Have you ever walked into a restaurant's washroom only to find it's filthy, and by the way, lacking basic hygiene supplies like soap?
Or gotten a glimpse of a filthy kitchen on the way to the restrooms and wondered if you should stay for your meal?
Wonder no more! The Chicago Tribune has an online database that lets you see the inspection results of any restaurant in town. Well, most of them, at least.
When we were in California, we noticed each restaurant prominently displayed a grade from their most recent inspection. Why would you eat anywhere that did not receive an A? The system rewards sound hygiene and food prep practices. We thought it was a great idea.
At least we've got the Trib list, which, I imagine, is easier than sifting through the city records on ones own.