Health Department Roundup: Sparrow, the breakfast klub, Cafe Japon and More
The city doesn't mess around when it comes to eggs. Despite getting hit with just three violations, an inspector cited Sparrow Bar + Cookshop (3701 Travis, listed on the Health Department website as Boulevard Bistro - t'afia) after finding an employee not wearing effective hair restraint (corrected on site); improperly stored ice-dispensing utensils; and "unapproved eggs used." Pure, unadulterated speculation: Given the attention chef Monica Pope pays her food, we'd guess she's using some kind of fresh eggs that are safe but nevertheless in violation of city health statutes. We'd also guess that when the revenuers come around, she hops in her '61 Chrysler, flips the switch that cuts the taillights and peels out past Double Trouble headed the wrong way down Main with a carefully packed trunk full of bootleg eggs. We might be the only ones making that guess.
By contrast, Pope's neighbor, the breakfast klub (3711 Travis), earned seven violations last week but did not receive a citation. Their issues included no test kit to measure chemical santization solution; dirty non-food-contact surfaces; dirty air ducts; improperly designed or maintained equipment; wall/ceiling not maintained in good repair; and refuse containers not durable, leaking or not insect/rodent-proof (corrected on site).
Backyard Café and Grill (4410 Westway) picked up half a dozen violations as well as a citation. The lack of a Food Dealer's Permit was likely what led to the ticket. Other issues included no shielding/coating/protection for artificial light; no test kit to measure chemical santization solution; improperly designed or maintained equipment; and bulk food not stored in properly labeled containers.
But the worst this week was Café Japon (3915 Kirby), which an inspector cited after finding 16 violations. Problems included no Food Dealer's Permit; no Food Manager's Certification; dispensing utensils stored in water at improper temperatures or in water that isn't cleaned as often as necessary; food stored in unclean or uncovered containers; improperly designed or maintained equipment; wall/ceiling in poor repair; no shielding/coating/protection for artificial light; equipment and utensils not in use stored in unclean conditions/not removed from premises; openings to the outdoors not protected against the entrance of pests; moist cloths not cleaned/rinsed/stored properly; proper freezing records not maintained for fish intended for raw consumption; and a final tongue-twister, "working supply of potentially hazardous food held before cooking using time only as a public health control not marked with the time of four hours or less in which it is to be cooked, served or discarded."
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3701 Travis St., Houston, TX