Health Department Roundup

Health Department Roundup: China Wok, Hubcap, El Real and Trucker Drama

This week's reports show only three citations and no closures. And to make things less exciting, one of those citations was issued to a Sharpstown Valero. Eating gas station food is like wingsuit flying or trying heroin just once. If things go bad, you have no one to blame but yourself.

China Wok (1214 W. 43rd) earned a citation for ten violations, the worst of which included dirty vent filters; spoiled, unsafe or mislabeled food; poorly designed or maintained equipment or utensils; food not protected from potential contamination; unapproved pesticide used; and equipment, utensils or glassware not handled in a way that prevents contamination. China Wok also got written up for "Food employee with partial or complete absence of scalp hair not wearing an effective hair restraint while handling food/utensils." Not sure if that's poorly worded or if the Health Department wants to rub in the fact that even completely bald guys have to wear hairnets, because deal with it, that's why.

The third citation went to Amigo's Meat Market (10410 W. Bellfort), where inspectors found ten violations. Highlights: dirty floors; dirty outdoor storage areas; refuse receptacles without proper drain plugs; dirty non-food-contact surfaces; improperly used or insufficiently sanitized moist cleaning cloths; and food service manager lacking proper certification.

Ninfa's in the tunnels (1200 McKinney) escaped citation but earned seven violations, including poorly designed or maintained equipment or utensils; food-contact surfaces of equipment and utensils not cleaned at least every four hours; and improperly used or insufficiently sanitized moist cleaning cloths.

On the downtown surface world, Hubcap Grill (1111 Prairie) had a better time. Inspectors wrote the burger shack up for just four violations: hand-washing sink not accessible to employees at all times (no room at the inn for a new sink, sorry); missing hand-cleaning soap; dirty vent filters; and a container stored too close to the floor.

El Real (1201 Westheimer) -- which rivals Anvil's ability to generate online bitching among fans and detractors -- earned five violations during an inspection last week. Issues included ice machine not set up in a way that prevents contamination; poorly designed or maintained equipment or utensils; potentially hazardous food in cold storage not maintained at 41 degrees Fahrenheit; container stored too close to the floor; and food service manager lacking proper certification.

Truckers Paradise (9221 Wallisville) didn't have any health code problems during a recent consultative visit from a sanitarian. It did have Internet problems five years ago, however, when Fedxguy1951 of had this to say:

It is run by a bunch of "########" that think they can talk down to people and try to get away with it everyday. Im gonna be so happy when they talk to the wrong trucker the way they do and get a good Texas ### whuppn..What really hurt my heart was that I was in there once,and the sign on the pump advertised that with every fillup you'd get a free giant drink. Well this trucker just finished filling his tanks and paid his $450.00 bucks and asked for his free drink. Man, you'd have thought he asked this "#######" to get his wife to show him her #####. He yelled at him that, that was an old sign and he wasnt going to get anything free in his store,now or ever. I looked at the trucker and said, Man, I'd be proud to buy you a drink and a snack if you'd allow me too. The trucker said, thx, but it's not about the money. I agreed with him and in front of old Mohammad, I told him if I were him to never stop in here again and spread the word about these guys..

So if you see a thousand screamin' trucks and 11 longhaired friends of Jesus in a chartreuse Microbus barreling down Old Highway 90, it probably means another trucker was denied his giant drink and a Texas ass-whuppin' is about to go down.

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Blake Whitaker
Contact: Blake Whitaker