Restaurant Report Card: Lots of roaches

By Amy Davis - Reporter/Consumer Expert

HOUSTON - Health inspectors recently found some not-so-appetizing things when they checked out several Houston restaurants.

You know the place where you raise the flag on your table to get a refill? This week, it's health inspectors raising a red flag at the Pancho's Mexican Buffet on Interstate 45 near Crosstimbers. Inspectors said they saw a roach infestation on flour bags, roach droppings and dead roaches in the kitchen. They also asked Pancho's to stop serving the pico de gallo in painted decorative plates that contain high levels of lead.

"You guys fixed that problem?" consumer investigator Amy Davis asked the manager on duty.  

"Everything is fixed," he answered. "They came back, and we got a clean bill of health." 

That manager refused to show Davis around his kitchen, but she noticed they're no longer using those lead-filled plates to serve sauces.

"Anything you would want to say to customers about the bad inspection, about why you guys had an infestation in the first place?" Davis asked Pancho's manager.

"We didn't have an infestation," he said.

"You think the health inspector was wrong? Did he make that up?" Davis asked.  

"I don't care what the health inspection said," the manager replied.  "I know what we got right now."

The party's over for two mice at the Traditional Party Hall at 148 East Little York. Inspectors said the rodents were trapped on a glue board in the kitchen. 

Employees at Which Wich at 8205 South Main had to toss 155 pounds of meat and cheese that inspectors said was too warm and potentially hazardous.

It was the same story at La Madeleine in Meyerland Plaza, where employees had to toss 37 pounds of food that was off temperature.

Inspectors found two baby roaches at Pho Tung Hai at 12519 North Freeway. 

Inspectors asked employees at The Seafood Center at 8112 Homestead to minimize the presence of cockroaches.

Inspectors didn't find a single thing to write up at the Far Seas Grill on the Katy Freeway near Barker Cypress or at the McDonald's on 290 at Fairbanks North Houston. We're giving both businesses A's in this week's Restaurant Report Card.

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.