Restaurant News & Reviews

Rodents shut down 7 South Florida restaurants

The monthly Rodent Report includes Shuckers, Grand Palms Golf & Country Club, a Golden Corral and 12 other Miami-Dade or Broward eating establishments. Seven got shut down orders and another that didn’t get shut down, Dragon Teahouse, had 10 High Priority violations.
The monthly Rodent Report includes Shuckers, Grand Palms Golf & Country Club, a Golden Corral and 12 other Miami-Dade or Broward eating establishments. Seven got shut down orders and another that didn’t get shut down, Dragon Teahouse, had 10 High Priority violations. File

Maybe South Florida’s vermin spent the winter getting a little freaky frisky. Because April’s Rodent Report from state inspections of Miami-Dade and Broward restaurants feels unusually hefty with 15 establishments.

In alphabetical order:

▪ Alfieri’s Mediterranean Bistro, 400 Corporate Dr., Fort Lauderdale. Alfieri’s got off with a warning issued on April 12 despite “10 small flying insects in the kitchen by the ice machine” and a repeat violation for how it handled its cold smoked salmon. Also, the inspector “observed approximately 20 dry rodent droppings on the floor under food shelving in the rear of the dry food storeroom. Three dry droppings inside a box of soft tortillas on a shelf in the dry food storeroom. Stop sale for the tortillas.”

▪ Barrel Express Restaurant, 14530 W. Dixie Hwy., North Miami Beach. On April 4, the inspector saw “approximately 20 hard dry rodent droppings found in a non working oven.” The overall inspection resulted in a Warning Issued.

▪ Belkuhy’s Place Cafeteria, 1100 Ali Baba Ave., Opa-locka. Here, the rodents laid their hats and called it home. Not only did the inspector on April 10 find “approximately 200 dried droppings and approximately 20 moist droppings on the floor of the working walk in cooler” but also “Rodent burrow or rodent nesting materials present. Nesting materials present on the floor in both the non-working and working walk in coolers. Belkuhy’s was closed down.

▪ China Dragon, 1744 N. University Dr., Pembroke Pines. Forget droppings, this evidence of rodent activity was all the way live on April 7: “One live rodent under cookline.” Despite only two High Priority violations, nine of 14 violations being Basic, the restaurant was shut down for the day.

▪ Opa-locka’s Crabman 305, 2006 Opa-locka Blvd, was shut down after the inspector found roach violations, lax hand washing and “approximately 50 moist rodent droppings found inside a reach in cooler motor area. This is a maintenance entry area for the cooler.” Also, the rodent bait was “not contained in a covered, tamper-resistant bait station. Located behind the hot water heater on the floor.” It took two inspections the next day to get the roach problem under control enough to allow for re-opening.

▪ Dragon Teahouse, 1327 E. Commercial Blvd., Oakland Park. The inspector found 10 High Priority violations — including rodents, roaches and a Stop Sale — among a whopping 40 overall violations on April 19. The rodent activity was described as “Observed 12 dry droppings on a shelf above the three-compartment sink. Observed approximately 25-30 dry droppings on shelving on the cooks’ line used to store clean unused plates.” This all added up to a Warning Issued.

READ MORE: Go to the Dining Adviser for reviews and inspection reports.

▪ Golden Corral, 9045 Pines Blvd., Pembroke Pines. On April 11, the inspector found a “dry hard dropping found under cabinet of salad station, approximately five to seven droppings, employee cleaned and sanitized area.”

▪ Grand Palms Golf & Country Club, 110 Grand Palms Dr., Pembroke Pines. It’s NHL playoff season and the Grand Palms scored a hat trick on April 19: rodent activity (”Observed about 30 dry droppings between draft beer dispenser and cupboard in bar area. Observed several rat traps under equipment throughout establishment.”); roach activity; and a stop sale on brisket, chicken, stuffed fish and flank steak after temperature abuse. That got the Grand Palms restaurant shut down for the day.

▪ The Original Junie’s Restaurant, 18400 NW Second Ave. Miami Gardens. The only High Priority violation on April 10 was “Approximately 12 dry/hard rodent droppings under shelves on the southeast side of the kitchen and approximately 10 dry/hard rodent droppings in the small room by three-compartment sink.”

▪ La Fontana, 2890 N. University Dr., Coral Springs. This restaurant’s problems started on April 7 with an inspection that turned up a 29 overall violations, 10 of the High Priority kind. To take care of the Rodent Report business, we note the inspector “observed approximately 22 dried rodent droppings in the back office behind the desk.” Here’s what else the inspector observed: An employee killing a roach on a wall near the pizza station with a napkin, then washing his hands with cold water and no soap. He then handled clean eating utentils. The dishwasher machine sanitizer wasn’t at acceptable minimum strength. Roaches. There’s more, but suffice to say, La Fontana got shut down order for the day. The problems weren’t corrected to the inspector’s satisfaction throughout re-inspections on April 8, 10, 11 and 12. The one on April 13 finally got La Fontana back open.

▪ Latin House Express, 13990 W. Dixie Highway, North Miami. Not only did the Latin House Express make a second appearance to the Rodent Report stage, it did so while getting another shut-down order. Among the five High Priority violations on April 20 was “Rodent activity present as evidenced by approximately 10-15 moist and 10-20 dry rodent droppings found through out the kitchen area.” As noted on the report, this was a repeat violation after last month's 50 to 100 dry droppings. Also bothering the inspector: “Food-contact surfaces not sanitized after cleaning, before use” and improperly sanitized equipment and utensils.

▪ Cutler Bay’s Miami Grill, 18660 S. Dixie Hwy. had 25 dry droppings in a storage area on April 10, one of three High Priority and 41 overall violations. A Warning was issued.

▪ Royal Treatz, 7855 Pines Blvd., Pembroke Pines. The bakery and ice cream joint had “five to 10 dry and hard droppings behind white whirlpool freezer next to stove” on April 11.

▪ Maybe the rodents at North Bay Village’s Shuckers, 1819 79th Street Causeway, which made an appearance in the last Roach Report, wanted cash instead of chow: “10 dry rodent droppings found under a cabinet under the cash machine at the bar area.”

▪ Wings & More, 4611 NW 31st Ave., Tamarac. Among the “More” on April 18 were: “One dry dropping on top of the water heater in the kitchen. Eight dry droppings on the floor by the water heater. Approximately 30 droppings, both moist and dry, on the floor under a dry food shelf to the left of the walk-in cooler in the kitchen. Approximately 40 droppings, both moist and dry, in a cabinet used to store bag-in-the box soda syrup in the dining room. Six on the floor behind a chest freezer in the dining room.” This was one of four High Priority violations that resulted in Wings & More hearing getting a shutdown-for-the-day order.

David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal