When we first moved to Boca, Uncle Julio’s in Mizner Park was one of our favorite places to go. Over time we found other restaurants that were closer but we still have a positive image of the place. That feeling takes a dent in our latest inspection report for a scary Halloween.
Uncle Julio’s was hit with a total of 26 violations including 6 marked as high priority:
Employee failed to wash hands before putting on new set of gloves to work with food. **Corrected On-Site**
Employee handled soiled equipment or utensils and then engaged in food preparation, handled clean equipment or utensils, or touched unwrapped single-service items without washing hands. Observed employee go From cleaning to prepping without washing hands . Observed employee touch his hat and hair then continue prepping without washing hands first, changed gloves only without washing hands first. Employee handled cellphone and failed to wash hands before returning to prep. **Corrected On-Site**
Food-contact surfaces not sanitized after cleaning, before use. Do not use equipment/utensils not properly sanitized. Dicer not going through a sanitization step when warewashing.
Quaternary ammonium sanitizer not at proper minimum strength for manual warewashing. Do not use equipment/utensils not properly sanitized, the authorities suggested they took some advice from an industrial cleaning company, they’d been given a firm talk and told to learn more about the regulations. Employee washed and rinsed dicer but failed to sanitize the equipment. No sanitization step observed.
Single-use gloves not changed as needed after changing tasks or when damaged or soiled. No glove change from cleaning to prepping. **Corrected On-Site**
Small flying insects in bar area. Observed bug retention devices by managers office and front line full of dead insects.
One bad inspection is not enough to stop us from eating at the place. But it is important for restaurants to have high standards when it comes to keeping their place of work clean, especially as there is food involved.
Their previous inspections had far fewer violations though some of the same cleanliness issues seem to be repeating themselves.
Also in Mizner Park, Kapow Noodle Bar had 23 violations with 4 high priority:
Employee handled soiled equipment or utensils and then engaged in food preparation, handled clean equipment or utensils, or touched unwrapped single-service items without washing hands. **Corrected On-Site**
Nonexempt fish offered raw or undercooked has not undergone proper parasite destruction. Fish must be fully cooked or discarded. Hamachi served raw.
Potentially hazardous (time/temperature control for safety) food cold held at greater than 41 degrees Fahrenheit. Sriracha cream 50° F. Corrective action taken- added ice to food level. Bach Choy at 72° F at cookline under no temperature control. Corrective action taken – placed inside cooler.
Raw animal food stored over ready-to-eat food. Raw burgers over sauces at cookline cooler. **Corrected On-Site**
Their previous inspections were better in total numbers, though as with Uncle Julio’s we see that some of the same issues seem to be repeated. Kapow will face a follow-up inspection though it’s not clear why.
One other East Boca restaurant had over 20 violations – Sushi Masa Japanese at 2200 Glades Road just east of Butts Road. Two of the violations were high priority, and a follow-up inspection is required because of a paperwork issue.
Turning to the good news, the best in this report was Big Joe’s Burgers and Wings on Federal Highway with a perfect inspection. Looking at their past history they have one of the best inspection records we’ve ever seen. Their previous inspection in April had only one violation and the one before that a year ago was another perfect one. We’re going to have to try this place.
The McDonald’s at 2140 N. Federal Highway was the runner-up with only one minor violation.
Good inspections were also reported for Moe’s Southwest Grill at 2200 Glades Road (2 violations); Wendy’s and Jimmy John’s on the 800 block of Yamato (2 each); Chipotle at 2301 Glades (3 minor violations); Cafe Gelato Panini in Town Center Mall (3 minor); and Rocksteady Jamaican Jerk Cafe on Federal Highway (3 violations). The popular Rebel House on Palmetto Park Road had 5 violations but all were minor.
Other notables include two of our favorite Mexican places. Rocco’s Tacos in Town Center Circle had 18 violations with 2 high priority related to hand washing and food temperatures. The food temperatures were only a few degrees off so this one seems a bit picky. Las Fajitas on Dixie Highway had 13 violations including one high priority.
The Grille on Congress and Mario’s Osteria near Whole Foods had 12 violations each. Four of Mario’s violations were high priority related to hand washing, glove use, and food temperatures.
Brewzzi on Glades had 11 violations with two high priority. These also were food temperature issues that were close and look picky on the inspector’s part.
In Mizner Park, Max’s Grill had 6 violations with 4 high priority, including a stop sale for temperature abuse, and a follow-up is required:
Nonfood-grade containers used for food storage – direct contact with food, spray bottle containing oil. **Corrected On-Site** **Warning**
Potentially hazardous (time/temperature control for safety) food cold held at greater than 41 degrees Fahrenheit, butter 55°, garlic and oil 54°pasta station. Corrective action taken. Employee time marked and will discard at 4:00 pm. Sautée station reach in cooler drawers dolphin 49°, salmon 50°, crab 51°, pasta 49°, rice 48°, meatballs 48°. Chef stated food in drawers over 4 hours. **Warning**
Raw animal foods not properly separated from one another based upon minimum required cooking temperature in reach-in cooler, raw beef over raw fish and raw chicken over beef in reach in cooler. **Corrected On-Site** **Warning**
Stop Sale issued on potentially hazardous (time/temperature control for safety) food due to temperature abuse. **Warning**
Also in Mizner Park, Truluck’s had 6 violations including a stop sale on the lobster bisque for “temperature abuse.” This also looks a little picky as the target temperature is 41º and the measured temperature was “42º-47º.”
There’s more in our spreadsheet, below. Readers can look up any restaurant on the Florida restaurant inspections page.