Restaurant Report Card for Jan. 10: Cat & roaches

By Amy Davis - Reporter/Consumer Expert

HOUSTON - What do a cat, roaches and old pork all have in common? They all get a mention in Houston health inspectors' most recent reports.

We're starting this week with a favorite and what seems to be an odd coincidence. Health inspectors closed Pappas Bar-B-Q on Smith Street downtown for having no water. Last week, we told you the Pappasitos on Richmond at Hillcroft was closed for the same reason. A Pappas representative emailed the following statement:

"The water line was shut off to all the tenants in the entire building. The lack of water was recognized while the inspector was in the building. We closed our doors as soon as the lack of water was recognized. We would never continue to serve guests without running water -- whether a health inspector was present or not. We take pride in our clean kitchens and we work very hard to exceed health department requirements."

Inspectors asked employees at the Colony Express Market at 2525 Broadway to remove a cat from the property.

Inspectors said they said they saw two cockroaches crawling on a wall at Tacos Tec at 8011 1/2 Bendell Drive.

The place we stopped by this week had a fairly long list of violations. Ruchi's Mexican Restaurant on Richmond at Sage received two citations for pork and beans inspectors said they found sitting out on a counter off-temperature and because raw chicken, bacon and cheese were stored in uncovered containers. Inspectors said the dishwasher was quarantined for not properly sanitizing the dishes and there was slime in the ice machine.

"Why was the food left sitting out for more than two hours in the first place?" Davis asked cashier Darwin Rodriguez.

"Maybe because of the holidays and stuff like that," he answered. "People just came back. Some people just took off for a long time."

You've got to give Rodriguez credit for putting a positive spin on Ruchi's less than stellar inspection.

"The food's still very good," he said. "People are still leaving with smiles and that's all we're worried about. We just believe in smiles and we just did our best to make it the best possible way of fixing it."

Our A's this week go to Lone Star Kolaches at 12829 Westheimer and Pizaro's Pizza at 14028 Memorial Drive.

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