My nephew broke my heart.
Mike, my nephew Alex (who lives in my neighborhood) and I met at POPE on this past Saturday afternoon. It’s our regular hangout — Mike and I were going there at least once a week for a while, until we realized we were spending way too much money on eating out. We still go more often than we probably be should, but the beer selection is so amazing and the menu has a bunch of great vegan and vegetarian stuff.
It’s known as a hipster place, but make no mistake — we’re not hipsters. They go there at night, and we’re rarely there then. We go for brunch and happy hour, when you’re likely to see all types, including parents with babies in strollers. It’s one of the cool things about POPE. The staff members are nice and make everyone feel welcome.
The inspection report — which is actually nine months old, to be fair — wasn’t my first inkling that things might not be so wonderful under the surface, though. Last summer we were eating brunch and I saw a mouse scurrying on the floor a few tables away. I sat in my chair Indian-style because I was wearing flip flops and tried to put it out of my mind. Mice and insects are like people, right? We go to where the food is. All restaurants attract pests.
I’m not sure what caused my nephew to access the inspection report, but I’m really bummed about what it says; it just makes the place sound dirty and gross. The biggest thing was an open packet of “pest poison” found in the food prep area. But, was it in the general area of where the food is prepared, say eight feet away on a shelf, or was it on the counter where they were making my sandwich?
I want to give POPE the benefit of the doubt. Just looking at the restaurant inspection reports of other neighborhood places, it seems like POPE’s report is not unusual. All restaurants, even the most high-end ones, have violations. It’s just a fact of the restaurant business.
I can’t stop going to my favorite place! But, gross! I’m not sure if I’ll enjoy it as much now. Damn you, nephew!
We already stopped going to a pizza pub type of place, Birra, because Mike bit into a wire bristle last summer. We complained and got comped, but still. Do we cross another neighborhood place off the list?
What do you think? Would a less-than-wonderful restaurant inspection report scare you away from your favorite place? Your favorite place, which offers half-off really amazing craft beer during brunch and happy hour?