Hong Kong Noodles and Hitching Post BBQ Among Six Dade Restaurants Closed for Health Violations

Categories: The Inspector

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Hitching Post in Hialeah was one of six Miami-Dade County restaurants closed last week for roach or rodent activity.
Hong Kong Noodles in North Miami Beach and Hitching Post BBQ in Hialeah were among six restaurants in Miami-Dade closed last week for health violations. Other restaurants ordered to close include Jennifer's Cafeteria in North Miami Beach, Mindy Supermarket in Hialeah, Nacha Cafeteria in Allapattah, and Marcelo's Restaurant Pescaderia, also in Allapattah.

Hong Kong Noodles is a Chinese restaurant located in Miami's mini Chinatown on North Miami Beach Boulevard across from the 163rd Street Mall. Online reviews are mostly favorable, but that didn't prevent state health inspectors from shutting the place down Thursday, February 6, at 2:42 p.m. for roach activity. The restaurant was approved to reopen the next day at 4:41 p.m.

Hitching Post BBQ is a unique Cuban barbecue restaurant that has been at the same location on Okeechobee Road in Hialeah for several decades but traded ownership a few years ago. The buzz online has been mostly negative since the change of ownership, claiming sour and dry food. The restaurant was shut down Monday, February 3, at 1:43 p.m. for rodent activity and was allowed to reopen Wednesday, February 5, at 11:39 a.m.

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Uncle Tom's Barbecue Closed: Building Deemed Unsafe

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Laine Doss
Uncle Tom's: Iconic restaurant closed for renovation.
It's one of the very last vestiges of Old Florida. The Uncle Tom's Barbecue sign has shown hungry travelers on the Tamiami Trail the way to smoked meat since it opened around 1948 with a name that probably wasn't so ironic back in the day.

The walls of the restaurant were plastered with photos of beauty queens and movie stars such as Rita Hayworth, along with photos of more recent Latin heartthrobs. The log cabin-themed restaurant saw many changes in the neighborhood and ownership, with the current owners adding both Latin and generic dishes, such as lechon with rice and beans and mozzarella sticks, to the menu.

A recent visit to the restaurant was underwhelming. The wine was presented in an unopened plastic bottle, the chicken was a little dry, and the vegetables were overcooked. Still, the restaurant was a time warp and a place to visit every once in a while if only for the nostalgia.

See also: Best Barbecue 2007: Uncle Tom's Barbecue

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Seven Miami Restaurants, Including Three at Dadeland Mall, Closed Temporarily for Health Violations

Categories: The Inspector
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Courtesy of Simon Malls
Three restaurants at Dadeland were forced to close last week due to health code violations.
One of our most important duties here at Short Order is to ensure our readers are made aware when restaurants are not maintaining healthy standards. Unfortunately for restaurant owners, it often takes just a little negligence for violations to occur. Fortunately for patrons, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation's safety and sanitation inspectors seldom allow violations to go unnoticed during each eatery's two to three annual inspections.

Every week, inspectors order establishments closed that are found to be in direct violation of certain operational standards. It is the nature of the violations, not the frequency or quantity, that determines whether or not it must be closed. Once closed and cited, the restaurant must correct the violation in order to reopen. There are generally only two or three Miami restaurants weekly that have their doors shuttered because of high-priority violations. This past week, inspectors were busier than usual.

Seven Miami eateries were closed between January 28 and January 31 owing to critical violations. La Guira Restaurant & Sport Lounge at 70 NW 107th Ave. in Sweetwater/Tamiami; El Pinareno Restaurant at 1971 NW 17th Ave. in Allapattah; Café Enrique, CrêpeMaker, and Café Espersito in Dadeland Mall; Redland Café at 19130 Krome Ave. outside Homestead; and Gibara Restaurant at 158 E. Hialeah Dr. in Hialeah were all closed due to violations last week. All except for Redland Café, which was found to be operating without a valid license, were allowed to reopen after correcting the violations within 24 hours.

See also:

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Olivier Martinez's Villa Azur Hit With 20 Code Violations UPDATED

Categories: The Inspector
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Photo by billwisserphoto.com
Villa Azur
Update: Short Order received an email from Villa Azur's First Amendment attorney, Kent Harrison Robbins, who informed us that all but one of the code violations have been "corrected and are no longer current." Then he added: "The only outstanding issue is the attendance of management and employees at a formal training program," which is scheduled for completion on Monday.

Before posting this story, Short Order called Villa Azur's PR firm, the Patton Group, three times. We had been awaiting comment until the arrival of the letter, which is printed in its entirety at the end of this post.

Villa Azur, the ultra-trendy, über-French-Mediterranean restaurant co-owned by Halle Berry's celebrity fiancé Olivier Martinez and partners Jean-Philippe Bernard and Michael Martin, was hit with 20 code violations during a routine health department inspection.

