BB’s Bagels fails their health inspection, again

Every Friday Roots in Alpharetta features an article on food and dining in a series called Foodie Friday.

BBs Inspection 20131017

I drove by BB’s Bagels last night at about 9:00. There was a contractor’s van parked out front and work going on inside. Apparently they’ve been in there all week working to right a terribly low inspection score. If you’ve not seen it, BB’s earned a 47 when inspected last Friday.

A lot of folks have asked for my take. So here it is.

First the good news… BB’s isn’t getting dinged for the biggies – temperature holding violations and cross contamination risks. This is a good thing. I’ve talked before about how you sometimes need to look past the score and dig into the details of the violations.

That being said, there’s no excuse for BB’s to earn terrible scores over and over. Their inspection is rife with repeat violations. At a certain point it comes down to management. There is a well-documented process that needs to be followed. The rules are published and apply equally to every restaurant. Read them, learn them, love them and live them. It’s part of the blocking and tackling of running a restaurant.

BB’s will point to their building as the cause of their terrible scores. No doubt it’s in rough shape. Last week’s inspection cites floors, walls and ceilings as being in disrepair.

But they can’t continue to lean on this excuse. If I had to break down BB’s problems I would give equal weight to: 1) failure to follow basic processes 2) crumbling building and 3) dirty and filthy conditions. The place is just a mess all the way around.

So will I go back? Not for now. I gave up eating in and ordering off their menu long ago because of the dirty conditions. Now I’ll have to find an alternative to my weekly take-out bagel. It sucks because I appreciate the vibe and character of this joint.

We’ll revisit BB’s later on to see if their renovations and training can turn things around. In the meantime, fugetaboutit!

27 Responses to “BB’s Bagels fails their health inspection, again”

  1. ccastro October 25, 2013 at 10:00 am #

    I work in the Shiloh Road area and have all our VPs coming in week after next for all day meetings. Had planned on BB’s one morning for breakfast and most likely would if the score was in the 75 range but 47!?!? Can’t risk it.

  2. A October 25, 2013 at 10:37 am #

    Have never been due to hearing about their surly attitude toward customers, and after 2 failing inspection, I doubt I’ll ever give them a try.

  3. Cool Papa Bell October 25, 2013 at 11:10 am #

    I found their bitter explanation on why they closed their second store bizarre from day one. I always thought Old Milton was much cleaner and better run.

    The fact they made a video with a amphibian crawling on their counter showed that cleanliness was never their forte.

  4. Patricia H. October 25, 2013 at 1:41 pm #

    Totally agree Cool Papa Bell. Really liked the Old Milton/States Bridge Store and was sad when they closed out of the blue. Never liked the McFarland location for all of the reasons cited above.

    I miss my bagels and patty melts, but not sure we’ll be going back for a while either.

  5. Sandy October 25, 2013 at 3:21 pm #

    Maybe they got marked down for flavor cross-contamination. “BBs Bagels, where EVERY bagel, even the chocolate chip, tastes like garlic!”

  6. Beth Davis October 25, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

    I was a devotee of the State Bridge restaurant: I ate there at least once a week. Once they hired their “greeter”, the service went downhill due to her interference with the great servers that has worked there forever (Kate and Tara). Then a friend got sick after eating the tuna fish. Then they closed that location.

    I did try the McFarland location, but the service and the food were never as good there.

    Too bad, I loved the bagels and the patty melts!

  7. Dave October 25, 2013 at 7:07 pm #

    I for one hope they can turn things around. They’ve always been nice to us when we eat there. I can forgive building issues (kind of comes with the “hole in the wall” type places that often have great food) but the other areas need to be corrected asap.

  8. Raj October 25, 2013 at 11:27 pm #

    They are not getting shut down. Too bad, because that would be fine by me. I never understood what the attraction was. If you want a nice bagel locally, go to Bagel Boys. If you want the consistency of a chain, look for an Einstein Bros. Franchise. If you want to taste something real authentic, drive down to Bagelicious (and bring cash). BB is not authentic, consistent, or nice. An overstuffed fatty piece of dough, with a hole poked in the middle, does not a bagel make.

  9. Cool Papa Bell October 26, 2013 at 7:45 pm #

    Raj, their alleged nasty attitude? Eh, whatever. The fact they are dirty, yep I must admit that location does not shock me. But to compare Bagel Boys or worse Einstein to them is simply an injustice. They should never be mentioned in the same sentence with BB’s.

