Health Department Roundup

Health Department Roundup: Roman Delight, Droubi's and a Troubled Taqueria on the North Side

We had an Italian professor who told our class that in Italy, if you eat at a restaurant and get sick, you don't sue or make a fuss. It's just part of the deal. Also, Italian barristas don't clean coffee machines between each use, because that's pointless. For some reason we remembered that lesson as we watched Italy and Croatia tie in the Euro 2012 tournament on the office TV. Speaking of soccer, let it be known that if Ireland beats Italy on Monday, we will give Hair Balls Editor Rich Connelly a foot rub. And speaking of unsanitary things, here's this week's roundup.

Roman Delight Pizza (1200 McKinney) was cited after an inspection turned up six violations. Issues included cross-contamination from improper food storage (corrected on site); food on display not given proper expiration date based on removal from temperature control (repeat); utensils stored in water that wasn't hot enough or a dirty container; wall/ceiling in disrepair; ice-dispensing utensils stored improperly; and moist cleaning cloths not clean/used properly/not stored in sanitizing solution (repeat). Still more delightful than Salò. Depending on what you like to eat.

The 2721 Hillcroft location of Droubi's -- where an employee once asked a friend of ours who was looking at an Israeli item if she "spoke Jew" -- did not earn a citation, but an inspection last week did turn up six violations. Those included potentially hazardous food in hot storage not held at proper temperature; non-food-contact surfaces not cleaned often enough to prevent dust/dirt/debris accumulations; moist cleaning cloths not clean/used properly/not stored in sanitizing solution; food-contact surfaces of cooking equipment not kept free of "crusted grease deposits/accumulated soil"; and no Food Dealer's Permit.

Inspectors cited Tomas Bakery & Taqueria (511 W. Mount Houston) after finding 11 violations. Highlights include single-use items not in individual wrappers or proper dispensers; food employee without proper hair restraints (the Age of Aquarius lives on at 511 W. Mount Houston); food not protected from potential contamination; potentially hazardous foods being improperly thawed in water; cold storage not set to proper temperatures (corrected on site); exterior walking and driving areas not surfaced correctly to prevent dust and pooling; and no certified manager on duty.

The inspection at Tomas was based on a complaint, as was the one at Zoe's Kitchen (12850 Memorial) that turned up one pale violation -- equipment or utensils not properly designed or maintained. Whoever complained about the counter-service (probably) health-food place with the excellent potato salad is bad at being a snitch.

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