Versailles Cited For 52 Safety Violations During Routine Inspection

Categories: Flotsam

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Of the many cultural artifacts one would think to find at Versailles perched in the heart of Little Havana -- ventanitas, ropa vieja, a strong disdain for Fidel Castro -- mold growing in the ice machine wouldn't likely be one of them.

But that, according to a safety report late last month, is just what you would have found recently in one of the most iconic restaurants in the city. And 51 other problems.

The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation slapped the landmark establishment with a staggering 52 safety violations on January 21, a trove of citations that ranged from petty to grand. Three of them were deemed "high priority" -- food stored at the wrong temperature, food-smeared surfaces, fetid cleaning clothing. And, yep, mold.

According to statistics compiled by Florida's Division of Hotels and Restaurants, five of the citations were deemed "critical." Two of them fell under the category of "dish-washing facilities," and three more were designated as "plumbing installed and maintained."

Here's a sampling of the Versailles citations:

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Over the last few months, these statistics show, the restaurant has taken a nosedive in cleanliness. On April 9 of last year, the restaurant was only cited for three violations. By that September, the figure had climbed to 12. Then in January -- over the period of four months -- the number of citations skyrocketed to 52.

Management tells NBC Miami the restaurant has undergone recent "improvements in its kitchen operations" which have turned things a little topsy turvey.

"For more than four decades, the health and well-being of our customers has always been a priority for our restaurant. The recent violations are uncharacteristic and were due to ongoing improvements in kitchen operations," Versailles Restaurant said in a statement obtained by NBC. "We were notified of these and have addressed them immediately. Our family is committed to continuing to provide quality food and great dining experience to our customers."

There were so many violations -- and some were so severe -- that inspectors returned to the restaurant the next day on January 22 for another look.

That time, they only found 20 violations.

Send your story tips to author, Terrence McCoy or follow him on Twitter.

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81 comments
frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

......................i think the issue is the HYPOCRACY of a place that is the often cited as THE CUBAN central point of interest which is now exposed as dirty and potentially dangerous ON AMERICAN FOOD STANDARDs yet the constituency may in fact be used to less than hygenic and sterile food handling conditions and BE OKAY WITH THAT

having said that i myself have eaten and enjoyed WHOLE PIG cooked in an improvised  smoker cooker which would have violated any number of AMERICAN HEALTH standards - but these location do not hold themselves out as open to the international public as a CUBAN locust point of influence

shame on the VERSAILLEs for the hypocracy

Matthew Edmundson
Matthew Edmundson

Michelle Moyano, the renovation may be the reason why most of it happened, but it is still no excuse. If they are renovating, they should still be following health protocols as long as they are serving food. "I don't know very many 40 yr old restaurants in Miami that still have a waiting line any given Saturday" If they keep breaking health codes, then, no, they won't continue to have a waiting line like they have. Looks can be deceiving when it comes to food service and health. Do you think that the only people who get sick from eating badly handled food, for example, have done so at restaurants that happened to LOOK dirty? No, some of the nicest looking places can still serve contaminated food and break other health codes.

Matthew Edmundson
Matthew Edmundson

From the NBC Miami article: "Versailles is one of the only restaurants that has an in-house environmental health practitioner who does routine inspections, owner Felipe Valls said in a separate statement." So, have you fired them and hired a new one?

Terry Bonelly
Terry Bonelly

I personally dont like how they cook mas fama que cazuela, pero creo que la dulceria esta mejor

Nikolas Obrenović
Nikolas Obrenović

damn just went there last week. get that cleaned up. food was still good though

Cari Garcia
Cari Garcia

That place is a tourist trap. The food is awful and always has been.

Jo Anne Phang
Jo Anne Phang

Priscilla Cotto Alicea and Alick Letang...whoa!

Armando Basanta
Armando Basanta

Conosco el lugar y creo que estaba en renovación del área de la cocina y eso trajo como consecuencia tal vez esas fallas , ahora , las oficinas centrales de la compañía están a poca distancia y " siempre " están allí en el restaurante , por una cosa u otra pero están al tanto de lo que allí suceda ,... Así que no me parece que tal situación sea por descuido ni que sean unos cochinos , hay lugares peores , ... Si creo que se deben renovar ciertas áreas y equipos para más seguridad , higiene y un mejor servicio .

Derrick Lang
Derrick Lang

I remember one time this man who worked for the healthboard I knew told me "Don't eat at that Ver-Sail place. It's dirty."

Alex Anico
Alex Anico

Let's be honest about this, what Hispanic restaurant doesn't violate safety rules on a daily basis?! Miami is lucky it's not like NYC with grades. We'd average a D or C...

el_negro_mama
el_negro_mama

More crappy journalism from the Miami New Times. What the hell is going on lately with you all?? It's obvious that if these health violations were actually serious then Versailles would've immediately been shut down. Clearly they were not. 


