Health Department Roundup

Health Department Roundup: Ninfa's, Frenchy's, Soma and More

There were an unusual number of inspection reports posted this week on the Health Department's site, but only three citations were issued. One was for a McDonald's, and one was for a liquor store out on Telephone. We'll take the latter for a lunch break any day.

The only notable citation was issued for the downtown tunnel Ninfa's (1200 McKinney), which had nine violations. Those included employee without hair restraint (corrected on site); equipment not adjusted to manufacturer's specifications; no manager with proper certification; insufficient vents to keep establishment free of heat, smoke or "obnoxious odors"; and sinks not cleaned often enough to prevent contamination.

Back above ground and a little bit west, Soma (4820 Washington) had some ice problems. (As in frozen water, not immigration enforcement, diamonds or meth.) The upscale sushi restaurant earned violations for "ice intended for human consumption used as a medium for cooling" and an ice machine not set up in a way that prevents contamination. Both were corrected on site. In addition, outdoor storage areas/enclosures were not kept clean. That was not corrected on site. It's already hot outside, okay?

The One True Frenchy's (3919 Scott) only had one violation -- floors not maintained in good repair. So for all you folks who are too scared to do anything but drive through, consider Frenchy's completely clean.

Thien An (2905 Travis), which we think has some of the better pho in Midtown, got hit with half a dozen violations last week. Issues included food not protected from contamination; food in sealed containers not prepared in a food-processing establishment; moist cleaning cloths not stored in sanitizing solution between uses; insufficient ventilation; common towels used at sinks; and "approved documentation of acknowledgment not maintained at food establishment for employees using bare-hand contact with ready-to-eat foods."

Baker Street (5510 Morningside) racked up two violations -- equipment not designed or maintained properly, and "food being prepared without the least possible manual contact." Get your fingers off of my potato skins, bro!

Juan and Lefty's Mexican Cantina (17381 Tomball Parkway) could not escape inspectors in an area we had no idea was even part of the City of Houston. Their ten violations included no certified manager on hand; effective measures not taken to reduce potential presence of pests; food-contact surfaces not smooth/easily cleanable; ice machine not set up in a way that prevents contamination; and refrigerated foods not being reheated properly.

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Blake Whitaker
Contact: Blake Whitaker