A Lincoln Road spot with a dead rodent, prep table poop: restaurant inspection fails

Spiders and old baba ghanoush join standbys rodents, flies and standing water on this week’s Sick and Shut Down List of restaurants that failed state inspection.

This week’s list is short on places, but not short on spectacular restaurant violations, so let’s get to the grim realities (and does it get grimmer than old baba ghanoush?)

What follows comes from Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation restaurant inspections. If you want to file a complaint about a restaurant, please don’t email us, but rather click here and express yourself. We don’t control who gets inspected or how strictly. We report without passion or prejudice, but with two dashes of humor.

In alphabetical order:

Anzo, 330 Clematis St., West Palm Beach: “Globe style light covers over tables in dining room filled with approximately 80 dead flies in light globes.”

That’s in addition to the “25 live flies at the front pasta station cooler, landing on cooler, take out containers above cooler, surrounding walls, empty pasta well and squeeze bottle of water. Approximately (36) live flies landing on sneeze guard at front counter hot side.”

Well, at least they’re not landing on the food. But about 10 were landing on fruit juice dispenser containers. The men’s restroom handwash sink had one dead fly. The women’s restroom handwash sink had two, but it didn’t have a “soiled wet wiping cloth on paper towel dispenser” as the men’s room did.

Maybe they landed on some of the ancient food. This was a Tuesday, Oct. 22 inspection. The walk-in had three pans of baba ganoush prepared 12 days earlier and five pans of red cabbage opened eight or nine days earlier. The six pans of red cabbage at the front counter definitely were nine days old.

Now, that might be fine for your grandmother’s refrigerator, but restaurant inspectors want leftovers left in the garbage after seven days, so these all got hit with Stop Sales, as did some oats, yogurt and rice pudding that was the victim of temperature abuse.

Several foods were at bad temperature and one of the thermometers, at the front pasta station, didn’t help. Being more than 20 degrees off, it clearly lacked reliability no matter where you stuck it.

The inspector just delivered a citation and a warning about the tzatziki, roasted beets and tomato sauce with no dates in the reach-in cooler.

When the inspector returned later in the day for a same day re-inspection, Anzo failed again. It passed Wednesday’s re-re-inspection.

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Finnegan’s 2, 942 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach: Who knew the furry sorts liked pub food and football (American version and Rest of the World version) so much?

In addition to the “approximately 40 droppings next to the reach-in cooler in the kitchen,” there was “one dead rodent inside employee restroom.”

Under the front counter at the bar, you could find standing water. Also, “floor soiled/has accumulation of debris. All around kitchen and bar.”

Finnegan’s 2 got rid of the evidence of rodent issues well enough to pass Thursday’s re-inspection.

Hungry Howie’s Pizza & Subs, 5 SW Ave. D, Belle Glade: Here’s a set of violations of such variety, it would make the old Kellogg’s Jumbo pack of little cereal boxes look positively homogeneous.

We’ve got rodents: about 166 poop pellets highlighted by 36 by the dough mixer and 10 on the front line counter/prep table. Now, that’s either one Ex-Lax’ed rodent or there are more running vermin than the “live rodent in the store room” the inspector saw.

(What’s the violation you don’t want to see with this one? “Cases of food stored on the floor of the walk-in cooler.”)

We’ve got crawly things, but not roaches: “Spiders and cobwebs in the storage room.” Wonder if the rodent ran into that.

Stop Sales: Salad with Feta cheese was kept at 69 degrees (needed to be at 41 or below), romaine lettuce at 71 degrees, eggs at 70 degrees. “Operator was aware cooler was not working.”

Uncool Unclean: “No dishwashing facilities of any kind provided. Three-compartment sink is not in working order at this time...” Though it lacked water pressure, it had enough to leak water on the floor. The handwashing sinks were blocked, used for cleaning lettuce or didn’t have any way of drying hands anyway (in the kitchen).

“Encrusted material on can opener blade.”

“Soiled dry wiping cloth in use.”

“Bathroom facility not clean.”

To quote Bond, “Shocking. Positively shocking.”

On the Thursday try again, the spiders and cob webs remained and there were 10 new droppings by the dough mixer along with 38 in other places. Neither the three-compartment sink nor the reach-in cooler worked yet.

Friday’s re-re-inspection didn’t have any more rodent reports, but the dirty shelves above the three-compartment sink remained soiled, the sink itself still leaked and the reach-in cooler still didn’t cool. But the inspector passed Hungry Howie’s in time for re-opening for the weekend traffic.

Since 1989, David J. Neal’s domain at the Miami Herald has expanded to include writing about Panthers (NHL and FIU), Dolphins, old school animation, food safety, fraud, naughty lawyers, bad doctors and all manner of breaking news. He drinks coladas whole. He does not work Indianapolis 500 Race Day.