Health Department honors cleanest restaurants in Oak Park

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By Anna Lothson

Staff Reporter

Ever wonder how clean one of your favorite local restaurant is?

Well, below is a list of 10 that the Oak Park Department of Public Health and Board of Health recognized for their food service sanitation efforts.

This is the 28th year of the Johnson Restaurant Award, named for Oak Park's first lunchroom that operated in the 1890s at 124 Lake St., is presented each year to restaurants that consistently meet or exceed state food safety standards. This year's winners were chosen from 79 eligible restaurants. The awards are based on scores from a 45-point inspection survey.

"Restaurants earning this award have achieved sanitation scores that are the best in Oak Park," said Mike Charley, the Health Department's environmental health supervisor. "These establishments have demonstrated that they take food protection seriously and have incorporated food safety and sanitation practices into their day-to-day business operations."

Johnson Restaurant Award Winners (in order of score) are:

  • Marion Street Grille, 189 N. Marion St.
  • Aripo's Venezuelan Arepa House, 118 N. Marion St.
  • King & I, 105 N. Marion St
  • Cucina Paradiso, 814 North Blvd.
  • Penny's Noodle Shop, 1130 Chicago Ave.
  • Jerusalem Café, 1030 Lake St.
  • Buzz Café, 905 South Lombard Ave.
  • Flat Top Grill, 726 Lake St.
  • New Rebozo, 1116 Madison St.
  • Eyrie, 128 N. Oak Park Ave.

Email: Twitter: @AnnaLothson

Reader Comments

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OP Transplant  

Posted: April 23rd, 2013 1:39 PM

Carrie - King and I's coconut ice cream may be the single best dessert in town!

cynthia breunlin from oak park  

Posted: April 22nd, 2013 9:15 AM

Marion Street Grille is my favorite! Terry and his staff always make me feel welcome. I could eat the crab cakes and Caesar salad every week! Compared to City prices, MSG offers great value. Congrats!!

Carrie Marling Bankes from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 20th, 2013 9:35 AM

Special congrats to Aripos, King & I, Buzz, New Rebozo and Eyrie. It''s almost as if someone was putting together a list of our favorite quirky, under-appreciated places in OP. King & I has the best ice cream and no one believes us.

Laurie Beasley from oak park   

Posted: April 20th, 2013 7:37 AM

Too bad the food doesn't come up to the standard of their cleanliness. It would seem the more uninspired and mundane the food, the cleaner the restaurant.

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: April 19th, 2013 10:16 PM

Not just the bottom 10 would be useful, but how about some raw numbers and what they mean? I mean, on a 45-point inspection survey, what exactly is considered "good" or "excellent?" Because, if say, 30 is good, and the bottom 10 scored a 30, I'd still eat at them. So really, rankings are meaningless with zero context.

Daniel Foley from River Forest, Illinois  

Posted: April 19th, 2013 8:42 PM

To be fair, the bottom ten would be useful; and, frankly, that is the point of the exercise.

Diana Ostreko from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 19th, 2013 7:35 PM

This comes as no surprise if you know Terry Thulis at the Marion Street Grille. His immaculate restaurant goes hand in hand with the superior quality of food that he and chef, Raffoul turn out. Kudos to you and all at the "Grille". My family and I have eaten at the MSG for 17 years and never, ever had anything but the best food and service.

Lynn merce from oak park  

Posted: April 19th, 2013 7:17 PM

Glad someone likes Marion Street Grill- I'm sure the village can use the tax revenue- however I ended up extremely ill after eating there and was pleased to see the CHECK PLEASE show where one of the participants complained of spoiled fish- I felt vindicated-! I've always experienced poor service, ignorant staff and small portions and I'm a size 10 and not overweight - no value, no charm and over priced

Jim Coughlin from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 19th, 2013 7:13 PM

I recall reading that the OP-RF High School cafeteria actually topped the list for food safety standards. Is that still the case?

Jack Hughes from Chicago, Illinois  

Posted: April 19th, 2013 6:05 PM

Marion Street Grille also has the best food and service in the area. I regularly drive from downtown to dine there!

Chow Chow for Now  

Posted: April 19th, 2013 6:01 PM

And at the other end ???

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