500 flies? And a roach in the sauce? The latest restaurant filth in South Florida

·9 min read

A month before the Indianapolis 500 climaxes May for some folks, the Inverrary 500 helped shut down a South Florida restaurant on this week’s Sick and Shut Down List.

Other places had mold and bad water or 47 violations (that’s one place, not all of them together). So, let’s get to telling on folks.

STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE: What follows comes from Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation restaurant inspections in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe counties. A restaurant that fails inspection remains closed until passing an inspection.

If you see a problem and want a place inspected, contact the DBPR. We don’t control who gets inspected nor how strictly the inspector inspects.

We don’t include all violations, just the most moving, whether internally or literally moving (because it’s alive or once was alive). Some violations get corrected after the inspector points them out. But, you have to ask, why do the violations exist in the first place? And how long would they have remained if not for the inspection?

We report without passion or prejudice but humor stirred in for texture.

In alphabetical order:

Catering at Chef’s Table, 3840 Inverrary Blvd, Lauderhill: Routine inspection, nine total violations, two High Priority violations.

Before we get to Chef’s Table retiring the Amityville Award, let’s talk about the 115 pieces of rodent poop. OK, maybe just the 50 on top of the dishwasher and the 30 pieces inside the dish machine drainer. Apparently, rodents think of dishwashers the way 8-year-olds think of Tidal Cove Waterpark.

Now, to the flies, of which the inspector counted 30 at the dish machine; one on a cutting board; 50 “flying around and landing on a slicer and slicer prep table.”

And, dropped among this listing of swarms and landing spots, jumping out only by the first digit and third digit of the number is “Main kitchen dry storage area at basement area- observed approximately 500 live flying insects flying around stairway, dry storage shelves, and storage area.”

How do you even count 500 flies? What kind of Barry Allen The Flash vision must you have? Flies don’t stand in formation like the FIU band at halftime.

As a reminder for those of you who like to indulge on the rocks, “Accumulation of black/green mold-like substance in the interior of the ice machine/bin...observed mold-like substance on interior and exterior of ice machine door.”

Sounds similar to the “mold-like substance on ceiling tiles and wall” violation.

Wonder if the inspector left this place humming, “And I will count five hun-dred flies...”

How this place passed re-inspection the next day, only the inspector knows.

Derry’s Family Restaurant, 6569 Pembroke Rd., Hollywood: Food Licensing Inspection, 16 total violations, four High Priority violations.

This was listed as a Food Licensing Inspection, although Derry’s Famous Fish & Grits was at this location previously, as a check of Broward County property records shows.

Derry’s Famous Fish & Grits in 2019 at the same location as Derry’s Family Restaurant failed inspection last week.
Derry’s Famous Fish & Grits in 2019 at the same location as Derry’s Family Restaurant failed inspection last week.

Four flies in the storage room. Four live roaches, two dead roaches — check that, three and three after the operator killed a roach crawling on the floor under the dishwasher.

The dishwasher’s sanitation level was zero parts per million when the inspector got there. It got up to 50 ppm during the inspection, about halfway to where you really want it to be.

“Bathroom located inside establishment not completely enclosed with tight-fitting, self-closing doors.”

Derry’s was back in business on Blue Star after the following day’s re-inspection.

The Hibiscus, 8344 W. Oakland Park Blvd., Sunrise: Routine inspection, 47 total violations, 17 High Priority violations.

With 47 total violations, even just hitting the highlights, this section could use an intermission. We got you.

The inspector counted only eight live roaches. But, when it came to the dead, Hibiscus needed a Ken Foree.

A look up and there were “approximately 20 or more dead flies attached to sticky adhesive fly trapper directly over hand washing sink beside three-compartment sink located at back door entrance.”

Well, at least it wasn’t over the cookline, where there were 50 roach corpses from the fryer station to the end of the line. Another 20 were behind the standing refrigerator in front of the cookline and in dry storage.

Some places take texture in a dish or sauce a little too far. For example, “one dead roach in pepper sauce being portioned in to-go soufflé cups for guests on to-go orders.”

Food isn’t supposed to be kept more than seven days after being opened or prepped. So, a Stop Sale crushed tomatoes two weeks past their garbage date. They were cooked on March 28. This inspection was on April 18.

With that, let’s take a Bugs Bunny break.

Now, we get into just unclean practices and surfaces. Such as “all food contact surfaces not sanitized between cooked and raw products” because there was “no sanitizing solution set up on cookline, prep line, or dishware area.”

And looks like a few Salmonella Sallys and Sams with “no employees wearing gloves on cooks line” but they were “touching raw chicken, scooping cooked rice with non-scoop handle without washing their hands.”

The inspector also saw someone “touching soiled dishes and proceeded to touch clean dishes at dish machine area without washing their hands.”

