Restaurant News & Reviews

Rodent poop shuts down 6 restaurants. And a strip bar and golf club are cited

A pair of Burger Kings and one Dunkin Donuts made this month’s Rodent Report, but weren’t among the six restaurants that got shut down for a day over rodent activity. The TPC Eagle Trace, Latin American Restaurant, Derry’s, China Lake Chinese Restaurant, Strahmore Bagels and Deli and Cafeteria La Saguera got the big red flags.
A pair of Burger Kings and one Dunkin Donuts made this month’s Rodent Report, but weren’t among the six restaurants that got shut down for a day over rodent activity. The TPC Eagle Trace, Latin American Restaurant, Derry’s, China Lake Chinese Restaurant, Strahmore Bagels and Deli and Cafeteria La Saguera got the big red flags.

This month’s Rodent Report lists only 14 restaurants, but feels longer than a car trip to the Panhandle in an Electra 225 without air conditioning.

Let’s start with the six that were shut down.

▪ Cafeteria La Saguera, 3001 W 12th Ave. #6, Hialeah — No sopa for you on June 21 after the inspector saw “approximately 35 shiny and moist rodent droppings under big oven and preparation table in kitchen area. Observed approximately 30 shiny and moist rodent droppings in front counter area.” This is called an Intermediate violation, not a High Priority violation: “No cleaning agent provided in wash compartment of sink. Compartment of soap not set up while doing ware washing.”

▪ China Lake Chinese Restaurant, 1562 NE 165th St., North Miami Beach — The rodents and the roaches worked together (raced each other) to get China Lake closed on June 20. The rodents had a party in the dry — storage room, leaving 40-50 dry dropping at dry storage room. Meanwhile, out in the kitchen, “eigt to 10 live roaches on shelf on top of the preparation table by reach in cooler in the kitchen.”

▪ Derry’s, 4486 Hallandale Beach Blvd., Pembroke Park — Remember the first time you tried to cook chicken marsala? Bet it went better than Derry’s first ever inspection on June 16. One of the problems was “three hard, dry rodent droppings under triple sink, six hard, dry dropping near walkway next to cook line, 10-15 hard, dry droppings under cook line, 15 hard, dry under hand sink upfront.” “Food-contact surfaces encrusted with food and/or soil deposits” is an Intermediate violation to the state of Florida. For some, “strong odor of moth balls in front of restaurant” and a “encrusted material in toaster up front” might remind you of what you didn’t like about eating at your grandmother’s.

▪ Latin American Restaurant, 1590 SW 22nd St., Miami — A whopping 46 violations, including nine High Priority violations, included “30 plus dry rodent droppings found in back prep area next to rice bags.” Yes, this place made the last Roach Report, too, so you can see more of their problems there.

▪ Strahmore Bagels and Deli, 10020 W. Oakland Park Blvd., Sunrise — June 20 turned out to be a short day at the bagel joint after “25 fresh rodent droppings found in kitchen under food preparation table, 13 fresh droppings found in dishwashing room under dishwashing machine, seven fresh droppings found at hot water heater, approximately 15 dry droppings found in kitchen next to the three-compartment sink, four fresh droppings found in the prep area between Hobart mixer and Continental reach in cooler and three fresh droppings found in service area behind ice machine. Also, the “Interior of microwave (was) soiled with encrusted food debris.”

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

▪ TPC Eagle Trace, 1111 Eagle Trace Blvd., Coral Springs — The club that produced LPGA young star Lexi Thompson and charges $6,450 per year for a membership saw its restaurant shut down on May 30 after the inspector saw: “Three dried rodent droppings near entrance of kitchen in front of Omcan chest freezer. One dried rodent dropping under preparation table across from grill in cookline. Eight dried droppings under Vulcan oven in cookline next to reach in maximum fridge. One dried dropping next to Vulcan oven that is next to maximum reach in fridge. Nine dried droppings on floor next to Vulcan oven. Approximately 110 dried rodent droppings in cabinet in wait station table. Three dried rodent droppings near back door. Thirteen dried droppings in back storage room. Three dried droppings under preparation sink across from triple sink. Two dried droppings under triple sink. One dried dropping on top of container of dried oats on shelf next to walk in cooler, and three dried droppings on shelves that cans are stored on. Observed two moist droppings in front of walk in cooler.” You want something to put that lox on? “Walk-in freezer floor soiled with bagels under shelves. Also, apparently, the bar area’s straight out of Amityville: “Small flying insects in bar area. Observed 23 flies in bar under ice bin.” If you’re hoping for squeaky clean dishes, well, “Hot water sanitizing dishmachine final rinse not reaching proper temperature at manifold.”

