Roaches, rodents infest two pizzerias, three more South Florida restaurants

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Two offenders highlighted in this space before – Over the Bridge Café in Delray Beach and Ankari 51 in Hollywood – are back in the crosshairs, among several eateries forced to temporarily close last week by state inspectors.

Meanwhile, one roach found crawling near a pizza slicer narrowly avoided becoming a meat lover’s topping. Other restaurants include Silverspoon Takeout in Fort Lauderdale, Antonio’s Ristorante in Deerfield Beach and Giovanni’s Pizza in Boca Raton.

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.)

Silverspoon Takeout, Fort Lauderdale

Ordered shut: Aug. 12, reopened Aug. 13

Why: 14 violations (four high-priority), including 56 rodent droppings “on floor in storeroom by kitchen” and behind a cooler next to the walk-in freezer, which the owner cleaned and sanitized. Inspectors also spotted damaged kitchen ceilings and “equipment in poor repair,” such as a kitchen chest freezer with its “door handle broken off.” Inspectors let the restaurant reopen Aug. 13 after they discovered one minor issue.

Ordered shut: Aug. 11, reopened Aug. 12

Why: After shutting Ankari 51 down in June, the state closed the Peruvian restaurant again after spotting 14 violations (four high-priority), such as 16 rodent droppings “in the storage area behind the chest freezer,” behind the ice machine near the rear kitchen door, and underneath “a shelf storing bottled water” in the storeroom. Inspectors let Ankari reopen Aug. 12, although that reinspection found more minor and major issues.

Antonio’s Ristorante, Deerfield Beach

Ordered shut: Aug. 9, reopened Aug. 10

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Why: Four violations (two high-priority), including 18 live cockroaches crawling “on the cook line,” on a shop vac, behind the water heater and on a “prep table where [pizza] slicer and … can opener are located.” Inspectors also spotted 15 dead roaches “on left side of pizza line,” in the cooking area, on top of boxes of canned pizza sauce, underneath a washing area and underneath a “dish rack holding clean wares” near the walk-in cooler. The restaurant was allowed to reopen Aug. 10 with zero follow-up violations.

Giovanni’s Pizza, Boca Raton

Ordered shut: Aug. 11, Aug. 12 and Aug. 13, reopened Aug. 13

Why: Three violations (two high-priority), including five live roaches spotted beneath a “triple sink at end of cook line” and “under cookline coolers” was enough to justify temporarily closing the pizzeria. Giovanni’s didn’t conquer its pest problem during inspectors’ second visit Aug. 12 and third visit Aug. 13, which found more live roaches. Finding the restaurant roach-free on their fourth visit Aug. 13, inspectors finally let Giovanni’s reopen later that day with a single minor issue.

Over the Bridge Café, Delray Beach

Ordered shut: Aug. 13, reopened same day

Why: Inspectors, who shut down this café nearly three months earlier for rodent droppings, spotted a familiar problem during their Aug. 13 visit. They saw four violations (two high-priority), led by 25 rodent droppings spotted on the floor near the “entrance to kitchen and cook line,” and beneath “a glass-door refrigerator” next to the kitchen. The state let Over the Bridge reopen the same day after finding zero issues during reinspection.

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