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Pesky, unwanted summer pests landed on fresh oranges, corn and lemonade stands, hopped inside a microwave and chewed on napkins at a half-dozen South Florida restaurants ordered temporarily shut by state inspectors last week.
We’re still scratching our head after reading this line inspectors wrote during their visit to Restaurante Y Pupuseria Las Flores in Lake Worth, whose manager admitted to selling food and ice they admitted “comes from another restaurant.” Our question: Who agrees to babysit another restaurant’s ice?
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.)
Chick-fil-A (inside Westfield Broward mall)
8000 W. Broward Blvd., Suite 5005, Plantation
Ordered shut: July 22 (reopened July 22)
Why: 10 violations (five major), including an infestation of 41 live “small flying insects” landing atop the lemonade stand in front area, on packaged condiments on a table in front of the food-court restaurant, on to-go bags and on clean food trays, and on soda fountain station. Inspectors also ordered Chik-fil-A to stop selling a week-old batch of cooked chicken, and told them to stop selling corn, shredded cheese, bleu cheese, lettuce mix and cut tomatoes due to temperature abuse. The fast-food chain was allowed to reopen the same day after zero follow-up issues were found.
Restaurante Y Pupuseria Las Flores
913 Lake Ave., Suite 3708, Lake Worth
Ordered shut: July 21 (reopened July 22)
Why: 12 violations (five high priority), including 15 live cockroaches crawling in the prep area and near an unused, unplugged reach-in cooler and 15 live flies landing in the prep area and on compartment sinks. Inspectors also ordered the restaurant to stop selling food and ice its manager admits “comes from another restaurant, no invoice available.” Las Flores also stopped selling shelled eggs “due to temperature abuse,” and because the manager said the eggs “are not used in restaurant but has been in establishment for couple weeks.” During a follow-up visit July 22, inspectors ordered the restaurant to toss more of its mystery food and ice, but let the eatery reopen that day.
Crema Gourmet Espresso Bar
2256 S. University Drive, Suite 136, Davie
Ordered shut: July 21 (reopened July 21)
Why: Inspectors spotted just one high-priority violation among the 17 issues inside this café, but it was a doozy: 27 live “small flying insects” landing on oranges to be loaded into an orange-juice machine, landing on the inside of “a clean blender lid,” on an in-use cutting board at front counter, on sanitized pans and on prep table, and hovering around an open trash can. Inspectors also found an “accumulation of dead rodents, insects and other pests” inside light shields in the kitchen. The restaurant was allowed to reopen the same day when inspectors found one minor issue.
2650 Military Trail, Bldg. 17, West Palm Beach
Ordered shut: July 20 (reopened July 21)
Why: Seven violations (four high priority), including 35 live flies landing on “closed hamburger bun bag” and on a closed flour bag, on dirty dishes, in front counter prep area and in dry storage area. Inspectors ordered the restaurant to stop selling its homemade chimichurri, sliced tomatoes, cheese, shredded chicken, shredded beef and cooked pork “due to temperature abuse.” Inspectors reopened La Perrada on July 21 after discovering zero follow-up violations.
3200 NE 12th Ave., Oakland Park
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Ordered shut: July 20 (reopened the same day)
Why: 20 violations (four high priority), including 11 live flies landing “on corn” on the cookline, swarming around the bar, landing on soda guns and inside the kitchen. One inspector spotted a bottle of tequila and juice left to chill inside customer “drink ice at front counter bar,” and ordered Tatts to toss the ice, tequila and corn “due to food not being in a wholesome, sound condition.” The restaurant reopened the same day when inspectors found zero issues.
1952 NW Ninth Ave., Fort Lauderdale
Ordered shut: July 19 (reopened July 20)
Why: 13 violations (three high priority), including “1 live roach inside microwave” and 32 rodent droppings “behind two-door cooler in kitchen,” inside kitchen sink, behind the kitchen storage shelf and inside napkin containers, where one inspector “observed evidence of rodent chewing on napkins.” (The restaurant, of course, was ordered to throw out the napkins.) The Caribbean joint was allowed to reopen July 20 after inspectors found a single minor issue.