  10. Mary October 26, 2013 at 10:11 pm #

    Beth I had nothing to do with Kate and Tara leaving…….you should get you facts straight before you mouth off…..

  11. Heidi October 26, 2013 at 11:01 pm #

    They may not be getting “dinged for the biggies” like cross-contamination, but having containers without dates is just as bad. And the flies/fly traps right over the food prep. Eek!!

  12. Andi October 27, 2013 at 8:11 am #

    Einsteins? They are not a Real NY bagel.I miss the old “Royal Bagel” from Midtown Atlanta many years ago.
    But at least you can find a great NY knish here now!

  13. Eric October 27, 2013 at 3:34 pm #

    Cool Papa Bell, having grown up in the tri-state, I completely agree. BB’s has terrific bagels, but we gave up going there long ago. Raj, those BB’s are authentic NY style bagels. It’s one thing to have the bravado along with great food, but the quality of the food has noticeably gone down since we first started going there five years ago and the place is constantly filthy. (I should note, I personally never got a attitude, however bad service speed at times, and when my parents have been there, they’d even been given free bagels several times not too long before closing, so between my household and their household, we didn’t have any bad attitude experiences.)

    I drive by every morning going to work and since their inspection, the parking lot has been noticeably quieter during the work-week. It proves one thing, if nothing else, the internet is a powerful tool and people will find out very quickly if your establishment is being run like a dump.

    If my company made excuses like BB’s has consistently done with regard to their inspection scores, we’d be run out of business. It’s excuses, plain and simple. My suggestion would be to drop the attitude and serve the customers with some respect and not contempt, which is sometimes served around there, and maybe they’ll be back on the right track.

  14. S Lee Guy October 27, 2013 at 3:46 pm #

    You can’t compare BB’s to anything else local because they have the only water boiled bagel in town. Everything else tastes like wonder bread with a hole.

    I hope this low score is enough to finally kick them into cleanliness gear.

  15. SCSA31274 October 27, 2013 at 10:58 pm #

    BB’s had terrific bagels. I would get them for work, and all the Yankees I work with would rave about them. If you’re going to Einsteins for “good” bagels, you might as well go to Kroger and get a pack of Thomas’ bagels. I also enjoyed the varieties of cream cheese. But I won’t be back. I agree with Cool Papa Bell for once. It’s a shame though. BB’s is a cool place that isn’t a chain (anymore) that had really good bagels. But I’m sure people will come flocking back. I have a feeling they’ll treat this like a pro athlete that gets a DUI or beats his woman. Sure, that’s all bad, but man can he score touchdowns! Sure there’s a fly trap dropping bug parts onto my food and the place is a dump, but man, those bagels are good!

    Oh and Mary and Beth? Zing!

  16. Cool Papa Bell October 27, 2013 at 11:24 pm #

    There must be some weird crap going on internally. They begrudgingly admitted to having a relationship with Essex, but if you asked them to elaborate, you’d think you were asking to look in their underwear drawer.

    The social media announcement about closing Old Milton was something about them not following policy. What did they do against policy? Mop the floor? Not let animals crawl across the counter of a video?

    Both Essex and certainly Old Milton sure didn’t seem like they were hurting for business. Now the original seems to be imploding within.

    Seems “business” sense doesn’t account for either of the “Bs” in BB’s.

  17. Greg October 28, 2013 at 7:51 am #

    It’s great that their bagels seem to have a loyal following with some people, but I am not eating at any place that posts a 47. Their prior score, while passing, wasn’t that great either. I read the entire three page report, for what it’s worth.

  18. Zeus October 28, 2013 at 12:37 pm #

    Boiled bagels: Bagelicious in east Cobb, Art’s in Acworth. If authentic is your goal, they are the only places I know other than BB’s that does this correctly.

  19. B October 28, 2013 at 8:23 pm #

    BB’s is a sad shop to me. I do like the bagels but have always been bothered by the lack of cleanliness. I’ve seen folks wipe tables but have never seen anyone sweep or mop. Even at waffle house they mop the floor and do a good cleaning every shift change. They’ve made some repairs to the building over the past year or so – the new walls and improved area near the booths. Just wish someone would clean. If it’s that dirty out where customers eat, what does the kitchen look like?

