Restaurant News & Reviews

An office in a bathroom? Sewage in a kitchen? Roaches in flour? Bad news for restaurants

Before we get going with this edition of the restaurants shut down after health inspections, we must ask: What’s up with all the flies?

Flies, flies, everywhere, flies. The air force of the insect world seems as prominent on this list as the usually dominant vermin infantry, rodents and roaches.

What follows comes from state inspections of restaurants that resulted in the establishment getting shut down for at least the rest of that day. We don’t control either who gets inspected or how strictly. We present this without passion or prejudice, but with humor as the icing.

In alphabetical order”

Blue Anchor, 801 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach — What do you want first from the Blue Anchor? The bad news or the worse news?

OK, we’ll start with the shut-down inspection from Oct. 24, when the inspector saw six fresh pieces of rodent poop under the dishwasher and rodent rub marks along a wall.

The flip-top coolers counted as flip-top flops, with Stop Sales dropped on pasta, tuna salad, boiled eggs and sausage. All were kept in flip-top coolers overnight, all were at too warm a temperature for safe serving.

Also, “In-use knife/knives stored in cracks between pieces of equipment at cook line.” How about management give somebody a few bucks to buy a utensil holder instead of being stuck in the dark alleys of grease, dust and food crumbs between equipment?

Blue Anchor rose on Oct. 25, then dropped on Wednesday, when it got inspected again. It wasn’t shut down, but a follow-up inspection was required.

Lowlights from that inspection were “both soda guns soiled at bar area” and another run of Stop Sales from flip-top cooler failure: sliced tomatoes, cheese, hard boiled eggs, cooked pasta.

Booby Trap on the River, 3615 NW South River Dr., Miami — More flies than sanitizer around the dishwashing machine on Nov. 2.

“Observed approximately five live flies flying in warewashing area where three-compartment sink, dishmachine and dry storage racks area (are) kept,” the inspector wrote. “Observed approximately eight live flies flying in kitchen/food preparation area. Observed flies landing on cutting boards, microwaves, kitchen utensils and prep counters within main kitchen.”

Some of the food at strip bar there was handled by tongs that were stored on the oven door handle. That’s a handle that’s often grabbed by hands that were supposed to be washed at the handwashing sink. That’s a handwashing sink without soap, paper towels or any hand-drying device.

Brooklyn’s Original Pizza, 3025 S. Federal Hwy., Delray Beach — Was that sausage on the floor back on Oct. 25?

No, that was “six fresh rodent droppings on the floor next to glass door reach-in cooler in the kitchen. Seven fresh rodent droppings on hallway floor behind kitchen, to the left of restroom. Two fresh droppings under storage shelf in hallway leading to walk-in cooler. 7 fresh rodent droppings on floor under steam table in kitchen.

Then, a hat trick of Stop Sales — mozzarella, ham and pasta — for being kept at too warm a temperature.

Nobody had proof of required state approved employee training provided nor did the manager have proper food manager certification. These problems remained on the Oct. 26 re-inspection.

Cafe South Beach, 121 Fifth St., Miami Beach — More flies, flies, everywhere flies: approximately 20 live flies in front food preparation area landing on tomatoes and croissants, approximately three live flies in dry storage room and approximately three live flies in restroom.”

So, the inspector had to hit the tomatoes and croissants with a Stop Sale “due to adulteration of food product.”

They went in the trash along with the knife block, which could no longer be used for knife storage as it was deemed “uncleanable.”

There was an “accumulation of black mold-like substance in the interior of the ice machine.” If you’re surprised, you’re new here. Welcome.

The front prep reach-in cooler was “soiled with accumulation of food residue.”

China Express, 5301 NE Second Ave., Miami — Here’s the bathroom office. Not the office bathroom, which can be disgusting enough. The bathroom office.

“A minimum of one bathroom facility is not available for public use. Observed establishment using it as an office and was told by the operator it was not accessible to guests.”

Actually, it was accessible to some unwanted, crawling guests, but they seemed happy to hang around the food. Guests such as 15 roaches under a 5-pound bag of onions on the kitchen floor, two roaches the inspector saw crawling from a flour container, two scurrying from inside a reach-in cooler and three crawling on a hallway wall. Also, “30 dead roaches on premises throughout the kitchen.”

So, looks like the “tracking powder pesticide used inside establishment throughout the kitchen,” can be considered as ineffective as it is illegal. The inspector crushed the bag of onions and the flour with Stop Sales.

