The only place to earn a Health Department citation this week was the CVS on 7950 S. Gessner, which got written up for one violation - no Food Dealer's Permit on hand. And this was a repeat. We had no idea that pre-packaged stuff from corporate distributors was even subject to inspection, but apparently you can never require enough permits. Either that or CVS started selling produce. Jesus, we're already kind of tired today, and this week's crop of reports is putting us to sleep. Bear with us, and here's hoping things get dirtier in the next couple weeks.
The kitchen at Blue Nile Ethiopian (9400 Richmond) earned no violations. The bar got hit with just one violation - no hand-drying device/towels located near at least one hand-washing sink. We had our first east African food here and have always had a soft spot for Blue Nile, so good for them.
In case you were wondering, Coco Loco (3700 Hillcroft) is clean! In one sense! Inspectors checked out the main bar and didn't turn up any problems. This place looks like it's out of business every time we drive past. This inspection is listed as a consultative visit, so maybe it was closed and the party is just getting started again. We do know the gas station down the street is always a party. We're pretty sure they're still selling now-illicit fake weed there, and some kind of pills called European Bars, which seems legit.
Thai Spice Buffett II (2520 S. Voss) had maybe the worst inspection this week, although unlike CVS, no ticket was issued. Their problems were no certified manager on duty; potentially hazardous food stored at improper temperatures; food stored in uncovered or unclean containers; outdoor garbage receptacles not kept covered; bulk food stored in unlabeled containers; no hand-drying device/towels located near at least one hand-washing sink; and potentially hazardous food stored in a fridge with no scaled thermometer. Minus the hand-drying thing, all of these describe our kitchen at home. Vargo's International (2401 Fondren) got hit with five violations, but they were about as tame as they come. Minor problems were: no shielding/shatter-resistant protection for artificial lights near food; sinks/soap dispensers/hand-drying devices not kept clean; stored utensils not covered; toilet room waste receptacles not covered; and improperly designed or maintained equipment or utensils.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.