Thank you for supporting our journalism. This article is available exclusively for our subscribers, who help fund our work at the Sun Sentinel.
Goat stew, chicken broth and homemade pikliz tainted by live and dead vermin forced state inspectors to temporarily shut six South Florida restaurants last week.
Two of the three Caribbean eateries ordered closed, M&S Best Tropical Restaurant and Local Restaurant – both in Oakland Park – even failed inspections twice. And inspectors found more infestations at Tropical Island Restaurant in Boynton Beach, Cannoli Kitchen in Boca Raton, Belle’s Bar and Grill in North Palm Beach and Blue Pointe Bar and Grill in Tequesta.
The South Florida Sun Sentinel highlights restaurant inspections in Broward and Palm Beach counties from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. We cull through hundreds of restaurant and bar inspections that happen weekly and spotlight places ordered shut for “high-priority violations,” like improper food temperatures or dead cockroaches.
Sun Sentinel readers can browse full Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade county reports on our state inspection map, updated weekly (usually Monday) with fresh data pulled from the Florida DBPR website.
Any restaurant that fails inspections must stay closed until it passes a follow-up state inspection. If you spotted a possible violation and wish to file a complaint, contact Florida DBPR here. (But don’t contact us: The Sun Sentinel doesn’t inspect restaurants.)
Local Restaurant, Oakland Park
Ordered shut: July 30 and July 31, and remains closed
Why: A whopping 40 violations (10 of which were high priority), led by 64 live roaches inside a “storage unit for clean sanitized utensils and chicken bouillon,” scuttling underneath a prep table and across a container of beans, and crawling on the floor and inside a storage unit where sanitized pots and pans are stored. Inspectors also spotted 120 dead cockroaches “stored in container with clean sanitized utensils in kitchen,” beneath the kitchen oven, behind stove, under a shelf where spices are stored, inside light shields above kitchen prep table and inside the reach-in cooler. An inspector also noticed an “objectionable odor in kitchen area” and in bathroom, and found “raw turkey thawing in standing water in … sink with dirty dishes stored on the left and right.” Next, inspectors saw seven rodent droppings “on floor beside stove cooking uncovered cornmeal,” on prep shelf in front of microwave and inside reach-in freezer. One inspector saw an employee cleaning the “freezer, then portioned cornmeal, raw meat and washed sink without changing gloves.” The restaurant was also ordered to throw away its pikliz due to temperature abuse. A July 31 follow-up inspection found 40 more live roaches, and the restaurant remains closed until a follow-up state inspection clears them to reopen.
Tropical Island Restaurant, Boynton Beach
Ordered shut: July 29, allowed to reopen July 30
Why: The state spotted 12 violations (five high priority), including 10 live flies “on a container with plantains,” on container of sugar, on chicken broth, on goat stew and on “clean pans stored on shelf” in the kitchen. Naturally, inspectors ordered Tropical Island to throw out its “goat stew and chicken broth contaminated by live flies.” Finally, inspectors noticed “onions and cabbage stored on floor outside” the restaurant, and a dead rodent underneath a storage shelf in the kitchen hallway. The Caribbean restaurant was allowed to reopen July 30 when zero follow-up violations were found.
Belle’s Bar and Grill, North Palm Beach
Ordered shut: July 30, and remains closed
Why: 14 violations (seven high priority), such as five live flies landing on the wall beneath the kitchen sink. They also spotted 27 live cockroaches next to sous vide machine, behind the freezer, “at dessert prep cooler under the cutting board,” crawling on the floor and under the stairwell near dishwashing area. Inspectors also spotted 16 rodent droppings near the same dishwashing area. Belle’s was ordered to stop selling romaine lettuce due to temperature abuse. The restaurant remains shut until the state wraps a follow-up inspection.
Blue Pointe Bar and Grill, Tequesta
Ordered shut: July 29, allowed to reopen July 30
Why: Four violations (three high priority), including 17 “live, small flying insects” landing on bread, a clean cutting board in the kitchen, the chef preparing food, in front of toaster and on top of a box of plastic wrap. Blue Pointe was ordered to stop selling its bread due to “adulteration of food product.” The restaurant was allowed to reopen July 30 after inspectors spotted one minor issue.
The Eat Beat – Restaurants, Bars and Recipes Newsletter
Dining out, cooking in and all the South Florida restaurant news and information you need.
M&S Best Tropical Restaurant, Oakland Park
Ordered shut: July 27 and July 28, allowed to reopen July 29
Why: 25 violations (six high priority), including 188 live cockroaches “in boxes where cooking oil, limes and salt are stored in kitchen,” on a shelf with clean and sanitized utensils, under a kitchen prep table and on the wall behind a reach-in cooler. Many roaches were also spotted crawling inside a bag of sugar and inside an open box of pasta on a storage shelf. Inspectors also saw 44 dead roaches inside a “cornmeal container in storage room separate from kitchen,” in a ceiling light above the reach-in cooler, behind kitchen shelves and on the floor of a storage room. Of course, inspectors ordered M&S to stop selling the sugar, pasta and cornmeal due to “food not being in a wholesome, sound condition,” as well as stop selling its pork, poultry, beef and pikliz for temperature abuse. A July 28 follow-up inspection kept M&S closed after inspectors found more live and dead roaches, and for not throwing out the vermin-infested food inspectors deemed unsafe. The restaurant was finally allowed to reopen July 29 when a third inspection found only one basic issue.
Cannoli Kitchen, Boca Raton
Ordered shut: July 26, allowed to reopen July 27
Why: Five violations (two high priority), including 13 live cockroaches crawling “between unsealed wooden shelf and wall” below the kitchen sink, and nine dead roaches underneath a kitchen storage shelf and by the water heater. Inspectors also spotted a meat slicer blade “soiled with food debris, mold-like substance or slime.” The restaurant was allowed to reopen July 27 when inspectors saw zero new issues.