And there’s no feelgood when the handwash sink can’t be used because a bucket and utensils are in the sink. Also, there wasn’t any soap. The inspector saw an “accumulation of food debris/soil residue” in the sink also, so how often was it getting used even when the soap was present and the bucket and utensils weren’t?

There’s also was a “build-up of mold-like substance on nonfood-contact surface by the three-compartment sink.”

And the restaurant needed some food-grade storage containers. It was cited for “rice storage in a garbage container.”

This was Nov. 1. They failed the Nov. 2 re-inspection. They got back open after the Nov. 3 re-inspection.

Chung Wah, 6017 S. Dixie Hwy, West Palm Beach — As the inspector watched, they moved bulk containers of rice and corn starch. And 20 live roaches scurried about. The same thing happened with 15 roaches when things were moved on a lower shelf under a food prep table.

Otherwise, there were live roaches behind the reach-in freezer, dead roaches in the reach-in freezer, live roaches under the three-compartment sink and dead roaches on storage room shelves.

What there wasn’t was hot water at the handwash sink. “The faucet was leaking so manager in charge turned it off.”

Also not warm enough: chicken soup. Stop Sale.

Chung Wah failed its callback inspection as the roaches, dead and alive, continued to be revealed when things got moved. For example, three roaches moving “under a bulk container on the prep table shelf in the kitchen.” The manager killed two live roaches on a tomato color container in front of the inspector.

Everybody could go to Chung Wah tonight after another re-inspection.

The Daily Creative Food Company, 2001 N. Biscayne Blvd., Miami — Apparently, flies have more adventurous palates than rodents and roaches, judging from who swarmed the Daily Creative Food Company.

“Observed approximately 20 live flies by the dishwasher machine area located at the prep and cook area, approximately 20 live flies on the dry storage ceiling , approximately 50 live flies on dry storage room by the exit door.”

A Stop Sale got dropped on cooked pork held overnight at too warm a temperature.

Walk-in cooler and/or walk-in freezer shelves soiled with encrusted food debris.

“Employee touched soiled apron/clothes and then engaged in food preparation, handled clean equipment or utensils, or touched unwrapped single-service items without washing hands.”

Inside the ice machine, there lime scale had accumulated.

Fernandy’s Cafe, 1110 White St., Key West — The inspector spotted five roaches crawling inside of a torn reach-in cooler gasket in the prep kitchen.

Fernandy also got cited for “plumbing system in disrepair .. .the triple sink spray hose and the faucet were repaired with tape. Whether the tape was duct, masking or Scotch wasn’t clarified and it might not matter for citation, but we all know it matters for effect. You can send things into space with a hole sealed by good duct tape.

Beans and soup were thawing on a prep kitchen counter, beckoning bacteria.

Sawgrass Lanes, 8501 N. University Dr., Tamarac — Halloween is an ill time to roll a gutter ball on your inspection. But there’s never a good time for an inspector to see “30 fresh rodent droppings under the ice bin at the soda machine in front counter area/cookline/prep area.”

Hot water seemed an issue. There wasn’t any running at the three-compartment sink and the water got to only 72 degrees in the bar area.

Stop us if you’ve heard this before: “Accumulation of black/green mold-like substance in the interior of the ice machine.”

Also, the cooling equipment seemed, as they say, tore up from the floor up. “Torn gaskets at the reach-in freezer in the front of cookline. Lid in disrepair in front counter area chest freezer and in dry storage room chest freezer nearest to ice machine area.”

Simon Restaurant and Catering, 15042 NW Seventh Ave., North Miami-Dade — A long week at Simon started Oct. 30 with sewage on the floor.

It actually started with dishes not clean enough for serving. “Food-contact surfaces not sanitized after cleaning, before use...Observed employee washing dishes without sanitizing step.”

And, then, as an employee tried to set up a sanitizing step, “Observed wastewater backing up from the floor drain located under three- compartment sink in the kitchen area...After closing the faucet and cleaned the area, water stayed on the drain floor.”

Put that with “observed employee washing dishes and then, prepping food without handwashing.”

Also, “handwash sink not accessible for employee use due to being blocked by a fan and some other boxes.”

Handwashing is the early line of defense against the spread of foodborne illness. But at Simon, there was no cold water at the handwash sink at the front and no soap or towels for the handwash sink in the kitchen.

