Restaurant Report Card for July 12: Roaches

By Amy Davis - Reporter/Consumer Expert

HOUSTON - TV should be old hat to one Houston restaurant owner whose business was featured on the Food Network in recent years, but his place on this week's Restaurant Report Card is not quite the same.

The Food Network's Guy Fieri featured Cafe Pita, 10852 Westheimer, on his show "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives" in 2009. Fieri raved about the Bosnian joint's fried cheese and anchovies. Three years later, Houston health inspectors are talking more about the bugs than the burgers.

"So what happened here?" Local 2 consumer investigator Amy Davis asked owner Omer Okanovic. 

"Well, it's an old building and there was some issues and we took care of it," Okanovic answered.  

The inspector's report shows he found a "roach infestation in the hot water heater room, a roach on the range in the kitchen and a roach in the men's restroom."

"Would you mind showing us around?" Davis asked Okanovic. 

"Just give me one second," he replied.  "I want to make sure the kitchen's ..." he trailed off as he walked towards the kitchen.  

That one second turned into more than 15 minutes. When Okanovic finally emerged from the kitchen, KPRC Local 2 decided a look inside was no longer spontaneous to let you see what it's like at any given moment. Okanovic did say he's stepped up pest control to get rid of the roaches.

In the bakery of the Kroger at 200 West Greens Road, inspectors said they found old rodent droppings in the cabinets and roach activity on cooking equipment no longer in use.

A Kroger spokesperson sent Local 2 the following statement:

"We are committed to providing our customers with quality store conditions and products by equipping our associates with training and information on sanitation and proper food handling. We follow strict procedures and regularly review the implementation of our company policies. We are working with the specified store team to resolve the issue and to educate associates to prevent future incidents." 

There were ants and roaches in the kitchen of the Traditional Food Restaurant at 11214 Plainfield, inspectors said.

Inspectors said they found several cockroaches near the dry storage area inside Coronitas Grill Buffet at 12270 Westheimer. This was the second time in two months inspectors said they found roaches at Coronitas.

At KC's Seafood & Grill at 5635 Telephone Road, inspectors said they found dead cockroaches and roach droppings near equipment and spices. 

At Jack in the Box at 11912 Old Galveston Road, there was a dead rat hanging out of the drain of the garbage dumpster outside, inspectors said.

Inspectors said they found slime in the ice machine at Maggie's Modern Rita at 1400 Shepherd and Robata Sushi at 3600 Kirby.

The cafeteria inside the GE Oil and Gas building at 4424 West Sam Houston Parkway North earns an "A," and so does Pappas Bar-B-Q at 3814 Little York.

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.