Health Department Roundup

Health Department Roundup: (Mostly) Upper Kirby Edition

We'll start this week with some nice news. Former owner Hank Wiggins died December 31, but things are still moving at Hank's Ice Cream (9291 S. Main). A recent inspection turned up zero violations. We tried to make ice cream once. It tasted like flavored gas-station coffee creamer and rock salt. Hank's, on the other hand, makes some of the best in town, and runs a clean operation, too.

The inspection of Cru (2800 Kirby) was a little more difficult. The city turned up 11 violations at the wine bar, though no citation was issued. Problems included no Food Manager's Certification or Food Dealer's Permit (the latter was corrected on site); employee not wearing effective hair restraint; contamination by bare-hand/bare-arm contact not minimized; and shellstock not stored or tagged properly. There were a couple postings issues, like no sulfite warning for wine posted and no warning posted on the dangers of eating raw protein. That stuff wouldn't matter if people would take responsibility for their own well-being. Who is John Galt? No, seriously, was he the Irish one in NKOTB?

Sticking with Upper Kirby, which is a good place to go if you want to see what Kinkaid students will look like in their thirties, sushi place Katsuya (2800 Kirby) racked up eight violations. Those included spoiled or mislabeled food; raw animal foods not arranged/separated correctly (corrected on site); improperly designed or maintained equipment; employee not wearing effective hair restraint (corrected on site); and ice machine not set up in a manner that prevents contamination.

Final UK mention: Turquoise Grill (3701 Kirby), a Turkish/Mediterranean place tucked away from the posher parts of the neighborhood, got hit with nine violations and a citation during a re-inspection last week. Among other things, inspectors found equipment/food-contact surfaces utensils not clean to sight and touch; food stored in unclean or uncovered containers (corrected on site); cross-contamination not prevented through proper storage (corrected on site); improperly stored equipment/utensils (corrected on site); and mislabeled or spoiled food.

Much different part of town, similar problems: Golden Seafood (6828 Airline) got stuck with ten violations and a citation. Issues included mislabeled or spoiled food; potentially hazardous food stored at improper temperatures; unsafe thawing procedure; improperly designed or maintained equipment/utensils (corrected on site); unapproved wood product used as shelving in cold storage (a new one!); effective measures to reduce the presence of pests not used; dirty non-food-contact surfaces; and dirty vent filters.

Expectation-Buster of the Week: Chapultepec (813 Richmond), despite the opinion of some folks, is apparently pretty clean. Inspectors found only one violation, an improper drying agent.

Follow Eating Our Words on Facebook and on Twitter @EatingOurWords

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Blake Whitaker
Contact: Blake Whitaker