Roach on the stove, moldy meatballs and quinoa: Miami to Palm Beach restaurant issues

·6 min read

The Sick and Shut Down List of South Florida restaurants that failed inspection doesn’t have the length the last few weeks’ lists, but it does have a roach dropping on an inspector’s hand and one restaurant in which Pixie & Dixie dropped tiny loads in the dining room.

So, let’s get to it.

WITHOUT RULES, THERE’S CHAOS! THIS IS CHAOS PREVENTION: What follows comes from Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation restaurant inspections in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe counties. A restaurant that fails state inspection remains closed until passing re-inspection.

If you see a problem and want a place inspected, contact the DBPR. Do not call us. Do not email us. We don’t control who gets inspected nor how strictly the inspector inspects. Let us say that again — we do not control who gets inspected.

We don’t include all violations, just the most moving, whether internally or literally moving (because it’s alive or once was alive). Some violations get corrected after the inspector points them out. But, you have to ask, why do the violations exist in the first place? And how long would they have remained if not for the inspection?

We report without passion or prejudice but with humor sauce.

In alphabetical order:

El Tiburon USA at the Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop, 3291 W. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale: Routine inspection, 14 total violations, three High Priority violations.

Love the play-by-play from the inspector as El Tiburon’s manager dealt with the flies.

“One dead fly inside the fresh fish display case in kitchen. Operator removed fly and sanitized case. One live fly landing on to-go containers. Operator discarded tray. Eight flying flies in kitchen landing on cutting boards, preparation tables, food covers. Operator unable to kill.”

Now, we get to the shoe bottom stuff, as in “bathroom facility not clean. Observed toilet paper all over the floor. Sinks dirty. Swap Shop was notified” and “Kitchen floor area(s) covered with standing water.”

All that filth, you kind of what your three-compartment sink sanitizing stuff. Sanitizing strength: zero.

After the Oct. 15 re-inspection, there was “Follow-up Inspection Required.” There’s no online notation of that follow-up.

The 37-state salmonella outbreak that might make you toss your onions (in the trash)

Flavor of India Restaurant, 1516 N. Dixie Hwy., Lake Worth: Routine inspection. Nine total violations, two High Priority violations.

Inspectors can count flies on the move like most people can count fingers. So, imagine how many roaches there have to be for them to throw out the give up “too many to count.”

In the listing of live roach packs, there was “25-plus in plastic film wrap box on prep table across from the walk-in cooler, 25-plus (too many to count) under white chest freezer in same area...”

There were 13 others scurrying about.

“Accumulation of lime scale on the inside of the dishmachine.”

“Food-contact surface soiled with food debris, mold-like substance or slime. Can opener blade soiled.” A moment in which “food debris” is the best case scenario.

No way to dry hands at the handwashing sink in the men’s restroom and the hot water knob not turning at the handwashing sink by the dishwasher says this is not a place to be high-fiving folks.

Flavor failed a re-inspection (more roaches or the same ones doing an encore) before passing a second re-inspection.

Food product sold only at Costco recalled in 13 states because plastic might be in the food

Notico, 3725 Lake Worth Rd., Palm Springs: Complaint inspection, four total inspections, one High Priority inspection.

After a failed inspection in September — roaches, not enough light — a complaint brought the inspector back to darken Notico’s door and day.

One roach was on the stove. That wasn’t hot enough for two others, who the inspector saw walk in the oven door. One of the roaches was walking into the kitchen via the wall. Another couple met at the coffee machine. But the two near the electrical box over the three-compartment sink? You know they were up to something.

Maybe they had something to do with the two dead roaches.

“Floor soiled/has accumulation of debris. In between kitchen equipment.” At least they weren’t storing in-use utensils there. Hate that.

A six-day gap before Monday’s re-inspection wasn’t enough for Notico to convince the roaches at least to hide. They got back open after Tuesday’s re-inspection.

Prestige Restaurant and Bakery, 21435 NW Second Ave., Miami Gardens: Routine inspection, 24 total violations, six High Priority violations.

Time to play this week’s version of Which is Worse?

Showcase Violation No. 1? “Approximately 20-plus rodent droppings in the dining area.” Those are some impudent rodents, not like the ones who left their business behind a front counter ice machine.

Showcase Violation No. 2? “Observed molded, undated cooked beans, cooked chicken and meatballs in the reach in cooler.”

The latter got hit with a Stop Sale, as did the pan of dough wrapped in a garbage bag in the reach-in cooler.

Over eight flies landed on “pans of plantains and flour sitting on the prep table in the kitchen” and another 7-plus were in a grease trap (clean your traps, people). A food cart was the playground for 10-plus flies.

“Observed kitchen and dining room floor is soiled.” Well, duh on the dining room, seeing as how the rodent poop was there for the inspector to see.

“Observed interior of oven/microwave has accumulation of black substance/food debris and grease.” Black? They didn’t get out the 409 and Bounty just when it starts to get a little yellow?

Prestige looked pedestrian on two re-inspections before coming correct on Tuesday.

Zest Restaurant & Zest Market, 200 S. Biscayne Blvd., Miami: Complaint inspection, 35 total violations, six High Priority violations.

Quinoa, cooked chicken soup and two red tomatoes all got smacked with Stop Sales for “mold-like growth.” No surprise, seeing as how the chicken soup had been there nine days and the quinoa had been there two months and two weeks, since Aug. 1.

Of the over 60 roaches the inspector counted, over 20 were “crawling on the floor and in and out of a wall underneath a container of Fondue,” another one was on a prep table and over 25 were “on the floor in the front stock area underneath the three-compartment sink.”

But the roach who got major love from his pals, if he survived the experience, was the one that dropped “in the hand of the inspector when pumping soap from the soap dispenser by the three-compartment sink in the backup prep area.”

Over 70 dead roaches. “Observed on a rack in the back up prep area: approximately 4-plus dead roaches inside a pitcher.”

All this bug activity and “Food-contact surfaces not sanitized after cleaning and before use.”

“Standing water in the bottom of the reach-in cooler.” Which one? “Observed all reach-in coolers in the bakery area, and in front of the cook line with dirty soiled water.”

Over the in Pointless Zone, “Clean utensils or equipment stored in dirty drawer or rack.”

Knew we couldn’t make a week without “Accumulation of black/green mold-like substance in the interior of the ice machine/bin.”

Zest’s Monday re-inspection still says “Follow-up inspection required.”

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