Salt Bae’s NYC Restaurant Just Got Called Out for Possibly Violating Health Laws

Salt Bae's New York City restaurant is open for business, serving up, or at least promoting, bizarre steakhouse fare like huge cuts of beef stuffed with American cheese and raw asparagus. Led by the inimitable meme-man himself, the Nusr-et Steakhouse is all about the live experience and showmanship of the Salt Bae, whose real name is Nusret Gökçe. 

But the Benihana-style theatrics of the place might lead it directly to an NYC health code violation, as Eater reports. Salt Bae's penchant for garnishing plates with a healthy portion of salt sprinkle, and doing so with his bare hands, is likely in violation of article 81 of the New York City Health Code. Under the law, any contact with food that's "ready to eat" must be done while wearing gloves. And being that the Salt Bae thrives on raw, physical connection with beef, his bare hands might get the restaurant into trouble. 

As is his wont to appear at tables and administer his signature salt smattering, Salt Bae could very well be violating the health code while performing his signature shtick. 

A DOH spokesperson told Eater the agency will be "looking into this matter," which means the Nusr-et Steakhouse could be in for something of a bureacratic reckoning. Salt Bae will likely need to remove his gold watch, too, as another statute reads: “Except for medical alert bracelets or a ring that is smooth and without crevices, such as a wedding band, food workers may not wear jewelry on their arms or hands.”  

As one would guess, it hasn't all been fanfare and praise since Salt Bae came to New York. The reviews of Nusr-et Steakhouse have actually been rather devastating. The choice word of a few critics when describing the beef is "rubbery," and some reviews claim the steakhouse's lavish atmosphere creates a price point miles more expensive than the food's worth. 

But for the man who ascended the ranks of chef-dom as a meme, Salt Bae's foray into the NYC restaurant world is clearly a work in progress. And if all else fails, he can always fall back on his Instagram celebrity, or just hit the the health inspectors with a nasty left-hook. But not really.

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Sam Blum is a News Staff Writer for Thrillist. He's also a martial arts and music nerd who appreciates a fine sandwich and cute dogs. Find his clips in The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The A.V. Club and Esquire. He's on Twitter @Blumnessmonster