Live bugs in food and a dead rodent in a restaurant highlight this week’s Sick and Shut Down List of South Florida restaurants that failed inspection.
We’re running on Miami time, so let’s get to the rundown of vermin and scuzziness that overwhelmed some restaurants from Hialeah to North Palm Beach.
HOW WE DO WHAT WE DO: What follows comes from Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation restaurant inspections in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe counties. A restaurant that fails state inspection remains closed until passing re-inspection. If you see a problem and want a place inspected, contact the DBPR. Don’t call us.
We don’t control who gets inspected nor how strictly the inspector inspects. We don’t include all violations, just the most moving, whether internally or literally moving (because it’s alive or once was alive). Some violations get corrected after the inspector points them out, but you have to ask, why do the violations exist in the first place? And how long would they have remained if not for the inspection?
We report without passion or prejudice but with what we hope is a palate cleanser of humor.
In alphabetical order...
Belle’s Bar & Grill, 116 Lakeshore Dr., North Palm Beach: 14 total violations, seven High Priority violations.
Apparently, the rodents and roaches used the kitchen as the site of a pitched battle.
There were a total of 16 rodent droppings under a shelving unit and a stairwell in a dishwashing area. The live roaches present numbered 24, five of which were on the side of a cutting board in the front line area on the cookline.
A quintet of flies stayed out of it, zipping around under the three-compartment sink.
The bar dishwasher lacked chlorine sanitizer and another dishwasher lacked hot (enough) water. The bar handwashing sink lacked soap and hot (enough) water.
Cut romaine lettuce got crushed with a Stop Sale for being too warm for safe consumption.
“Hot line sauté station-mashed potatoes, butter portions stored overnight not covered.” Was there a run on Reynolds Wrap up there?
The plumber was supposed to arrive Monday to deal with the hot water issue.
Blue Pointe Bar & Grill, 18701 SE Federal Hwy., Tequesta: Four total violations, three High Priority violations.
A Stop Sale landed on the bread with a fly. You can’t put a Stop Sale on a chef, but during the inspection, a fly landed on a chef. Another 17 flies earned the inspector’s notice.
The dishwashing machine wasn’t sanitizing anything.
Blue Pointe was on point for Friday’s re-inspection.
Cannoli Kitchen, 9101 Lakeridge Blvd., Boca Raton: Five total violations, two High Priority violations.
There were “13 live roaches between an unsealed wooden shelf and the wall below the handwashing sink at kitchen” and “three dead roaches underneath the dry storage shelf at the kitchen...six dead roaches by the water heater at dishwashing area.”
Wash your equipment. “Food-contact surface soiled with food debris, mold-like substance or slime...slicer blade.”
The Kitchen passed re-inspection on Tuesday.
Estrella Cubana Restaurant, 1284 Palm Ave., Hialeah: 12 total violations, four High Priority violations.
The rodents must have followed the Cuban star to this restaurant, then dropped a load, seeing as how the inspector counted “50-plus rodent droppings on the floor alongside the walls in the empty room located on second floor of the establishment.”
Why do places with rodents so often leave food uncovered, even if in a cooler or a freezer? This place had containers of sliced tomatoes, cooked beef and chicken wings uncovered in a reach-in cooler.
More stuff you don’t want to see with rodents around: “Observed employee washing kitchen pans at the three-compartment sink without the sanitization step.”
“Tracking powder pesticide used inside the kitchen, on the floor, beneath the three-compartment sink.” Yeah, that’s a no-no.
Estrella was burning bright again after Friday’s re-inspection.
Local Restaurant, 4380 NW 31st Ave., Oakland Park: 40 total violations, 10 High Priority violations.
Such a bland name for a red chili pepper hot mess of a joint that’s clearly tore up from the floor up..
“Objectionable odor in the kitchen area.”
Rodent poop in the reach-in freezer, on a prep shelf in front of a microwave and rice cooker, next to a “stove cooking uncovered cornmeal.”
Of course, there were “several containers of cooked fish and chicken stored uncovered in the kitchen area Kitchen Aid reach-in cooler.”
They used a hot holding unit for storing clean, sanitized utensils and chicken bouillon. Coincidentally, that hot holding turned out to be a hotspot for 20 live roaches. Another 20 live roaches were “under prep table above containers with rice, sugar flour and beans.”
Continuing in the live roach sightings that numbered 64, another 10 were seen in a “storage unit where clean and sanitized pots and utensils are stored.”
As for the dead roaches, there were 150 of them, including 10 “in light shields above prep table in the kitchen area” and another 10 “in a reach-in cooler in front of a walk-in cooler.”
A Stop Sale hit the prepped pickles that were at 64 degrees, waayyyyy above the 41 degrees that’s good for safety.
Ready-to-eat food out for more than seven days after opening or prep. Lot of words for “old food.”
“No soap at the handwashing sink in the kitchen area.”
There’s way too much going on in the three-compartment sink.
“Raw turkey thawing in standing water in the three-compartment sink with dirty dishes stored on the left and right in the other compartments of sink” and the three-compartment sink wasn’t set up with sanitizer solution.
The inspector saw “clean sanitized utensils stored on racks with heavy grease build up.”
Local failed Saturday’s re-inspection, but passed Monday’s re-re-inspection.
Los Magueyes Mexican Restaurant, 6870 NW 169th St., Northwest Miami-Dade: 13 total violations, three High Priority violations.
In the bar, over 20 flies flew over the station. In the kitchen, 10 flies flew under the three-compartment sink.
Three live roaches on the kitchen floor and on the wall behind the handwashing sink in the kitchen.
Of course, yellow rice and soup weren’t covered in a reach-in cooler.
No soap at the bar station handwash sink.
This place passed re-inspection on Thursday.
M & S Best Tropical Restaurant, 3752 N. Andrews Ave., Oakland Park: 25 total violations, six High Priority violations.
Let’s start with the Stop Sales. There’s the sugar bag in the storage room (three live roaches), a box with open pasta (10 live roaches), cornmeal in a cornmeal container (one dead roach). There was a container of pickles for which no count was given.
Now, to the other standouts among the other live roaches, which numbered 188. There were 50 on a storage with food items, 20 in boxes with cooking oil, another 20 in boxes where limes were stored, another 10 in a box with salt and one in a clean and sanitized pot.
The 44 dead roaches were high (20 in a ceiling light) and low (20 on the floor of dry storage).
Food that needed to be cooled to 41 degrees, but instead was measured at 61 degrees (pork and pickles), 57 to 60 degrees (beef), 47 to 49 degrees (poultry) got tossed.
This place passed re-inspection on Thursday.
Tropical Island Restaurant, 400 E. Boynton Beach Blvd., Boynton Beach: 12 total violations, five High Priorty violations.
“Dead rodent present under storage shelf in hallway leading to kitchen and outside.”
The rest of the inspection is pretty much just to make it official but did include “one live fly in chicken broth” and “one live fly in goat stew” as well as two live flies in a mini-crew on a container with plantains.
“Food stored outside in chest freezers without overhead protection.”
“Onions and cabbage stored on floor outside.”
“Stored chicken pasta and stew not covered in chest freezer outside.”
Warm cheese got hit with a Stop Sale.
“No equipment in place to hot hold or cool all foods that have been cooked this morning.”
And if you start thinking, “Man, when I’m eating out, seems like I’m eating rewarmed leftovers at least half the time,” give yourself credit for reading attentively and with comprehension.
Tropical passed re-inspection on Friday.