Restaurant News & Reviews

Roaches, dead and alive, got these 12 Miami-area restaurants in trouble

The return of The Miami Herald Roach Report finds 12 Miami-Dade food establishments sited for roaches, four of which got shut down for the day.
The return of The Miami Herald Roach Report finds 12 Miami-Dade food establishments sited for roaches, four of which got shut down for the day. Miami Herald File

A month after Hurricane Irma, the slowdown on state restaurant inspections appears to be lifting. Thus, the return of the Roach Report, Miami-Dade edition.

As usual, we start with the restaurants that got shut down for the day wholly or partially because of roach activity.

▪ China Max, International Mall, Doral — The problems on Oct. 2 started with “approximately six live roaches in shelf crevices in kitchen area and approximately five live roaches in gaskets of reach-in coolers.” There were also three dead roaches in the reach-in cooler and three outside it. The report says “roach excrement and/or droppings present” but excrement and poop pellets usually aren’t connected to roaches, but rodents. There’s the “employee coming from the outside then started to work with food without washing hands.” China Max got it together the next day to meet inspection standards.

▪ La Palapa Hondurena, 2699 Biscayne Blvd., Miami — On Sept. 29, the inspector found more roaches in this place than lies in a teenager’s mouth. Let’s see, there were approximately five live roaches moving and eight dead ones not moving under the three-compartment sink; 10-plus dead and another 10-plus crawling on a three-tier shelf that contains bags of cane sugar, unpeeled onions, unpeeled plantains and pork rinds in a sealed plastic container; five crawling on clean plates stored on shelves; one under a stove; one inside an oven; one crawling on a reach-in freezer door located by the ice machine storage area. That bug count alone could get a restaurant put in timeout for the day. But the inspector also noticed the license shows a 30-seat capacity and there were 93 seats in the house. A garbage can blocked the only handwash sink in the kitchen. The ice machine held that accumulation of black-green mold you hate to see. La Palapa got out of the penalty box the next day.

▪ Ms. Cheezious, 2517 NW 21st Ter., Miami — Inspectors put the brakes on this food truck Wednesday when the inspector found that the truck was operating without a license from the Division of Hotels and Restaurants. The inspector also found “seven live coaches under flat grill, three on floor under prep table, two inside a cabinet that has a bag with single service items, one inside a cabinet with chemicals inside.” Bring your own utensils because “No sanitizer of any kind available for warewashing.”

▪ Palantino Restaurant, 3004 NW Second Ave., Miami — They got zapped Oct. 10 for operating without a license and with a bunch of roaches. The inspector saw 10 live roaches behind frames on the wall in a hallway next to the kitchen; eight live roaches inside the kitchen where the silverware is stored; three live roaches around the kitchen hand wash sink; two live roaches crawling on a food storage container by the cook line and one live roach inside the reach in cooler located in the kitchen. And as far as dead bugs, “approximately 24 dead roaches around three-compartment sink in the dishwashing area. Also hundreds of dead roaches inside the kitchen area (under and behind the equipments), also around four dead roaches inside reach-in cooler located in the kitchen. The roach issue remained the next day when the inspector returned. An extension on getting the license was granted Oct. 12.

One place got Administrative Complaint Recommended, which means you can stay open, but they’ll be back the next day to check on your many violations.

▪ El Gran Inka, 3155 NE 163rd St., North Miami Beach — Some roaches here were all the way live — three in cookline stoves, two in coolers near the prep area — but most were all the way dead: “Approximately 35-49 dead roaches around ice machine, approximately 25-30 dead roaches near stoves located in cookline, approximately 10-15 dead roaches located in and out of cooler in prep area.” Also, a lot of food was stored well above 41 degrees Fahrenheit, such as beef, cooked yuca, cooked mushrooms, cooked potatoes and leeches. You could wash your hands at the handwashing sink, but there was nothing with which to dry them.

▪ Pollo Y Jarras, 115 NE Third Ave., Miami — The roach issue on Oct. 10 was confined to “five live roaches crawling on top of pipes above boxes containing lids, pots and pans in dry storage area, located in basement.” They also had a propane tank on a prep table under an orange squeezer. What they didn’t have was enough sanitizer to clean the utentils. Only eight violations and three High Priority ones. Now, for the Miami-Dade restaurants that got cited for live ones.

▪ China Buffet, 18690 NW 67th Ave., Miami — “One live roach by the disrepair ice machine near to the beverage station” seems less a commentary on this establishment than the meat grinder/saw, slicer blade and reach-in cooler shelves each “soiled with old food debris.”

▪ Señor Frog’s, 1450 Collins Ave., Miami Beach — Roach placement as metaphor: two live roaches on a wall above the three-compartment sink and one dead one under the three-compartment sink.

Dead Roaches Society

▪ Hings Chinese Takeout, 2156 NW Seventh St., Miami — Six dead roaches found in the restaurant.

▪ Hurricane Grill & Wings, 3201 N. Miami Ave., Miami — About 22 roach corpses spotted in the service area and two in the bar area.

▪ Rincon Catracho, 1025 NW 36th St., Miami — Four dead roaches were spotted inside kitchen area furniture.

▪ Subway, 9630 SW 24th St., Miami — One dead roach under soda equipment.

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