Health Department Roundup

Health Department Roundup: Stirrings at Yelapa, and a Banana Mystery

This week's inspection report listing is a wasteland of fast-food establishments. They all have franchise numbers attached to differentiate between locations, but somehow those four- and five-digit identifiers make each Burger King and McDonald's seem more anonymous. Could you tell the difference between a Subway with dirty non-food-contact surfaces on Hammerly Boulevard and a Subway with poorly designed or maintained equipment in East Peoria, Illinois? Is it terrifying or comforting to know you could eat nearly the same six-inch meatball marinara sandwich at each location and have no way to determine where you are, or why? Perhaps it can be both. In other news, Mother died today. Or maybe yesterday, I don't know. Just kidding, here are some restaurants you've heard of.

Farrago (318 Gray) earned half a dozen violations, including one that taught us that "molluscan" is a word. (Capital-w Word disagrees.) The Midtown "world cuisine" place had the following issues: potentially hazardous food held at improper temperatures; no shatter-resistant protection for artificial lighting; equipment components not adjusted properly; employee not wearing proper hair restraint; ice machine not set up in a way that prevents contamination; and "molluscan shellfish removed from container not for immediate sale or preparation for service." As with the rest of the places in this week's roundup, no citation or closure order was issued.

It looks like something might be going on at what was once Yelapa (2303 Richmond). A consultative visit turned up no health code violations, but probably piqued some folks' interest in regard to what might show up in the building on the west side of the worst parking lot in the developed world.

Otto's BBQ (1200 McKinney) got written up for four violations, including moist cloths used for cleaning non-food-contact surfaces not properly sanitized between uses; foods in hermetically sealed containers not produced at a food-processing establishment; and poisonous/toxic materials not necessary for operations present in the establishment.

It's interesting to note that the Ninfa's at 3601 Kirby is completely clean, and according to inspectors, called "Ninfa's Kirby Lane." Thanks for conjuring memories of hour-long waits for food that wasn't really worth it, exactly 167 miles from the Ninfa's on Kirby, which, incidentally, is a drive and not a lane.

Mystery of the Week: The city wrote up a place called Restaurant Bananas (8880 Bellaire) for five violations, the worst of which were dirty non-food-contact surfaces and openings to the outside not plugged to prevent the entrance of insects. But the question is, what the hell is that? The address points to the strip center across from Strake Jesuit and St. Agnes. But Google turns up nothing in the way of a place with that name. We've got Banana Leaf a little farther west, but could the city have gotten the name and address that wrong? If not, what is this place?

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Blake Whitaker
Contact: Blake Whitaker