Health Department Roundup

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Watching the New Hampshire Republican debates got us thinking feeling that maybe all this regulation nonsense is just preventing local restaurant owners from realizing their full economic potential. On the other hand, what would happen to our China's hairnet industry if health departments were put out of business? And a better question -- can you even imagine Newt Gingrich making love? The horror.

Shah Food Mart (9042 Dexter) had one of the worst inspections of the last week, tallying 12 violations and a temporary closure (but no citation reported, and we've given up on even trying to understand the city's logic). Violations included no Food Dealer's Permit or Food Service Manager's Certification; operating a frozen dessert establishment without the proper permits for a mobile operation; mislabeled food; failure to provide water at 110 degrees Fahrenheit; and a host of violations relating to hand-washing sinks. If history is any indication, this closure came as a surprise, and the resulting power vacuum at 9042 Dexter will allow a new place to step in. If the owner names it Khomeini's we will fire our Russian assault rifle into the air in celebration. It'll be just like New Year's Eve in New Orleans.

The Hideaway (3122 Dunvale) is known in part for its blues jam/steak night, and their recent inspection may affect the second part of that event. Inspectors cited the kitchen of the west-side bar for the following violations: no Food Dealer's Permit; moist cloths used to clean inappropriate surfaces; employees handling food without the proper gloves or hand sanitation; floors in disrepair; and employee drinking out of an open container at an inappropriate place. Inappropriate as in a Coke near food in the kitchen, not as in a High Life tall boy near the dressing rooms at Forever 21. Though that is inappropriate as well. Apparently.

El Patio Restaurant & Club (6444 Westheimer) was temporarily closed for only four violations, and one of those was failure to conform to Article II, which as far as we can tell is an extra violation for having violations. The other three were: the moist cloth thing; failure to provide water at 110 degrees Fahrenheit; and, probably the kicker here, "Food not protected from potential contamination by dust/dirt/unclean equipment/utensils/coughs/sneezes/insects/rodents/flooding/drainage/drippage from condensation/overhead leakage/unnecessary handling/toxic materials/damaged/" [sic, sick].

El Taco Tote (6154 Westheimer) also earned a violation but no closure. Their five violations were the moist cloth thing (damn, the city really has it out for these moist cloths); hand-washing sinks not providing hot enough water; no Food Service Manager's Certification; food stored in unclean or uncovered containers; and an ice machine not operated in a way that prevents contamination.

And with that last entry, we're pouring one out for Marvin Z. and calling it a week.

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