Health Department Roundup: Crawfish and Opposites

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If you're looking for crawfish, a couple local places did well during inspections.

LA Crawfish (1005 Blalock) earned just two violations during a recent re-inspection. One of those was hand-washing signs not posted as required, a pretty mild infraction that would not even be a requirement if Ron Paul Swanson were king. The second violation was corrected on site and had something to do with the wrong kind of utensil in the wrong slot of the dishwasher. Do you keep all your utensils in separate slots when you run your dishwasher at home? Do you even wash them as well as you should before dropping them in there? Also, you're about to eat an animal that's called a "mudbug" and tastes better when it's been forced to puke prior to being boiled. So let's just call this place clean and move on.

Crawfish & Noodles (11360 Bellaire) had three violations, but they were similarly insubstantial. For one, there were no signs saying you can't smoke in the restaurant, in Houston, where people are already well aware that there is no smoking in restaurants and even if they aren't there are no ashtrays or other smokers. You'd think they'd get the idea. Do we also need signs that say "You may be at the corner of Westheimer and Montrose but you are not allowed to shoot up in the bathroom of this establishment"? Well, we don't need them anymore, because that Taco C. closed up shop and doing dope in a Smoothie King is kind of a bummer. Anyway, the other two violations were both corrected on site and had to do with a dirty floor and a dirty sink, or soap dispenser. Enjoy your crawfish. And noodles. And fried food and frog's legs and everything else this place offers.

On the dirtier side, a couple of places that seem like opposites recently shared similar problems with the Health Department.

The Strip House (1200 McKinney) is a masculine place where you can look at pictures of scantily clad women (more Bellocq than Bust) while you eat pricey pieces of meat. The former is sort of cheesy, but the latter might be good enough to ignore the fact that the steakhouse had inspection issues. The city tallied eight violations, including food in sealed containers not prepared in a proper processing facility; potentially hazardous food not held at proper temperatures; and food-contact surfaces not cleaned often enough throughout the day.

The much daintier Flora and Muse (12860 Queensbury) also earned eight violations, plus a citation. Their issues included food being stored in unclean or uncovered containers (corrected on site); kitchenware/food-contact surfaces not washed often enough to prevent potential contamination; soap not available at all hand-washing sinks (corrected on site); at least one employee did not wash his or her hands when required; and no one on hand with a Food Service Manager's Certification.

Nice Thought of the Week: It's baseball season right now and the Astros are not yet stuck in the basement of a division that also includes the Pirates. Reason enough to celebrate.

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