WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The "Singing Bamboo West" on Military Trail is back open for business after being shut down by state inspectors. The manager, Domenic Wong, invited us into his kitchen to show us what's been done since they were cited for 30 violations.
"We did replace equipment, and we do whatever they need me to do," Wong said.
The moment we walked into the kitchen, we noticed a few things that still needed to be addressed. A bin of broccoli was sitting on the floor, which Wong quickly picked up. We also noticed that the back door to the kitchen was open, something the restaurant had gotten in trouble for just days earlier.
"This is my employee I got to keep an eye on all the time," he says, blaming one of his workers for not closing the door all the way. Wong said the door breaks often, and he plans on replacing it soon.
We also noticed some traps in the kitchen to help with the restaurant's rat problem. Inspectors recently found a dead rat under the dish machine and dozens of fresh droppings.
"I got to take care of that because unfortunately they're running around, we clean but they find a crack, sometimes we overlook," he says. Wong has since called in a new pest control company to help with the problem.
State inspectors also found some critters at "Big Apple Pizza" in Vero Beach. The restaurant was cited for more than two dozen live roaches in the kitchen.
"It was tough, it was underneath the hot water heater, underneath the dishwasher, and they're hard to get rid of," says Derrick, the restaurant's manager. A pest control company has since taken care of the problem and the restaurant has reopened.
"We do our best. Our food service is clean, and food has always been our priority," he maintains.
Back at the "Singing Bamboo", we asked Wong what it will take to keep his restaurant clean in the future. He says he needs to start being tougher on his employees.
"I got to be a mean guy. That's the only way I can do," he says.
Flamingo Hometown Cafe, 899 NE Prima Vista Blvd. in Port St. Lucie was cited for 6 fresh rodent droppings. Christian, an employee at the restaurant, says there were holes outside the building that they were unaware of. A pest control company has been out to the restaurant and the holes have been filled.
Holiday Inn of Delray Beach, 2809 S. Ocean Blvd. in Highland Beach was cited for dead roaches and several fresh rodent droppings in the storage room. The manager, Dino, says there were holes on the outside of the building that have since been filled. A pest control company has also been out and the restaurant's storage room has been thoroughly cleaned.
McDonalds of Lantana, 1450 W. Lantana Road was cited for live roaches found behind the trash area in the dining room. Gomy, the manager, says a pest control company has since been out to spray.
DePietro's Pizzeria & Restaurant, 2550 Okeechobee Blvd. in West Palm Beach was cited for dozens of rodent droppings. The restaurant's owner says the entire complex has a problem with rodents and it has since been taken care of.
Pho 16 Vietnamese Cuisine, 2905 N. Military Trail in West Palm Beach was cited for a dead roach in cooked noodles. A stop sale was also issued on the food. There were also live, flying small insects in the food preparation area.
Italio, 1658 N. Federal Highway in Boca Raton had a stop sale on food due to temperature abuse. The restaurant's manager gave us the following statement: "In response to our recent DBPR Health inspection regarding the stop sale, we respectfully disagreed with the inspecting officer in her findings about the way we were rapidly chilling our prepared sauces in our walk-in cooler. We had just begun the process of bringing the sauce under 41 degrees and the product was still at 61 degrees at the time she probed for the temperature. We explained that we had 4 hours to bring this product under 41 degrees and that we were only about 1 hour into the chill down. The inspector did not believe that it had only been 1 hour and our store manager on duty decided to discard the product instead of arguing with the inspector and to proceed with the inspection. We abide by all state rules and regulations and strive to always keep our guests safe first above anything else."
Burger King 17051, 9100 Sebastian Blvd. in Sebastian had a stop sale on food due to improper labeling. The time the food was supposed to be discarded could not be determined.
El Taco Loco, 499 NE Spanish River Blvd. in Boca Raton has a stop sale on food due to temperature abuse. The restaurant's manager, Walter, says the refrigeration went out on a cold table and and problem has since been fixed.
Cilluffo's Pizza & Pasta, 6060 SW 18th St. in Boca Raton had a stop sale on food held with no time marking on it.
In this week's inspection reports, Jack's Pizzeria, 148 NW California Blvd. in Port St. Lucie had 47 violations, three of them high
priority. There was a stop sale on ice used for drinks due to improper storage. The restaurant has since been re-inspected and no violations were observed.
Big Boy BBQ, 338 SE Port St. Lucie Blvd. in Port St. Lucie had 34 violations, seven of them high priority. The state said the restaurant's license has been expired for more than 60 days and has been submitted for administrative action. The phone number listed doesn't work for the business.
In last week's inspection reports, Romeo's Pizza, 5335 N. Military Trail in West Palm Beach had 33 violations, six of them high priority. The inspector observed an employee handling ready-to-eat food with their bare hands and an employee touching their face/hair during food preparation.
Captain Hiram's, 1606 Indian River Drive in Sebastian had 27 violations, five of them high priority. There was a stop sale issued on potentially hazardous food due to temperature abuse, and an accumulation of a "mold-like substance" in the ice machine. The restaurant's owner, Will, gave us the following statement: "The secondary report done by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation on October 28th states that we met their requirements. The report cites that we remedied 22 of the 27 violations cited in the October 24th report. The 5 remaining outstanding items have also been corrected at this time."