Health Department Report: Food Trucks, St. John's, Skewers and More
If you had the over on the number of places the Health Department would inspect this week, you're probably a little unhappy; it's been a slow past few days. As for betting on the number of times Bears quarterback Jay Cutler puts on his cranky face when he goes against the Texans on Sunday night -- why don't you just bet on how beautiful a waterfall is, or how nice it feels to be in love? Or how long it takes us to get to an actual inspection report?
Inspectors did look at an unusual number of mobile spots this week; most did fine. First, the good. Koagie Hots got stuck with one violation: no hand-drying device near hand-washing sink. Flaming Patties also had just one violation: hand-washing sink not accessible at all times. Stick It got hit with one as well, for wall/ceiling not maintained in good repair.
The only terrible mobile performance came from Taqueria Alacran, a unit that mostly sticks to the east side/77011 ZIP code, according to the city. They were temporarily shut down after an inspector found a lack of hand-cleaning soap at one sink, at least; lack of hand-drying towels/devices; no Food Service Manager's Certification; employee handling ready-to-eat food without proper use of gloves, utensils or hand sanitizer; and one of the worst violations we've seen: "Establishment not removing (dead/trapped) (insects/rodents/pests) from premises at frequency that prevents the accumulation of pests." Not only are the pests there in unacceptable number, they're trapped and possibly still alive. Enjoy your lunch!
Someone complained about the kitchen at St. John the Divine (2450 River Oaks), but an inspector didn't find any issues. Here's a valid complaint: We used to have to go to non-denominational chapel there every week, and no one near as cool as Bill Murray's character from Rushmore ever spoke.
Another person (we hope it was another person, otherwise someone's 0-for-2) complained about Junction Bar & Grill (160 W. Gray). The only thing an inspector found was utensils/equipment/glassware not handled in a way that prevents contamination, but that was correct on site. Pretty good for a place that used to be called The Wet Spot.
Finally, Skewers (3991 Richmond) had a tough time, but didn't earn a citation or closure order. An inspector did find nine issues, including improperly designed or maintained equipment; raw animal foods not kept separate to avoid contamination; wall/ceiling not in good repair; food-contact surfaces/equipment/utensils not clean to sight and touch; and potentially hazardous food held at improper temperatures.
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