A dead rodent and 120 rodent droppings: 10 Miami area restaurants failed inspection

You know it’s a special Sick and Shut Down List when the South Florida eatery with 45 violations gets outdone by the restaurant next door, the first one we’ve had where the inspectors claimed they were obstructed.

Back when Panthers fans celebrated goals by throwing plastic rats on the Miami Arena ice, Orkin sponsored the cleanup. We should’ve sold similar sponsorship of this week’s Sick and Shut Down List, 10 restaurants with roaches and/or rodents rampant.

The Sick and Shut Down List comprises restaurants in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe counties that failed state inspection. That means they were closed until they passed a return inspection.

Don’t fuss at us if not enough restaurants in your area are on the list. It’s entirely reactive — we don’t decide which places get inspected nor do we decide whether or not the place fails inspection. Reach out to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation about that or to file a complaint about a place.

Not all the violations get listed here. Some violations get taken care of on the spot. Still, we might list them. After all, who knows how bad that violation might’ve gotten had the inspector not visited?

We approach this list with humor and disgust.

And, now, in alphabetical order...

Addiction Kitchen, 2131 NE 48th St., Lighthouse Point: Routine inspection, four total violations, three High Priority violations.

The inspector spotted five live ants under a cookline slicer and three live ants on the ground.

Under the slicer must be a dangerous neighborhood as two dead roaches were under there. There there were the 18 dead roaches counted on a sheet pan with raw beef inside a cookline cooler. Six were in or around a steam table that wasn’t in use.

As for the live variety of roach, five of them were in drawer gaskets under a flattop unit on the cookline. Two others were spotted elsewhere.

When the inspector returned the next day, five dead and three live roaches ruined the re-inspection.

Customers could indulge in their Addiction after the Kitchen kept the roaches hidden long enough during a same day second re-inspection.

Black Rock Bar & Grill, 2554 N. University Dr., Coral Springs: Routine inspection, 10 total violations, four High Priority violations.

Flies landing on open flour and sugar containers and a dishwasher with no sanitizer pushed Black Rock onto this list in June. Give the folks at Black Rock credit for putting real effort into their rapid recidivism.

“Food stored on floor. At the freezer, fries stored on the floor.” Probably shouldn’t do that when your workspace doubled as the living space for the “one dead rodent underneath a dry storage shelf.”

Wonder if the late Jerry is the one who left “approximately 12 rodent droppings” on the dry storage floor.

An open gallon of milk got hit with a Stop Sale because nobody knew when the milk had been opened. The expiration date was Sept. 6, nine days before this inspection.

Just as in June, Black Rock dropped hints that it considered handwashing a fading fad.

The bar area handwash sink got used for storing four gallons of milk. The cookline handwashing sink lacked towels or a blower for drying hands.

Somehow, Black Rock passed inspection the next day.

READ MORE: Bad croquetas. Old flan. Sewage backup. Ice machine pink mold. Filth at Miami bakeries

Bubby’s Fish N’ Chips, 1129 NE 163rd St., North Miami Beach: Routine inspection, 30 total violations, six High Priority violations.

Dismayed as Bubby’s owner Schneur Borenstein was over an inspection covered in Stop Sales and rodent poop, he really had a problem with the inspectors claiming they were obstructed and “Operator requested for the inspector to leave the premises and refused to have the employees in the location to sign the paper work and inspection.”

Borenstein said to the Miami Herald Wednesday, “I contest that part. There was no manager on duty at the time. I inquired about removing that because it wasn’t accurate. Nobody wanted to sign when there was nobody with that authority.”

“Even the next day when they reopened us, we requested a supervising inspector,” Borenstein said. “I did speak with them when they came back the next day. We’ve never had a rodent issue. We’ve never had these types of things ever. We obviously care about the cleanliness of the store. But, to say we’re obstructionist, I don’t think that’s correct.”

Clearly, the inspectors moved freely enough through the restaurant next door to Mikado 31 (see below) to find a plethora of violations.

Such as Bubby’s being a literal “hole in the wall” restaurant by having a “hole in the wall under the hand washing sink in the bathroom closest to the back door.”

Bags of onions were stored on the back storage area floor.

