Restaurant Turns B Grade Into One of City's Best

By Jonathan Eiseman
|  Monday, Sep 20, 2010  |  Updated 5:50 PM EDT
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Restaurant Turns B Grade Into One of City's Best

Jonathan Eiseman

Cer te, in midtown, turned a "B" into the "Best" grade they could get.

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While getting a B rating from the city’s new restaurant grading system may have sent some restaurants into a panic, Cer te, a sandwich shop on 55th street in Midtown, seems to have taken the grade in stride.

By adding some letters (in the same size and font) to the less than stellar rating, Cer te, turned a ‘B’ into a "B-E-S-T"

“We’re not ashamed of our grade,” said Edward Sylvia, who has owned Cer te for over six years and put up the sign upon receiving his grade. “We know the kind of food we serve and we’re proud of our product.”

Sylvia said that he thinks the city went overboard with their grading system. “They came in three times, all of them during the lunch rush hour. I run a clean restaurant, but it's impossible to be perfect when you have people running around and serving food during a busy time.”

He went on to call the new system an, “obvious fundraising campaign.”

Cer te was docked points by inspectors for improper refrigerator temperatures and having water under the ice machines, among other violations.

In response to queries about whether or not it was legal to amend the grade with extra letters the way Cer te did, a Department of Health spokeswoman noted that letter grades cannot be "camouflaged or hidden from public view."

She said that the DOH is now "in communication" with the owner of the restaurant.

Customers didn’t seem to mind what the restaurant has done with its "B" rating.

“I think it’s cute,” said Stephanie Heyer, a regular at the eatery. “It’s a bad economy, let them try to make some money.”

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