Health Department Roundup: Bad Day at a Tortilleria, and the Montrose/Midtown Question
It's hard to define exactly when an inspection turns bad, but like Potter Stewart said, you know it when you see it. And El Maizito Tortilleria (4912 Airline) had a bad time. Seventeen violations lead to a citation; it might be a good idea to get your tortillas somewhere else for a bit. Issues there included: no Food Service Manager's Certification; foods not labeled according to law; potentially hazardous food held at improper temperature; food stored too close to the floor; potentially hazardous food not marked with a disposal date; employees not using proper hand-washing measures; poorly designed or maintained equipment; wiping cloths used improperly; equipment, utensils or single-use articles stored near a source of contamination; insufficient ventilation; and single-use articles being used more than once.
A little farther up the street, the Jack in the Box at 7045 Airline got cited after an inspector found potentially hazardous food that had been held past its prime or not make with a disposal time at all; employees not using proper hand-washing methods; poorly designed or maintained equipment; and no Food Service Manager's Certification. Try the tacos, they're deep-fried and vegetarian-friendly (so we used to hear).
B & J Cake Shoppe, at bakery at 3500 Castor east of Garden Oaks/Oak Forest, got shut down (but not ticketed) after an inspection turned up no Food Dealer's Permit; poorly designed or maintained equipment; wiping cloths used improperly; and a general Article II violation.
Hungry Farmer BBQ (40 E. Crosstimbers) didn't have a great inspection but managed to avoid a ticket or closure. Their issues included no Food Service Manager's Certification; effective pest-control measures not utilized; potentially hazardous food not marked with disposal date; equipment/utensils/glassware/plates not handled in way that prevents contamination; and toilet room with not closing/tight-fitting doors.
Taco truck Taqueria El Poblano (8138 Long Point) got doubled up with a citation and a closure order after an inspector found eight violations. Those included openings to the outside not protected against the entrance of insects; mobile food unit not providing written notice of location change; no proof of permission from property owner for mobile unit to operate on premises; no proof of adequate restrooms within 500 feet of mobile food unit (that's 1.66 football fields, or roughly five times farther than Matt Schaub can throw a bomb with any degree of accuracy); and no thermometer to measure temperature where potentially hazardous food is stored.
Finally, the former location of West Gray Café (415 W. Gray) had a change-of-ownership inspection (no violations). The name listed is Midtown Bar & Grill. Silly as it might be, whether you refer to those nether regions as Midtown or Montrose actually says a lot about who you identify with. The choice of the former significantly increases the chance that valet parking will be involved. (Also, guys, it's Montrose. Sorry.)
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Houston dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.