88.5 (B) on 3/21/2023

They had the following violations;

  • Observed no PIC during inspection.
  • Observed no employees with a CFPM.
  • Observed PIC unable to ensure food safety and handling are being met for date marking, food contact surfaces, maintaining cold holding, and maintenance of physical facility.
  • Observed employee pre-rinsing dirty dishes then proceeded to clean the prep surface area across the grill with no hand wash in between.
  • Observed employee washed hands, but proceeded to turn of faucets with no barrier.
  • Observed no soap at hand sinks in the back kitchen.
  • Observed no paper towels at hand sinks.
  • Observed ice machine with pink and black buildup behind the ice shield.
  • Observed a pan of chicken wings in the tall reach in at 43F.
  • Observed soy milk, whole milk, coconut milk, almond milk, marinara sauce, mozzarella, and chicken wings with no dates and/or dated 3/11.
  • Observed several TCS foods; marinara sauce, diced chicken, salsa, and cheese placed on the counter.
  • Observed a multi use disinfectant spray bottle stored on the prep table at the coffee make table.


Scored 88.5 (B) on 3/29/2023

They had the following violations;

  • Observed slice of cheese sitting directly on shelf inside the RIC.
  • Observed food debris and accumulations on pans, stored as clean, on shelves near dish machine area.
  • Observed egg whites on the countertop at 61F.
  • Observed hash browns inside the RIC on the cook line at 51F.
  • Observed RTE chicken and Black Forest ham held past the disposal date.
  • Observed cut lettuce and cut tomatoes with incorrect date marking labels inside the prep unit.
  • Observed pot roast, sausage, ham with no date marking/label inside the RIC on cook line.
  • Observed buttermilk pancake batter being held on time with no label to indicate start time.
  • Observed can of raid stored on the shelf at the waitress station.
  • Observed 4 live roaches total above and below ice bin on server line.

#3 Texas Roadhouse

Scored 87.5 (B) on 3/28/2023

They had the following violations;

  • Observed facility without a written vomit/diarrhea clean up procedures.
  • Observed food employee enter kitchen, put on gloves and start handling rolls without washing hands.
  • Observed lids, hose sprayer and a spoon being stored in hand sink near cook line.
  • Observed salmon being offered undercooked according to menu.
  • Observed food employee pick up knife off of the ground, place in dirty dish bucket and proceed to handle clean utensils and food without changing gloves.
  • Observed facility sanitizing dishes in hot water dish machine with a maximum temperature of 154F. Facility will be washing/rinsing in dish machine and sanitizing using the 3 compartment sink.
  • Observed facility holding multiple items in TPHC.

#2 Waffle House

Scored 86 (B) on 3/2/2023

They had the following violations;

  • Observed open employee beverage stored on prep sink.
  • Observed open uncovered and unprotected package of ham stored in reach in prep refrigerator.
  • Observed ground beef, steak, eggs chicken and ham cold held above 41 degrees F in prep unit from prior day according to PIC.
  • Observed start time of 6 am and discard time of 10 am but TPHC chart not updated for current eggs per PIC. CDI, eggs voluntarily discarded.
  • Observed spray bottle of bleach not labeled.
  • Observed degreaser container stored on shelf above food items.
  • Observed live roach found on cookline.

#1 Pho Real

Scored 82.5 (B) on 3/17/2023

They had the following violations;

  • Observed raw shrimp stored with dirty dishes and cooked items in the 2 comp sink.
  • Observed employees not washing hands when needed.
  • Observed personal items mixed with the customer items (items were in areas that can contaminate customer foods).
  • Observed cross contamination between raw foods and RTE items.
  • Observed entirety of kitchen area soiled with heavy debris (lots of cleaning needed).
  • Observed PICs without employee health policy.
  • Observed no vomit plan.
  • Observed employee foods stored on prep tables and tall reach in for food prep. Items were mixed in with customer items.
  • Observed PIC coughing in his hands then touching plates.
  • Observed employees not washing hands as needed.
  • Observed cups and knife in handwashing sink.
  • Observed prepped vegetables stored in a heavily soiled strainer.
  • Observed raw shrimp thawing in the 2 comp sink in sink 1, dirty dishes in sink 2 and RTE spring roll (noodles, shrimp, beef and lettuce) items at the same sink.
  • Observed unpackaged raw chicken, beef, pork and RTE items mixed together without separation in both tall reach in freezers. Items need to be organized.
  • Observed employees handling raw meats then going to do other things without switching gloves.
  • Observed slicer and can opener soiled with old food and debris.
  • Observed plates stored on a cart heavily soiled.
  • Observed shrimp cooked to 128F in fried rice.
  • Observed no TPHC procedures for items on time.
  • Observed new items placed on TPHC without procedures.
  • Observed sanitizer spray bottles stored with food items.

If you’d like to monitor health scores or do a quick search for a restaurant you’re about to eat at, check out North Carolina’s health inspection database here.