All this did not obscure a “dead rodent under shelving in dry storage contiguous to the kitchen area.”

Or, “a live roach inside an empty food container in dry storage area” or “approximately 12 live roaches crawling under mixer in the kitchen area” or “approximately five dead roaches in the corner of dry storage shelf.” Where there weren’t roaches or their corpses, marks could still be left: “approximately 30 roach excrements on dry storage shelf, under shelves and by the water heater located in dry storage.”

When the inspector returned on Oct. 31, there was evidence of roaches (approximately 20 roach excrement and/or droppings present inside reach in cooler by kitchen door entrance) and roaches chilling, literally (seven live roaches inside reach-in cooler by door to kitchen). Also “observed one live roach on wall above food preparation area.” He must have been the lookout.

Upon return Nov. 1, there were another 20 pieces of roach excrement around a water heater and on dry storage area shelves. And two live roaches under a box in dry storage.

Simon finally got back open Nov. 2.

A Tasty Meal, 12221 Pembroke Rd., Pembroke Pines — Flies and open infections don’t make A Tasty Meal, but, rather, closed it on Oct. 29.

A worker with an infected sore/cut/burn/wound on his elbow worked “without a dry cover on the wound was handling food, clean equipment or utensils, or unwrapped single-service items.”

But what kept the inspector really busy was keeping track of the flies: “20 live flies flying around in dry storage area and landing on unopened packages of food and food contact surfaces....10 live flies landing on sanitized utensils in dishwashing area .. .15 live flies landing on clean pots in dishwashing area. (rewashing occurred)...five live flies landing on packaged rolls in prep/packaging area...five live flies landing on container with cookies in the prep/packaging area.”

For those who got takeout: “Five live flies landing on wall and carry out tin foil containers on shelf in prep area next to the three-compartment sink.”

Beyond that, there were “three live flies in the walk-in live flies on wall and rack by cookline .. .10 live flies landing on wall and ice machine next to walk-in coolers...20 live flies on wall and flying around in hot box-storage area.”

And that’s with an “accumulation of dead insects, other pests, in control devices — 28 in tin foil container on table area next to the three-compartment sink.”

Vinnie Lobster Bar, 5810 S. University Dr., Davie — Vinnie Lobster passed an inspection cleanly Wednesday. But on Oct. 22, the roaches ran and Stop Sales rained on too-warm food.

As for the invading caravan of bugs, “12 live roaches by the Spartan reach-in cooler and 14 live roaches by the Magic Chef chest freezer” survived while “16 dead roaches behind the ice machine” and “11 dead roaches below the dry storage rack next to the ice machine” didn’t make it.

What also didn’t make it after a flurry of Stop Sales were the clam soup, white clam soup, bean soup, francaise sauce and lobster bisque, none of which were properly cooled to 41 degrees Fahrenheit.

Among the soups and sauces that didn’t get thrown out, there were some cooked three days before (the staff thought) that weren’t date marked in the reach-in cooler.

The phrase “throughout establishment” accompanied a few citations on the inspection. Such as “Interior of oven has heavy accumulation of black substance/grease/food debris. Encrusted material on can opener blade. Interior of reach-in cooler soiled with accumulation of food residue. Throughout establishment.”

And “Gaskets with slimy/mold-like build-up. Throughout the establishment. Buildup of food debris/soil residue on equipment door handles. Throughout establishment. Accumulation of food debris/soil residue on the handwash sink. Food debris/dust/soil residue on the dry storage shelves.”

Now, to the ice machine. You know what’s coming .. .”Accumulation of black/green mold-like substance in the interior of the ice machine.”

Wingmania of Homestead, 28600 SW 137th Ave., Homestead — Roaches crawling about the kitchen seemed the main problem on Oct. 24.

There’s two behind the chest freezer, one under the handwashing sink, one next to a fryer, one on a reach-in cooler hinge, one on a wall, one under a dry storage shelf. And a trio of dead roaches elsewhere.

The inspector saw “old encrusted food on a dicer stored on the bottom shelf of prep table” and “garbage not placed in a receptacle for storage until pick up to make the garbage inaccessible to insects and rodents.”

So, when the inspector came back two days later, in addition to more roaches on hinges, what was there?

“Old encrusted food on dicer on wall” and “bagged garbage and empty boxes next to dumpster.”

Wingmania finally figured it out Oct. 30.