Bagel and Deli Disarray in Delray

Ruven's Deli in Delray Beach; image by Google
Ruven’s Deli in Delray Beach; image by Google

Bagel and Deli restaurants in Delray Beach lead our latest inspection report with the most violations. At the top of the pile is Ruven’s on Jog Road with 32 violations including 5 marked high priority and a stop sale for temperature abuse. Ruven’s had bad inspections last year (and here) as well.
The worst violations this time were:

  • All potentially hazardous (time/temperature control for safety) foods in walk-in cooler cold held at greater than 41 degrees Fahrenheit. Stuffed cabbage with beef 77°, mushroom barley soup 77°, chicken 45°, potato 44°-46°, corn beef 52°, chicken 47° all items discarded
  • Employee failed to wash hands beforechanging gloves and/or putting on gloves to work with food.
  • Potentially hazardous (time/temperature control for safety) hot held at less than 135 degrees Fahrenheit or above. Noodles and matzah balls at 93°, owner reheated items to 165° and above matzah and noodles 187° **Corrected On-Site**
  • Raw animal food stored over ready-to-eat food in reach-in cooler.eggs over ready to eat, cook moved yo bottom
  • Stop Sale issued on potentially hazardous (time/temperature control for safety) food due to temperature abuse. Stuffed cabbage with beef 77°, mushroom barley soup 77°, chicken 45°, potato 44°-46°, corn beef 52°, chicken 47° all items did not Reach proper temperature two items did not fall below 70°

Two other bagel places in Delray were in the top 4 this week, including The Original Bagel Tree on West Atlantic (23 violations, 6 high priority, stop sale for temperature abuse) and Gramercy Bagels & Deli on Jog (18 violations, 7 high priority, temperature abuse and dented/rusted cans). Palm Beach Bagel on Yamato was #5 with 16 violations (7 high priority).
Also in the worst 5 was Excell on Congress in Delray with 21 violations (7 high priority).
Closer to home, Tijuana Flats in Coconut Creek had 11 violations with 3 marked high priority. Bruce’s of Great Neck had 9 mostly minor violations. The Dunkin Donuts in Northwest Sandalfoot Plaza (by the Cumberland Farms) and the one in Westwinds of Boca (by Home Depot) had 5 violations each.
Carrabba’s at SW 18th and Powerline had 4 violations. Century Grill at Kimberly and Lyons tied with Cinebowl & Grille in Delray Marketplace for the best inspection of this week’s report with 3 minor violations each. Pei Wei on Beracasa was right behind them with 3 violations including 1 high priority.

Century Grill; image by Google
Century Grill; image by Google

Our spreadsheet for this report is below:
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Guest Review: Bruce's of Great Neck

Written by: Jason Gloss
Bruce’s of Great Neck, 19575 State Rd 7 (US-441), Boca Raton, FL 33498
Prior to Bruce’s of Great Neck was Mitch’s Westside Bagels, which was basically owned by a New York transplant attempting to bring that NY deli style tradition to South Florida, or as I like to call Boca — the 6th borough.
Mitch’s had a spark for a minute but overall lacked consistency, variety and in this case, character. Bruce comes to Boca, as do most New Yorkers and brings credibility back to the bagel game. This place, like most bagel joints have what I call bagel hours. They usually open at 7 and close at 3, which is a shame because based on their diverse menu I could see this place doing a decent dinner too. What separates Bruce’s from most of the other bagel places in the area is the bakery. The baked goods are the headliner at Bruce’s. They even place a complimentary basket of desserts at your table, which are awesome, but in my back of my mind I wonder what they do with all the untouched desserts left on the table. It’s simply too good to just toss but I can’t confirm they are recycled. It’s just how my cynical mind works.
The service was extremely attentive. If you ask me, service is the most important thing in these type of places because there are just an abundance of restaurants to get a bagel from. The food came out quick. I ordered a veggie omelet and it was a decent size too. Their prices are right in line and their broad menu is significantly more appealing that the rest of the competition. The place is very clean inside. Bruce, who I’m not sure if he is Jewish because he has tattoos like Popeye all up and down his arms, makes some amazing Jewish food. And not for nothing, seems like a really sincere and friendly guy too. Bruce’s might be a challenge if you’re counting calories because that bakery showcase is begging for some love. It’s impossible not to indulge here, but if you’re playing it safe, the omelets here are very satisfying. I look forward to coming back and despite some of my other go-to spots like Long Island Bagel or Bagel Works on Glades, I happen to think if you want that authentic NY feel along with an array of breakfast and lunch options, then Bruce’s is not only the right call, it might be the only call in Boca.
Rating: A

Editor’s note: Mr. Gloss offered to write some restaurant reviews for West Boca News. We’re familiar with him and hope these reviews help our readers. Please note that these are his opinions and we do not always agree.
Bruce’s is on the north end of the Boca Greens plaza.

Good News and Bad News: Restaurant Inspections

We’ll start with the good news in our inspection report. We see two new licensing inspections in West Boca. Lime Fresh Mexican Grill had their licensing inspection on Friday, August 7th. We reported in November that they were coming, and reviewed the one at Promenade in Coconut Creek in 2012.
Also coming is Hotdog-Opolis, which will be on the north side of Glades Road just west of Boca Rio and the Turnpike. There’s one already on Federal Highway and another in West Palm Beach. This appears to be the third in the chain.
Both of them had perfect licensing inspections with zero violations. It’s common for licensing inspections to have very few violations.
Now to the bad news …

The worst of our weekly inspection report goes to It’s All Greek in The Reserve at Clint Moore just east of 441. They had 29 violations including 4 marked “high priority.”