You idiot writers do not represent Miami at all. Go back to Fort Lauderdale where you belong.


Gringos Estupidos.

carnefria
carnefria

Ehh dame un pan con cucaracha and some jugo de mousepoo

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

..................isn't this a CUBAN owned restaurant serving predominantly CUBAN patrons ? and if so, what does a GRINGO publication care about this ?

Michelle Moyano
Michelle Moyano

This article is so poorly researched! Whether you like the food at Versailles or not- a health inspection (one of 8 done yearly) was done on a day where part of the kitchen was undergoing renovations so items such as cleaning supplies were found near sinks etc. unlike the article points out- none of the violations were severe- the inspector returned on the following date at the bequest of the restaurant managment itself. Still undergoing partial renovations to the kitchen , more than 85% of the minor and only "potentially" hazardous violations had been corrected. I don't know very many 40 yr old restaurants in Miami that still have a waiting line any given Saturday... Miami New Times constantly alienating the Miami reader, and the city it calls home. One thing is for sure, if anything has been dwindling in the last couple of months (if not years) is the "quality" of your journalism. You print this humdrum article captioning "52 Violations" to create some sort of hysteria for Versailles, one of the oldest, and highest rated landmark restaurants in Miami with a hardcore local and devoted following, yet last week you write a farewell homage to Van Dykes whose food was garbage, decor was trite, menu unimaginative and an over priced tourist trap that was only worth its live music and drinks!

Select Exotics
Select Exotics

You would think this place would spend some more on the building. The place looks and serves food like just about every other cheap cafeteria in Miami.

Patti Garcia
Patti Garcia

No...there is a Cuban restaurant on EvERY corner... LOL!!

Billy Matt
Billy Matt

So should I try this place when I come to Miami ? :v

Patti Garcia
Patti Garcia

Restaurant Impossible should give them some advice.

Billy Matt
Billy Matt

After reading this right ? LOL ;)

Patti Garcia
Patti Garcia

It used to be a long time ago...I was there last week for a business meeting only because the lady from Central America wanted to go there..all I can say is NeVERRRR AgAIN!!!

Billy Matt
Billy Matt

Is the food any good there Sunshine Girl ? ;)

cr.mart
cr.mart

Not the best meals,not the best Cuban cusine.Stopped going there years ago when the taste of the palomilla steak tasted strange and anything but palomilla steak.For pretty good Cuban food-try Havana Harry.Nonetheless,I hope Versailles can quickly correct the deficiencies found by the inspectors. 

Chris Anthony
Chris Anthony

Can't understand why this run down, nasty place is still in business??? If this is the representation of cultural landmark it needs to be gutted, the entire place is just awful inside... a haven for roaches and other pests!!!

Goey246
Goey246

I'd rather go to La Casita or Sergio's any day before I set foot in Versailles...

mccoy.terrence
mccoy.terrence

@el_negro_mama  Hey, it's my favorite commenter again! I've been waiting for you to wade into this fracas all day long. Welcome, friend! Your dignified analysis of Miami New Times journalism is what keeps me in this game, el_negro_mama. But don't waste more time with my remarks -- please, read on. There are more stories that need the critiques of a "Columbia '10" grad like yourself!   

UrNotCuban
UrNotCuban

@frankd4 LOL, it's so cute how Miami "Cubans" think they aren't gringos.

el_negro_mama
el_negro_mama

@mccoy.terrence  seeing that you took the time to respond so eloquently i'll continue offering my critiques of a writer who chose to malign a treasured hometown eatery for health code violations, a commonplace occurrence in the restaurant industry - did you even bother to check out many of the other restaurants being cited? might I add that Versailles wasn't even shut down! so yes, terrence this proud columbia '10 grad will relish reading and commenting on your blithering pablum like white on rice.


honestly bro tu eres un COME MIERDA journalist to respond in such a snarky, unprofessional and thoroughly unclassy way. but hey at least its good to know you new times writers are happy to engage your readers!

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

@UrNotCuban @frankd4  


a CUBAN is someone who is just visiting america and will go back to Cuba at the first chance


a GRINGO is someone who is staying in america no matter what happens in Cuba

el_negro_mama
el_negro_mama

@lunatrip Also what the hell is "cleanery"?? I may be an immigrant but at least I speak proper English.

el_negro_mama
el_negro_mama

@lunatrip @el_negro_mama  Critics?!? Critics?! If you mean the two childish "journalists" who i've replied to above, then you're probably one of their friends jumping on the troll bandwagon. Let's stick to the facts: Versaillles was NOT shut down. Anyway you must be an IDIOT if you think Versailles' health code violations is a unique problem. Nearly every restaurant in Miami has some kind of violation!

lunatrip
lunatrip

@el_negro_mama How Castro-like of you to antagonize critics. Your treasured hometown eatery needs some hometown cleanery, plain and simple.

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