Tampa, Florida (WTSP) - Seedy, sleazy, seductive... They're words some might use to describe Tampa strip clubs.
While the girls up on stage leave little to the imagination, we wondered what was going on behind closed doors, in the kitchens of Bay area adult establishments.
"There's always the old jokes, 'I would never eat anything from the buffet at the gentleman's club.' Well we are not your father's gentleman's club anymore," said Scott Megna, Corporate Chef at Tampa's Gold Club on Adamo Drive.
His kitchen is one of nearly a half dozen adult establishments across Tampa Bay offering up not just lovely ladies, but full menus of food as well.
"When they sit in our dining room they forget where they're at and they think they're at a Ruth's Chris, or a Bern's," says Megna. "Then they get their food and some people tell me this is better than what I get at Bern's!"
We pulled inspection reports for six Bay area gentleman's clubs offering full dinner menus. The results were surprisingly revealing.
Across the board, we were shocked to see how well each restaurant preformed, Tampa Gold Club for example scored a near perfect inspection in July with only a single violation for "encrusted material on a can opener."
"As far as the cleanliness, you're not going to get a cleaner kitchen or safer kitchen," said Megna.
Across town, Scores Gentleman's Club and Steak House on Dale Mabry Highway serves up some of the finest grade filet in town.
They too did exceptionally well, with only three violations on their July inspection. Things like no paper towels at a hand sink and food splattered on the inside of the microwave. On our tour of the kitchen everything appeared squeaky clean.
In fact, nearly every establishment we looked at including Tampa's Penthouse Club on Westshore Boulevard passed their latest inspection with no more than five violations, on par with some of the finest steak houses in town.
"Because of the stigma that used to be there, not only do we have to let people know that we make food, but we got to let them know that it's good and we have to let them know that it's clean," said Megna.
10 News did find problems within one Bay area strip club. State records show Vegas Show Girls has been operating without a food service license, meaning they have not been receiving regular inspections.
The issue was discovered within the last month when a state inspector first visited the establishment in July. Along with not having a current license to serve food, the inspector found several additional problems including temperature violations on the Alfredo sauce and cooked chicken.