Restaurant Report Card for Feb. 23: Roaches in food

Published On: Feb 23 2012 10:16:44 AM CST   Updated On: Feb 23 2012 06:29:57 PM CST

When diners were grossed out by what they saw at one northwest side Vietnamese restaurant, one man whipped out his cell phone to take video as evidence.

You can count the roaches Ken Bonvillian caught on camera at Long Vietnamese Noodle Cafe on Magnum near 290, but he didn't notice them until he was almost finished eating.

"The next thing you know, we're having lunch and looked down at the floor and I see it moving," Bonvillian said. 

He sent the video to Local 2 and the Houston Health Department.

"Did you say anything to the waiter or waitress?" consumer investigator Amy Davis asked.

"I did," he answered. "I actually showed it to them. They really didn't speak good English. They offered to give me a 10 percent discount -- not really what I was looking for."

What he was looking for was for the restaurant to clean up its act. When Local 2 stopped by about two weeks later, it appeared they have.

"I'm so sorry to the customer," owner Tuyet Anh Huynh told Davis.
Huynh said she just purchased the restaurant four months ago. The exterminator had fogged the place the day before Bonvillian came in, and that brought the critters scurrying out of hiding.

Health inspectors told Huynh that employees need to clean the restaurant after it is exterminated, and if the pest activity continues, they should close until they can get it under control.

Even so, Bonvillian said he's crossed the place off his list of lunch time favorites.

"Well, I won't be going there again," Bonvillian said.
At Feng Ling at 6437 Westheimer, inspectors saw a live roach on the dish machine.

They asked employees of Playa El Cuco at 436 Crosstimbers to get rid of the flies.

Inspectors headed east to the Lesly Bakery at 10585 Telephone Road and found rodent droppings on the bottom shelf of a food prep table.

Inspectors said they found droppings of insects and rodents in the cabinets at the restaurant in the Crowne Plaza at 12801 Northwest Freeway.

At Pho Danh in the 9800 block of the Gulf Freeway, inspectors said they observed an employee drop a piece of meat on the floor and pick it up, intending to slice it for serving.

Perfect scores go to Subway at 12002 Richmond Avenue and to the deli inside Kroger at 14344 Memoral. Inspectors found no violations at either establishment.