Hole in the wall + food on the floor often = the skritch-skritch of little claws from the furry, four-legged not-friends. And you know they had a good time at their Bubby’s mini-beast feast from the 270 pieces of rodent regularity they left behind, most prominently “120-plus rodent droppings on the top of table by two bags of rice. Cases of sweet potatoes, cooking oil, and bags of onions were on the same table.”

They left over 30 poop pieces on paper bags, over 50 under a paper storage shelf, over 30 along walls and behind two reach-in coolers.

All that rodent action and you don’t need to ask why the inspector advised they throw out the cases of plastic spoons and forks on the floor at the front counter, the pizza boxes stored on the floor in the back and some single service bags.

Inspectors found tuna prepared 15 days earlier and salmon prepared 16 days earlier, which means they were in the coolers over a week after they should’ve been in the garbage.

Speaking of coolers, they were about as cool as a 56-year-old Dad driving a Chrysler four-door, listening to Air Supply on 8-track. Four coolers, which had the job of keeping food under 41 degrees, had ambient temperatures of 50, 57, 58 and 60 degrees.

That led to a late summer rain of Stop Sales on raw fish, cod fish, salmon, butter, cream cheese, milk, as well as the aforementioned tuna and salmon.

There’s no way to take moldy lemons, a box of which got hit with Stop Sales, and make lemonade.

“Ceiling/ceiling tiles/vents soiled with accumulated food debris, grease, dust, or mold-like substance.” Where? “Throughout the establishment.”

Two fries cutters, last used two days previous, had “old food debris.” Also, “All food storage containers soiled.”

During a follow-up inspection, inspectors found tomatoes and sweet peppers with “mold-like growth.”

Bubby’s is back open, but still hasn’t had a “Met Inspection Standards” inspection result.

Crazy Uncle Mike’s, 6450 N. Federal Hwy., Boca Raton: Routine inspection, two total violations, two High Priority violations.

Crazy Uncle Mike ought to get wacky with an exterminator.

A roach strolled on the wall next to the clean pans. Five live friends also were seen, two under the dishwasher.

Air Insects ruled here with 10 flies using the wall over potatoes and class glasses their little LaGuardia landing strip. Another 15 flies were “landing on the wall next to the ice machine prep area of the kitchen.” Seven flies were landing on the clean glass racks.

Crazy Uncle Mike’s passed re-inspection the next day.

La Monja Blanca Restaurant, 4186-4188 Lake Worth Rd., Palm Springs: Routine inspection, 17 total violations, 11 High Priority violations.

There really isn’t an excuse for a handwash sink lacking a way to dry your hands. Paper towels go on sale all the time in retail stores.

You can get away with using your possibly unwashed bare hands to throw ready-to-eat avocados on a plate at home. That’s not getting it done in a restaurant.

Also, you can’t make chocolate bananas and ice cream at home and bring it in for sale to the restaurant. Or, you can, but if the inspector sees it, they’ll get slapped with Stop Sales as happened here.

Somebody needs to get their Room Essentials on and get this food off the floor. Produce in the kitchen, bags of rice and beans in dry storage, fruit at the front counter shouldn’t be hugging the floor.

And, while bugs and spiders can climb walls and table legs, one reason for not having food on the floor is “six live roaches crawling on the floor in the kitchen’s dry storage room next to sealed and opened bags of rice and beans.”

The manager killed a roach crawling on the wall near a rack with clean equipment. Two live roaches skedaddled behind a kitchen reach-in cooler.

La Monja passed re-inspection the next day.

Phew, this is a long list. For halftime break, Stevie Wonder, “Superstition,” on “Sesame Street.”

Merkado 31, 1127 NE 163rd St., North Miami Beach: Complaint inspection, 45 total violations, nine High Priority violations.

Could there be a more prototypical Sick and Shut Down List inspection than Bubby’s next door neighbor provided?

There’s our old friend, “accumulation of black/green mold-like substance in the interior of the ice machine/bin.”

There’s our bete noire, “In-use knife/knives stored in cracks between pieces of equipment” as in a “knife between equipment in the front counter.”

Warewashing and dishwashing seemed to be a pointless process, what with an “accumulation of debris inside warewashing machine” and clean utensils and equipment being “stored in dirty drawer or rack.”

