Restaurant News & Reviews

All it took is one ugly roach to get these restaurants in trouble

A statewide look at Florida’s top restaurant violations

Routine, unannounced restaurant inspections ensure food retail establishments are in compliance with state sanitation and food safety procedures. These are the top ten violations found between 2015-16 in Florida restaurant kitchens.
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Routine, unannounced restaurant inspections ensure food retail establishments are in compliance with state sanitation and food safety procedures. These are the top ten violations found between 2015-16 in Florida restaurant kitchens.

Perhaps South Florida’s roaches changed to a Lone Wolf approach last month. Roaches don’t seem to be running in groups recently.

Of the 13 Miami-Dade restaurants cited for live roaches, seven were for a single bug.

Is some beef shattering roach unity? Did the recent cold snap knock off a few roaches?

Much like the number of roaches, the number of places on the Roach Report has fallen this month. State inspectors remain on the job, but we’ve stopped listing the restaurants cited only for dead roaches. If an establishment is on the list, they’ve got some live bugs.

The Roach Report comes straight from state restaurant inspection reports without passion or prejudice (but, hopefully with humor). We don’t control whom they inspect, when or how closely they hew to the letter of the law.

That said, let’s start with the places that got red-flagged partially because they could have used more Black Flag.

▪ Bon Bagay Seafood & Grill, 13731 NW Seventh Ave., North Miami — You might be bothered by what the inspector found on Jan. 23, aside from the “approximately 10-12 live roaches found in a non-working warmer in the kitchen area.”

For example, no sanitizer was being used to clean the equipment or utensils. And all film buffs love the Copacabana entrance through the kitchen in “GoodFellas,” but there’s a limit to kitchen traffic. Such as when the “only means for public to access the bathroom is through a food preparation, ware washing, or food storage area.”

After being shut down on Jan. 23, Bon Bagay passed the Jan. 24 re-inspection.

▪ Caribbean Delite, 9491 SW 160th St., South Miami-Dade — This was one of the roachiest places on this Roach Report, with seven live ones and six dead ones under the prep table; one running behind the grill oven; one twitching on top of a black refrigerator; two dancing on kitchen shelves; four dead in the lobby area; and a massacre, 20 dead, in the bathroom hallway next to storage containers.

Also, worrisome: a cutting board stored on the floor in the back area and clean utensils stored in a dirty drawer or rack. Oh, and the mixer head? There was “an accumulation of encrusted food debris on/around” it.

This was on Jan. 23. They were back in business after the Jan. 24 re-inspection.

▪ House of Flavor, 13737 NW Seventh Ave., North Miami-Dade — This house was not clean on Jan. 24.

Start with five live roaches found throughout the kitchen. Then there’s the whole handwashing thing. There was no soap, paper towels or mechanical hand dryer at the handwash sink.

Butter is supposed to be kept cold, of course. Instead of 41 degrees or below, as required, this butter was at 76 degrees after just sitting on the prep table. Also, they were thawing chicken at room temperature.

The inspector saw soil residue in the rice container. The reach-in cooler’s insides were “soiled with accumulation of food residue.”

They got their house together to pass the Jan. 25 re-inspection.

▪ Sabor Playa, 7315 Collins Ave., Miami Beach — What’s the most disturbing part of this Jan. 9 inspection?

The roach count? “Five live roaches under the handwash sink area/three-compartment sink. One crawling on the wall, one crawling on the floor by the stove, one in the crevices of the reach-in cooler.”

Or this? “Hot water supply not maintained during peak periods.”

How about this? “Employee washed hands with no soap,” which he had to do because there were no soap, paper towels or hand dryers at the handwash sink.

How about this, too? “Soil residue in food storage containers. Flour, sugar, etc.”

Sabor got everything corrected and reopened Jan. 10.

A couple of chains got “Administrative Complaint Recommended,” which means the inspector won’t shut you down, but he’s within a sideways glance of doing so and will be back the next day to check on your problems.

▪ Pollo Tropical, 8700 Bird Rd., West Miami-Dade — One live roach at the front counter.

▪ Wendy’s, 19650 NW Second Ave., North Miami-Dade — One live roach between equipment at the front counter.

Now, we get to the places with live roaches, but not enough to put the restaurant in danger of being shut down.

▪ American Dreams Restaurant Cop, 800 Ali Baba Ave., Opa-locka — One roach in the reach-in cooler, not in use in bar area.

▪ Black Sheep, 1884 79th St. Causeway, North Bay Village — One roach in a non-working ice machine.

▪ Dairy Queen, 4040 SW 67th Ave., South Miami-Dade — Two roaches inside the handsink cabinet in the middle of the kitchen.

▪ Friend’s Coffee, 7434 SW 48th St., Miami —One roach by the bathroom door and one by the dry storage area under a preparation table.

▪ Muncheez, 6640 Collins Ave., Miami Beach — One roach next to heating warmer.

▪ Norman’s Tavern, 6766 Collins Ave., Miami Beach — One roach in the kitchen area.

▪ Sabor of Latin America, 1880 79th St. Causeway, North Bay Village — Four to five live roaches hanging out in a non-working reach-in cooler in the kitchen area.

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