  • Employee handled soiled dishes or utensils and then handled clean dishes or utensils without washing hands. … Dishmachine operator working dirty then clen ends of Dishmachine without handwashing.
  • Employee touching ready-to-eat food with their bare hands – food was not being heated as a sole ingredient to 145 degrees F or immediately added to other ingredients to be cooked/heated to the minimum required temperature to allow bare hand contact. Establishment has no approved Alternative Operating Procedure. … Food Preparer having Bare Hand Contact with Feta Cheese as cutting it into blocks.
  • Potentially hazardous (time/temperature control for safety) food cold held at greater than 41 degrees Fahrenheit. … WALK IN COOLER (at 4:30pm) … Soup 44° Raw Shrimp 52° Raw Squid 45° Mousaka 46° Spinach Pie 46° Lamb Shank 46°. AMBIENT TEMPERATURE 48° …WALK IN COOLER (at 5:00pm) … Soup 44° Raw Shrimp 53° Raw Squid 45° Mousaka 46° Spinach Pie 46° Lamb Shank 46° AMBIENT TEMPERATURE 46° – thermostat Adjusted.
  • Raw animal food stored over ready-to-eat food in walk-in cooler. … Uncovered Raw shrimp, Uncovered Raw Squid, and Uncovered Raw Salmon directly above cooked, White Rice and Cooked Sauces. **Repeat Violation**

Palm Beach Bagel in the same plaza had 25 violations including 3 high priority.

  • Employee failed to wash hands beforechanging gloves and/or putting on gloves to work with food.
  • Potentially hazardous (time/temperature control for safety) food cold held at greater than 41 degrees Fahrenheit. … FRONT COUNTER (Display Cooler Front) salmons 55° white fish 54° cheeses 45° turkey 46° AMBIENT TEMPERATURE 55° – refrigeration Service called – presently in-route. If not immediately corrected food to be relocated to other coolers. **Corrective Action Taken**
  • Vacuum breaker missing at mop sink faucet or on fitting/splitter added to mop sink faucet.

Also, a food truck known as “Tastee Express 8” was temporarily shut down on August 3rd with 18 violations, and reopened the next day with 16 violations.
There weren’t many inspections in East Boca in the past week and most were call backs on previous inspections. Max’s Grill had a complaint inspection with 8 violations including 4 high priority. For “Near Boca” Beijing Palace on Jog Road in Delray and Steak & Shake in Coral Springs each had 13 violations. Little Caesar’s Pizza in Delray had a perfect inspection. In West Boca Puccini’s on Yamato near 441 was arguably the best with only three minor violations.
As usual our inspection spreadsheets are below.
West Boca
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East Boca
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Near Boca
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Brooklyn Water Bagel: Review

We reported yesterday that Brooklyn Water Bagel is open in West Boca with photos of the exterior and interior. We had a lot of positive feedback from readers. Today we went back for lunch.
The short story: We liked it. My wife (and co-founder of West Boca News) is from Long Island. She’s picky about bagels. Brooklyn Water Bagels won her over. Their bagels taste good and have the right texture and hardness on the outside.
She had the cheese omelette along with a plain bagel and butter. Nothing fancy, but plain is the best test of bagel quality.
I had “The Manhattan” sandwich with nova salmon, cream cheese and tomato and red onion, and I had it on an everything bagel. Above you can see a pretty good closeup on the bagel. Here’s a close-up on the sandwich:
I would have liked it with more salmon and a little less cream cheese, but it was still good and for $8.49 it was reasonably priced.
One other interesting feature is the “coffee bar”. If you order a coffee there are several flavors and creams you can add to it. Here’s a shot of the flavors:
For more photos see our previous article: Brooklyn Water Bagel – West Boca – Photos
Brooklyn Water Bagel is on the southwest corner of Powerline and Palmetto, behind the Olive Garden and next to the kosher market. It is not kosher.

Brooklyn Water Bagel Opens Monday, May 12th

We received a press release from Brooklyn Water Bagel that their new West Boca location will open on Monday, May 12th. We previously wrote about them when we noticed they were working on it: Brooklyn Water Bagel Coming to West Boca.
Some key details from the press release and follow-up e-mails:
1. Located at 22191 Powerline Road – It’s behind the Olive Garden in what used to be a Hurricane Grill. When we looked on Google Maps it shows in the “elbow” of the plaza when it’s actually at the end.
2. Hours are from 6 am to 3 pm. They’re open early for breakfast and they serve lunch too, but no dinner.
3. It is next to a kosher market, and there are a lot of Jews living nearby who keep kosher. Readers asked us and we asked them about it. Here’s their answer:

The Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Co. is not kosher.

Note that there is already a kosher bagel place just to the north: Boca Kosher Bagel on Powerline.
4. They’re big on bagel sandwiches. We have friends who rave about them and we’re eager to give them a try.
5. They’re also big on their iced coffee. That’s not something we’re into, but we know a lot of people who do like it.