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A Taco Bell, roaches on a bar, rodent poop in an oven: restaurants failing inspection

David J. Neal
·7 min read

Rodents here, roaches there, objectionable odors somewhere and it’s another week of South Florida, restaurants failing inspection to make the Sick and Shut Down List.

So, let’s get to it. What follows comes from Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation restaurant inspections. Restaurants are closed until they pass a re-inspection.

If you see a restaurant that you feel needs inspecting, don’t email us. Go to the DBPR site and file a complaint. We don’t control who gets inspected or how strictly. We don’t list every violation. We report without passion or prejudice, but with a side order of humor.

And, we go in alphabetical order:

Ceviche Dozo, 5715 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood: Hope you didn’t order nything here that required an oven, seeing as how the critters who ran around this place left 20 pieces of dung in an oven.

Rude as that might be, they exceeded it with “50 rodent droppings on the floor by a prep table and reach-in freezer.” Another 11 droppings were left throughout the restaurant like chocolate sprinkles from a stingy Baskin-Robbins worker.

The handwashing sink by the three-compartment sink? No way to dry your hands, no soap, no hot water, strike one, strike two, strike three.

“Interior of microwaves soiled with encrusted food debris.”

Dozo took two days to get their ceviche together and passed re-inspection on Thursday.

Don Matias, 7788 NW 44th St., Sunrise: The Don was caught slipping.

“Objectionable odors in bathroom or other areas of the establishment. Throughout kitchen and in the food storage area.”

Wonder if that’s from the standing water across from the walk-in cooler. Or, maybe there were upset tummies on the rodents that left four droppings on top of the dish machine and two back the back door of the ware washing area.

This week’s What’s Worse? That they used Tracking powder pesticide used inside the restaurant, including the kitchen, the bar area and inside the restrooms?

Or, that the tracking powder seemed of limited effectiveness, considering the 25 live roaches found, 14 out and about in the kitchen area, one in an oven by the cookline (did you think that crunch was an almond? Maybe it was. Maybe it wasn’t) and one by the front counter.

The roach traps seemed more successful, seeing as how the inspector saw two with 15 roaches behind a reach-in freezer and two in the bar area with nine dead roaches. The staff clearly didn’t read the last Sick and Shut Down List. The inspectors made it very clear it’s not enough to place an effective trap. You must remove the vermin once they’re trapped.

“Observed the cook touch cooked white rice after handling raw fish directly with the same gloves.” Yeah, that’s the kind of thing that can pass along all manner of food-borne illness and food allergy issues.

Stop Sales dropped on 20 quarts of still-too-warm cooked beans and 10 quarts of also-still-too-warm soup that sat overnight in a walk-in cooler that’s as half-good as the tracking powder.

No hot water at one employee handwashing sink and no soap at the front counter one.

Somehow, the Don managed to pass re-inspection Friday in time for the weekend restaurant revenue.

Go Bento, 2725 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood: “No dishwashing facilities of any kind provided. The three-compartment sink is not connected to plumbing and no dish machine is present in the establishment.” There is one prep sink and multiple hand sinks in the establishment.

Though the tuna, wahoo, salmon, yellowfin tuna, bean sprouts, cooked chicken and the pot stickers all were too warm after three hours in a cooler, the inspector allowed efforts at quick chilling them down to 41 degrees or less instead of just laying waste to the lot with Stop Sales.

Go Bento passed a same-day re-inspection Friday.

La Bella Cafe Caribbean Soul Food, 230 S. Cypress Rd., Pompano Beach: A bag of rice and onions sat on the kitchen floor. That’s a no-no, and always seems to go with the inspector seeing something live and running around.

Such as the 12 roaches, five of which were on the floor in the dry food storeroom and three hung out on a 5-gallon container of cooking oil. Of the 23 dead roaches, five were in a cleaning bucket. Wonder how often that bucket gets used.

Speaking of unclean, “Interior of reach-in cooler soiled with accumulation of food residue.”

That wasn’t all. “Grease and food debris accumulated on kitchen floor and/or under cooking equipment — under the cookline, along the walls, under the three-compartment sink, behind the reach-in cooler, under the storeroom shelves and at the back door.”

The inspector came back Friday, found La Bella working on it so gave them a little more time before passing them later on Friday in a second re-inspection.

Lakeside Anchor Inn, 2412 Floral Rd., Lake Worth: If there are “10 live roaches on clean plates in dish area” or “three droppings inside a clean bowl in dishroom” and “three droppings on clean cutting board in dish area,” can “clean” really be used in those sentences with truth?

More little brown reasons to doubt the sanitized quality of anything out of that dishwashing area are “50-plus droppings on the floor under the dishwashing machine and around sanitizer containers” and “40-plus droppings on the floor under shelves in the dishroom.”

The “20-plus live flies in the air” gave the dishwasher room the living violation hat trick all by itself. As if the inspector needed to see more back there, the flies gave him something he could feel with “one live fly landing on inspectors arm in dish area.”

Flies were landing on cutting boards, too.

The reach-in cooler had standing water and a lot of food 11 to 17 degrees too warm for safe serving. Stop Sales rained on Key lime pie, cheesecase, lava cake, ranch and bleu cheese dressings, sour cream, garlic aioli, salsa and butter. Baked potato from elsewhere also got tossed.

“Accumulation of black/green mold-like substance in the interior of the ice machine.”

Despite these outrageous violations, Lakeside made the fantastic voyage to a successful re-inspection the next day.

Taco Bell, 7120 McNab Rd., North Lauderdale: Catch-22? More like Count 22 because that’s how many live roaches the inspector saw.

There was one under the cold line “where uncovered lettuces, tomatoes, cheeses are held,” five “crawling in and out of the gap under prep table next to cold line in the kitchen service area” and about 10 “in the gap between the cold line and the storage shelf on the cookline.”

In addition, the inspector counted five dead roaches in the steam table and three more under the shelf next to cold line

“Multiple missing ceiling tiles throughout establishment.”

Taco Bell rang up the cash again after passing re-inspection on Wednesday.

Villagio at Boca, 344 Plaza Real, Boca Raton: The description with this place’s Google entry describes a “Buzzy Italian eatery with ample portions & a broad wine list served in a posh, loungey atmosphere.”

By “Buzzy,” wonder if the writer meant the “five live flies on dining room bar walls, seven live flies on dining room walls, six live flies on wall at the entrance to the kitchen from the main dining room” and the seven live flies seen elsewhere.

Want a Coke and some slime? “Soda gun soiled” and “Accumulation of black/green mold-like substance in the interior of the ice machine.”

Villagio got a “Follow up Inspection Required” on its Friday re-inspection.

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