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Dirty Dining: Manhattan nabes that serve up the most health violations


mny Credit: amNY Photo Illustration

Manhattan isn’t all fine dining — and some neighborhoods are serving up a lot more dirty dishes than others.

When it comes to poor restaurant inspections, ZIP code 10026 in Morningside Heights/West Harlem has the largest percentage of violators in Gotham, according to an analysis of the Health Department’s latest data by amNewYork.

Ten of the 50 restaurants in that ZIP code inspected by the health department — or about 20 percent — either got a C grade, the lowest, or a “grade pending” until they get their act together.

One was so bad it was shuttered last month.

“There’s not a lot of restaurants in the area, they’re all takeout and junk — so I wish the actual restaurants would be cleaner where you can have an actual dinner,” said Candy Alvarez, 22, of Harlem.

Some 10,000 eateries have been inspected since a letter-grade system was installed in July, with all 24,000 across the five boroughs to be reviewed before year’s end. So far, the average ZIP in Manhattan has 8 percent with major violations.

The health department said it couldn’t provide the exact number of places closed under the new system.

The 10006 ZIP in Lower Manhattan/Battery Park has the second highest percentage of violations at 13 percent.

Andrew Rigie of the New York State Restaurant Association said restaurateurs are being caught flat-footed by some of the city’s rules and expectations, and more education is needed.

Meanwhile, restaurants are seeing mixed results with the grades. Business has dropped since a “grade pending” sign went up at Le Baobab, a Senegalese eatery in Harlem.

Manager Aminata Diop tells customers who ask about violations — such as mouse holes in the ceiling — that they’re now fixed.

Karl Williams, owner of nearby Society — a cafe with a “grade pending” sign — said he doesn’t get asked about infractions. His violations include a faulty refrigerator that kept food too warm.

“The goal of the health department is good,” he said. “We just need to figure out a way to make it less a snapshot in time and into more of a pattern or trend.”

(with Tim Herrera)

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