Food Trucks

Health Department Roundup: Keep on Truckin'

We imagine the Health Department really appreciated the Eating...Our Words-sponsored Haute Wheels food-truck festival. Where else could they check out 20 otherwise elusive mobile units in one place? Inspectors managed to get to that number on Saturday alone, the first day of the two-day event at the West Loop HCC campus. They must have learned the high-volume technique from Bellaire PD, who keeps their bedroom community safe by hanging out in the shade of underpasses watching for expired inspection and registration stickers. Anyway, we'll lay out the inspection results below.

First, the good news. The following trucks were checked out and either found completely clean or in good enough shape to avoid a citation: MMM Cupcake, Pi Pizza Truck, NOLA's Creole 2 Geaux, Happy Endings, St. John's Fire, Chocolat D'Arte, Porch Swing Desserts, H-Town Streats, Angie's Cake, Good Dog Hot Dogs, Zilla Street Eats, The Lunch Bag, Sylvia's No Borders, L'es-Car-Go, Kurbside Eatz and Fork in the Road. (You can view the reports here.)

Four others didn't fare so well.

Cholaos Kitchen was cited and closed temporarily for four violations. The first violation was owner/operator not in possession of a Food Service Manager's Certification. The second was "Mobile unit not complying with requirements of a restricted operation." (Vague enough for you?) The last two violations had to do with not complying with Article II, the part of the municipal code that lays out the city's corporate and general powers. (In other words, Cholaos had no apparent food-safety issues, but broke enough rules to get shut down.) Fun fact: Article II is also the part of the code (Sec. 22) that says the city is not required to let Annise Parker's partner on her government health plan. What's the weather like in North Carolina this time of year?

The three other places were cited but allowed to maintain operations. Kickers BBQ had the same certification issue and got hit once for an Article II violation, in addition to not storing potentially hazardous food at proper temperatures. Katfish Kitchen had the same certification and temperature problems. Bare Bowls failed the manager's certification test and was not in compliance with the requirements of a restricted operation.

Elsewhere in the city, inspectors temporarily closed (but did not cite) the Shipley at 10517 S. Post Oak after turning up four violations: permit holder/person in charge not present at establishment; toilet facilities/vestibules not kept clean/in good repair/free of objectionable odors; outdoor garbage containers not covered; and wiping cloths not clean/dry/used properly.

City inspectors also temporarily closed the bar at the Shamrock Inn (9161 S. Gessner) thanks to two violations stemming from not providing hot enough water and our old friend, Article II violations. A re-inspection the next day failed to turn up any issues.

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Blake Whitaker
Contact: Blake Whitaker