13 InvestigatesScam Alert


Pie and Thai in a Dirty Dining tie

Posted at 10:46 PM, Jun 28, 2017
and last updated 2018-11-21 17:42:27-05

It's a tie for the dirtiest dining tonight: pie and Thai as we double down on the highest demerits.

"You don't even understand. I take this serious! I take pride, yes!" General Manager Yuri Martin was mortified when she returned from her son's graduation to find her restaurant with a 38-demerit C grade. 

"It's not something that we're going to dismiss. People that didn't follow the rules got reprimanded."

At Marie Callender's on Rainbow and Cheyenne, inspectors found sausage, soups, chili, tuna salad, Alfredo sauce, mashed potatoes, gravy, pot pie filling, eggs and more at unsafe temperatures. Most of it was thrown out. 

There was also expired garlic butter in the cooler and two-week old stuffing in the make table, which Yuri blames on the label.

Darcy Spears: So you're saying the label was expired but the food wasn't expired?
Yuri Martin: That is correct. Yes. That is correct. Nonetheless, we did everything we needed to.

Bread was stored under the fire extinguisher and dried coconut under an insect zapper. 

There was food debris on the can opener blade and vegetable slicer. 

And mold in the ice machine.

Darcy: The raw meat that was sitting in pooling blood--another thing that makes customers go, ewww.
Yuri: Right, um, again, everything's been taken care of.

Inspectors called Marie Callendar's management to a second supervisory conference due to continuing downgrades.

Yuri: It was a hiccup. It was something that should never happen, but it happened, so, we're taking accountability.
Darcy: Do you want us to get any video in the kitchen? It's up to you if you want to show that or not.
Yuri: We're just fine here. I can assure you that everything's fine, so, um, no.

The other restaurant with a 38-demerit C grade did want to show us their kitchen. 

But the owner of Thai Basil Asian Diner on Ann and Simmons wanted to make something clear.

Frank Ngo: It's not dirty.
Darcy Spears: One of the things was dirty. Your raw meat grinder had been put away as clean and it had chunks of raw meat still inside the parts.

He takes us back to show us the meat grinder.

Frank: We clean it all the time. You know, maybe it's...
Darcy: All the time except this time?
Frank: Except this time.

Inspectors also wrote them up for using t-shirt bags to store breaded chicken and raw meat, though Frank says that wasn't a problem during prior inspections.

"Every Health Department agent come in and everybody tell me different things."

He takes particular exception to the violation for a food handler using bare hands to hold cooked chicken.

Frank: Plastic hand glove is--got all the powder--I think is worse than the bare hands after we wash it.
Darcy: You think the gloves are worse than clean bare hands?
Frank: Yes!

Frank blames most of their problems on a broken make table, which meant food like shrimp and eggs were at unsafe temperatures.

Frank: We pay the guys and supposed to be here to fix.
Darcy: So did the guy who took your money eventually do the fix?
Frank: No!
Darcy: No? You got scammed?
Frank: Yes!

We left a business card and an offer to help him get his money back or his make table fixed.

We've got one imminent health hazard closure and it's an oldie but a goodie. 

The famous Pioneer Saloon in Goodsprings was shut down after inspectors following up on a complaint found them operating without any running water. 

But there were five gallon buckets next to the toilets so customers could flush.

Pioneer Saloon, Marie Callendar's and Thai Basil are all back to A grades.

13 Investigates - Send us a tip
Do you have a story idea or tip for 13 Investigates? Fill out the form below.
Are you willing to go on camera?