Health Department Roundup

Health Department Roundup: Heights Edition

Last week there weren't too many reports to work with; this week, for some reason, there are enough health inspections online to focus on individual parts of town and not run out of material. So this week's roundup will spotlight the Heights and nearby areas. No reason, really. Maybe we subconsciously wish we drove a Subaru.

(None of the following received citations.) Antidote Coffee (729 Studewood), sister of Poison Girl, got stuck with five violations last week. The manager did not have the proper certification; openings to the outside were not protected against insects (repeat); the hand-washing sink was not accessible to employees at all times; the grounds were not kept free of litter/unnecessary equipment; and there was no accurate thermometer to measure the temperature in a refrigerated area that stored potentially hazardous food (repeat). Antidote's a quality neighborhood coffee shop that's nice enough to serve beer. Somebody buy the owners a thermometer.

Happy All Café (1343 Yale) also scored five violations during a recent inspection. Those included fans that were dirty or not easily cleaned; employee lockers located in an unapproved area (corrected on site); non-food-contact surfaces that showed accumulated dust or dirt; an employee not wearing the proper hair restraint (corrected on site); and food that wasn't properly protected from contamination.

Pappa Geno's (1801 Ella) isn't actually in the Heights -- more like Timbergrove -- but close enough for our purposes. What wasn't close enough for health inspectors: the number of waste receptacles with proper covers in the bathroom (zero); toilet rooms with tight-fitting doors (zero); clean outside storage areas (none, according to inspectors); clean walls/ceilings (you've probably sensed a pattern by this point); and dirty vents (pattern busted - at least one). You think if you went to Philly they'd bother to offer clean vents and tight-fitting toilet-doors? If you're coming to Pappa Geno's -- and Katharine Shilcutt thinks you should -- you're probably eating beef smothered with either cheese from a can or provolone, don't pretend like you care about dirty vents.

Dry Creek Café (544 Yale) got written up for four violations, but the most serious one - food that was vulnerable to contamination via a number of nasty ways - was corrected on site, so feel free to continue going to this place and pretending you're in Austin for some reason.

Tie-in of the Week: For this week's feature, Craig Malisow looks at the game rooms that operate all over the Houston area with relative impunity. Impunity from law enforcement, that is -- even these slot havens are not above the reach of the health department's curious fingers. The Lucky Pot Game Room (12430 Galveston Road) earned a citation for three violations, which included no valid Food Dealer's Permit, no posted inspection report and incorrectly handled or dispensed single-use articles. We're telling you, these city health inspectors make Elliot Ness look like a slacker.

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Blake Whitaker
Contact: Blake Whitaker