Health Department Roundup: Double Dose of Ruchi's, Bennigan's, Sylvia's and More

Bennigan's: Proponents of the lesser-known "Armalite, ballot box and Monte Cristo" strategy for unifying Ireland.
We're considering changing the name of this series to "Ruchi's of the Week." It's not like we have anything against the chain. We ate at the Shepherd location when it was one of the few places open after Hurricane Ike. It was better than having a staring contest with our then-girlfriend, drinking warm Tecate and sweatin' to whatever oldies we could coax out of a crappy hand-cranked radio. Marginally better. Try the shrimp!

Still, we have to report the week's worst offenders, and Ruchi's has two on the list. The winner is the Ruchi's at 5201 Richmond. An inspector issued a citation after finding six violations, including potentially hazardous food held at improper temperature; potentially hazardous food not cooled from 135 degrees Fahrenheit to 70 degrees within two hours; food stored in unclean or uncovered containers; food-contact surfaces of equipment or utensils not sanitized correctly with chlorine; no Food Dealer's Permit; and ice machine not set up in a way that prevents contamination of ice.

The runner-up is hurricane Ruchi's, located at 3102 S. Shepherd. It earned eight violations but didn't pick up a citation. Issues included improperly constructed hand-washing sinks; wall/ceiling not in good repair; no test kit to measure sanitizing solution; potentially hazardous foods not thawed as part of the conventional cooking process; poorly designed or maintained equipment; and potentially hazardous food not cooled from 135 degrees Fahrenheit to 41 degrees or below within six hours.

The Waffle Bus got some good news -- inspectors found just one violation, dirty vent filters. Sylvia's Enchilada Kitchen (12637 Westheimer) did well, too, earning just one violation for dirty floors (corrected on site).

Traditional Irish eatery Bennigan's (8401 Westheimer) got a visit from the city last week and earned three violations: improper use of moist cleaning cloths; no thermometer present in refrigerated storage facility; and equipment/glassware/utensils/plates not handled in a way that prevents contamination. Hey, Bennigan's corporate office, now that we've got your attention, how's this for a million-dollar idea: an item called the Bobby Sands-wich. No description on the menu. When someone orders it, bring him or her an empty plate. And charge $10 for the laugh. E-mail us about this.

Finally, Skewers (3991) had a bit of a rough inspection last week, tallying six violations. Issues included raw animal foods not separated from cooked foods; potentially hazardous food not clearly marked with a disposition date; bulk food not stored in a container that identifies food by common name; poorly designed or maintained equipment; equipment/food-contact surfaces/utensils not clean to sight and touch; and wall/ceiling not kept clean.

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Location Info



Ruchi's Taqueria

5201 Richmond Ave., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant


8401 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Sylvia's Enchilada Kitchen

12637 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

The Waffle Bus

, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Skewers Cafe & Grill

3991 Richmond, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

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Where is Marvin Zindler when you need him?  Oh, I see, he is dead.  Well, I surely miss his blue glasses and "slime in the ice machine" reports.  I really loved it the year Neiman Marcus received a violation at their opulent dinning establishment located in the Galleria. 


@DeathBreath hey, guess what, this blog feature is kinda like that. only not so cornpone, y'know?


Great piece, loved your lead in. I'd suggest an alternative title, however: Bird or Bear? 

Based of course on the second most-likely place to be cited. Bird could run the gamut from just a warning to multiple citations. Bear would indicate temporary closure due to intolerable violations.

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