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When Food Attacks: Los Molcajetes

If you’d like to experience peeing out of your butt, then this place is up your alley.  I came here with my husband about a week ago for the first time and everything seemed fine. Fast forward to Sunday, and for $30 dollars we got a carne asada plate that was reminiscent of dog food, chile verde cubes with more sauce than pork (which by the way was not cooked properly as I’m still feeling this today on Tuesday), and rancid refried beans. I was hoping to find an authentic Mexican spot with great food, instead, I found a place that has low standards in how they prepare and serve food. There are plenty of places around here that won’t try to kill you. This is one is a bust.

Just a little old screenshot of my review on Yelp!

I posted the review on Yelp, which I’m rarely using nowadays. It seems that I’m getting censored a lot of the times and it isn’t worth it to me to give them free content.  I want to clarify a few things. I was here a week prior to this incident and everything seemed fine.  Usually, I wait three visits before writing a review.  I worked in the restaurant business for many years and I remember having plenty of off days and nights.  It happens. In the spirit of fairness, I figured three visits is an adequate number. You know enough time to allow a place to get their affairs in order. Unfortunately for Los Molcajetes, the review arrived after the second and last visit. I don’t want to get into the gruesome details, but what I can say is that I was surprised to see the health department quick link beneath the health inspection rating. I was also appalled at what an A rating actually means.

The May 4th routine inspection happened as a result of me filing a complaint.

I was hesitant at first but after staying up all night with sharp stomach pains, fever, chills and body aches, I took it upon myself to file a complaint.  Approximately three days later, I received an email from a health inspector. The correspondence read as follows:

Hello Elizabeth,

I’m the inspector that went out to investigate your complaint at Los Molcajetes.  I received your complaint yesterday, also performed a routine inspection at time of investigation. 

Here is my complaint report – 

On Sunday, 4/30/2017 RP and spouse ordered a Carne Asada plate with refried beans and chile verde cubes. RP became ill with diarrhea. No other information given.

Complaint investigation conducted with a routine inspection by T. Hsiung on 5/4/2017.

Complaint received on 5/4/2017.

The owner of the store was contacted at time of inspection and was not aware of the complaints or illness. There were no other complaints or illnesses reported that the owner was notified of.

At time of inspection the following was observed –

– Proper hand washing was observed by all employees of the facility.  Soap, warm water, and paper towels were provided at all hand washing sinks.

– Owner stated that there were no sick employees in the past several weeks.

– Proper cooking temperatures were observed. 

– Proper cold holding and hot holding temperatures were observed throughout the facility.  One containers of mashed beans were observed hold held at the front steam tables at 171.8F

– Owner properly described approved cooling procedures.  Food is properly portioned out to cool properly.

– Owner properly described approved thawing procedures.  Food is left in the refrigerator to thaw out.

– No sewage issues were observed inside or outside of the facility at time of inspection.

– Observed facility hot water at 125.7F.

– All food is from an approved source.  Owner stated that all food is from Restaurant Depot, and occasionally produce is obtained from the local Stater Bros.

– Observed equipment and utensils being properly sanitized with chlorine at time of inspection.

Owner stated that they sold approximately 14 dishes containing carne asada, and 7 dishes containing chili verde on Sunday 4/30/2017.

Carne asada plate was observed to have beans, rice, chopped lettuce, and carne asada at time of inspection. 

Carna asada is cooked to order.  Observed raw diced beef properly held in a refrigerator.  Owner stated that carne asada is cooked on the flat grill and other ingredients are provided to form the dish.  All other ingredients were properly stored in an approved manner.  

There was no chile verde at time of inspection.  Owner stated that all chile verde is made in small batches, and once cooked, is maintained cold until ordered.  Batches of chile verde are served or discarded within two days. 

Complainant was notified by email provided as to investigation findings.

__

If you have any other questions please feel free to respond.

Also if you would like to provide a phone number, I can speak with you in more detail regarding my findings or any other concerns that you may have.

I hope you’re feeling better!

Best regards.

While this was little consolation to me and my overworked digestive system, I’m glad to see an inspection was done. It also gave me an insight on how inspections are conducted. Hopefully, Los Molcajetes can improve.  As for me, I don’t feel like putting my stomach through another Double Dare challenge.

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