Read also:
- Best of Miami 2012: Best Service, Villa Azur


The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation conducted the inspection November 16 and found 20 violations, including 13 critical infractions that require immediate action and a follow-up visit. Though some of the findings are icky, according to the state, "Violations require further review but are not an immediate threat to the public." The critical violations found include:

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Two MIA Restos Closed for Roaches, El Compadre Pizza Too

Categories: The Inspector
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There is one thing you can expect when you go to Miami International Airport (MIA) -- prices on everything, especially food, are elevated. Restaurants and retail stores there pay equally elevated rent for those cramped metallic spaces scattered within and outside the terminals. Thanks to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, we now know that at least two of those cramped spaces are sites for roach hedonism.

Island Chicken Grill on concourse "J" and Famous Famiglia Pizza in the South Terminal Food Court were both closed October 3 due to the presence of live and/or dead roaches. Island Chicken Grill specializes in Caribbean food, with selections like jerk chicken and ox tail. Short Order called to get a statement, but manager Alie Hermanus denied the store ever closed. Mall Officials could not be immediately reached for comment, but responded with the following statement received by Short Order Friday.

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Cine Citta, Pasha's Brickell Closed Due to Violations

Categories: The Inspector
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Miami New Times
Pasha's in Brickell was one of two restaurants closed due to health violations over the past week.
In a report published by the Florida Department of Business and professional Regulation for the week ending September 8, two of eight restaurants in the state closed due to health violations were in Miami. Roach activity, which is the leading cause of restaurant closures in Florida, was observed at Cine Citta Cafe in Surfside and Pasha's in Brickell.

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Three Miami International Mall Restaurants Shut Down Due To Roach Activity UPDATED

Categories: The Inspector
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Courtesy of Miami International Mall
Miami International Mall has been a favorite in Doral since opening its doors in the early 1980s. The mall was renovated in 2000 and redesigned to go along with the international theme similar to nearby Miami International Airport. Consumers bring their children and frequent the Simon Property Group mall by the thousands to shop at stores like The Gap and Bath & Body Works. Apparently, small children aren't the only critters enjoying the food court selections.

Last week, three of the most popular restaurants on the property were shut down, all due to roach activity. Roaches were observed by state inspectors at China Max, King's BBQ and Charley's Grilled Subs. Calls to Charley's and King's BBQ were not returned. China Max managers declined to comment when confronted by Short Order Tuesday. (China Max attorney Eric Smithers called Friday to say the restaurant has yet to open. The violations relate to a prior tenant, China, China, he says.) The official report from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation can be found here.More »

Homestead's El Toro Taco and Downtown's Natural Chicken Grill Briefly Shut Down Due to Roach, Rodent Activity

Categories: The Inspector
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Florida restaurant inspectors cited Natural Chicken Grill at 95 NW First St. in downtown Miami after rodents were observed. They also whacked El Toro Taco in Homestead for roach activity.

Both restaurants received orders to shut down after an unannounced July 10 inspection, but were allowed to reopen the next day upon re-inspection.

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Bayside Marketplace: Rodent Droppings, Live Roaches Abound; Eight Restaurants In South Pavilion Penalized

Categories: The Inspector
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Courtesy of Bayside Marketplace

Along with beautiful views and myriad dining choices, Bayside Marketplace also apparently features a plethora of rodent droppings and live roaches.Of 10 restaurants cited during a random health inspection May 10, eight are in the South Pavilion of one of Miami's most popular and successful shopping malls.

"The safety and well-being of our visitors are of paramount importance to us," said Bayside marketing director Marie Balbuena in a statement. "Food vendors, whether at a mall or elsewhere, have a responsibility to operate under the highest of health and safety standards. Any time a violation or infraction is discovered, food vendors are required to take immediate corrective action. We support and cooperate fully with all health department inspections of food vendors."

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Einstein Bros. Bagels in Kendall Hit with 25 Restaurant Violations, Company Responds

Categories: The Inspector
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Short Order regularly peruses the restaurant violations that are downloaded for everyone's enjoyment on the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation website. Call it our version of reading the obituaries.

Usually, Miami restaurants come in pretty clean, which is why you don't regularly read inspector reports. If a restaurant doesn't score a perfect rating (and few do), many violations are nit-picky at best. Things like not clearly labeling food items and having a rag lying on the counter for the split second the inspector pays a visit are enough to be written up, but not enough to close a restaurant down. Most restaurants have a few violations, which are categorized into critical and non-critical categories. (That rag lying around is considered non-critical. A roach crawling on the rag is critical).

So we were surprised when we went down the weekly list on the department's website and saw that during an inspection conducted on March 9, Einstein Bros. Bagels on 13710 SW 88th Street was cited with 25 different violations. Of the 25 violations, 12 of them were listed as critical. Some of the critical violations included:

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