But, how clean were those dishes, really? Maybe they were clean, but they weren’t sanitized because the sanitizer solution checked in at 0 ppm.

Speaking of sanitizing ...”Observed soiled wet cloth in use with no sanitizing solution set up throughout kitchen to sanitize food contact areas.”

The microwaves, reach-in shelves of the standing refrigerator, the walk-in’s shelves, the equipment door handles, gaskets of reach-in coolers and walk-in coolers, all were seen with “food and mold buildup.”

Also, “raw curry chicken, raw beef, raw shrimp, cooked beef, cooked shrimp, cooked chicken cooked calamari raw cabbage all in standing reach in cooler uncovered. That’s just Grade A cheap and lazy. Supermarkets have store brands of Saran Wrap. Take a trip to the dollar aisle or Dollar Tree (but not Family Dollar).

Somehow, The Hibiscus was back in business after the next day’s re-inspection. Mmmhm.

Matchbox Sawgrass Mills, 1860 Sawgrass Mills Cir., Sunrise: Complaint inspection, 29 total violations, seven High Priority violations.

More mold.

“Mold-like substance buildup” was spotted on soda fountain machine nozzles (Have a Coke and a smile?); cutting boards with grooves too deep to be cleaned; and in the dishware area ice bin.

You know who was having a better day than Matchbox management? The four (or more) flies landing on the liquor bottles at the bar area. Another five at the server area landed “on clean sanitized dishes on the top shelf.”

And 10 live flies flying around the pizza station landed on cutting boards and a pan “with uncovered cooked Italian sausage and a clean, sanitized pizza spatula.”

“Observed flies throughout the establishment.”

Then, the inspector whipped out his Stop Sale uzi and shot down garlic butter with no time mark; a dented can of tomato sauce; and a food fleet of bacteria boats, stored in coolers overnight, but still not safely cooled: cooked asparagus; cooked rice; short ribs; raw shrimp; cooked mussels; short ribs; Gouda cheese; sliced chicken; salmon; asparagus wrapped raw bacon; cole slaw; raw calamari; cooked veggie mix; cooked mushrooms crimini; cooked bourbon onions; and roasted garlic purée with oil.

See stop sale. Observed dented can of tomato sauce 7lbs 2oz on shelf upstairs in dry storage area.

Another dishwasher with more limescale than sanitizer (0 ppm).

Oh, and our pet peeve...“In-use knife/knives stored in cracks between pieces of equipment...knife stored between hand washing and reach in cooler located at pizza station.”

And a bonus on that one “Clean utensils stored between equipment and wall. Observed knives and spatulas being stored hanging between reach-in coolers on the cookline.”

Inspection closed them for Friday Family Night business on April 22, but they passed re-inspection that Saturday, April 23, to get that Date Night business.

Phat Boy Sushi, 2702 N. University Dr., Coral Springs: Complaint inspection, 18 total violations, four High Priority violations.

Phat Boy Sushi didn’t hear “Praise you” from this inspector, especially after a 20 to 30 fly count landing on alcohol bottles at the bar area and 10 on shelves right over uncovered plates at the sushi bar station. Five other flies, daredevils they, landed on in-use cutting boards.

In other food contact surface befoulment, the bar ice machine bin had (sing it, children) “heavy mold-like substance” as did the interior of the ice bin in the prep area walkway. The reach-in freezer next to the bar area had shelves and gaskets with “heavy grease, food and mold buildup.” The bar’s reach-in coolers had “food residue buildup” in its shelves and gaskets.

Phat Boy got by the next day’s re-inspection.

REEF Kitchens — Vin 89696, 601 Brickell Key Dr., Miami: Routine inspection, 12 total violations, two High Priority violations.

This is the first appearance on the Sick and Shut Down List of a “ghost kitchen,” a place from which food delivery services and takeout diners can grab food.

REEF, a $1 billion ‘ghost kitchen’ startup, plans to hire 1,000 in Miami

Water for the handwashing sinks and the three-conpartment sink came via a “nonfood-grade hose conveying potable water... a 20-foot nonfood-grade water hose connected from an unlicensed building to the food truck.”

And, “mobile food dispensing vehicle disposing liquid waste improperly,” makes it sound like you’re just doing folks’ property wrong.

As the inspector explained it, “the establishment has hoses connected from the food truck to multiple wastewater tanks outside on the ground that are located 25 feet away. The wastewater is from handwashing sinks and the three-compartment sink located in the mobile food truck. These hoses are connected to a pump that pumps the wastewater into the wastewater tanks.

“The outlet’s hoses from the wastewater tank are disposed into a building next to the wastewater tanks through a wall connected to the restroom” inside an unlicensed building. Canned and paper goods also were stored inside the unlicensed building.

No way to dry hands at the handwashing sink near the server’s window.

“Grease interceptor/trap overflowing onto floor/ground...grease on the ground.”

This food truck passed re-inspection the next day.