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Health Department Roundup: Lola's (?), Hugo's, That Pizza Place and More

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It's a holiday miracle: A city health inspector visited Lola's Depot (2327 Grant) and found nothing wrong. We like the bar, but damn, inspector -- you couldn't throw a "no tight-fitting door on restroom" violation down just for posterity? Did you even go into the bathroom? The ghosts of former bicycle messengers get mighty lonely hanging around in there just snorting heroin and getting in fistfights with each other, you should have visited.

A mile or so away, Hugo's (1600 Westheimer) had a good inspection, earning just one violation: "Toilet facilities/vestibules not: kept clean/in good repair/free of objectionable odors" (corrected on site). So Hugo's, which without reservation could be called a Nice Restaurant, gets written up for restroom issues, while Lola's gets off without even a mention of any kind of problem. We're starting to think the Health Department is just winging this shit and hoping nobody notices. Why can't things be consistent? Is there some higher force at work here? Are we asking too much of life? Those last two sentences are from Tremors, happy Thanksgiving.

Moving on to a terrible inspection: The Bird and the Bear (2810 Westheimer) was closed temporarily after registering 17 violations. Issues included mislabeled or spoiled food; raw animal foods not separated in a way that prevents contamination; food stored in unclean or uncovered containers; potentially hazardous food being improperly thawed in water (corrected on site); bare-arm and bare-hand contact not minimized; poorly designed or maintained equipment; and no Food Dealer's Permit.

That Pizza Place (3322 Ella) also did poorly, earning nine violations but no citation or closure. Problems included dirty wall/ceiling; improperly sized/maintained/installed plumbing; dirty non-food-contact surfaces; poisonous/toxic materials not stored in way that prevents contamination (corrected on site, but shit, guys); single-use articles not stored in a way that prevents contamination; and potentially hazardous food held at improper temperatures.

We doubt there are many of you who are members of both of these sets: "People Who Eat Non-Packaged Food at Gas Stations," and "People Who Are Seriously Concerned About Sanitation." Just in case you do belong to both and frequent the Citgo at Richmond and Kirby -- well, you can read for yourself.


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