Restaurants' dirty little secrets


(CBS News) NEW YORK -- Before you even walk in a restaurant's door, there are things that could be the first signs of whether you should keep on going, or go somewhere else.

On "CBS This Morning: Saturday," professional hotel fixer Anthony Melchiorri, host of the Travel Channel's "Hotel Impossible," said there are all sorts of giveaways, big and not-so-big.

"The first thing you look at - you look at the windows," he advised. "You look to see if there's flesh flowers outside, stickers on the doors. If it's a rated restaurant. is the sticker from ten years ago or is it from this year? If it's from ten years ago ... turn around and ... go home.

"When you walk in, the first thing you do is smell the restaurant. You just walk in and, if it smells fresh, it probably is fresh. ... If it smells dirty carpets, hightail yourself out of there."

Melchiorri said even tabletops can tell tales: Are the glassed upside-down? Does the position of the cutlery indicate it was touched when being put there? Is the menu itself clean?

Then, there's the bathrooms.

Simply put, "When you walk into a restroom, if it's disgusting and it smells and it's filthy, the kitchen is disgusting, it smells and it's filthy."

But, he said, just because a restroom isn't pristine isn't a reason to suspect the worst about the restaurant's kitchen.

How bad does a restroom have to be to cross the line into "this place is N-G" territory? And what, exactly, does go on in kitchens?

For those answers and more, watch the entire interview by co-hosts Anthony Mason and Rebecca Jarvis by clicking on the video in the player above: