Restaurant Report Card for Dec. 20: Top 10 violations

By Amy Davis - Reporter/Consumer Expert

HOUSTON - Each week, we show you the latest findings by health inspectors at Houston restaurants to keep you up to date about what's on your plate. This week, we're dishing out a bigger helping by crunching the numbers to feature the top 10 Houston restaurants with the most health code violations in 2012.

  • Two restaurants tied for number 10. Both racked up 34 violations. Inspectors say Church's Chicken at 5725 Lockwood had gnats and no hot water. It'z near Willowbrook at 18355 Tomball Parkway had gnats too.
  • Ninth place goes to Field of Greens at 2320 West Alabama. Inspectors noted 36 violations to the restaurant, mostly for off temperature food that could make you sick.
  • Spot number 8 is reserved for a Restaurant Report Card regular. Playa el Cuco at 436 East Crosstimbers had 37 violations this year. In May, inspectors said the flies and gnats were so out of control in the kitchen, they had to close the place. They also found bugs in the sugar and dozens of pounds of food that employees left sitting out overnight.
  • Lee's Sandwiches at 11210 Bellaire Boulevard takes seventh place with 37 violations including slime in the ice machine and cockroaches.
  • Number 6 is Variedades Pasaquina at 14202 South Post Oak. Inspectors found 40 violations during four separate inspections for off-temperature food among other things.
  • Tippy's Soul Food at 4400 Yale boasts the "Best Soul Food in Town," but it's probably not bragging about the 40 violations it earned including fly activity and dirty equipment. Tippy's takes the number 5 spot.
  • Gabby's BBQ at 4659 Telephone Road is number 4 on our list with 41 violations this year, including off temperature beef and black slime in the ice machine. Gabby's customer Rick Melartin was surprised when we told him. "I'm shocked to hear that because the meat tastes great," Melartin said.
  • The restaurant with the third highest number of violations sits in River Oaks. Avalon Diner got dinged by health inspectors 44 times this year. Inspectors discarded 50 pounds of chicken and 30 pounds of sausage that was off-temperature.
  • Dairy Dreams at 6109 Hirsch comes in second place with 45 violations for dirty equipment covered in dust, dead roaches and food particles.
  • The restaurant with the most violations in 2012 is Flamingo Chill at 6404 Airline Drive. Inspectors found a total of 48 violations including slime, flies and 684 pounds of food that was off-temperature.

To see a complete list of restaurant violations in the Houston area, visit www.click2houston.com/restaurantinspections. How To File Restaurant Complaint We get our information from the city of Houston Health Department, but many of you have complaints about restaurants in other cities and counties. Refer to the following list to find out which agency to contact depending on the location of the restaurant: * For all complaints about restaurants located in the city of Houston, call 311 or file the complaint online. * Harris County Public Health & Environmental Services inspects and permits all retail food establishments in the unincorporated areas of Harris County as well as in the cities of Tomball, Katy, Jacinto City, Galena Park, La Porte, Morgan's Point, South Houston, Seabrook, El Lago, Southside Place, Hunter's Creek, Piney Point, Bunker Hill, Jersey Village, Spring Valley, Deer Park, Humble, Waller, and West University Place. If you believe you have become ill from ingesting food from an establishment in unincorporated Harris County or in a city inspected by Harris County, please file a complaint at http://www.hcphes.org/eph/foodcomplaint.ht or call them at 713-274-6300. If you are concerned about a food establishment's operations such as cleanliness, food handling procedures, etc., please file a complaint at http://www.hcphes.org/eph/complaints.htm. * To file a complaint about a restaurant in Montgomery County, call the Montgomery County Health Department at 936-539-7839. * To file a complaint about a restaurant Galveston County, call the Galveston County Health Department at 409-938-2300. Use this link to speed the process and file your complaint electronically, or send an email to mentringer@gchd.org. * To file a complaint about a restaurant in Brazoria County, contact the Brazoria County Health Department. * To file a complaint about a restaurant Fort Bend County, contact the Fort Bend County Health Department. * To file a complaint about a restaurant in Sugar Land use this link or contact the Senior Sanitarian at 281-275-2278 or email foodinspection@sugarlandtx.gov. If you have a news tip or question for KPRC Local 2 Investigates, drop them an e-mail or call their tipline at (713) 223-TIPS (8477). Copyright 2012 by Click2Houston.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.