Two places received “Administrative complaint recommended,” which really means if the inspector carried a worse mood, you’d be done for the day.

▪ Canton Chinese Restaurant of Homestead, 1657 NE Eighth St., Homestead — The inspector saw 10 mouse traps with food by the kitchen door in a box. Maybe if they’d have been out, the inspector wouldn’t have spotted 10 dry droppings on shelf above three-compartment sink; six dry droppings on lid located by dry storage area; three dry droppings by water heating device; two dry droppings on shelf by dry storage area; one moist dropping on top of container of vegetable oil located in dry storage area; six dry droppings on a shelf near cans of chestnuts and mushrooms.

You know we’re here to talk about rodents, but of the 41 other violations, a few caught our eye:

“Employee going from outside the restaurant to inside restaurant to handle food without washing hands.” “Establishment advertised crab on menu/menu board but served imitation crab on crab Rangoon.” “Encrusted material on can opener blade.” “Reuse of single-service articles. Box of corn oil reuse to store cooked chicken.”

▪ Pure Platinum, 3411 N. Federal Highway, Oakland Park — OK, before we get to the rodent droppings, we must point out the inspector found a live roach in the ladies dressing room. Did the state restaurant inspector really need to give that part of the nudie bar the once over? Granted, they clearly have a roach issue: “Multiple traps in the establishment full of dead roaches.” And the dead roach count looks positively Shakespearean. Now, to the furry animals: “one dry dropping on the left cook line cooler prep counter. Approximately 300 dry on the floor in the kitchen dry storage closet near the coffee bar.” Yes, it’s a problem that “The only women's toilet in the main room area bathroom clogged with sewage.”

Some places have rodents and only a warning.

▪ Burger King, 10494 W. Sample Road, Coral Springs — You don’t often find the chains on this list. But this BK made it on “one dried rodent dropping behind shelf in dry storage area near bag in the box drinks, one dried rodent dropping on top of trash bin near bathroom and entrance door in dining room.” Perhaps bringing the “ewww” even more were “20 round, small dead insects on window sill in dining area.”

▪ Burger King, 15320 NW 79th Ct., Miami Lakes — Another BK! And one where you have to work drive-thru with pets: “approx. two dry rodent droppings along wall to right of pick up window and left of ice machine.”

▪ D’Bella Pizza & Pasta, 1700 Kennedy Causeway, North Bay Village — Rodents ran through the tracking powder.

▪ Dunkin Donuts, 10450 Wiles Rd., Coral Springs — The four dried rodent droppings on top of reach in cooler were a High Priority violation, but does the Basic violation “accumulation of dead insects, mosquitos and flies, on the floor throughout the premises” really make you feel less apprehensive?

▪ Gigi’s Gourmet Catering, 1082 NW 54th St, Miami —When last the state inspector checked on Gigi, the catering place made February’s Rodent Report with over 50 rodent droppings. This time, the inspector saw about “10 dry crumbly rodent droppings to right of walk-in cooler. Observed approximately 10 dry crumbly rodent droppings to right of two-door True cooler under window.” The inspector saw other signs of wildlife: “Observed approximately two dead palmetto bugs in bathroom. Observed approximately five dead worms behind one-door glass cooler. Observed approximately 10 live small worms in standing water in double sink.” Also, “soap dispenser at handwash sink not working/unable to dispense soap,” but that didn’t matter because “handwash sink not accessible for employee use due to being blocked by Cambro transport boxes.”Despite 24 violations, including seven high-priority violations, Gigi’s again got only a warning.

▪ Sly Fox, 3537 Galt Ocean Dr., Fort Lauderdale — The Sly Fox could use a sly cat or two. The dropping count went “15 in the upstairs hallway on the floor and behind doors. Approximately 20 dry in the upstairs restroom on the window ledge, floor and sink area. Approximately 75 dry in both of the upstairs dry storage areas on the shelving and floors.”

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