    Hate it for them – have no problems with the employees. Maybe mngt needs a kick in the pants to clean it up a bit.

  20. Sthrn Girl October 29, 2013 at 9:03 am #

    Does anyone know how the re-inspection went yesterday?

  21. Chris W October 29, 2013 at 10:57 am #

    Where do I start with my thoughts about BB’s…unfortunately when I think of BB’s tons of four letter words pop in my mind so I won’t go there. The facility was terrible. I can’t believe they couldn’t get it upgraded because of the line of cars I see there every Saturday. They had to make a good profit. They could have done something about the joint. Using that as an excuse for a poor score as long as they’ve been there is silly. Not getting “dinged on the biggies”…dumbest statement in the article. I worked in a resturaunt in college and to get a 47…i dont know how that can happen. Our management would hit the ceiling if we got anything less than a 95. BB’s employees must have talked to the inspector like they talk to their customers. Bagels are a northern thing…I get that. But being rude to customers is a stupid thing and that’s what they did to me and my wife on more than one occasion. Me and my money will drive to Bagel Boys and get delicious bagels and friendly service. I’m a redneck so I’m sure you relocated yankees are going to talk about boiling vs steamng vs whatever style of bagels you are use to getting up yonder, but Bagel Boys makes as tasty a bagel as BB’s. BB’s made a good bagel…no doubt. The thought of how many critters that crawled on the dough or the finished product would steer me away, and their attitudes chased me away…they were even proud od their attitude with the sign on the door that said if you dont like how we talk to you, go somewhere else. I did…Bagel Boys will get my business. The owner John cares about his product and how his employees treat customers. He’s the friendliest proprietor in Alpharetta. He’s well known in the community and he’s a transplant yankee too. I will not shed a tear for BB’s….no surprise. They treat their business like they treat their customers….crappy. Going to head to Bagel Boys for lunch now…

  22. Bob L November 7, 2013 at 8:55 pm #

    Who cares how the bagel is made if the place is filthy and you don’t know how much roach is in your everything bagel!! I’m from NY so the crappy attitude of the staff didn’t bother me because the food was good. With that said, I get sick thinking about what I actually ate.

    I agree with Chris W. about Bagel Boys. The place is spotless and the food is great. John, the owner, knows everyone who comes in and treats everyone well. He runs a good restaurant and is a good, caring family man. Why take the chance of getting sick at BB when you can go to Bagel Boys?

  23. Dave November 8, 2013 at 12:18 am #

    Oct 31 inspection was 70/C. Very disappointing, flies all over kitchen.

  24. JC November 29, 2013 at 4:14 pm #

    Amazing after a 47 they wouldn’t work around the clock to have the place spotless and get a 100 on the next inspection. If the ownership and employees don’t care to clean I see them closing as customers won’t care to come spend their money.

  25. Zoe December 24, 2013 at 11:15 am #

    I have been to NYC many times and a true NY bagel is large, crispy outside, soft inside, and just plain delicious – there is nothing like it! The place I went was the “David Letterman” shop and yes they were rude – it was like a rite of passage. Can’t say I really liked it, but it was worth it to walk away with those warm giant bagels!
    I haven’t seen anything in the midwest that compares… although I would love to find a place…

  26. Stacey Schechter May 28, 2014 at 1:35 pm #

    Please revisit BB’s. I’m hoping they’ve turned it around. The made a great bagel. I look forward to your latest review.

  27. MIKESR June 21, 2015 at 9:52 am #

    Having grown up in NYC and eating more bagels than care to admit I feel somewhat qualified to pass judgement on the “who has a better bagel issue”. We’ve been to BB’s numerous times, Bagel Boys and a few other establishments around town. BB’s wins hands down. It sucks that the place is dirty and is buggy. Leads me to think about their kitchen. For those reasons I won’t go back. As far as the place being old, doesn’t matter to me as long as it’s kept clean and bug/rodent free. True John the owner of Bagel Boys was courteous and the restaurant was clean, but the bagels left a lot to be desired as Einsteins does. Nothing beats a boiled bagel. Growing up they were called “water bagels”. Didn’t have the variety they have these days either. BB’s also has Bialys on their menu which i’m sorry to say are horrible (my 2 cents). They opened a new Italian restaurant across the street from the bagel place. One can only wonder how that will fare out. If and when they straighten out BB’s Bagel, I’ll be back. In the mean time it’s English Muffins at home!

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