Other kinds of washing seemed to be effortless, as in no effort was made at washing.

“Floor soiled/has accumulation of debris” described the walk-in cooler and walk-in freezer. There was “grease buildup on the cookline and equipment, underneath the prep tables and all drains.”

“Interiors of oven and microwaves have accumulation of black substance/grease/food debris.”

The prep table can opener was “heavily soiled with grease.”

On the kitchen prep table, “sweet potatoes, potatoes, and onions were stored inside soiled containers.”

“Food stored in a location that is exposed to splash/dust.” In the walk-in cooler, a bucket with purple corn juice (chicha) sat on the floor underneath boxes of marinated chicken. “Liquid from the marinated chicken is dripping into the hole on top of the container.” Stop sale on the chicha.

Other Stop Sales came down on heavy cream, at a morning balcony temperature of 80 degrees; cream cheese; cooked chicken; mashed potatoes; and cooked pasta thick noodles, none of which were at or under 41 degrees.

Over eight flies landed on unpeeled onions and potatoes.

Over 15 live roaches “crawling inside and outside drawers” and four other live roaches outnumbered three dead roaches.

Neither of the two handwash sinks had any way to dry hands.

At the next day’s re-inspection, the inspector saw a roach crawling on the side of a stove and one under the grill. The manager killed both live roaches just as the roaches killed the chances they had of getting open again.

Even without the roaches, a dirty wall and a walk-in cooler probably would’ve kept Merkado closed

Back open, like Bubby’s, but still has a follow-up inspection required.

Mulligan’s Beach House Singer Island, 2551 Ocean Ave., Riviera Beach: Complaint inspection, 15 total violations, six High Priority violations.

Another place showing why you should order that rum-and-Coke with no ice. “Accumulation of black/green mold-like substance in the interior of the ice machine/bin.”

An employee touched sliced cheese with at least one bare hand. Stop Sale on the cheese.

Good call, especially considering neither bar handwash sinks had soap.

Other Stop Sales smacked on cheese sauce that measured 107 degrees, too cool for hot storage (over 135 degrees) and too hot for cold storage (below 41 degrees); soup, dairy, cooked pasta, chicken, ground beef, fish, cooked potatoes and pork measuring 55 to 57 degrees after an overnight in the wet-paper-bag worthless walk-in cooler.

The rodents in this joint hung out around the dry storage at the back of the kitchen (30 rodent droppings). They also visited the top of the dishwasher (five droppings) and the back of the chest freezer (three droppings)

Oh, and a “can opener was soiled with food debris.”

The beach house didn’t get a mulligan on this inspection, but passed an inspection the next day.

Saffrno Crepes, 1831 N. Pine Island Rd., Plantation: Routine inspection, eight total violations, six High Priority violations.

If the stickers are still attached to your avocados, did you wash them properly before using them? Maybe, you got them wet, but, no, they weren’t properly washed and Saffrno got busted on that.

Stop Sales for “temperature abuse” food safety violations fell on enough food here to feed a Philadelphia (Mississippi) town meeting. There was shredded cheese, cooked corn, cooked couscous, cooked turkey bacon, cooked pork, raw beef, raw shrimp, raw chicken, milk and cream.

In the kitchen, about 15 flies landed on prep tables, clean dishes and even went into the flip top cooler (seems chilly).

Saffrno was back open after re-inspection the next day.

Tarpon River Brewing, 280 SW Sixth St., Fort Lauderdale: Complaint inspection, five total violations, two High Priority violations.

A large sliding glass door had a “gap at the threshold that opens to the outside.”

That was probably a factor in “100 rodent droppings along wall and behind pallets of empty cans and bags of grain” and “40 rodent droppings on top of the shrink-wrapped pallet of empty cans.”

Tarpon River passed inspection the next day.

Titie Restaurant & Lounge, 300 W. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale: Routine inspection, 11 total violations, five High Priority violations.

The floor behind the chest freezers had “an accumulation of debris.”

The wall by the cookline hand sink had a “hole or other damage.”

Two flies landed on the kitchen prep table. Five roaches scaled the wall next to the three-compartment sink.

“Three rodent droppings along wall next to kitchen prep area reach-in cooler.”

Titie got open again, but still has a follow-up inspection required.