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COVINGTON, GA (CBS46) -
If you're a barbeque fan, listen up. In this week's Restaurant Report Card, Your Money Team's Adam Murphy dishes out the good health scores for some of the best BBQ spots around Atlanta –and the surprisingly low score of a restaurant owned by Covington's first family.
Fat Matt's Rib Shack at 1811 Piedmont Road is an Atlanta classic. They've been in business since 1990, wowing locals with killer BBQ and live blues each night. And their catering service scored a perfect 100 in their most recent health inspection.
Owner Fat Matt, who's not really fat, couldn't be happier.
We also took a look at the health scores from some of metro Atlanta's best BBQ joints:
• In Cobb County, Williamson Brothers BBQ at 1425 Roswell Road scored 91 points and an "A" on their most recent inspection.
• In Fulton County, Swallow at the Hollow at 1072 Green Street in Roswell picked up a 93 and an "A."
• And in DeKalb County, Community Q BBQ at 1361 Clairmont Road in Decatur received 95 points and an "A."
But in Covington, a restaurant inspired by the hit TV show "The Vampire Diaries" that often films across the street didn't fare so well. Mystic Grill at 1116 Clark Street in Covington failed their surprise health inspection with 61 points and a "U" for unsatisfactory.
And you may be surprised to know that the Mayor of Covington, Ronnie Johnston, and his wife Kelley own the restaurant.
"We're getting our act together," said Mayor Johnston when we caught up with him and his wife Kelley outside the restaurant.
"We had hired a chef in our kitchen and we made some changes rapidly, very quickly and we've re-established ourselves," said Johnston.
The report by the health inspector about Mystic Grill included some of the following unsafe practices:
• An employee did not wash hands with soap after handling raw meat.
• Ground beef was stored over seafood and dinner rolls
• And an employee picked up a glove off the ground and continued to work.
"What in the world happened here?" Murphy asked the Mayor. "Was it a bad day?"
"No, no if you look at the 61 a lot of the deductions were things like containers not labeled right," said Mayor Johnston. "There was no way shape or form the public was ever in danger by eating in this restaurant, period," added Johnston.
Mayor Johnston said he fired the chef responsible and has corrected all critical violations in the kitchen. CBS46 went in to look and found that it was a very clean kitchen.
"So the first family of Covington has taken action and everything is under control?" I asked.
"Absolutely, absolutely," said Mayor Johnston.
"This is our reputation," added Kelley Johnston. "We take this very personally and we would not want to have anything that is not above par," said Mrs. Johnston.
The Mystic Grill has received 85 points and a 'B' on a re-inspection by the county.
Click here if you'd like to find out how your favorite restaurant scored on its last health inspection. Be sure to watch our Restaurant Report Card every Sunday at 11 p.m. on CBS46.
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