Health Department Roundup
We wanted to focus on Cuban restaurants for the roundup, in honor of Elian Gonzalez's 18th birthday week. There weren't any Cuban restaurants on this week's list, though, so we're just looking at Hispanic places, and we're really just doing that because more than half of the places that were cited or closed or both this week fall under that category. Life finds a way.
Mobile unit Taqueria San Luis y Zacatecas (8800 Jensen) earned only three violations, but they were bad ones. After a complaint, inspectors found the operator was not providing enough drinking water and did not have proof that the unit was serviced by a commissary. Worse, the report states "Food establishment owner/operator/person-in-charge resumed operation before condition(s) responsible for ceasing operations no longer exist." Real Talk: The city closed them down, and they reopened their shit without the city's permission. Not surprising that a citation was issued.
The bakery at Taqueria San Luis (6028 Gulfton, probably no relation to the previous San Luis) was closed temporarily but not cited after inspectors found crusted grease deposits/accumulated soil, litter/clutter/unused equipment stored on premises, insufficient pest-control measures, improperly constructed floors, and food that was either mislabeled or spoiled. Although it's not mentioned we're guessing they also found the Mexican pastries a little dry.
Taqueria Mi Ilusion (6507 Chimney Rock) was cited but not closed. It had the same grease/soil deposit issue, the same pest control issue and the floor-construction problem. It raised San Luis though by a wall/ceiling in disrepair and an employee not wearing proper hair covering. And today we learned that "Ilusion" is Spanish for "dream" or "wish," and not "trick," which everyone knows is something a whore does for money.
El Pupusaton (6655 Ashcroft) got hit with nine violations and a citation after a routine inspection. Violations included potentially hazardous food not held at the proper temperature; an ice machine not set up to prevent contamination of ice; accumulations on vent filters; dust/dirt/food particles/debris present on equipment; food being thawed improperly; and no manager with proper certification on duty.
Inspectors hit Cocina Latina (5920 Bellaire) with eight violations and a citation this week. Their issues included food held at improper temperatures; food-contact surfaces of equipment not sanitized after interruptions in service; no sneeze-guard at the salad bar/display case; buffet not monitored by certified employee; no notification given to diners that they must use fresh plates and utensils when they return to self-service areas for additional food; and no Food Service Manager's Certification.
Chain Bust of the Week: Someone complained about the Subway at 1901 Taylor, and inspectors uncovered three violations, enough for a citation. Those violations were food-contact surfaces of equipment not sanitized after interruptions in service; food not stored at least six inches off the floor; and an employee not wearing proper hair covering. Not sure how that's enough to write a ticket, but the largest single-brand restaurant chain in the world can probably afford it.
Get the Dining Newsletter
The week's top local food news and events, plus interviews with chefs and restaurant owners, dining tips, and a peek at our print review.