Health Department Roundup

Health Department Roundup: Pride Parade Checked Out, City Jail Wiping Cloths Scrutinized

Illegal Pride operations, expense-account steakhouses, hole-in-the-wall ethnic places and jail -- welcome to Houston. If you're tempted to take a cell-phone picture of your dash thermometer, don't.

The only two places to get cited or shut down this week were a pair of Illegal MFUs. (Mobile food units, we're guessing.) Both were listed as operating on Westheimer in Montrose, and both were shut down Saturday. We'd hate to be the inspector who pulled Pride Parade duty. Nothing against the parade, but it can get too crowded to walk and get drunk at that thing, let alone try to do some kind of job. Whoever drew that straw found these two unnamed places did not have proper licensing and had no facilities to clean hands or equipment. Actually, in a pinch, lube from tiny packets will work like hand sanitizer. Give it a shot.

During an inspection last week, the Capital Grille (5365 Westheimer) earned two violations -- moist cleaning cloths not sanitized properly, and equipment not designed or maintained properly. And add the capitol/capital distinction to the list of spelling and grammar issues the Health Department has dealt with recently. A lot of people get that one wrong, but it's easier when the restaurant's name (capital, not capitol) is right there. No mercy.

We like it when out-of-the-way places like Aub Gu Jung Kim Bab (10049 Long Point) turn up mostly clean. We know people who just assume restaurants like that are dirty, with no regard for some of the filthier stuff that also goes on in more expensive, familiar locations. It's not like you're going to get some terrible strain of Korean hepatitis by eating in a neighborhood place like this. In fact, Aub Gu Jung's only issues were wall/ceiling not maintained properly and equipment not adjusted to manufacturers' specifications. Also, no Food Dealer's Permit, but who's surprised there, right?

If you plan to enjoy a meal at 61 Riesner -- also known as Houston City Jail -- you should be aware of certain issues. Specifically, those are dirty non-food contact surfaces; stored food not labeled by its common name; dirty or improperly used wiping cloths; employee not wearing proper hair restraint; and manager lacking a Food Service Manager's Certification. Perhaps you should voice these concerns when your dining companion asks for your sandwich.

There is a place called Grandma Bear's Daycare (5442 Richmond), and child, it is spotless.

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Blake Whitaker
Contact: Blake Whitaker