Food & Dining

Too much rodent poop to count, flies and mold on fruit: restaurants failing inspection

Along with all matter of vermin, all parts of South Florida are represented on this week’s Sick and Shut Down List: Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe counties (Key West and roaches in the glue trap in the house!).

What follows comes from Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation restaurant inspections. We don’t control how strictly a place gets inspected, but we’re no longer letting egregious violations we see go unreported (just as you can report them here). We report without passion or prejudice, but with a side dish of humor.

In alphabetical order:

Caribbean Craft Restaurant, 1600 S. Dixie Hwy., Lake Worth — Those weren’t spilled peppercorns the inspector saw on the Friday drop-in.

“Droppings observed by water heater too many to count, behind chest freezer too many to count. Six droppings next to unisex restroom.”

Also, “rodent rub marks present along walls/ceilings. On pipes at ceiling above hand wash sink.”

Next to them, the three live roaches seem a relatively minor problem.

A Stop Sale got dropped on cooked spinach still way too warm (52 degrees) after a night in the cooler. Another Stop Sale got dropped on 25 bottles of Aperitif drink Mabi and eight bottles of Aperitif drink Lemonade that lacked invoices or anything saying its from an approved source.

This will get your kid refunding food at 1 a.m. “Raw pork being thawed at room temperature near three-compartment sink.”

Green Bag, 760 W. Sample Rd., Pompano Beach — The inspector spotted only five live roaches, but 22 dead ones, 12 of them on the floor under food prep tables and the three-compartment sink.

Did the dead ones try to get into all the food that got hit with the fusillade of Stop Sales?

That would be the cooked quinoa, egg whites, sour cream, corn and bean salad and butter.

Until the inspector came, there were no paper towels or mechanical hand device at the handwashing sink. Maybe people flapped their arms for drying.

“Interior of oven has heavy accumulation of black substance/grease/food debris.” Come on, people, one can of Easy Off, two rubber gloves, a few minutes in the morning.

There’s no online record of Green Bag passing a re-inspection or there even being a re-inspection for them to pass.

JB’s Philly Cheesesteaks, 400 SW 133rd Terr., Davie — Hmmm, only five violations, a relatively clean inspection for this food truck, so let’s see what...

“Establishment operating with no potable running water.”


A cooler didn’t work very well, resulting in the kind of cheese and hot dogs that might turn you off cheese or hot dogs for a while. But after the hot water deal, does that really matter?

JB’s got up off of that thing and passed a re-inspection Friday.

Patio Tipico, 4591 NW 36th St., Miami Springs — Of the eight live roaches, seven scurried around a stainless steel cooler without any food. Of the four dead roaches, one was in the liquor cabinet behind the bar (atta boy).

They couldn’t get to a handwashing sink because a fan was stored on top of it.

“Wood food-contact surface not properly sealed. Observed shelf above chest freezer with wood surface not sealed.” So, splinter seasoning?

“Floor soiled/has accumulation of debris. Throughout establishment.”

“Standing water in bottom of reach-in cooler” holding beer is fine for late in the tailgate. Not so much for a restaurant.

Patio Tipico rebounded to pass Thursday’s re-inspection.

Pretty Healthy, 17560 NW 27th Ave., North Miami-Dade — One of the nine live roaches was spotted coming out of the water heater. Then, there were the “three live roaches in brackets for shelves above food preparation table, next to packages of wraps and chicken seasoning.”

This seems pretty unhealthy: no hot water at the front area handwashing sink. That didn’t prevent the sandwich maker from washing his hands in that sink. No soap at the handwashing sink in the kitchen. No paper towels or hand blower machines at either one.

Standing water at the bottom of a reach-in cooler. A clean cutting board stored in the mop sink. A cutting board with Fabuloso flavoring?

The restaurant looked much healthier during Thursday’s re-inspection.

Shella’s Caribbean Bakery & Restaurant, 20725/27 NW Second Ave., North Miami-Dade — The warewashing area was befouled not only with standing water, but an “objectionable odor.”

In the walk-in cooler, the gaskets, 10 limes and 30 peppers had “mold-like growth.”

The reach-in cooler is broken, which is why Stop Sales rained like a South Florida summer afternoon storm on cut lettuce, pickly sauce, pickly and cooked griot.

Encrusted material on can opener blade and pots.

And, lastly, eight live roaches.

Shella’s passed Wednesday’s re-inspection.

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Sweet & Spice, 3408 University Dr., Sunrise — The flies have it. Six of them were chilling on cut ready to eat papaya near the buffet line. Four of them were landing on sanitized plates in dishwashing area, making them quite unsanitized.

Stop Sales got dropped on that papaya, two pounds of cooked rice that was still too warm after cooling overnight, cans of Chefs Quality Tomato Sauce, Sunfield Whole Baby Corn and Haldirams Rasqualla.

Sanitizing solution, for the wiping cloths and the warewashing, lacked chlorine sanitizer, so neither was sanitized for anybody’s protection.

Of course, those wiping cloths don’t seem to be used much anyway.

“Buildup of food debris/soil residue on equipment door handles.” “Soiled cutting (board) on prep table. Interior of microwave soiled.”

Sweet & Spice looked found Thursday’s re-inspection closer to nice.

Tong’s Garden Key West, 1458 Kennedy Dr., Key West — Points for knowing where to put the roach glue trap. Demerits for not cleaning the roach glue trap.

Of the at-least 23 live roaches, 15-plus were “on a glue trap located in front of the microwave.” Five of their pals made it under the microwave. One moseyed across a cookline’s cooler top. There were nine dead roaches elsewhere.

“Rodent bait not contained in a covered, tamper-resistant bait station. Observed rodent cage traps on a shelf next to oil.”

Now, you’ve got roaches, you think you might keep food covered. But, cut vegetables and egg rolls uncovered in the walk-in cooler and shrimp toast with no cover in the chest freezer.

Stop Sales dropped on fresh garlic in oil, cooked pork, dented black soy sauce cans.

They said they were serving “crab,” but there was no crab in the crab Rangoon.

Tong’s straightened up for Thursday’s re-inspection.

Villagio, 344 East Plata Real, Boca Raton — This week’s Amityville Award goes to Villagio with their “50 live flying insects in bar area. Observed one landing on napkins, stirrers and on a fruit container. Five live flying insects in pizza prep area landing on walls.”

“Employee touched raw veal then with the same hand handled cheese without washing hands first.”

Is that better or worse than “(Dishwasher) handled soiled dishes or utensils and then handled clean dishes or utensils without washing hands?”

And those dishes weren’t being sanitized until the chlorine sanitizer strength got corrected.

A number of foods, including cheese, butter, chicken and broccoli, were outside safe temperatures.

Villagio passed Friday’s re-inspection and got back open for the weekend.

Xixon, 2101 SW 22nd St., Miami — At the time of the complaint inspection, the restaurant was observed using a terrace as a temporary kitchen. They are currently operating with the following risk factors: food preparation, cooking, cold holding, hot holding, reheating and also dishwashing in an area that is not effectively against environmental cross contamination.

The original permitted kitchen of the establishment is undergoing plumbing renovations and is not usable at this time until repairs/renovations are completed.

No handwash sink for employees at temporary kitchen.

And that’s the main reason The X-Men and Women failed the Aug. 20 inspection and Wednesday’s re-inspection.

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.