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Keep Houston Press Free
4

Health Dept. Roundup

The health department slapped a few familiar names with code violations this week. From the city's website:

Things got so bad at the Midtown Which Wich (510 Gray) that inspectors temporarily closed the place. "Potentially hazardous" food was not held at the correct temperature; food was being stored in unclean containers; floors were not kept clean in a variety of oddly named areas, including the locker room and vestibule; utensils were either too absorbent, corroded or in bad repair; and no Food Dealer's Permit was displayed. A follow-up inspection the next day uncovered no violations and the shop re-opened. So feel free to go grab a Which Wich now! If you still want one!

Tuesday at Ruggles (903 Westheimer), the outdoor bar got hit with write-ups for accumulated dirt and insufficiently hot hand-washing water. The indoor bar had some accumulated dirt as well. The restaurant itself was cited for "canvas cloth/other cloth materials used as food-contact surface" and "bulk food removed from original container not stored in a container identifying the food by a common name." (The latter is possibly the least disturbing violation on the books.) An employee was cited for lack of an effective hair restraint, a violation that Ruggles corrected on site, we'd like to think with an impromptu, involuntary shearing, but probably just with the application of a hair net.

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Neveria La Michoacana (2840 Broadway) racked up nine violations, including holding food at improper temperatures. This is probably not the staff's fault, seeing as the restaurant was also cited for the lack of any sort of functioning thermometer. There wasn't a device to measure parts per million of cleaning solution, either, but who among us hasn't winged it when preparing cocktails, sauces or potentially poisonous cleaning solutions? Things can't really go downhill from there, but they stay bad - uncovered trash cans, dish washing equipment that somehow wasn't able to submerge tableware in hot water, and improperly maintained plumbing, which right there is enough to make you not care too much that the Food Dealer Permit wasn't properly displayed.

The Sonic at 13280 Almeda got shut down January 7 because the "person in charge failed to immediately discontinue operation and contact the health officer in an emergency occurrence." Since the report doesn't offer details, we called up there to see what happened. At first it sounded like the most fun Sonic you could imagine - the young lady who answered the phone was genuinely chipper, and some norteño was blaring out of a stereo in the background. But when she put the manager on, all we got was a gruff "no comment" and a hang-up. So we can only imagine the chili Chernobyl that went down, unreported to the authorities. Either way, the drive-in was declared violation-free and re-opened three days later.

Mystery of the week: Someone apparently lodged a complaint against Canopy (3939 Montrose), but a subsequent inspection of the kitchen and bar doesn't appear to have yielded a single violation. The city says Canopy wasn't riding dirty, so is someone snitching under false pretenses?

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